In a nutshell: If you’ve ever felt like your keyboard was missing something but couldn’t quite pinpoint exactly what it was, perhaps Asus’ latest gaming keyboard is worth a look. The ROG Strix Flare Animate II gaming keyboard is the first to feature an AniMe Matrix LED display. Much like the dot-matrix displays featured on select Asus laptops, this implementation allows users to create customizable images and animations for a completely unique look.
Asus’ latest boasts an 8,000 Hz polling rate providing a 0.125ms response time alongside swappable ROG NX mechanical switches, PBT doubleshot keycaps with a mid-height profile and shorter stem to reduce key wobble, and switch stabilizer mechanisms to ensure smooth strokes.
Asus has also added sound-dampening foam to reduce pinging for improved typing acoustics, and of course there is RGB lighting. Elsewhere, you’ll find metal media keys and volume controls as well as a detachable wrist wrest with an integrated light diffuser and a USB pass-through port for connecting other devices.
There’s also a standard Strix Flare II gaming keyboard that doesn’t include the AniMe Matrix LED display, swappable switches and wrist rest-mounted light diffuser should you not require those extras.
A word of warning: Asus’ new boards are expensive, even by mechanical keyboard standards. The ROG Strix Flare Animate II gaming keyboard is set to arrive later this month priced at $220. The model without all the bells and whistles will command $180.