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    Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate Review: Enter the Matrix (of Customization)

    Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate Review

    Asus-ROG-Strix-Flare

    OUR VERDICT

    The Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate does more than just provide you with high polling rates and bright RGB. You also get to make it your own thanks to its hot-swap capability and customizable LED matrix.

    The Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate does more than just provide you with high polling rates and bright RGB. You also get to make it your own thanks to its hot-swap capability and customizable LED matrix.

    The new Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate is a customized gaming keyboard that allows you to customize just about everything. It has an LED dot matrix display and hot-swappable PCB so users can change their settings on the fly without needing any tools!


    Pros

    Cons

    • LED dot matrix display

    • Dedicated media keys

    • Aluminum plate

    • Cushiony wrist rest

    • Hot-swap PCB

    • Fantastic media controls

    • Stabilizers aren’t Anything Special

    • Per-key RGB is still frustrating to obtain

    • Clumsy wrist rest installation

    Asus ROG Strix Flare II Price

    Best Choice

    Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate

     Customized gaming keyboard

    The Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate does more than just provide you with high polling rates and bright RGB. You also get to make it your own thanks to its hot-swap capability and customizable LED matrix.

    Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate

    Switches ROG NX Red
    Lighting Addressable
    Onboard Storage 5 Profiles
    Media Keys Yes
    Connectivity USB Type-A
    Cable 6-feet, braided, non-detachable
    Additional Ports 1x USB 2.0
    Keycaps Double-shot PBT
    Software Asus Armoury Crate
    Dimensions (LxWxH) 442.5 x 138 x 41mm
    Weight 3 Pounds

    Asus ROG Strix Flare II Design

    [su_image_carousel source=”media: 1167,1168″ limit=”2″ slides_style=”photo”]

    The Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate is a full-size mechanical keyboard that comes with the usual gaming features like per-key RGB, media controls, and adjustable feet. If this was all it had to offer then you would be just as content with your purchase of an animate board; however there are some other unique aesthetic & usability perks here that set them apart from their peers in regards to style or function for those who prefer something more modern looking on either side also because these devices have been designed specifically so they can fit into any environment without standing out too much – dare I say subtlety?

    This keyboard has an LED display in its upper-right corner. It’s not the traditional type you’ll find on most expensive motherboards or high-end enthusiast beasts like angry Miao’s cyber board, It consists of little LED lights. Asus says that it can change colors and light patterns to suit your mood. The Anime Matrix display is the first of its kind, as it only allows for white lights but still gives you extensive options when deciding how you want them presented. We first saw a version of the AniMe Matrix on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop.

    The Anime Matrix display features 312 programmable LED lights that can be customized to show custom images or videos via Asus’s Armoury Crate software (more on that later). The design of this switch plate is excellent because it’s made from aluminum. The design is one piece, with no separation between the LED matrix and plate. The LEDs are displayed via tiny holes in switch-plate

    Even though the white LEDs on Anime Matrix are bright, I do wish that Asus opted for colored ones. There were instances where would add custom gifs which got difficult to make out because of their sheer brightness. Plus, it’d add extra flare.

    The Discord logo is one of my favorite emojis, so I thought it would be perfect for a gif. The size of the Anime Matrix works well with how big anime logos are in general and is never distracted from what you were doing like Cyberboard can sometimes do because of its brightness levels.

    The Asus ROG Falchion NX was a joy to use and I loved how smoothly the in-house switches performed. On that board, I tried the NX Blue switches, which felt noticeably smoother and sounded better than stock MX Blue switches. This time around, I am using the NX Red switch, which features a weight of 40g, five grams lighter than the standard Cherry MX Red.

    With this keyboard’s PCB being hot-swappable, you can easily use aftermarket switches if the default ones don’t satisfy your needs.

    The hot-swappable PCB also allows you to take a shot at lubing your switches, which is optional but extremely easy and can enhance the typing experience tremendously by providing smoother keystrokes.

    This Asus Mechanical keyboard is a step above the rest when it comes to customization and performance. They added sound dampening foam, which helped keep your desk from being too loud during use. But there wasn’t any spring ping in this board, unlike in other pre-built boards we’ve reviewed that have also included sound-dampening foam.

    The stabilizers included with this gaming keyboard are said to be specially tuned for a more comfortable and responsive typing experience. To be honest, they feel just like any other gaming keyboard’s—dry and rattly.

    The included keycaps are double-shot PBT, and just like on the Falchion NX they were too gamer for my taste because of how aggressive it looks. These PBT keycaps are perfect for gamers. If you like what’s in front of your eyes then these might be just right! The rough texture allows fingers to easily grip onto each letter while letting any color from an RGB light source shine through clearly.

    The board’s media controls are a big hit with me. Media is controlled by a big cluster to the top left of the board; there is a knob and a switch. The wheel adjusts volume and can be clicked in to mute. The switch allows you to skip tracks or pause/play. The skip track switch is weird but in a good way. It almost feels spring-loaded and is extremely satisfying to use because it’s very smooth.

    The board features a USB 2.0 passthrough on the front which isn’t groundbreaking, I haven’t seen it on a board in many years. The USB passthrough can be an issue for some because this keyboard has two standard-sized USB A connectors at the end. There’s the standard connector to power the board and another cable that powers the USB header.If you’re limited on IO space, this may be problematic.

    The keyboards of the future need to be not only flashy RGB and fast switches, but also have a polling rate faster than anything we’ve seen before. That’s right; this board supports speeds up 8000 Hz!

    The included wrist rest is not only colorful but also features an RGB lighting system But attaching it to the Strix Flare II Animate is very strange. On the bottom of the Strix is a plastic RGB diffuser; the diffuser must be removed in order to attach the wrist rest to the bottom of the keyboard. Attaching a wrist rest shouldn’t be this convoluted, but at least the plastic diffuser can be stored within the wrist rest. The wrist rest itself feels just as good, if not better than other keyboards in this price range. It has that same soft leatherette material and adequate amount of foam which provides great cushioning for your hands without being too firm or uncomfortable to use over long periods of time!

    Typing Experience on the ROG Strix Flare II Animate

    The Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate’s bespoke NX Red switches are lighter than Cherry MX Reds by 5g, but if I was blindfolded I couldn’t tell which one you were using – it wouldn’t be possible to know the difference. Asus is using the clamshell design for the housing, like you’ll see on Kailh switches. The sound profile of switches tends be deeper because they’re seated more snugly together. I can say that does provide a robustness in terms how much bass is produced from each individual press and click. I can say this does provide a more robust sound, but besides that, not much else can be said about the switches because the 5g weight difference is unnoticeable.

    The Asus ROG Strix keyboard is advertised as having specially tuned stabilizers, but I didn’t notice any difference in how this affected my keystrokes. However, these feel like the usual plate-mount stabilizers that come with almost all prebuilt gaming keyboards. But because Asus claims that these are special, it’s worth mentioning they don’t feel any different. These new stabilizers are a huge improvement over the ones that came with my Falchion NX. The Costar brand is terrible, as the stems that attach to the keycap slide around the stabilizer’s wire have a tendency to fall off when removing keycaps.

    The Strix Flare II Animate’s sound is overall very good. While sound dampening is very easy to do when building a keyboard it is easy to add some shelf liner and reduce hollowness in your build. I didn’t have any problems with keystroke bass because of double-shot PBT caps; they added just what we wanted!

    The typing speed on this board was around my average, but when it came to MonkeyType I managed a WPM score of 93. The keycaps have just enough grip for me and the springs make sure there are no mistakes with each click!

    Gaming Experience on the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate

    Dying Light 2 has finally arrived on Steam, and while it’s definitely more enjoyable with a gamepad. I wanted to try it with the Flare II, because Asus’s Armoury Crate allows you to set profiles for games within your library, whether that means custom RGB settings, key remaps or custom animations on the LED Screen. Dying Light 2 is a very atmospheric game, making it perfect for testing these features.

    To set the mood, I set up a profile within Armoury Crate to set all of the backlighting on the board to red and I downloaded a gif of the God of War logo and displayed it on the LED matrix. Now that I was ready to go.

    The Strix Flare II Animate’s main difference from competitors is that it can set the mood in a more immersive way thanks to it’s LED matrix.

    Software

    This time around, the Armoury Crates software that Asus uses on its boards seemed more geared towards PC hardware than peripherals. However, I had much fun with it because of how customizable and vibrant LED Matrix is!

    The whole selling point about this keyboard is its Anime Matrix display and it’d be foolish if Asus hadn’t stacked Armoury Crate with preset animations. But boy, it sure did.

    If you’re more of a minimalist, you can have the Anime Matrix display the ROG logo, There are preset gifs that range from a skateboarder doing an awesome kickflip to what looks like some sort of ghost floating around on its own! I also installed a Discord GIF and set the LED screen to display my name on it and it looked gorgeous.

    The Aura Creator is a cool tool for those who want to take their personalized RGB settings in an intuitive way. Though I still found myself overwhelmed with all of its features and options after watching tutorials on YouTube – at least you can adjust how thick or thin your desired color waves are!

    I feel like Asus needs to revise Aura Creator, especially with how simple it is to install or create new animations for the LED matrix.

    Asus ROG Strix Flare II Bottom Line

    The new Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate is a great keyboard for those who want to make their own board. Whether you’re interested in switching out the switches or customizing its LED matrix, I am impressed with how they were able to bring some creativity from other products like motherboards into this product as well by having an intuitive PCIe release button and media control buttons on top of all these awesome features already included! There’s so much good stuff about it – being able to hot-swap capability, nifty LED screen, and media controls that are enough to satisfy me even though the wrist rest installation is clumsy.

    The ROG Strix Flare Animate II is a great choice for gamers who want to have some fun with their gaming and not break the bank. With its aesthetic design, convenient media controls (customizable!), as well at a reasonable price compared it against other competitive keyboards on market today; this keyboard makes an easy prosumer pick!


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