ASUS ROG Strix Flare Review

👤by Weston Dakin Comments 📅15-06-18
Performance Testing
Setup & Observations

Setting up the ROG Strix Flare is an easy process. If you plan on utilising the USB pass-through you will need two empty USB ports to make use of this feature, if you arenít, then one port is all you need. We did note that the cable is on the thicker side and could pose a potential problem for those looking to obtain really clean cable management. After the initial setup, weíd advise downloading the accompanying ARMOURY II software to make full use of the features found on this keyboard.


For general everyday use, the ROG Strix Flare is very comfortable and user-friendly thanks to the removable wrist rest and spacious layout of the keyboard. Nothing feels too cramped and there is plenty of spacing between the keys which means document typing and web browsing are handled with ease. The dedicated media keys are well placed and are very useful for controlling any media while performing other tasks. The volume control dial smooth yet quite precise meaning you can make small incremental changes or quickly reduce the volume to zero if needed.

One thing we did find is that when the keyboard is being raised via the riser feet, there is some flex in the chassis. You wonít notice this carrying out everyday tasks, but when applying a bit of pressure to the top middle section, there is some noticeable flex. One other thing to note is the size of the keyboard, it's full sized and quite large measuring in at 454mm x 155mm. My personal desk space is on the more generous side thus the Strix Flare was fairly easy to accommodate, but if you are confined to a smaller setup, then the Strix Flare may take up too much desk space. So this would be something to keep in mind.

RGB Illumination

The ROG Strix Flare makes use of ASUSís AURA SYNC lighting which is very impressive. The ARMOURY II software provides a vast amount of control for customising the lighting. There are four main areas that the illumination is visible, there is the main key layout, the customisable badge and the two under-glow strips. However, you canít simply select all of these individual areas to fully customise them as essentially the effect you apply, carries across the entire keyboard. This, therefore, means you canít select the under-glow and have that a different colour to the badge or main keys. ASUS does, however, include per-key customisation so you can have the individual keys any colour you would like.


The RGB illumination on the Strix Flare is very good, ASUS has opted for a white backing diffusion to help disperse the lighting more evenly and more vividly. The lighting is very bright and vibrant and can be controlled via the keyboard or software. The colours are nicely saturated all while being accurate in their reproduction, whites arenít too heavily tinted with either a blue, magenta or yellow hue. Again these can be customised to be made even brighter or to either have increased or decreased saturation. The RGB transition effects are very smooth and seamless when implemented. There is a lot of scope for customisation as well. Within the software - depending on the effect selected, there are plenty of tools to change how the effect looks by allowing the selection of different colours, custom colour selections and even the direction the effect flows.



Performance

As you may be aware, the ROG Strix Flare can be purchased with different Cherry MX switches to suit different play styles and preferences. Our unit has the Cherry MX Reds which offer a linear response as well as being smooth and precise. They have an actuation force of 45g and only require 2mm of key travel to register an input. We used Fortnite, Overwatch, PLAYERUNKNOWNíS BATTLEGROUNDS and Rise of the Tomb Raider to put the Strix Flare through its paces.


Itís safe to say that the Strix Flare is a great companion for gamers. The Cherry MX Reds on this unit are fast, fluid and very precise. The other switches will provide differing experiences and we would highly recommend trying out the different options to see which suits your style and preference. Back to the Strix Flare and the gaming experience is brilliant, the switches mentioned are fluid with a very linear response. When in use they are so immediate and fast which makes them well suited for fast paced competitive titles. We noted that in Overwatch and Fornite the switches had no trouble keeping up with the most intense and quick movement. Another big plus is the noise level emitted by the switches, in comparison to the very audible MX Blues the MX Reds are noticeably quieter. Although not silent it could be beneficial if you arenít a fan of the clacky sound made by other mechanical switches.

The dedicated media keys also work great in gaming situations especially if you note that your volume is too low or too high. The positioning of the volume control dial is ideal and means you donít have to stretch too far away from the WASD keys in order to use them. This could be beneficial to game streamers as you donít need to fully remove your hand from the keyboard in order to carry out this task, it also means that there is no need to go into the settings or adjust the volume via other means.


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