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Asus Strix Flare II Animate Gaming Keyboard Review

Almost midway into 2022 and it’s fairly exhausting to get a nasty gaming keyboard. Boards like the brand new Asus Strix Flare II AniMate have a tough time differentiating themselves from a ridiculously good pool of {hardware}. So with the common board boasting nice switches, caps, RGB and customization options, why do you have to think about the $350 Strix Flare II Animate?

Well, I can consider various. Asus ROG NX swappable mechanical switches, 8000Hz polling charge, metallic media controls, a luxurious wrist relaxation with RGB diffuser and naturally, that dot AniMe Matrix show. This board has so much occurring that appears like gimmicks. However, after a month of day by day use, I can guarantee you all of it works collectively for probably the most thrilling and refreshing keyboard packages in a very long time.

Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate Review

Let’s speak design first as that is one good wanting board. It’s a full-size board, one thing that feels solely pointless for many players’ wants and manner greater than my 65% Vissles V84. The predominant chassis is constituted of metallic alloys that really feel tank-like and weighs a hefty 1.1Kg. The gunmetal gray color seems like severe enterprise and works nice with the colorful Aura RGB lighting. 

But what instantly catches your eye are the total metallic media controls on the highest left and the LED AniMe Matrix show on the fitting. The latter instantly lights up with monochrome animations or system icons similar to quantity, play, and skip that each one reply to actions carried out on the media controls. It actually by no means will get previous to see the AniMe Matrix show react to the inputs you do on the media controls although it’s definitely not restricted to that.

You aren’t restricted to simply these easy system notifications although. The show has 312 programmable mini LEDs which might showcase just about any easy animations or visualisations. Using the Armoury Crate software program, you’ll be able to obtain and apply a number of predesigned animations from the library or add your individual GIFS.

The media controls are a number of the most original I’ve ever encountered on a keyboard. On the periphery is a cylindrical, spring-style change that may be pushed or pulled to skip media ahead or backward. In the centre of the dial on the periphery is a round button for pause/play. Next is a curler quantity dial which I imagine is a must have on any keyboard. Two extra metallic buttons may be programmed for any perform you want.

The underside of the board is fairly sparse with two height-adjustable ft for a extra ergonomic angle. Since the Flare II has a hard and fast USB cable, there aren’t any routing channels on the board. The mentioned USB cable is a chonky boi that terminates into two ends. This permits the Flare II to assist USB-passthrough which may be useful for shortly plugging in dongles or different issues.

The Flare II additionally lives as much as its identify relating to RGB lighting. The board has per-key backlighting in addition to a novel RGB strip alongside the entrance with a plastic diffuser. What’s even cooler is that in a keyboard first, the lighting strip additionally works with the bundled removable wrist relaxation.

Asus has designed the 2 to take a seat seamlessly in order that the wrist wrest locks into the Flare II and the RGB lighting will shine by way of it to the skin going through you. I used to be stunned at how robust the lighting is even after passing by way of a 3-inch deep foam. And this can be a actually nice wrist relaxation that’s plush and I really like that it doesn’t transfer about independently of the keyboard. 

Switches and efficiency

Once you’ll be able to pull your self away from fiddling with the pleasant media controls, you’ll flip your focus to the principle keyboard deck. The Flare II is a part of a brand new breed of massive model boards that characteristic swappable switches permitting you to theoretically, put no matter customized switches you need. However, by default, Asus affords both Cherry MX switches or their customized ROG NX switches. All switches can be found in Red, Brown or Blue variants. 

I obtained the NX Reds that are easy, quick and quiet with a 1.8mm actuation at solely 40gf which makes them really feel lighting quick. Typing and gaming had been a pleasure because of the sunshine contact wanted to make issues occur. Asus has accomplished an distinctive job lubing the switches which retains them easy and the extra sound-dampening foam absorbs any pinging for quieter typing experiences.

Covering the change stems are PBT keycaps with clear legends for the Aura RGB lighting to shine by way of. Unfortunately, Asus opted for opaque secondary key legends which makes them tough to see in poor or no gentle. This is only a unhealthy design and I want everybody would cease doing this. 

Helping issues tick for a fair sooner response is the 8000 Hz polling charge which is eight occasions sooner than the common board. To be truthful, solely prodigies will discover the distinction as a result of I certain as hell didn’t. But taking part in Doom Eternal or CoD Warzone, I can’t declare to have died as a result of the board didn’t reply fast sufficient to my instructions.

Speaking of instructions, the Flare II has all the same old accoutrements like N-Key Rollover, 100% Anti-Ghosting, Windows lock key and on-the-fly macro recordings. You can all the time leap into Asus Armoury Crate software program and manually customise keybindings and RGB lighting to your coronary heart’s content material. It’s nothing too unfamiliar for anybody used to peripheral software program and is definitely one among my extra favoured apps.

Verdict

After a number of weeks with the Strix Flare II Animate, I’m fairly enamoured with it. Sure, it’s huge and costly, but it surely feels so luxurious to sort and recreation on, it seems like 1,000,000 bucks and I can’t get sufficient of these media controls. The ROG NX switches are very nice with their quick response, easy actuation and wonderful RGB and for the primary time, I’m not complaining about linear switches. 

But there’s no denying that is one expensive board, properly over the funds for even probably the most enthusiastic gamer. For $100 much less, there’s a sea of outstanding boards from Razer, MSI, Roccat and so many extra. $350 is the type of cash solely keyboard lovers shall be keen to spend and even then, it might be for a really customized board distinctive to them. The Strix Flare II Animate kinda costs itself in a very odd area of interest that’s exhausting to justify. 

That mentioned, it’s nonetheless a incredible keyboard and if you’re all in on Asus peripherals, and have a ton of cash, then by all means go for it. 

Asus Strix Flare II Animate Gaming Keyboard Review

LIKES

Very good-looking with stunning RGB

Detachable wrist relaxation with RGB

ROG NX swappable switches are nice

Fantastic media controls

Cute AniMe Matrix show

DISLIKES

Big and hulking

Very costly

9

Expensive and flashy in the fitting methods