TechPowerUp has covered ASUS products oh so many times, be it graphics cards, motherboards, or even headsets and mice, but somehow, this happens to be their first keyboard review on our website. ASUS, as with many of the big hardware companies in the PC DIY sector, has been expanding their product portfolio over the years, and peripherals are a natural extension of things. I had the pleasure of taking a look at two of their upcoming keyboards showcased at CES, which will be released later this year. In order to set a base for those keyboards, it made sense to have covered one of their keyboards already. So here we are then, and thanks again to ASUS for providing a review sample for us to examine.
As the name suggests, the ROG Strix Flare is a member of ASUS's popular Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand. It was released last year and is their flagship keyboard of the lineup through 2019 as well. As such, expect to see bells and whistles, including lighting galore. There are plenty of dedicated keys as well, with some in a different position than usual, and a wrist rest comes included. Oh, this is a mechanical keyboard—just in case you were wondering. We will go over all these features and more in the review beginning with a look at the specifications below.
ASUS ROG Strix Flare Keyboard
>104-key modified US ANSI layout, language support depending on your region
ABS plastic case and keycaps, acrylic insert, steel plate
1.26 kg / 2.78 lbs.
Full N-Key rollover
155 (L) x 454 (W) x 31 (H) mm
6.0 ft / 1.8 m
Choice of Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Speed Silver, or Silent Red RGB switch
Yes, 16.8 M per-key RGB backlighting
Packaging and Accessories
ASUS operates a web shop in the USA. However, this sample came from a marketing hub, so we begin with a look at the product packaging. A plastic wrap covers the packaging, which is not very practical, and removing it shows off the product box in more detail. As a member of the ASUS ROG brand, packaging gets the red ROG badge in the top left and another, larger multi-color badge in the center with a large superimposed render of the keyboard itself. The company and product names are also here, along with some salient marketing features. More renders and features are on the back and sides, making this very practical and informative packaging for when you happen to chance upon it in a brick and mortar store. Seals on the sides keep the contents inside in place.
ASUS is employing a two-stage packaging for the ROG Strix Flare keyboard, with an outer cardboard wrap for aesthetics and an inner cardboard box that houses the contents. This box is bare aside from the red ROG eye in the center and has two side flaps that close it. This allows for good packaging on the outside, which is key to ensuring the keyboard arrives in good shape. Adding to this is a soft foam sheet on the inside as well, so things just keep getting better in that regard.
The contents are packed neatly inside compartments of cardboard. The keyboard itself comes placed into the bottom, inside a textile cover, and the accessories are all found underneath, which ensures nothing touches and scratches the keyboard. ASUS includes a wrist rest in a plastic wrap, a set of two ROG stickers, a multi-language quick-start guide (online copy here), and a replaceable insert that comes blank and ready for customization by the end user.
This insert fits into the keyboard and ends up lit along with the rest of the keyboard, and we will get back to this on the next page. The removable wrist rest is made out of plastic and has a soft-touch finish to its top surface. There is an ROG logo on the left, and the surface has two differently textured finishes which seemingly will match the keyboard itself. On the back is a small cable-routing channel, which presumably matches another on the keyboard and allows peripherals with a thin cable to be routed neatly underneath the keyboard. There are also four large rubber pads for some friction against the resting surface to prevent the keyboard from moving around inadvertently.