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Asus ROG Strix Scope RX review: A stylish keyboard for FPS fanatics

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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
125
inc. VAT

The Asus ROG Strix Scope RX offers a lot for its low price of entry, but heavy typists may find it too sensitive

Pros 
Excellent build quality
Super-fast optical switches
Fairly priced
Cons 
No wristrest
Media keys are relegated to function controls
You might find the keys too responsive
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For me, ROG will always be the dimwitted blob monster from The Trap Door, but it’s also the acronym attached to Asus’ gaming peripheral division – Republic of Gamers. The company’s latest keyboard, the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX, is a temptingly priced device that promises impeccable build quality and lightning fast optical switches, fine-tuned for esports and FPS fanatics.

READ NEXT: The best gaming keyboards to buy right now

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX review: What do you get for the money?

For £125, Asus packs in the features, especially for players who prefer their games on the twitchy side. The keyboard uses optical switches, meaning that the usual metal contact point for each key is replaced by an infrared LED.

When a key is pushed down, the beam is interrupted, registering a keystroke, which is not only easier on the mechanics – Asus claims each key is good for 100 million presses – but is also faster than regular switches.

This, combined with the extended Ctrl key – barely used in web browsing but an important button for FPS players – means it’s perfect for those looking to up their Fortnite or Counter Strike game.
 
It’s more than just responsive, though. Anti-ghosting and n-key rollover ensure you can press multiple keys without interference, it has built-in memory for up to six profiles and there’s USB 2.0 passthrough for attaching extras. It even has IP56-certification for gamers who enjoy a drink at their desk.

As is standard with gaming keyboards, per-key lighting is present and correct, with a number of presets to cycle through – some more distracting than others (I’m looking at you, “Quicksand”). “Reactive”, where keys temporarily light up as you press them, is especially fun because it really shows when you’re typing at speed.
 
The lighting can be completely turned off if you need something less flashy for work and, in fact, the ROG Strix Scope RX wears its gaming credentials very lightly, with no need for garish lighting strips. Yes, the logo lights up and the words “Republic of Gamers” appear at the bottom but it generally looks smart and professional, with its sharp angles and dark grey aluminium base.

  

On the subject of professionalism, Asus has also included a “stealth button” on F12 which instantly kills audio and hides apps from prying eyes. Pressing it again instantly restores things to their previous state.

READ NEXT: The best gaming keyboards to buy right now

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX review: What’s it like to use?

The Asus ROG Strix Scope RX is very nice to type on, with a chunky feel and sound with each keystroke. I was able to reach 76wpm and 96% accuracy straight out of the box, and that only improved with practice.
 
While gaming, it also feels hugely responsive, which is just what you’re looking for in a pinch. To be clear, the advantage that optical switches give you aren’t often going to be the difference between (virtual) life and death unless you’re an esports professional where everything is in the margins, but it’s nice not to be able to blame your hardware for mistakes all the same.

 
 
One small thing, and something that’s very much down to personal preference, but as a somewhat heavy typist I found the keys a little over sensitive. Sometimes, I rest my fingers on keys while thinking of what to type next, and with the ROG Strix Scope RX, this would occasionally manifest itself in a series of ‘aaaaaaa’ characters on the screen. Equally, while playing the slow paced Hunt Showdown, I would sometimes find myself strafing unintentionally, because apparently my resting finger weight is sometimes greater than the 40g of force required to register a stroke. 

To be clear, this doesn’t happen all the time but it is something that happened often enough for me to register it. I imagine I could unlearn this over time but if you prefer more resistance, this may not be the keyboard for you.

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX review: What isn’t it good at?

If you’re a light touch typist, there aren’t many things that should put you off the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX, but there are definitely omissions. The design is pretty compact for a full-size gaming keyboard with number pad and that means there’s no room for dedicated media keys. Every non-standard function, from cycling through light patterns to skipping tracks, requires holding down the function key to access.

On top of this, there’s no wristrest provided in the box, which is fair enough. Not everybody requires one, which could be an issue if you’ve ever suffered from RSI.

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX review: Should I buy it?

All in all, the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX offers a whole lot for its relatively modest asking price. It looks the part, feels built to last and is perfect for lovers of FPS games looking to eke out every advantage they can get. The lack of dedicated media keys and wristrest is a shame, though.
 
If you prefer something that requires less of a soft touch, then I can fully recommend either the Razer BlackWidow Elite – a keyboard that used to cost the best part of £200, but can now be found closer to £100 – or the MSI GK50 Elite, which is a positive bargain at a price just short of £80.

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