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ROG Strix Flare II Animate: The Second Generation Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

After unveiling the AniMe Matrix light effect design at CES 2020, ASUS has begun using it in many of its ROG product lines, including laptops and gaming headsets (see: ROG Delta S Animate Gaming Headset). Create a unique personal style with AniMe Matrix matrix light effect, etc. ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard was launched in the gaming keyboard product line. The AniMe Matrix light effect configuration with the area and customizable display content allow ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard to present a unique personal style.

ROG Strix Flare II Animate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is the second-generation model of ROG’s classic mechanical gaming keyboard, Strix Flare. The first-generation Strix Flare features a unique, customizable illuminated signboard and is only for left-handed players. Many players have well-received multimedia shortcut keys and USB Passthrough design. At the same time, the new ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard retains most of the classic design elements. It adds AniMe Matrix light effect design to provide a more personalised custom style.

The ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard supports ASUS AURA SYNC lighting synchronization, PBT dual-shot keycaps, Cherry MX switches, Red switches with RGB lighting, and QWERTY key configuration.

Key features of the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard are marked: AniMe Matrix LED display, metal multimedia keys and scroll wheel, 8000 Hz polling rate, ROG PBT dual-shot keycaps, ROG key swith stabilization design, and sound cushioning foam.

The boxed contents include instructions:

  • Wrist rest
  • Keycap puller
  • Switch puller
  • ROG stickers
  • Quick start guide
  • Warranty instructions
PROSCONS
Excellent multimedia keysComplicated software
LED dot matrix displayExpensive
Hot-swappable switches
Sturdy build quality
Excellent for gaming
Detachable wrist rest

Design

The front of the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard adopts a full-size keyboard configuration. In addition, you can see the special metal multimedia control keys in the upper left corner and the AniMe Matrix LED in the upper right corner, but it is not very obvious when the light is off.

The lighting effect of the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard. The metal multimedia control keys in the upper right corner of the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard, from left to right, are the up and down flexible levers, scroll wheel, Windows key lock, keyboard backlight mode switching and other keys. Of course, the functions of the keys can also be performed through software. Adjust settings.

There are also quick keys for play/pause on the side of the lever. The configuration of the primary key areas of the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard.

The keycap is made of PBT double-injection material, and the surface is frosted to increase the feeling feedback when hitting. In addition, there are also function buttons on the side of some buttons.

From the side, the key design of the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard adopts the design floating bare switch, which can more clearly show the light effect of the switch body, and the keys are designed at medium height. In addition, count the Shift key in the second row on the right, and you can see the ROG key switch support design at the bottom.

This time, the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard is equipped with a ROG key switch support mechanism on the relatively large keys (such as Shift and blank keys).

The ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard also has an RGB LED light strip configuration at the bottom. The bottom light effect display status after power-on.

Connectivity

The upper part of the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard, and the main transmission cable connection configuration also provides a set of USB 2.0 PassThrough ports, which can be connected to a mouse or headphones.

The transmission line is covered with a relatively tough woven material, and a ROG harness devil felt is provided for easy organization.

The transmission line is divided into two USB Type-A terminals used for the keyboard body signal and the USB 2.0 PassThrough signal transmission. There are also icons above the terminals for easy identification.

Matrix LED Display

The biggest feature of the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard this time is the addition of the AniMe Matrix matrix LED screen display function. Compared with the previous ROG Delta S Animate gaming headset, the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard has Displayed animations and custom patterns.

The AniMe Matrix LED screen will display a corresponding prompt screen during keyboard operations, giving the operator more visual feedback. (Unfortunately, there is still only white light.)

Of course, this AniMe Matrix LED screen can also be controlled through ASUS’ Armoury Crate software, and you can select the display content, matrix brightness, etc., in the preset Content Library.

The default AniMe Matrix lighting effect control interface under the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard tab is Armoury Crate software.

If you want to customize the effect further, you can also customize it in the AniMe Matrix tab of the Armoury Crate software. Still, it may be because the AniMe Matrix LED screen settings of each device are different, so there is no way to do this part.

Armoury Crate Software

In addition to the AniMe Matrix LED screen display, the Armoury Crate software can also configure the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard’s key definitions, lighting effects, polling rates, and firmware updates.

The key definition screen of ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard in Armoury Crate. You can specify any key to define key functions. The functions that can be defined include the keyboard, mouse, startup programs, opening web pages, multimedia, and Windows shortcuts. , default input text, disable keys, and more.

The multimedia up and down switch, scroll wheel, side shortcut keys, etc., can also be defined. In addition, it can be set to disable the Alt+Tab and Alt+F4 shortcut keys when the game mode is turned on to avoid accidentally jumping out of the game or shutting down.

The performance part is to set the polling rate (return rate), improve the response time of keyboard input, can provide a range from 1000 Hz to 8000 Hz, a total of four levels.

ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard also has built-in storage space for six sets of configuration files (one preset + five custom), allowing users to store keyboard settings and configure with Armoury Crate scenarios. 

Conclusion!

The ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard has made an exceptional design this time. In addition to the keyboard maintaining the red axis setting for fast response to games, the multimedia shortcut keys in the upper left corner are also. The new hardware design enables different operation possibilities.

The AniMe Matrix LED screen, the most visual effect in the past, also provides visual operation effect prompts on the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard, such as light brightness, volume adjustment, setting gear, etc.

Controls previously invisible on the keyboard and needed to be confirmed with on-screen software can now be confirmed directly on the keyboard hardware.

As far as gaming-oriented gaming keyboards are concerned, the ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard has opened up another new height this time. It has both the percussion feel and operability and the appearance and visual effects through RGB lighting effects. And the dual blessing of AniMe Matrix LED screen brings more dazzling effects. If you are looking for a top-level gaming keyboard on the market, ROG Strix Flare II Animate mechanical gaming keyboard is one of the candidates.

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