Asus introduced an animated mechanical keyboard, the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate, at CES this week. It has lots of the trendiest specs present in trendy premium gaming keyboards, together with an ultra-high polling charge. Nevertheless it’s the programmable LEDs that basically make it stand out—and no, I am not speaking about RGB keys.
The ROG Strix Flare II Animate is a full-sized keyboard with media keys. Most keyboards’ media keys are positioned on the precise aspect, above the numpad. The Asus keyboard’s programmable steel quantity curler and sizzling keys are on the left aspect. The area above the numpad is as a substitute reserved for the keyboard’s so-called “AniMe Matrix LED show.”
The AniMe Matrix consists of 312 mini LEDs which you could program by way of software program to show your personal photographs or animations. You can too set the mini LEDs to react to sounds coming out of your recreation or present indicators for battery life, keyboard brightness, or the keyboard’s present RGB lighting mode.
In accordance with Asus, you can too set the show to point out mail notifications and the time and date.
Asus has been including mini LEDs to sudden merchandise for some time now. It began at CES 2020, when Asus debuted the ROG Zephyrus G14, which had a customizable mini LED matrix on its lid. Since then, Asus has introduced the know-how to further gaming laptops and, extra just lately, to the Asus ROG Delta S Animate gaming headset. The ROG Strix Flare II Animate is essentially the most decked-out peripheral, although, contemplating it has over thrice as many mini LEDs because the headset.
In fact, these aren’t the one LEDs within the keyboard. Asus’ ROG Strix Flare II Animate has programmable RGB LEDs below every key. The froth wrist relaxation, which attaches to the keyboard by way of magnets, permits the addition of a lightweight diffuser operating across the backside, paying homage to the choices in a few of Razer’s priciest gaming keyboards.
However whereas Razer’s keyboard wrist rests have their very own devoted lights, you must take away the diffuser from the Asus keyboard’s decrease edge and stick it onto the wrist relaxation with the intention to illuminate it. Razer makes having a light-up wrist relaxation straightforward; Asus makes it appear to be a chore.
Past the lights, Asus’ clacker takes issues to the intense, even for a gaming-focused product.
8,000 Hz polling charge and different luxuries
2021 was the year of the hertz, with increasingly peripherals boasting excessive polling charges. It appears 2022 will proceed the pattern, because the ROG Strix Flare II Animate and its non-animated counterpart, the ROG Strix Flare II (additionally introduced at the moment), carry an 8,000 Hz polling charge.
Most keyboards have a 1,000 Hz polling charge, which implies they report back to the related PC as much as 1,000 occasions per second. The ROG Strix Flare II keyboards report at as much as 8,000 occasions per second, leading to a complete enter delay of 0.125 ms (1/8 of a ms) in comparison with 1 ms for a 1,000 Hz keyboard. The brand new 8,000 Hz keyboards will be a part of the likes of 2021’s Razer Huntsman V2 and Corsair’s K70 RGB TKL and K65 RGB Mini.
Large numbers can look thrilling, however chances are high good that you have not observed your keyboard lagging behind your fingers. Until a keyboard is extraordinarily subpar or has a poor wi-fi connection, most individuals would say that customary keyboards produce no discernible lag. Once I examined the 8,000 Hz Huntsman V2, I could not inform the distinction between gaming at 8,000 Hz and 1,000 Hz. Evidently 8,000 Hz keyboards are an answer seeking an issue.
The ROG Strix Flare II Animate has extra to supply, although. Keycaps use a premium PBT plastic and doubleshot legends that will not fade. The switches are Asus’ or Cherry’s tackle linear Pink, clicky Blue, and tactile Brown, however they’re additionally hot-swappable, so you possibly can change them out simply.
Sound-dampening foam is meant to convey a quieter keyboard with much less pinging as nicely, so we’ll be preserving our ears open. Each key can also be programmable, together with macro recording, and also you get a USB passthrough port.
Value and launch date
All of this comes at an exorbitant price ticket, even by mechanical gaming keyboard measures. The ROG Strix Flare II Animate will likely be $220 when it launches later this month.
If that is too dear for you, the ROG Strix Flare II, which does not have the animated matrix, hot-swappable switches, or mild diffuser for the wrist relaxation, is a barely decrease $180. It should additionally arrive in late January.