Asus' New Wireless Gaming Keyboard Has Custom Switches, Dampening Foam

Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless Keyboard
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Asus is continuing its journey further into the keyboard enthusiast space, adding a new wireless model that comes with brand new custom switches and several other high-end features you don't expect on a mainstream gaming keyboard. Unveiled at Computex 2023, the Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless (say that five times fast), is the first to use its ROG NX Snow pre-lubed linear switches, which promise a smooth and quiet typing experience, along with dampening foam to limit noise further, tri-mode connectivity and an included wrist rest.

If you don't like the feel of those switches, the Scope II 96 Wireless is hot-swappable so you can bring your own. It also is the first Asus keyboard to come with its new ROG Omni receiver, similar to offerings from Logitech and Corsair, which promises fast speeds and the ability to connect to multiple Asus 2.4-GHz wireless peripherals from a single dongle.

We had a chance to go hands-on with the Strix Scope II 96 Wireless and came away really pleased with its smooth and pleasing feel and its quiet sound output (which is admittedly a bit hard to judge in a crowded event space). The Aura RGB underneath the keys is attractive as always, with a pixilated ROG symbol on the spacebar for the lights to shine through. We also like the soft magnetically attached wrist rest that comes in the box. 

The Asus ROG NX Snow switches have 3.6 mm of travel with a 1.8mm actuation point, so they offer a shorter throw than the company's 4mm NX Red switches. They require 45g of actuation force, which is the same as the reds but they have a different stem and come prelubed.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The 96-key layout provides a good balance between having most of the keys you need and not taking up a ton of desk space. There's also a dial that you can use to control the volume, media, lighting or other settings on your PC.

If you dial the lights down (well, off), Asus is promising an impressive 1,500 hours of gaming and typing time on a charge and a key combo turns the number key lights into a battery meter, so you can check your charge with ease at any time.

The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless can connect to your computer one of three ways: wired, Bluetooth wireless, or 2.4-GHz wireless via ROG SpeedNova. Asus claims that SpeedNova has "near-zero" latency and says that the dongle will also allow you to connect to two additional ROG devices, like mice and headsets.

(Image credit: Future)

There's no word yet on pricing or availability for the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless. However, we'd expect it to be a bit cheaper than the $249 Asus ROG Azoth that came out earlier this year and is one of the best gaming keyboards. The Azoth comes with a complete switch disassembly and lubing kit, a pricey feature which the Scope II does not have.

Matt Safford

After a rough start with the Mattel Aquarius as a child, Matt built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last 15 years covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper, PCMag and Digital Trends.

With contributions from