Asus' latest mechanical keyboard adds a tiny dot-matrix LED display

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,040   +151
Staff member
In a nutshell: If you’ve ever felt like your keyboard was missing something but couldn’t quite pinpoint exactly what it was, perhaps Asus’ latest gaming keyboard is worth a look. The ROG Strix Flare Animate II gaming keyboard is the first to feature an AniMe Matrix LED display. Much like the dot-matrix displays featured on select Asus laptops, this implementation allows users to create customizable images and animations for a completely unique look.

Asus’ latest boasts an 8,000 Hz polling rate providing a 0.125ms response time alongside swappable ROG NX mechanical switches, PBT doubleshot keycaps with a mid-height profile and shorter stem to reduce key wobble, and switch stabilizer mechanisms to ensure smooth strokes.

Asus has also added sound-dampening foam to reduce pinging for improved typing acoustics, and of course there is RGB lighting. Elsewhere, you’ll find metal media keys and volume controls as well as a detachable wrist wrest with an integrated light diffuser and a USB pass-through port for connecting other devices.

There’s also a standard Strix Flare II gaming keyboard that doesn’t include the AniMe Matrix LED display, swappable switches and wrist rest-mounted light diffuser should you not require those extras.

A word of warning: Asus' new boards are expensive, even by mechanical keyboard standards. The ROG Strix Flare Animate II gaming keyboard is set to arrive later this month priced at $220. The model without all the bells and whistles will command $180.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,084   +3,986
Feels weird saying it but the mechanical keyboard market has changed so much in the last couple years than a full keyboard seems dated: most of the newer and fanciest mechanical keyboards are 10-keyless or 75%

While I am sure lots of people appreciate the functionality most people much rather have the smaller size and better ergonomics of having the mouse and keyboard closer together. Even with a 75% keyboard I still find myself tilting it heavily to one side when playing games because it's much more comfortable and well, just the way my arms end up resting when leaning in which is I think common.
 

Dunkerton

Posts: 59   +114
I just tilted the right side of the keyboard away from me, didn't have to use my short keyboard anymore. This particular keyboard being shown has way too much extra material above the F keys, not sure what they were thinking on that. Customizable display is also completely useless lmfao
 

mountains

Posts: 61   +73
Feels weird saying it but the mechanical keyboard market has changed so much in the last couple years than a full keyboard seems dated: most of the newer and fanciest mechanical keyboards are 10-keyless or 75%

While I am sure lots of people appreciate the functionality most people much rather have the smaller size and better ergonomics of having the mouse and keyboard closer together. Even with a 75% keyboard I still find myself tilting it heavily to one side when playing games because it's much more comfortable and well, just the way my arms end up resting when leaning in which is I think common.

Yeah, I moved to a 10-Keyless 'cause with a full size keyboard my mouse kept hitting the keyboard. Even still, the letters on the keyboard are offset to the left side of my body a lot. Also, smaller footprint is better. I may go to an even smaller style keyboard, but I need MORE hotkeys for games, not less.

Someone should develop a wireless separate numerical full RGB keypad that can be grabbed and used only when needed for numbers or gaming hot keys. Then we can put it on the left, not right, of the main keyboard.

I have also been surprised to find that low profile keys feel much, much better.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,309   +2,312
Someone should develop a wireless separate numerical full RGB keypad that can be grabbed and used only when needed for numbers or gaming hot keys. Then we can put it on the left, not right, of the main keyboard.
Somone has. They just aren't in high demand in the gaming market I imagine. Most gamers are going smaller with 75% and even 60% keyboards.
 

mountains

Posts: 61   +73
No thanks.
I'll stick with my little OLED on the Apex 7 TKL and system monitoring app.
I have a Corsair K63 TKL now. I give it a medium. I do like how large the actual letters and digits on the keys are!

I was looking at that Steelseries keyboard, too. How do you use and like that OLED Smart Display and roller thing in real life?

I was also looking at the Logitech G915 TKL, though I have not checked the market for a while for new stuff.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,309   +2,312
I have a Corsair K63 TKL now. I give it a medium.

I was looking at that Steelseries keyboard, too. How do you use and like that OLED Smart Display and roller thing in real life?

I was also looking at the Logitech G915 TKL, though I have not checked the market for a while for new stuff.
Media control with a clickable roller and single button looks clean and is just as functional as keyboards with dedicated buttons. I had the Corsair K65 TKL and I very much prefer the SS. The screen can show many things from different apps and games, but I solely use it to show CPU/GPU/memory usage, temps and core clocks.

I wanted the G915 but it's $300 in Canada. Lower price and a 9/10 from rtings and great customer reviews made the Apex 7 TKL a no-brainer.
 
Yeah, I moved to a 10-Keyless 'cause with a full size keyboard my mouse kept hitting the keyboard. Even still, the letters on the keyboard are offset to the left side of my body a lot. Also, smaller footprint is better. I may go to an even smaller style keyboard, but I need MORE hotkeys for games, not less.

Someone should develop a wireless separate numerical full RGB keypad that can be grabbed and used only when needed for numbers or gaming hot keys. Then we can put it on the left, not right, of the main keyboard.

I have also been surprised to find that low profile keys feel much, much better.

I use the Mountain Everest Max and moved the numpad to the left hand side of the keyboard, it’s modular and works great for me especially with the extra macro keys. Might be worth you checking it out.
 

Faelan

Posts: 140   +145
I don’t even use a keyboard for gaming anymore. Razer Tartarus Pro + Razer Naga + Stream Deck XL gets the job done. I have a Bluetooth keyboard nearby when I need to type something. A MacBook sits where you’d normally have the keyboard. Serves as secondary system/display and allows me to use the PC only for gaming and the occasional YouTube movie if I need a big display for it. It technically is possible to use special software to use the MacBook keyboard as a remote keyboard for the PC, but I haven’t bothered with that for a long time. It’s an unusual setup, but works for me.

As for $220 being expensive… oh boy… don’t look at high end flight sim gear. $220 is a drop in the bucket in comparison. My wallet would feel a lot better if I could just be a normal gamer playing normal mainstream games.