Hands-On, Keyboard

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX Hands-On: Surprisingly Good Pre-Built Mechanical Keyboard

While I would always recommend folks to build a custom mechanical keyboard, it’s not always feasible to do so, whether it’s due to time constraint or budget limitation. Thankfully, pre-built keyboards have improved steadily over the years, and the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX is one such keyboard.

Not only is it reasonably affordable for a full-size keyboard, the Strix Scope RX features Asus’ very own ROG RX optical switch too, which is surprisingly good. If you want a full-size keyboard with one of the better switches in the market now, consider this keyboard.

First, let’s talk about the specifications of the ROG Strix Scope RX – yes, it has a very long name. As mentioned, it’s a full-size mechanical keyboard, and as with all gaming-centric products, it has per-key RGB lighting with “central RGB LED” for a more consistent, brighter backlighting.

This is possible thanks to the Strix Scope RX’s other interesting hardware: the ROG RX optical switch. It has a unique hollow square stem design for better, more direct backlight diffusion, given that the LED is right in the centre of the switch.

But more importantly, the unique design of the ROG RX optical switch also has one big benefit: it is very stable. Even when compared to switches in the custom mechanical keyboard scene, the ROG RX is easily among the best, courtesy of the scissor-style stabiliser in each switch.

I’m really impressed by the lack of wobble on this optical switch. Speaking of which, the Strix Scope RX I received for this hands-on features the RX Red linear switch with a 55g bottom out, and it is smooth. While there’s a faint scratch sound, the downstroke feels incredibly smooth, especially for a stock switch.

One of the major shortcomings of a pre-built keyboard is rattly stabiliser, but the Strix Scope RX actually has very decent stabilisers. It uses a proprietary design, but it works very well. They do not rattle at all – much to my surprise – and there are also traces of lube on the wires.

While the Strix Scope RX does have quite a number of positives, it still has some shortcomings here and there. For one, because it has a custom stem design, you cannot swap out the keycaps with higher quality ones, which are primarily made for MX-style switches.

It’s not that the default keycaps are horrible by any means – though I do wish the legends weren’t so gamer-centric – but it would’ve been great if it was possible to swap them out with aftermarket keycap sets.

Aside from that, I’m not a fan of the Strix Scope RX’s extra long left ctrl key either. According to Asus, the larger size of the ctrl key is to make it easier for FPS players to “quickly find and hit.” It’s a sound logic, but I find myself accidentally hitting the ctrl key when I wanted to press on the Windows key instead.

My last gripe with the Strix Scope RX is its sound profile. Like with most pre-built keyboards, it has a loud, plasticky sound profile. Granted, most consumers who are shopping for a pre-built keyboard wouldn’t necessarily put importance on how the keyboard sounds, but it’s still worth a mention.

All in all, the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX is still quite a compelling pre-built gaming mechanical keyboard. Retailing from as low as RM459 now, it really is quite affordable. You’d be hard-pressed to find a different full-size keyboard of this calibre at this price point.

Even though it doesn’t have a particularly pleasant sound profile, the Strix Scope RX offers a very smooth, stable typing experience – the lack of wobble and smoothness of the ROG RX Red optical switch are very impressive – bright, consistent RGB backlighting, as well as pretty good stabilisers. For RM459, you’re getting your money’s worth here.