Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless: A Compact and Versatile Gaming Keyboard
Pros and Cons of ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless
- Hot-Swappable: Offers flexibility in switch customization.
- Excellent Battery Life: Ensures prolonged usage without frequent recharging.
- Improved Linear Switches: Enhances the typing and gaming experience.
- Sturdy Build: Provides durability and longevity.
- Cramped Layout: The 96 percent layout might be restrictive for some users.
- Limited Programmability: Only one layer of programmability might not suffice for advanced users.
- Armoury Crate Software: Some users find the software cumbersome and intrusive.
Design and Construction
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless boasts a compact 96-percent layout that is slightly wider than a standard 80% keyboard, according to Asus. This design makes it almost full-size but more space-efficient. Its sturdy build features an aluminum alloy top plate and a plastic chassis, ensuring durability. Despite its relatively heavy weight of 2.23 pounds, the keyboard's anti-slip material and flip-out feet keep it stable and comfortable to use.
Key Features and Specifications
Switches and Lighting:
The keyboard comes with ROG NX Snow switches that are hot-swappable and pre-lubed, offering a refined linear experience with an actuation force of 45g. The per-key RGB lighting adds a customizable aesthetic touch, though it may not be as bright as some alternatives.
Connectivity and Ports:
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless supports tri-mode connectivity, with options for 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth 5.1, and wired USB-C. It also features a USB-C charging port and magnetic dongle storage for the 2.4GHz wireless USB-A dongle.
The keyboard includes a multi-function key with a roller for easy mode switching, indicators for various locks and connections, and a customizable option that can be configured through Asus's Armoury Crate software.
Typing and Gaming Experience
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless offers a satisfying typing and gaming experience thanks to its smooth and stable NX Snow switches. The keyboard's hot-swappable PCB allows users to customize their experience further by swapping in different switches. The double-shot PBT keycaps are stable and provide a comfortable typing feel, contributing to an overall high-quality experience.
Wireless Experience and Battery Life
Offering three forms of connectivity, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless ensures a versatile and reliable wireless experience. Its notable battery life of up to 1,500 hours (with lighting off) over 2.4GHz wireless is a significant advantage for users who dislike frequent charging. The inclusion of the ROG Omni Receiver allows for convenient pairing with compatible devices.
Armoury Crate Software and Programmability
While the keyboard comes with several pre-programmed functions for convenience, the Armoury Crate software is required for firmware updates and more advanced customizations. Some users may find the software bloated and intrusive, but it's necessary for taking full advantage of the keyboard's features.
Conclusion: Balancing Gaming and Compact Design
The Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless successfully bridges the gap between gaming and enthusiast keyboards, offering a well-built, hot-swappable option for users who appreciate compactness without sacrificing functionality. While its layout and software may not suit everyone, its solid construction, versatile connectivity, and impressive battery life make it a compelling choice for gamers and typists alike. As the market for mechanical keyboards continues to evolve, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless stands out as a robust and adaptable option.