ASUS ROG Strix Flare review: The keyboard to light your gaming
We recently received one of the newest gaming keyboards created by ASUS: the ROG Strix Flare. It is a mechanical keyboard, with RGB lighting, that is designed for gamers and which comes with a few unique features. It promises stunning lighting effects, great design and the confirmed quality and endurance provided by the Cherry MX switches. After testing and playing on it for a week, we would like to share our opinion about ASUS ROG Strix Flare. If you are curious to know whether it is a good keyboard for you, read our review:
ASUS ROG Strix Flare: Who is it good for?
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare keyboard is a great choice for:
- Gamers who love the RoG branding
- People who enjoy lighting effects on their accessories
- Typists who want an excellent mechanical keyboard (and which can be acquired with Blue Cherry MX switches)
Pros and cons
There are many good things to say about the ASUS ROG Strix Flare:
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- It is a mechanical keyboard that is great for gamers and also for typists
- It can be equipped with four different types of Cherry MX RGB switches: Red, Blue, Black and Brown
- The lighting effects on it are impressive
- The multimedia controls, the Gaming Mode button and the lighting key are positioned very handy, on the top-left area of the keyboard
- It has an additional USB port on it, which is pass-through and can be used to plug any other device into your computer
We also identified a few less positive aspects:
- It is all made of plastic and, although it is high-quality plastic, metal would have been better
- The ROG Armoury 2 software lags behind what the competition has to offer
- At launch, it is an expensive keyboard
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare gaming keyboard is a great device for every gamer, especially for those who love lighting effects or are fans of the Republic of Gamers brand. ASUS did a great job at making this keyboard look beautiful and friendly for gamers. Although there are many more good things to say about it than there are negatives, we can recommend this keyboard only to gamers who can afford its premium price.
Unboxing the ASUS ROG Strix Flare mechanical gaming keyboard
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare gaming keyboard comes packaged in a box made of premium cardboard. It is painted in matte black, and the large picture of the keyboard on it is printed in glossy colors. Just by looking at it, you can tell that this is a premium device, and the few stickers on it let you know what type of Cherry MX RGB switches it uses, and also showcase its compatibility with other devices from ASUS that support AURA Sync - a feature that lets you synchronize lighting effects across ASUS components and accessories.
On the back and on the sides of the box, you can learn more about the specifications and main features of the keyboard.
Open the box, and you will find the keyboard and its detachable wrist pad, two Republic of Gamers stickers, the quick start guide and the warranty card.
The unboxing experience you get with the ASUS ROG Strix Flare is that of a premium hardware device. The box looks great, and the attention to details is obvious right from the start.
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare is a mechanical gaming keyboard, and that means that it uses mechanical switches for its keys. They are all RGB, so they can all be lit in any color you prefer. The switches that you can choose for this keyboard are:
- Cherry MX RGB Red - linear response, non-clicky and fast actuation. The actuation force is 45 cN.
- Cherry MX RGB Brown - light tactile feedback, no audible click. The actuation force is 45 cN.
- Cherry MX RGB Blue - strong tactile feedback, audible click. The actuation force is 50 cN.
- Cherry MX RGB Black - linear, no audible click, strong spring for fast switch reset. The actuation force is 60 cN.
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare keyboard that we had for testing used Cherry MX RGB Brown switches. These switches are good for both typists and gamers, as they provide good tactile feedback but are not as noisy as the Blue switches. Thus, you can use them in office spaces or at home.
The Cherry MX RGB switches are designed to last for 50 million presses each. That means that the ASUS ROG Strix Flare should last you for many years. You can learn more about that in our analysis: How long are millions of keystrokes and clicks, in years?.
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare is a full-sized keyboard and, besides the standard keys, it also offers a game mode key, an illumination control key, a series of four media buttons, and a volume wheel.
To connect to your computer, the keyboard uses a thick braided cable with two USB connectors at its end. It needs two connectors because the keyboard also has a USB port on it. The cable is non-detachable, but at 70 inches (178 cm), it is long enough to satisfy any needs.
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare keyboard is 17.87 inches (45.4 cm) wide, 6.1 inches (15.5 cm) deep and 1.22 inches (3.1 cm) high. The keyboard is also heavy, weighing 2.77 lbs or 1.256 kg.
The operating systems officially supported by the ASUS ROG Strix Flare are Windows 10 and Windows 7. However, it should also work just right with other modern operating systems and the lighting effects should work too. The only issue is that you can only customize the profiles stored on the onboard flash memory. For all the customization options, you need the ASUS ROG Armoury 2 software which can be used only in Windows.
The hardware specs are good and show that the ASUS ROG Strix Flare is a keyboard for pretentious gamers.
Using the ASUS ROG Strix Flare gaming keyboard
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare gaming keyboard looks great, and the talent of ASUS' designers is undeniable. The keyboard uses a full-size key layout and the plate under the keys is split on the diagonal: the right side differentiates itself from the rest by having a slightly brushed surface.
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare gaming keyboard also has small bezels on its sides and towards you. That means that it does not have a large footprint on your desk, which is great, in our opinion.
The RGB lighting on the keys asks for your attention from the first encounter with this keyboard. They are all lit and customizable and what is different from other similar keyboards, is that the keys are all sitting on top of a white reflective plate. This gives the keys a neon light effect which you can either love or hate. Most people will probably like it, although some may argue that lighting just the symbols on the keys is better and less distracting. In the end, it is a matter of personal preference. Here is a video sample that you can watch to see how the lighting effects look on the ASUS ROG Strix Flare gaming keyboard:
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare has another trick up its sleeve for those who love lighting effects on their gadgets. The sides of the keyboard have their own dedicated LEDs that project light on your desk. It is the same effect that you have likely seen on tuned cars with neons on their thresholds.
On the top-right area of the keyboard, there is a small transparent plastic insertion with the ROG logo etched inside. The gimmick is that this plastic lights up also, just like the rest of the keyboard. If you want, you can even replace it with a customized one if you want to showcase your team or company logo.
On the top-left side, you will find a series of multimedia controls and two other useful buttons. First, there is a large volume wheel, then there are two buttons for enabling the Game Mode and for changing the keyboard brightness level, and then there is a separate set of four multimedia keys for Play/Pause, Stop, Rewind, and Forward. You might say that there is nothing spectacular about these buttons but you would be wrong: unlike most gaming keyboards, the ASUS ROG Strix Flare has all these buttons placed on its left, not on its right side. That means that you no longer have to take your hand off your mouse when playing, to control the volume or change the audio track you are listening.
Unfortunately, the keyboard looks like it is all made of plastic or at least its outer shell is. If you push your finger on it, you can feel and see it bend a little.
The keyboard also comes with a detachable wrist pad. It looks nice, and its design matches well with the keyboard: the right side is slightly brushed and continues the same surface area from the keyboard. On its bottom-left side, the brand and logo of Republic of Gamers is printed, which looks good. The wrist pad is solid, but it is also made of plastic, which means that your hands are likely to sweat when using the keyboard on a hot day.
The back of the keyboard features a USB port that is passthrough. You can use it to connect anything you want, without having to get to the back of your computer. On its bottom, the ASUS ROG Strix Flare has two support legs with large rubber areas on them. The grip is very good on your desk.
For as long as we had this keyboard in testing, we used it to play a few of our favorite games. The ASUS ROG Strix Flare worked very well, and the feedback we got from its Cherry MX switches was excellent. We played Skyrim, Mass Effect: Andromeda, League of Legends, and the old Brutal Legend, and the keyboard did great in all games.
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare is a gaming keyboard with a design that will surely turn heads on your desk. We especially liked the RGB lighting effects on the keys and the sides of the keyboard, and the positioning of the multimedia controls on the top-left area.
The ASUS ROG Armoury 2 software
The ASUS ROG Strix Flare keyboard can be customized with the help of the ASUS ROG Armoury 2 software. This software allows you to create profiles for the keyboard and:
- Change illumination patterns
- Set which key shortcuts are disabled in Gaming Mode
- Record and assign Macros
- Sync the lighting effects with other Aura-compatible devices from ASUS
- Check statistics about the number of keystrokes per minute for a few keys commonly used in games
You can also create and use five profiles. That is probably because the ASUS Strix Flare can store only five profiles on its flash memory. However, the software should not be limited to that and should allow for an unlimited number of profiles. Some gamers like to have different profiles for each game they play, and that means more than five.
The statistics you can get from the software are a bit strange: you can see the Keystroke Per Minute for a few default keys, but you do not get any details about the other keys on the keyboard. Also, you have to open ROG Armoury and press the Record button before the software starts recording statistics. That is not very useful.
The ASUS ROG Armoury 2 software is good enough for basic needs, and it is good for syncing lighting effects with other Aura-compatible devices from ASUS. However, it is nowhere near to what the competition offers regarding software.
Do you like the ASUS ROG Strix Flare gaming keyboard?
Now you know what our opinion is about the ASUS ROG Strix Flare gaming keyboard. There are many things we like about it, but there are also a few that could be improved. What do you think about it? Do not forget that you can share your point of view in the comments section below.