Asus ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard review: a gaming keyboard champion

The Asus ROG Strix Scope RX offers slick design and excellent performance

T3 Platinum Award
Asus ROG Strix Scope RX
(Image credit: Asus)
T3 Verdict

The Asus ROG Strix Scope RX is definitely worth a look if you're thinking of upgrading your Windows PC gaming setup – it's on the expensive side, but it comes with a host of useful customisations, and all-round speed and performance that we were very impressed with.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Stylish, solid design

  • +

    Superb typing experience

  • +

    Lots of customisation

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Design isn't for everyone

  • -

    No wireless option

  • -

    Software setup takes a while

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The Asus ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard is another in the growing number of Republic Of Gamers-branded kit – the full-sized keyboard comes with custom-make mechanical switches, RGB lighting for individual keys, and a durable aluminium alloy top plate.

Other features that are worth taking note of include IP56 dust and water resistance, keeping the device protected against spills and dust, and USB 2.0 passthrough so you can connect another peripheral to your computer through the keyboard, if needed.

This is a wired keyboard, so there's no option to connect over Bluetooth or any other kind of wireless technology – it'll need to be hooked up straight to your computer, which should at least give you super-fast response times when you're in the midst of your gaming.

With plenty of other great gaming keyboards on the market at the moment, the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX has its work cut out to attract a sizable number of buyers. Our full review should give you a good idea of whether or not this is the right keyboard upgrade for you.

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard review: design and setup

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX

(Image credit: Future)

The ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard is pretty much as you would expect if you've used any Asus gaming kit before: bold, angular, stylish, eye-catching and very full on in terms of its aesthetics. Asus doesn't usually hold back when it comes to adding some flair to its hardware, and this keyboard is no different, even before you've turned it on and illuminated the keys. It uses sharp angles and prominent keys, and the Asus ROG logo is very much visible in the top right corner.

The device is nicely finished in dark grey aluminium, with a lovely matte textured feel (though obviously you're going to have your fingers on the keys most of the time). There's a reassuring heft to the keyboard too – it tips the scales at a little over 1 kg (the equivalent of 2.4 pounds), and it feels substantial. That extends to the USB cable too, which is thick and encased in black rubber.

The keys make use of a sharp, modern-looking font and of course the lighting is completely up to you. A pulsing rainbow effect will be switched on by default, but you can easily configure this using the Asus Armoury Crate and Aura Creator applications, both free downloads from the Asus website (Armoury Crate covers basic configurations, while Aura Creator lets you have a go at putting together your own lighting styles).

Setup is as simple as plugging the keyboard in, at which point it should be instantly recognised by Windows (this keyboard won't work on macOS). Media keys, function keys and so on will work straight away, but you need to install the dedicated Asus software to start playing around with colours, macro shortcuts and so on.

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard review: features and performance

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX

(Image credit: Future)

The keyboard comes with ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches that have 4 mm of travel and a 1.5 mm actuation point, and that need 40 grams of force to register – in other words, they react in an instant but are protected against light, accidental touches. They're built to withstand 100 million presses, with a 1 ms response time and anti-ghosting technology built in.

Those are the specs, and we're happy to say they translate into an excellent gaming and typing experience: the keys are substantial, weighty, and clicky to just the right extent. Response accuracy feels razor-sharp, and we found the keyboard a pleasure to use whether we were racing around in Grand Theft Auto V or typing up this review. The extra large left Ctrl key is a nice touch too.

Keyboard quality is subjective to some extent, because we've all got our own preferences when it comes to the amount of travel and the amount of resistance we like, but from our point of view the ROG Strix Scope RX is an excellent all-rounder that will impress most people. Asus has plenty of experience in this field of course, and it comes through in the quality of the keyboard.

The Armoury Crate software is as good as ever, enabling you to choose between a host of different lighting options for the keys – not just the colours but how they light up, whether that's on a timed cycle, as you hit them, or something else. There's also the option to record macros and launch a series of keyboard commands with a single combination. Everything can be synced with your other Asus ROG devices too of course.

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard review: price and verdict

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX

(Image credit: Asus)

If you're in the market for a full-size, wired gaming keyboard then the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX simply has to be in consideration – even if you end up choosing something else, you've got to have this on your shortlist. We'd say it's the best keyboard that Asus has put out yet, with fantastic response times and accuracy on show in our testing.

You'll have to pay a substantial amount of money for it admittedly – that might put some users off, but if you're looking to upgrade your gaming setup then you're already in the mindset of having to spend some money. While cheaper gaming keyboards are available, we think that the ROG Strix Scope RX justifies its extra price, if you want something with a genuinely premium feel.

As usual, the bundled software supplied by Asus works without any problems and gives you a wealth of different configuration options to choose from. Being able to switch between different lighting styles – from colour to brightness – and record customised macros is very useful, and not every gaming keyboard maker has software that's as good as what Asus is able to offer.

In short, it's very difficult to come up with anything we don't like about the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX gaming keyboard. The design might not be to everyone's tastes, and the price might be a bit too high for some, but otherwise this is an excellent piece of kit that we've been very impressed by – whether that's while gaming or doing anything else.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.