Of all the optical keyboards we’ve tested, the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX has one of the best typing and gaming experiences we’ve tried so far.
After spending a week testing this keyboard, I can say we are quite surprised by the performance. Bar a few complaints, this keyboard is fun and satisfying to use.
Let’s dig into the review.
The Main Takeaways
The Asus ROG Strix Scope RX offers some of the best optical switches on the market. With a smooth and stable design, you can expect a satisfying experience whether you are gaming or typing. While it’s not compatible with aftermarket keycaps, the keyboard is quite enjoyable to use.
General Usage: For general usage, the keyboard does well. The key remapping is nice for easily browsing the internet and changing music. It would be nice if the keyboard offered a hot-swappable option and was more standardized.
Typing: The optical switches are smooth, stable, and produce no key chatter when typing quickly. However, not having a standard bottom row or aftermarket keycaps is a downside.
Gaming: The optical switches are excellent for gaming. With a short actuation distance and zero debounce delay, you can react faster than the competition. The dedicated media keys make it easy to change music in-game.
Programming: The keyboard offers robust software that allows you to set macros and remap keys to setup an efficient layout. The typing experience is quite enjoyable for long coding sessions.
In The Box
The Keyboard: Asus ROG Strix Scope RX
Warranty Card: Simple warranty details.
Quick Start Guide: Basic info to get you started.
The box contains minimal components, just the keyboard itself and a few pieces of literature. The keyboard is initially wrapped in a black felt material and the power cable is folded to fit into the box. The quick start guide is very useful for understanding the more complex functionality of the keyboard such as lighting, profiles, on-the-fly macro recording, and brightness.
Material: Aluminum top plate with plastic underbelly. IP56 water and dust resistant.
Flex: Rigid with minimal bend.
Typing Angle: Slight typing angle
Kickstands: Single kickstand setting
Power Cable: Non-detachable with USB Passthrough
The build quality of the ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX is surprisingly robust. The frame experiences minimal flex when you attempt to twist it. The keyboard is also IP56 water and dust resistant which keeps it protected from the elements. You won’t be able to completely submerge it in water, but it will be safe from small spills. The typing angle is very slight, which should provide a better typing experience. The kickstands allow for an additional typing angle.
Layout and Size
Length: 440 mm / 17.3 in
Width: 137 mm / 5.4 in
Thickness: 39 mm / 1.5 in
The keyboard comes in the standard full-sized layout. The size is relatively thin for a full-sized keyboard and doesn’t feel too bulky. There is technically no dedicated media keys, but you do have the option to swap the function row and lower-layer media keys with a simple command. This makes it easy to have “dedicated” media keys when you need them, but also the functionality of the function row for more professional work.
The keycaps are made of a thin ABS plastic which tends to result in leaving behind fingerprints after typing. After heavy usage the keycaps will start to develop a greasy shine. The keycaps attach to the switches with a strange four dot design instead of the typical cross-shaped stem. This means you won’t be able to find different keycaps if you don’t enjoy the style. Additionally, the keycaps are not the typical profile, instead they are slightly shorter. The Cherry profile shape makes it easier to glide your fingers over when gaming. The legends are illuminated by the RGB when typing which is perfect for gaming at night.
Type: Optical Linear
Options: Red Switch
Actuation Distance: 1.5 mm
Travel Distance: 4 mm
Actuation Force: 45 g
Lifespan: 100 million keystrokes
The switches are optical which comes with a host of benefits for gamers. You’ll experience zero debounce delay which can help with a faster response time. On top of that, the shorter actuation distance means you can press your key faster than a normal keyboard. The design of the switch is suprisingly stable and satisfying to type on with built-in stabilizers into each switch. Unfortunately, you only have one switch option, which is linear. It would be nice if they offered a tactile and clicky option. The stem is a box shape instead of the usual Cherry style design.
Type: Optical, not compatible with aftermarket keycaps
The stabilizers are placed under the larger keys such as the spacebar, and help keep the keys stable on each keystroke. The spacebar produces little rattle and has a satisfying sound on impact. For a gaming keyboard, the stabilizers are quite good. The design is not typical, so it’s not compatible with aftermarket keycaps. You’re stuck with what’s on the keyboard. You won’t be able to perform the typical aftermarket modifications.
LED Location: North-Facing
Change RGB effects: FN + Right or FN + Left.
Change Brightness: FN + Up or FN + Down.
The RGB lighting is offered in a ton of different preset settings, but also offers more in-depth customization via the software. The RGB pops on the keyboard and the light bouncing off of the red switches is quite aesthetic. You have simple controls built into a few presets on the keyboard such as toggling the RGB effect and brightness settings, but you can also change it in the software if you prefer.
Name: Asus Armoury Crate
Macros: Yes. FN + Right Alt (start) and FN + Left Alt (end)
Per-Key Lighting: Yes
Remap Keys: Yes
Onboard Memory: Yes
Profiles: Yes. FN + 1/2/3/4/5/6
The software support on the ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX is very in-depth and offers a ton of functionality. The on-board firmware itself makes setting macros and changing the RGB lighting very easy without even needing to open the software. With the software itself, however, you are able to assign profiles, remap keys, set macros, make custom RGB effects and more. The customizability and functionality of this keyboard are both huge benefits. With on-board memory, once you make changes, you don’t need to have the software open any more. The software is a little difficult to setup, but once you’re done installing it it’s easy to use.
Port Type: USB 2.0 Non-detachable
Latency: 1ms (1000 Hz Polling)
Number of Devices: 1
Cable Length: 6 ft / 1.83 m
USB Passthrough: Yes
The power cable is non-detachable with two USB-A 2.0 heads. The USB passthrough is useful for those that want to plug their mice or headset directly into the keyboard without needing to plug it into the PC itself. The cable is quite bulky and difficult to route. The keyboard offers no wireless connectivity options, only wired.
Corsair K100 Optical Keyboard
Why It’s Recommended: If you’re looking for a gaming keyboard and budget is not an issue in the slightest, the Corsair K100 offers the fastest gaming experience on the market and more options for customization. It’s quite a bit pricier, however. Read the full review.
Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Keyboard
Why It’s Recommended: The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is almost identical to the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX, except it comes with a tactile switch option and dedicated media keys. Both areas where the Asus is lacking. Read the full review.