The Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless is a pretty good keyboard for gaming. It packs lots of keys in a compact form, and comes with a nice palm rest, too. The mechanical switches are responsive, but much quieter than expected, and they already come pre-lubed. This means they feel smooth, and sound a lot quieter, too.
- Connectivity: USB 2.0 (Type-C to Type-A), Bluetooth 5.1, RF 2.4GHz
- Lighting: Aura Sync, RGB per key, Armoury Crate app
- Hot-swappable switches
- Comes with wrist rest, keycap and switch puller, USB extender, ROG-themed spacebar keycap
The 96% layout means you have almost all the keys of a full-sized keyboard, but it isn't that much bigger than, say a tenkeyless keyboard such as the Keychron K8. That means you get the numpad, but you lose out on about six keys, such as the Home, End, Pause, Scroll Lock, and Print Screen. To be fair, some of these keys aren't really used much, but I found the lack of a Home and End key painful for writing and editing. But you won't need it for gaming, which is what this keyboard is for.
The Strix Scope II 96 uses Asus' own NX Snow linear switches that are also hot-swappable. You won't need much effort to push down on the keys, which is great for gaming when you need the speed. I do prefer more tactile keys, but I'll give this a pass. Another thing I like is that it comes with a wheel that lets you adjust your volume, playback, keyboard brightness, or simply as a scroll wheel. This can be toggled via a button next to the wheel.
Battery life is about a week with the wireless 2.4GHz receiver, but you can probably get more juice if you use the built-in Bluetooth. This keyboard supports Asus Aura Sync, which lets your keyboard switch the backlight colours based on the game. You'll need the Asus Armory Crate app for this, but I'm not a big fan of the app. However, you can use it to customise the colours, and sync it with all your other Asus RGB devices.
At S$279, the Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless commands a premium, but it is worth it. It's priced competitively against other gaming keyboards, such as the ones from Razer. I also like that it comes with a palm rest that clips on magnetically to the keyboard. Get it from Shopee or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Asus.
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