Asus introduced an animated mechanical keyboard, the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate, at CES this week. It has most of the trendiest specs present in trendy premium gaming keyboards, together with an ultra-high polling charge. But it is the programmable LEDs that actually make it stand out—and no, I’m 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 correct facet, above the numpad. The Asus keyboard’s programmable metallic quantity curler and scorching keys are on the left facet. The house above the numpad is as an alternative reserved for the keyboard’s so-called “AniMe Matrix LED display.”
The AniMe Matrix consists of 312 mini LEDs that you may program by way of software program to display your personal pictures or animations. You may also set the mini LEDs to react to sounds coming out of your sport or present indicators for battery life, keyboard brightness, or the keyboard’s present RGB lighting mode.
According to Asus, you can even set the display to present mail notifications and the time and date.
Asus has been including mini LEDs to surprising 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 extra 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.
Of course, these aren’t the one LEDs within the keyboard. Asus’ ROG Strix Flare II Animate has programmable RGB LEDs underneath every key. The foam wrist relaxation, which attaches to the keyboard by way of magnets, permits the addition of a lightweight diffuser working across the backside, harking back to the choices in a few of Razer’s priciest gaming keyboards.
But whereas Razer’s keyboard wrist rests have their very own devoted lights, you could have to take away the diffuser from the Asus keyboard’s decrease edge and stick it onto the wrist relaxation so as to illuminate it. Razer makes having a light-up wrist relaxation simple; Asus makes it look like a chore.
Beyond the lights, Asus’ clacker takes issues to the acute, 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 right now), carry an 8,000 Hz polling charge.
Most keyboards have a 1,000 Hz polling charge, which implies they report to the related PC up to 1,000 occasions per second. The ROG Strix Flare II keyboards report at up to 8,000 occasions per second, leading to a complete enter delay of 0.125 ms (1/Eight of a ms) in contrast to 1 ms for a 1,000 Hz keyboard. The new 8,000 Hz keyboards will be part of the likes of 2021’s Razer Huntsman V2 and Corsair’s K70 RGB TKL and K65 RGB Mini.
Big numbers can look thrilling, however chances are high good that you have not seen your keyboard lagging behind your fingers. Unless a keyboard is extraordinarily subpar or has a poor wi-fi connection, most individuals would say that normal keyboards produce no discernible lag. When I examined the 8,000 Hz Huntsman V2, I could not inform the distinction between gaming at 8,000 Hz and 1,000 Hz. It’d take an tech fanatic, like a pro-level gamer, with a super-speedy laptop and monitor to reap the complete advantages of an 8,000 Hz keyboard.
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’ tackle linear Red, clicky Blue, and tactile Brown, however they’re additionally hot-swappable, so you may change them out simply.
Sound-dampening foam is meant to deliver a quieter keyboard with much less pinging as properly, so we’ll be holding our ears open. Every key can also be programmable, together with macro recording, and also you get a USB passthrough port.
Price and launch date
All of this comes at an exorbitant price ticket, even by mechanical gaming keyboard measures. The ROG Strix Flare II Animate might 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 gentle diffuser for the wrist relaxation, is a barely decrease $180. It can even arrive in late January.
This article was up to date for clarification on 8,000 Hz keyboards.