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ASUS ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe mechanical gaming keyboard review

Are ASUS ROG's new key switches up to snuff? Let's find out.

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ASUS ROG has been making gaming keyboards for a long time now, and they’ve had some notable successes such as the Falchion. But they were always limited to using third-party key switches from manufacturers like Cherry MX. This has now changed as ASUS ROG has introduced their own switches, the NX series. As per usual these switches come in linear, tactile, and clicky variants. Differentiated as always by the colors, red, brown, and blue. We were provided with the red variant, and it’s always fun to test a new switch type so we were very excited to get hands-on.

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ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe mechanical gaming keyboard

Switch type
ROG NX Red
Layout
Ten keyless
Wired/Wireless
Wired
Lighting
Per-key RGB
Pros
  • Strong construction
  • Excellent RGB lighting
  • The design of the aluminum top plate is great
  • Dedicated media keys
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Poor quality keycaps
Tech Specs

Switch type

ROG NX Red

Layout

Ten keyless

Wired/Wireless

Wired

Lighting

Per-key RGB

Weight

2.3lbs/ 1.05kg (with cable and wrist-rest)

Connectivity

USB 2.0

N-Key rollover

Yes

Polling rate

1000Hz

Cable length

1.8m

What’s in the box & setup

  • 1 x ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe keyboard
  • 1 x ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe wrist rest
  • 1 x Detachable braided USB Type-A to Type-C cable
  • 1 x Sheet of ROG stickers
  • 1 x Quick Start Guide
  • 1 x Warranty booklet

The ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe comes in a fairly small box with the standard ROG black and red color scheme. It’s adorned with some pretty aggressive gamer-esque livery largely featuring the ROG eye motif.

After removing the main box from the exterior covered in the aforementioned marketing imagery, you are greeted with a plain, matte black box, inside of which you’ll finally find the ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe. Alongside it is an additional magnetic wrist rest. The board is shrouded in a mesh fabric bag to prevent scratches and the lid of the box has a slim layer of foam padding to keep your new board safe during delivery. Overall, you can be confident that the keyboard will arrive undamaged.

Like most boards these days, simply plugging the USB cable into the PC will allow basic functionality. With ROG products, downloading the Armoury Crate software is recommended to get the most out of your purchase.

The software suite can be found on the ASUS ROG website and once installed will allow you to utilize all the bells and whistles this board is capable of, including a wide array of lighting effects, macro creation, and keybind settings.

ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe Keyboard 3

Design

Surprising absolutely no one who’s seen anything from ROG, this board has that typical bullish and edgy aesthetic, with a little bit of an industrial influence too.

In terms of branding on the board, ROG has gone fairly light. The ROG eye logo appears on the top right just above the ‘home’ key and is vividly illuminated by the RGB. There is a fairly reserved text print that reads ‘REPUBLIC OF GAMERS’ on the chin of the board, it’s pretty much unnoticeable, and if you utilize the included wrist rest it’s covered entirely.

The included keycaps bare legends in an angular, stylized font which has divided opinions around the office, some think it’s ugly and garish, others think it’s cool. The derisive fonts are lit very brightly by the RGB lighting which makes them pop very clearly. You’ll struggle to miss a keystroke here.

The machined aluminum top-plate is a standout of this board, providing the industrial vibes we alluded to earlier. It has what ROG calls a ‘dual finish’, the majority of it is a smooth, matte texture and the right-hand side is a very cool brushed aluminum texture that we are big fans of. With the exception of the slightly deep chin, the board is essentially frameless which helps contribute to the compact size.

Along the chin of the board, there is a strip of RGB with a layer of material that diffuses the light out over whatever surface the keyboard is on. It’s a gimmick, but a very pretty one that really does make the keyboard seem like it’s hovering on a layer of light. It’s reminiscent of the under-car lighting, and as ardent fans of RGB, it makes for a unique-looking keyboard.

The wrist rest is faux leather, with an almost invisible ROG eye logo embossed into the far right-hand side, which makes for nothing super special. Unfortunately, it covers the lower RGB lighting we like so much. It’s a nice quality of life addition nonetheless.

Build quality

We only encountered a few issues with the ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe here and there. The aluminum top plate feels robust and is pleasingly cool to the touch. This lends a large amount of rigidity to the overall construction. As a result, the board exhibits very little flex and weighs a total of 1.9lbs/880g. This fairly weighty board inspires confidence in the longevity of the Strix Scope.

The included wrist rest feels cheap. The level of padding is nice, but the faux leather is nothing special. Additionally, the magnets which help adhere the wrist rest to the board are weak, so moving the board leaves the wrist rest behind. In practice, it’s not really an issue and you can hold them together when you move the board. Considering ROG’s reputation for quality, and the ∼$140 price point we think they could have included some stronger magnets to remove this issue.

The included keycaps are also a problem, They are some of the worst-feeling ABS we’ve felt. They have a slightly slippery, squeaky texture which is pretty unpleasant. They are also only single-shot so we fear the keys will wear quicker than you’d like. If you buy the ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe, we’d recommend an additional purchase of some aftermarket PBT caps to give this board the typing feel it deserves.

The USB Type-A to Type-C cable has some pretty thick braiding and feels robust, though it would benefit from slightly less rigidity, so it can be tidied away more easily.

Gaming performance

Given that this board is part of the ROG lineup from ASUS it comes as no surprise that it is geared very much towards gaming performance. In this regard, it performs very well with the light actuation force and linear switch type combining to produce very rapid keystrokes. Effortless is a good way to describe it, we do miss the tactility of other switch types, but linear is generally considered the best performing for gaming and this board really does well for this use case.

Typing performance

After a few days of use, we can say with relative certainty that you’ll find this keyboard decent enough for day-to-day typing outside of gaming. We do miss the tactility of brown and blue switches, as they make for a more satisfying and more accurate-feeling typing experience. Given that this board is squarely aimed at gaming, it’s hard to qualify the typing feel as a huge drawback.

Key switches

This is one of the first boards to feature the ROG NX Switches. This is ASUS’s first deviation from the safety and familiarity of Cherry in favor of designing their own switches. As far as linear switches go, they feel decent during use. They make for a rapid typing and gaming experience. The switches have a marginally higher initial force than comparable red switches, and the actuation point is at 1.8mm making for a light and effortless keystroke. This makes the switches excellent for use cases where speed is the number one priority.

ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe Keyboard 7

However, they do have some issues. The most obvious one upon first testing the board is the wobbly feeling the keys possess. Wider keys such as the spacebar and control tend to have an unavoidable wobble, which we think is due to the stabilizers. But, every key on the Strix Scope has a distinctly loose feeling to it. It doesn’t affect performance much, but it’s nonetheless irritating.

Software

ASUS Armoury Crate software functions well, and all of the basic features are easy to use. The Aura Creator is fairly tricky to figure out, but there are comprehensive tutorials out there to make this keyboard truly individualized.

We particularly like the Scenario Profiles. You can make specific keybinds and lighting settings only activate when you start a certain application. This is helpful if you don’t use the same controls for every game, or if you like to denote certain key shortcuts by color. It can be a bit fiddly, but once you’ve set it all up it works without additional hassle.

Final verdict

The ROG Strix Scope NX TKL is a strong contender for those of you who need a solid, stylized, and compact gaming keyboard. The construction is robust, has very little flex and we’re confident that it’ll last. The design could be called derisive, especially the font used on the keycaps. Unfortunately, the keycaps are also the biggest drawback of this board, having a distinctly unpleasant and cheap texture. In addition to this, the switches come off as wobbly and make for a less than stellar typing feel.

The lighting is a standout, however. This keyboard has some of the best effects and most impressive lighting we’ve seen for a while. The software can be a little bit fiddly, but has some powerful utilities which are worth playing around with.

ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe mechanical gaming keyboard

Switch type
ROG NX Red
Layout
Ten keyless
Wired/Wireless
Wired
Lighting
Per-key RGB

Staff Writer AT WEPC

Ben Atkins Chafer

Ben's interest in video games started as a result of his intense need to be better than his sister at something. It didn't work but it started a lifelong passion in gaming, which then evolved when he built his first PC. He completely botched it but it was fun and he hasn't stopped since. He's currently fighting an embittered battle to get even slightly competitive at Apex Legends. He has a particular interest in peripherals and loves messing around with his setup.

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