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Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate Gaming Keyboard Review
ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate is a full-size mechanical gaming keyboard with customizable RGB backlighting. The new version includes separate media controls in the top left corner of the case, a hot-swappable switch circuit board, and an AniMe Matrix LED panel. The keyboard also features a high polling rate of 8000Hz (latency is just 0.125ms) and sound-absorbing foam built into the chassis. In this review, we will discuss the pros and cons of the product and see how good it ranks among the keyboards of today.
ROG NX Red, Cherry MX Red, Brown, and Blue
Port polling rate
Keyboard / stand dimensions
435 x 165x 38 mm / 435 x 85 x 27 mm
AniMe Matrix display, AURA Sync backlight, Anti-Ghosting
USB 2.0 HUB
ROG NX RED Switches
All keys are programmable and configurable
8,000Hz Polling Rate
High level of RGB customization
Magnetic leatherette wrist rest
The translucent white plastic band must be removed
Big and Bulky
Image Credit: ROG
The design level of the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate keyboard is as high as can be expected from a premium product.
This Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate uses a well-worked chassis at the design level and impeccable construction. The keycaps have been placed on a wide solid aluminum base with 435mm length, 165mm depth, and 38mm thickness without extending the lower legs and lower rigid plastic shell, exceeding one kilogram in weight.
As for this metal plate, it is approximately 2 mm thick, with a completely smooth design and an original matte greyish color. No water or dust resistance is specified, and it makes sense to have removable switches, but at least you can clean it perfectly. Asus has placed foam padding under the switches to dampen and eliminate the sound.
A quite original AURA Sync lighting area has been placed on the front and occupies the entire keyboard. It has a translucent plastic diffuser that is totally removable and adhered to by magnetism.
The base of the case is made of black plastic with a drawing of oblique lines. You have five non-slip rubber feet in addition to the folding feet that allow you to raise the keyboard.
Finally, you have the wrist rest designed in black synthetic leather with the ROG logo on one end. Asus has chosen magnetic anchors for its dock, so placing or removing it is extremely simple.
The design is well loaded, and it is not to mention the RGB lighting that with ASUS AURA looks very good. In the upper right corner, you have the Anime Matrix effects. It is a set of programmable mini LEDs, in total 312. Later you will see in the on-board software how to configure it, and I warn you, you can customize it to the point of using your own images or gifs.
Between the base and the metal frame, you have a set of 28 ARGB LEDs covered by faded white plastic that you can remove. The reason? It is necessary to be able to attach the wrist rest, also transmitting the lighting through it.
Above the cursors, you have the witnesses with mini white LEDs for uppercase, numerical, or screen lock blocks. As usual, everything can be configured from the AURA software that ASUS has in its suite. You can control all the effects, design your own or configure what Animate Matrix shows.
Overall, a highly customizable and easily distinguishable keyboard.
Image Credit: ROG
Special and programmable keys
The first thing you should know is that all the keys are programmable. For this, you will have to use new Asus software with your ARMORY Crate. You’ll be able to choose all kinds of functions, from controls for video or audio players, sound control, macros, or even manage lighting functions of the keyboard without the need for Aura.
All keys are made of double-injection PBT and can be removed to expose the switch while the lighting is on the keyboard PCB. In the number buttons, you have different profiles that you can save up to six that can include diverse lighting effects.
In the upper central area, you have the USB 2.0 port for peripherals such as a mouse or a pen drive. Right next to it, you have a thick cable covered by black thread protection ending in two USB Type-A connectors. One of them is for the keyboard and the other for the USB 2.0 port that it incorporates and that I have mentioned before.
Image Credit: ROG
You have many options with this keyboard, and personally, I am happy to be able to change the switches for others. To begin with, you have different models of home mechanical switches, such as the red, brown, or blue ROG NX and the Cherry MX RGB.
The version I analyze today has red ROG NX switches of linear type and with an actuation point of 1.8 mm. To activate it, it requires a force of 45 grams with which to avoid false pulses, while to complete the route, you need 55 grams. Unlike the red Cherry MX RGB ones, they have 0.2 mm less travel to be activated, so they react sooner to our touch. To change the switches, you must use the tools, be careful that the latter has some tabs that you must press with the tool to remove them. Basically, this keyboard has multiple preventative measures against keystrokes that are unintended or out of order.
The Flare II Animated is an N-Key rollover class Anti-ghosting keyboard whereby each keystroke is scanned and processed by the keyboard. If you play and press several keys by mistake, they will not overlap; this is very important in gaming keyboards. In addition, its most important novelty is the sampling rate that reaches up to 8000 Hz, with which the response time is reduced to 0.125 ms. Taking into account that the keyboards known until now reached 1000 Hz, this means reducing the time by 8 times.
If you are looking for a complete keyboard to which you can also add a wrist rest, the Flare II Animated has made things easy. The corner with Animated Matrix is a great success for ASUS with great possibilities. The lighting, as expected in the ROG model, is of a high level, although I consider that the keys are too high. You can solve this with its accessory, the wrist rest.
All the keys are programmable. And the best thing is that it has up to 6 profiles. With this, you can design your keyboard for games, work applications, or even Windows to improve its performance.