The ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe keyboard has a very long name, in which the manufacturer tried to accurately show all its features. Scope stands for the extended left Ctrl and the name of the series as a whole. RX is the company’s signature optical switches. TKL is a form factor without a digital unit, Wireless is wireless, and Deluxe means a palm rest is included. An interesting cocktail, although in fact only the wireless mode of operation is new in it, while everything else we have already seen before in various models. Why deprive gaming keyboards of wires? It’s hard to say for sure, but this is the fashion now. And since competitors have it, let ASUS have it too.
|Model||ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe|
|Product page||ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe|
|Interface||USB 2.0 / 2.4 GHz / Bluetooth 5.2|
|Polling frequency, Hz||1000|
|Number of keys||84|
|Key press resource, million||100|
|Type of keys||Optical and mechanical|
|Type of switches||ROG RX Red або RX Blue|
|Changing the angle of inclination of the case||+|
|Built-in memory||+ (6 profiles)|
|Ability to record macros||+|
|Handling simultaneous clicks||NKRO|
|Illumination||+ (RGB, 16.8 million colors)|
|USB cord length, m||1,8|
|Software||+ (Armoury Crate)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||356 x 136 x 39|
|OS compatibility||Windows 10, Windows 11|
|The declared operating time from the built-in battery||76 hours at 2.4 GHz with backlight on|
|Additionally||Ability to work in wired and wireless mode. Support for up to three Bluetooth connections at the same time. Aluminum top panel. Extended left Ctrl key. Stealth button for quickly collapsing all program windows. The ROG logo has a battery charge indicator function. Fast hardware recording of macro commands without software. Detachable cable. Removable magnetic palm rest|
The keyboard comes in a nice red and black box (RoG’s signature colors), which includes both the product’s appearance and all the necessary information about it.
Protection from damage in the middle is provided by additional cardboard inserts, plastic bags and a wrapper made of artificial fabric.
In addition to the keyboard, the kit includes a palm rest, a USB Type A to USB Type C signal cable, an instruction manual, a warranty brochure, stickers with ROG logos, an adapter from USB Type C (female) to USB Type A (female). and a miniature 2.4 GHz receiver.
The ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe keyboard has retained the easily recognizable design characteristic of all products in this series. It is made in the «skeleton» style. The upper panel with a bend in front, which additionally acts as a stiffening rib, visually looks beautiful and concise. It is made of aluminum with a thickness of 1 mm and polished by the method of sandblasting. As a result, the device turned out to be very strong and successfully passes the diagonal twist test. The palm rest is removable and held on by magnets. The keyboard seems quite heavy, although in reality its weight is only slightly more than 850 grams.
The removable magnetic palm rest has a size of 357x75x25 mm. On the outside, it is covered with artificial leather, with an embossed ROG logo on the right side. Its rear part is made of plastic. There are three large rubber feet on the sides and in the middle, two additional strips on the back, and two more pads on the keyboard. Three large magnets are hidden in the middle and closer to the edges of the back face. There is also another ROG logo and name at the bottom. The weight of the stand is 163 g.
The layout is generally ANSI standard with long single row Shift and Enter buttons. The F1 key is located directly under the number «2». Among the differences, it should be noted that the left Ctrl button is elongated, as a result of which the left Win and Alt are shifted to the right, and the space bar is shortened. The letters of the Latin alphabet are laser-engraved exactly in the center of the caps in a thick font. Thin Cyrillic is applied in the same way in the center from below. All inscriptions are perfectly visible when the backlight is on, but without it they are visible only in bright external light. The Fn button takes the place of the right Win key.
There is no numeric keypad, as this is an abbreviated TKL keyboard. Instead of the three buttons PrtSc, ScrLk and Pause, there is a silver ROG logo that lights up and can act as a battery charge indicator. Above the arrows are four dot LED indicators with the labels below them — A (Caps Lock), S (Scroll Lock), F (Fn Lock) and the Windows symbol with a lock (Win Lock).
This keyboard uses proprietary ROG RX Red optical-mechanical switches. You can learn about them in detail and visually at this link. How is everything arranged? The mechanical part consists of a rod with a spring, which, when pressed to a sufficient depth, interrupts the light flow between two elements located on the printed circuit board, causing an instant activation of the button. The advantages of this method over classical closing of contacts in mechanical switches are self-evident. There is no physical contact, there is no need for a delay for the «jitter» of the signal, the switch can work much longer without excessive friction. The reaction speed is stated to be within 1 ms, although in practice it is not known what delay is actually set on the controller. The second elegant solution is an X-shaped pantograph under the rod, which, being evenly folded, forces the button to go straight down, without deviation to the sides. And the third great engineering discovery is the backlight LED on the board, in the center of the switch and the lens above it. This makes the illumination uniform and bright. The long button stabilizers are hidden here, with a wedge-type mount that I personally don’t really like in terms of durability and maintenance.
ROG RX Red are linear switches that have just 1.5mm of travel to actuate, with 4mm of total travel to the stop. To activate them, you need to apply 45 grams of effort, with an initial load of 40 g and a peak load of 55 g. The switches are pressed with soft resistance, and in this they are closer to membrane keyboards than to conventional mechanisms. However, unlike them, all buttons have an unparalleled stabilization in the horizontal plane. The sound is quite quiet and dull. There are some questions about the keycaps. They reliably collect traces of fat and sweat from fingers. And in this case, it is ordinary painted ABS plastic. In addition, the caps have a specific four-point fastening, and it is practically impossible to find a non-original replacement for them. PBT caps are available only in versions of the keyboard with a Latin layout, where there is no second row of engraving.
The height of the keyboard with folded legs along the back row of keys is 39 mm. With unfolded legs — 47 mm. Side panels bent inward allow you to easily rearrange the keyboard if necessary. A slightly understated OEM key profile is used here.
The back panel has the shape of an inverted trapezoid. The power switch, USB Type C cable port, and magnetic pocket for the receiver are located in the middle of the back, in a small recess.
The USB Type C to USB Type A cable is nylon braided and 1.8 meters long. It is thin, of medium hardness. There is a velcro here to adjust the length.
The keyboard has three modes of operation: 1) wired (switch in the central position); 2) wireless 2.4 GHz through the receiver (switch to the left); 3) Bluetooth (switch to the right).
In order to reduce signal delay, the receiver can be moved closer to the keyboard and connected to the cable via an adapter. It is also convenient that in the case when recharging is needed, the cable is always at hand. It is enough to remove the adapter from it.
The bottom of the keyboard is plastic, with diagonal stripes and, again, the ROG logo. Five rubber feet have a special «sticky» texture. If you keep them clean, the keyboard will stick to the glossy table as if glued. A sticker with a serial number is located near the right leg.
The folding legs also have rubber bands with a similar grippy surface texture.
Due to the use of special central lenses in the switches, the backlighting on this keyboard looks great. It is very saturated and bright. All colors are reproduced correctly, except for white, which has a blue tint. Engraving in Latin and Cyrillic is equally well read. In general, 50% brightness is enough for this, even with intense external lighting. In addition, there are many lighting effects and the ability to individually customize each button.
The ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe keyboard has an advanced hardware platform with built-in memory for five variables and one immutable profile, where key assignments and backlight settings are stored. Additional functions are implemented by combining the corresponding keys with the Fn button. You can find information about them on the official website, in the instructions, or intuitively understand their purpose by looking at the icons on the corresponding buttons. The table below provides a complete list of those functions that we were able to reproduce.
|Fn+Esc||Resetting the keyboard to factory settings (hold for 5 seconds)|
|Fn+F8||The next track|
|Fn+F10||Reduce the volume|
|Fn+F11||Increase the volume|
|Fn+F12||Minimize all windows and turn off the sound|
|Fn+1||The first memory profile|
|Fn+2||The second memory profile|
|Fn+3||The third memory profile|
|Fn+4||The fourth memory profile|
|Fn+5||The fifth memory profile|
|Fn+6||Custom memory profile|
|Fn+7||Bluetooth connection. Hold for 3 seconds until the logo indicator starts flashing blue. If the connection is successful, the logo indicator will light up continuously in blue for 3 seconds|
|Fn+8||In Bluetooth mode — the first connection profile, press to select it or before starting the connection process|
|Fn+9||In Bluetooth mode — the second connection profile, press to select it or before starting the connection process|
|Fn+0||In Bluetooth mode, there is a third connection profile, press to select it or before starting the connection process|
|Fn+Ins||Switching the functions of the F5–F12 keys, as basic (act when pressed) or alternative (act through a combination with Fn). The corresponding indicator will light up|
|Fn+Del||Print Screen function|
|Fn+End||Scroll Lock function. The corresponding indicator will light up|
|Fn+Page Down||Pause function|
|Fn+left Win||Activation or deactivation of the game mode in which the Win button and (optionally) combination Alt+Tab or Alt+F4 are inactive. The corresponding indicator will light up|
|Fn+Left Alt||Writing a macro command. Sequence of actions: 1) press Fn+left Alt (left ALT will begin to slowly flash white); 2) press the desired sequence of keys and press Fn+left Alt again (left ALT will start flashing white quickly); 3) Press the key to which you want to bind the command (the green color of the key means that it is free for writing, and the red color means that the command is already written on it). To delete a macro command, repeat the second point without typing any command and save it on any button highlighted in red|
|Fn+↑||Increase the brightness of the backlight (5 levels)|
|Fn+↓||Reduce backlight brightness (5 levels)|
|Fn+←||Previous lighting effect|
|Fn+→||The next lighting effect|
As software, the ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe uses the rather cumbersome Armory Crate application with a lot of resource-demanding processes and redundant elements. The software needs to be downloaded and installed. There are four tabs to customize the keyboard. The first is responsible for changing the assignment of buttons. All keys except Fn are available for this. You can assign keyboard and mouse commands (left or right button only), macro commands, launching programs or opening websites, multimedia and Windows commands, launching the Armory Crate software itself, entering certain text, completely disabling the key, or returning its function according to the setting. There is also a button to reset everything to the initial settings. Also, in game mode, in addition to the Win button, you can disable the Alt+Tab and Alt+F4 combinations.
There is a separate tab for setting the RGB indicator built into the logo. It can be set to two modes of operation: 1) synchronization with backlight, 2) operation as a charge level indicator. In addition, you can also adjust the illumination of the «8», «9», and «0» buttons. Either repeat the general illumination, or in Bluetooth mode, show which device is connected in white.
In the backlight settings, 11 types of effects are available, including static backlighting. The backlight can be turned off completely. You will need to download the Aura Creator program to customize the lighting of each button individually.
The «Power» tab shows the battery charge level accurately by percentage. Here you can set the level at which the low battery light will trigger, from «never» to 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50% charge. Power saving mode can also be set to never, or within 10, 5, 3, 2 or 1 minutes of idle time. You can also turn off the energy saving mode completely, or choose a variant of its operation: 1) complete shutdown of the backlight during inactivity; 2) reducing the brightness of the backlight.
In the «Firmware update» section, the firmware version of the keyboard and receiver is checked and updated if necessary. Current firmware versions at the time of writing this review can be seen in the picture.
In the macro editor, you can record keyboard and mouse commands (including scroll directions and additional keys), with or without time delays. Then all of this can be edited. A total of 100 actions are available per command chain, with key presses and key releases being separate actions. The command can be configured to record the delay as is, fixed delay, or no delay. Playback is available in three options: continuously on click, continuous repeat, or once. The recording delay can be set to 1, 3 or 5 seconds. All macros can be named, created and deleted, imported and exported.
Ergonomics and testing
ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe has a number of undeniable advantages that become clear as soon as you take it out of the box. From the previous products of this series, the successful and concise shape of the case, significant strength due to the thick aluminum shape of the upper panel, a convenient magnetic palm rest, and grippy legs made of special rubber have been preserved. And all this with a good external design. TKL format keyboards are basically intended for players who need more free space under the mouse. The smaller size due to the absence of a digital key block allows you not to place your hands too far from each other, which reduces the level of user fatigue. And considering that the device is now not limited by a wire, it can generally be moved and placed on the table as you like, and not only on the table. You can now play on a projector or TV from anywhere in the room. And you can also control three Bluetooth devices from the keyboard, that is, use it with a laptop or Smart TV at the same time, by moving the switch.
The layout of the keys here is generally standard and does not require getting used to. Except for the enlarged Ctrl key. It will be inconvenient for those who often use the left Alt and Win buttons. But players in the FPS genre will really like it, because it frees up the little finger for other keys, and Ctrl can be pressed with the edge of the palm. ROG RX Red switches are by and large sharpened specifically for games. These optical mechanisms are very fast and consistent in terms of activation, excellent stabilization and in many ways resemble the feeling of a membrane keyboard, but with all the advantages of a mechanical keyboard. Those who are looking for a keyboard for typing large volumes of text may not like them for the tactile feel. Therefore, it would be better for them to look in the direction of RX Blue, or classic mechanical switches. From what is regrettable, we note the ABS-caps (which are very dirty and prone to abrasion) of the keys instead of PBT (which are also available, but not in our localizations). And also wedge stabilizers of long keys. They are hidden inside, they feel good, but there are certain doubts about their reliability.
The excellent hardware platform of this keyboard with a large amount of memory and a significant number of profiles allows you to record macro commands without using an application. And today it is a rarity. As always, I have complaints about the optimization and interface with Armory Crate software, but it still gets better with time and some may like it.
And what is actually done very well here is the lighting. This was primarily due to the design of the ROG RX switches with a central lens. But it is no less important that with the backlight on, this keyboard works long enough, and this is already a merit of the battery, optimization of energy saving technology and wireless interface settings.
The manufacturer claims 76 hours of keyboard operation with backlight through the receiver in 2.4 GHz mode. To test this statement in practice, I conducted two test options. In the first, the most aggressive energy-saving settings were set — turning off the backlight after 1 minute of idle time together with the keyboard and 50% brightness of the backlight (this is actually quite enough). In this case, it will take about four weeks of 6-8 hours of operation per day to fully discharge the battery. In the second, more energy-consuming mode, the keyboard was configured with no standby mode or backlight off (except when the PC was turned off at night), and also 50% backlight brightness. At this rate, the keyboard was enough for 80 hours of continuous use. Therefore, the autonomy declared by the manufacturer, at least for a new battery, can be considered real.
In terms of wireless communication, this device behaves stably and well. No disconnections and obstacles were detected. The exit from the standby mode is instantaneous. Delays of up to 80 ms on average can be recorded programmatically (with the receiver nearby), but they are not felt live.
ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe supports full NKRO anti-hosting, which allows you to activate all buttons at the same time.
ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe is a very successful wireless keyboard, honed for gaming. It has a stylish and durable body, a convenient magnetic stand under the palm, a sufficiently high margin of autonomy on one battery charge, an alternative possibility of working by cable or via Bluetooth, built-in memory with quick recording of macro commands without the use of software, and a few other nice things for gamers like extended Ctrl button and «secret» button.
In addition to the main advantage, that is, the wireless mode, ASUS ROG RX Red (or alternatively, Blue) branded switches are installed here. They are the best option for the implementation of optical-mechanical switches of all known to me. And they have another plus — the best-in-class illumination due to the design of the switch with a centrally located LED lens.
Of course, there are certain non-critical flaws. In particular, these are low resistance to dirt and wear ABS keycaps in localized versions of the keyboard (instead of PBT in the English version) and the impossibility of replacing them due to a specific design. And also stabilizers of long wedge-type keys.
ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX TKL Wireless Deluxe is an expensive but worthy wireless keyboard. It will especially suit players of the FPS genre due to a number of its features. In terms of tactile sensation, the device is somewhere in the middle between membrane and mechanical keyboards, combining the advantages of both of these subspecies.