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Do you ever feel that frustration in FPS games when you get outplayed at each corner and spawn-point? I’ve been playing shooters for over a decade, but there are still times when I get dusted. At first I suspected my age was getting the better of me, compared to the new generation of gamers with quick wits and faster reflexes — but then I realized what my problem was.
As Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan once said, “We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”
I’ve been using the same gaming keyboard and mouse on my rig for nearly a decade. After a little research and a little online shopping, I struck gold. A resolution to my problem, and perhaps the finest FPS gaming keyboard ever designed — the ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe. I quickly slapped the purchase button and eagerly awaited my well-deserved replacement.
Immediately upon plugging the USB-C cable in to this fighter-jet of a keyboard and dropping into a match of Fortnite, I noticed an abundant amount of desk real-estate afforded to me. I could not believe how much space the keypad hogged up. It also gave me more room to swing about my mouse in intense firefights and engagements. I’ll admit, I’m competitive with playing games, so having even a slight edge makes a sizable difference.
The sleek spartan look of the aluminum plated keyboard on my desk-space soothed the minimalist in me. How my hands and arm rest while using this keyboard also felt more natural and centered. And, the desk looked genuinely cleaner while using less surface space. There is a down-side to not having a keypad though. Get used to typing with the numbers near the top of the keyboard.
Although not a huge issue, it gets tiring. My suggestion, pair this keyboard with a solid gaming mouse that has a keypad on the side. It’s an excellent way to supplement the number-keys, and beefs up your gaming experience. I suggest something like Razer’s Naga Trinity or Corsair’s Scimitar.
The feedback from key-presses was sharp and polished. There was no wobble from the key switches, even during intense gaming moments. My keys will put up with a lot of wear and tear from daily usage, so it’s good to know they don’t feel clunky or cheap. One of the most satisfying sounds is the clacking of the Cherry Blue MX switches with each key press. It’s not too loud, and it still gives a similar tactile feedback that playing a console game that a vibrating controller might give.
The wrist rest feels comfortable and connects magnetically to the bottom of the keyboard. It’s ergonomic design and soft padding feel nice on the wrists and give them excellent support during lengthy play sessions.
I was apprehensive at first with the Lighting effects. I always thought too much was a bit gaudy and none at all was boring. The Strix Scope strikes an elegant blend. With ten presets and the option to set keys to whatever color you want, I almost spent more time deciding which of the lighting experiences I wanted than playing games with it. Now, each time I press a key, an explosion of light bursts from the key I press throughout the rest of the keyboard.
Even the ROG logo on the top right of the keyboard is lit with RGB goodness. The indicator lights for caps lock, stealth-mode, num-lock, and windows-key lock are also lit with RGB. And, their lights match the rest of your keyboard’s lighting effects. It’s a slight design perk, but it honestly ties all your lighting together into one synchronized experience.
With the first few hours of playtime down and the adrenaline of a Fortnite win coursing through me – I felt the price of the keyboard quickly paid off.
- Related reading: 12 Best TKL Mechanical Keyboards 2020
The dedicated Ten-Key-Less (TKL) design provides everything you need in a gaming keyboard and more. ASUS put FPS players first with this design, adding features like an elongated left control key, windows-key lock, and privacy mode.
A longer control key makes it much easier to do things in-game, like crouching or sliding. Its length makes it much easier to tap and feels comfortable to use. With it comes a shorter windows key to prevent from accidentally pulling focus out of your game. Although I never struggled with tapping the windows key during games, I can definitely see how it might be an issue for some without having the windows-key lock.
Another benefit to the Strix Scope’s sleek design is that it doesn’t look cheap. The aluminum plate that covers the face of the keyboard prevents damage, makes it easy to clean, and it’s just damn good looking. Many RGB gaming keyboards stick to the black plastic or metal finish, so it’s nice to see something different.
The lighting effects under the keys look stunning and depending on your settings make tapping on keys on any occasion very pleasing. The effects are simple to adjust through the included software, which I’ll cover in a moment, and you can adjust some settings through the keys themselves.
Stretched across the bottom of the keyboard is an LED light bar that looks gorgeous. The light bar is my favorite part of this keyboard, however, when the wrist-rest is attached it completely covers the bar. Which is a shame, as someone with bad wrists I don’t get to enjoy it without occasional wrist pain. It may have been a better choice to put the LED bar on the top of the keyboard so you could see it regardless of using the wrist-rest.
This keyboard is not only a quality piece of gaming equipment, it proves that PCs can share in amazing design for its peripherals alongside its console counterparts.
- You may also like: Alienware AW510K Gaming Keyboard Review
The aluminum faceplate on the keyboard doesn’t just make it look sexy – it makes it durable.
The diagonal brushed finish is an elegant touch, and the bottom has an interesting design pattern. On the bottom are two large rubber feet to keep it stationary. The feet are plastic but feel sturdy, so I’m not worried about them snapping off like my old keyboard. The Strix Scope has ZERO-flex even while pressing on it hard, and it feels like you purchased something with some value.
The USB-A to USB-C cable makes it easy to plug-and-play. As USB-C becomes the new standard, replacing cables is becoming easier. The cable has a braided cover to protect it. Like from my ferocious cats that like to nibble on expensive things.
When purchasing a keyboard you want something that will last you a long time because keyboards don’t need to be upgraded at the same rate that things like video cards and processors do. Take it from me – I went ten years without replacing mine.
Although my old creaky, plastic keyboard doesn’t come close to the ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe, it still technically works. This keyboard not only boasts an excellent design, it’s durable as hell and will last you for years.
- Read also: Best Gaming Keyboards in 2020
The ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe covers a wide-breadth of features for a keyboard — they weren’t kidding when they said ‘Deluxe’.
You still get your standard media keys over the function keys and you can access them by holding the Fn key while pressing the media key. You can easily disable the media keys by pressing INS Fn Lock key, if you’re worried they will get in the way during gaming. They come in handy when I’m jamming to my playlist while crushing skulls in Fortnite, and I want to skip songs or replay my favorites.
Alongside the function keys is a privacy key marked by a shadowy-looking hooded figure. This button is perfect for quickly concealing whatever you’re watching or playing by muting audio and minimizing the application — leaving you with your desktop on the monitor. This is useful if you have an interminable work day and end up browsing Reddit and need to hide it quickly when your manager walks past. Through Aura Sync you can synchronize the light effects with other devices so you have a curated light show with your gaming experience.
The keyboard houses an on-board memory that allows you to assign macros straight through the keyboard. To assign macros you press the Fn key with the left Alt key and then whatever keys you want to assign. This is useful, because macros can be assigned and adjusted mid-game. It assigns macros through the hardware’s memory, so you keep your macros wherever you take your keyboard — making it more portable than ever. Going to a gaming event or competition next week? Well, now you can take your favorite keyboard and all your assigned macros.
The cherry MX mechanical switches really change the overall experience of PC gaming when switching from a regular membrane keyboard. The keys are more responsive to keystrokes, provide better feedback, and are faster and easier to type on.
ASUS gives you a choice between MX Cherry Red, Brown, Blue, Speed Silver, and Silent Red. Each has their own benefits from being audible and inaudible, how responsive the keys are, and how they feel when pressed. For example: The Speed Silver switches have a forty percent faster response time compared to normal switches.
The keyboard comes with free driver-based software called Armoury II. Like other RGB gaming keyboards, it allows you to personalize your keyboard’s behavior with key-mapping, lighting effects, and recording macros. The software is very easy to use with self-explanatory tabs and quick drop-down menus to make your keyboard your own.
ASUS added another feature for pro gamers with a tab that gives in-depth hardware statistics and data analysis. A little overkill for the average gamer, but it may be useful information to competitive players or pro-teams.
ASUS had their target market in mind and nailed it. The ASUS ROG Strix TKL Deluxe may have a long name but it’s short, portable design makes it an excellent choice for the serious FPS Gamer.
The tactile-response keys are rewarding and sound lovely. The LED bar hidden by the wrist-rest is a small price to pay for such a durable device — especially if you hadn’t intended on using it. And, the extra capabilities of the privacy keys, macro-setting, and media keys make it an all around solid keyboard.
This is an excellent choice for FPS gamers that want a quality keyboard that will last them for several years, or for everyday gamers who want more space on their desk. It’s lack of a keypad makes it less ideal for those who plan to use it for tasks outside of gaming, but this is easily resolved by an additional numpad. The powerful driver-based software is easy to use and fun to personalize.
That being said, if you’re looking for a high-performing, sleek looking and long lasting gaming TKL keyboard, the Asus ROG Strix Scope is definitely an excellent option. Yes it’s not the cheapest keyboard out there, but it’s certainly worth the money.