Reviews

7 January
2020

ASUS ROG Showcases Latest Lineup of Cutting-Edge Gaming Peripherals at CES 2020

KEY POINTS
• Premium keyboard made for FPS gaming: The ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is compact yet feature-filled with Cherry MX switches, RGB lighting and more
• The ROG Strix Impact II returns with wireless connectivity: The new and improved ROG Strix Impact II Wireless also features a new optical sensor
• 16,000-dpi gaming mouse with a built-in joystick: The ROG Chakram wireless gaming mouse comes with programmable joystick, Aura Sync and more
• Perfect wireless audio for gaming anywhere: The ROG Strix Go 2.4 is the world’s first USB Type-C 2.4GHz wireless headset boasting lag-free audio
• Crystal clear communication using AI: With an AI-powered noise-cancelling microphone, the ROG Strix Go 2.4 ensures clear communication at all times
• The go anywhere, do anything wireless mouse: Personalize the ROG Pugio II with customizable side buttons and badges, RGB lighting, and button switches

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) showcased its latest lineup of ROG gaming peripherals at CES 2020, including the ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe mechanical keyboard, the ROG Strix Impact II Wireless mouse, and the ROG Chakram wireless mouse with a built-in joystick. Joining the ROG gaming gear lineup at CES 2020 is also the ROG Strix Go 2.4 wireless headset with AI-powered noise-cancellation built into the microphone, and the highly configurable ROG Pugio II ambidextrous wireless mouse.

The ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe: A premium keyboard made for FPS gaming

The ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is a mechanical keyboard that is optimal for FPS gaming, with a tenkeyless design providing all the keys needed while opening up extra space for mouse movement and higher comfort while gaming. This keyboard melds high performance and premium materials in a design that lets users make it their own, with a portable form factor tuned for both stability and portability, and a USB Type-C detachable braided cable that’s perfect for taking the keyboard on the road.

The Scope TKL Deluxe puts the mouse and typing hands closer together while users game thanks to its tenkeyless (aka number pad-less) design, enabling a more ergonomic position that’s better for both long gaming sessions and regular typing. To keep gaming marathons comfortable, a padded wrist rest is included that snaps onto the keyboard via magnets.

Customization is built into every inch of the ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe’s design. To begin with, it’s available with a range of German-made Cherry MX RGB Red, Blue, Brown, and Speed Silver flavors to match user preference for actuation force, actuation distance, and tactile feedback. The ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe naturally supports n-key rollover, accurately registering as many simultaneous key presses as human hands can make, along with a 1000Hz polling rate for instantaneous input response.

Although the keyboard itself is compact, the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe uses a much larger Ctrl key than average on its left side for comfortable gaming, with a snappy Costar stabilizer under the extra-large Ctrl cap and all other larger keys to ensure low resistance and a consistent feel, especially if users hit the edges of the key during the heat of battle. Conversely, a quick-toggle switch turns the F5 through F12 keys into media controls, circumventing the need for combos in order to adjust the volume or skip tracks on a playlist. In media control mode, hitting the F12 key drops the PC into stealth mode, hiding all open apps and muting the audio.

Lighting is a big part of what makes the Scope TKL Deluxe so distinctive. Each key and the lock indicators have their own RGB LED and the ROG logo is backlit by its own set of LEDs. There’s also a light bar packed with 26 RGB LEDs under the keyboard’s front edge to cast an impressive yet tasteful underglow. Up to 11 different effects (10 default, one customizable effect) and an entire spectrum of color choices allow unique configuration to suit user aesthetics, and users can use ROG Aura Sync to synchronize the Scope TKL Deluxe with other Aura Sync-capable components. There’s enough onboard memory for one default and five custom profiles that can link to specific programs or games, which can be switched between using the Fn key or Armoury II software utility. Macros can be recorded on the fly, and almost every key is programmable.

The ROG Strix Impact II returns with wireless connectivity

The combination of high performance, optimized comfort, and attractive aesthetics with Aura Sync RGB make the ROG Strix Impact II Wireless a significant step up for anyone looking to get more competitive in their gaming endeavors while freeing themselves from the constraints of a cord.

The ROG Strix Impact II Wireless only adds to that winning formula of the wired ROG Strix Impact II mouse, with a next-level 16,000 DPI sensor paving the way with 400 inch-per-second accuracy at up to 40g of acceleration. Added wireless connectivity is the other obvious addition, with a 2.4GHz radio frequency link for ultra-low latency, excellent range, and long battery life. To use the mouse while charging, there’s always the option to connect its USB-C cable to an available port.

The Impact II Wireless maintains the same dimensions as its predecessor, and is still equally comfortable for left- and right-handed gamers. Two buttons on the left side can be mapped to common hotkeys, and a dedicated button lets users cycle through four sensitivity settings, each corresponding to a different color that indicates the current configuration.

Up top, the left and right keys are separated for reliable operation, and each main button on the Impact II Wireless features a pivot mechanism with a spring that gently removes any slack between button and switch. The Impact II Wireless’ exclusive push-fit switch socket design also supports Omron D2F and D2FC series replacements for further switch customization.

The Strix Impact II Wireless features two zones of RGB lighting — one under the logo, the other under the scroll wheel — that allow for independent control of colors and effects. Moreover, adding this mouse to a PC with other Aura Sync-compatible components can make it part of a grander lighting scheme using Armoury Crate software. There’s also settings in Armoury Crate for adjusting the performance of the Impact II Wireless, configuring its surface calibration settings, changing button mappings, and creating profiles. This wide array of customization options means no shortage of ways for the Impact II Wireless to boost gaming capabilities.

Introducing the ROG Chakram, a 16,000-dpi gaming mouse with a built-in joystick

At a glance, the ROG Chakram’s most obvious innovation is the built-in joystick on its left side. It can operate in an analog mode that’s great for flight simulators, racing games, and open-world titles, while digital mode turns the stick into a four-way controller that offers quick access to powerful commands in first-person shooters and real-time strategy games. Because this stick is meant to be manipulated with a thumb, included are caps in two lengths to accommodate a variety of thumb sizes and a socket cover in the bundle for those who want to game without the joystick installed.

When it comes to style, the ROG Chakram is stunning, with a translucent plastic top shell with a matte finish that feels premium and offers plenty of grip. The main buttons and palm rest are held on by magnets for convenient access to the Chakram’s internals, and each main button uses a spring-loaded pivot mechanism to remove any slack between button and switch for the fastest possible response. Both sides of the mouse are textured, providing an ergonomic surface to grip that’s still smooth enough for easy cleaning. And even with the joystick, the five customizable buttons, and the scroll wheel, the Chakram will keep users comfortable for hours of gameplay with a sleek yet ergonomic shape and added Teflon feet for minimal friction.

A light pipe around the front edge, RGB LEDs in the scroll wheel, and a back-lit logo in the body are configurable through ROG Armoury II software, which also gives users full control over ever changeable parameter on the mouse. The Chakram supports seven different lighting effects and an entire spectrum of color. With the ROG Aura Sync utility, coordinate the Chakram with other Aura Sync capable components in a gaming PC set-up.

All the Chakram’s features are brought to life by a competition-class optical sensor. Its 16,000 DPI maximum sensitivity is easily adjusted with a DPI button on the bottom that toggles between four different settings. For finer control over DPI settings in cases where users are without access to the Armoury II software, the Chakram’s DPI On-The-Scroll feature also lets users use its scroll wheel to fine-tune sensitivity in 100 DPI increments all the way from 100 to 16,000.

The ROG Chakram’s exclusive push-fit sockets are populated by Omron switches rated for 50 million clicks, with a second set of switches in the bundled case for users who want to try a different switch resistance. Gamers who already have a preference in Omron switches can go out and purchase their favorite compatible clickers, as the Chakram works with D2F and D2FC-series models.

Underneath the magnetic palm rest is the ROG Chakram’s USB dongle and customizable badge, which can be set to the ROG logo or users’ own designs using a blank badge in its accessory kit. The USB dongle plugs into any USB port and enables wireless connectivity over a 2.4GHz RF link. Its 1000Hz polling rate is fast enough to take full advantage of the Chakram’s high-end optical sensor, making it the ideal mode for competitive gaming.

Expect up to 48 hours of battery life with the RGB LEDs active or 79 hours if LEDs are off over the 2.4GHz connectivity mode. And when the battery runs out, users can continue using the Chakram with its USB cable or any Qi-compatible wireless charging pad. It’ll charge back up in about 80 minutes when it’s plugged into a USB 3.0 port, or users can take advantage of quick charge for 15 minutes for up to 12 hours of gameplay. When the ability to connect is more important than low latency, the Chakram can use Bluetooth to pair with most any compatible device. With RGB lighting turned on, the Bluetooth radio delivers 53 hours of battery life, or more than 100 hours when lighting is switched off.

Stay competitive for hours at a time with the ROG Strix Go 2.4 wireless headset, engineered with AI-powered noise cancelling technology and super-low latency over a 2.4GHz connection for the fastest possible auditory feedback in games. And for users’ PC gaming needs, the highly customizable ROG Pugio II ambidextrous wireless mouse lets users game how they want with configurable side buttons, a customizable badge, RGB lighting and main button switches.

Perfect wireless audio for gaming anywhere with the ROG Strix Go 2.4

The ROG Strix Go 2.4 wireless headset was built to keep gamers competitive for hours at a time, with up to 25 hours of battery life on a full charge via USB-C. Engineered for super-low latency over a 2.4GHz connection for the quickest possible auditory feedback in games, the Strix Go 2.4 comes with an L-shaped USB-C-compatible dongle that extends compatibility to any USB-C-equipped PCs, laptops, gaming consoles, and phones, while the bundled USB 2.0 and 3.5mm adapters allows users to plug the Strix Go 2.4 into just about any other gaming device. For the extra portability factor, users can fold the ROG Strix Go 2.4 up and slip it into the bundled travel pouch.

Crisp, high-resolution sound travels through the ROG Strix Go 2.4 by way of 40mm ASUS Essence drivers in airtight chambers for maximum immersion and clean, distortion-free audio. Each headset cup is designed for comfort as well as proper sound isolation with an airtight seal. When plugging in the Strix Go 2.4 into a 3.5mm audio jack, the headset can even reproduce Hi-Res audio, stretching frequency response from 10Hz all the way up to 40kHz.

The Strix Go 2.4 includes a detachable, bi-directional boom mic bolstered by AI-powered noise-canceling technology that’s trained on a massive database containing a wide range of environmental noise samples so that the Strix Go 2.4 can identify and counteract noisy environmental sounds. A second mic, hidden in one of the ear cups, also benefits from AI-powered noise cancellation technology to filter out environmental distractions.

Access all of the Strix Go 2.4’s hardware controls from the left side of the headset: the volume dial clicks in to mute or unmute the microphone, and a voice notification announces the mic’s status. Below the rocker switch, a three-function button controls media playback, and a two-position switch toggles between wireless and wired mode. Integrate the Strix Go 2.4 with Armoury II software for even more functionality. Preset profiles, including a virtual surround sound mode, affect the headset’s frequency response. Optimize further with a 10-band equalizer that allows granular control over the spectrum from 32Hz to 16kHz. Environmental effects, a bass boost feature, and microphone filters are adjustable through Armoury II as well.

The ROG Pugio II: The go anywhere, do anything wireless mouse

The new ROG Pugio II ambidextrous wireless mouse is a jack-of-all-trades, built around a modern 16,000 DPI sensor that can keep its focus under movement rates of up to 400 inches per second and even be fine-tuned thanks to the unique DPI On-The-Scroll feature for on-the-fly customization. Tapping into the sensor’s potential is effortless thanks to a host of customizable features – choose between wireless technologies, configurable side buttons, personalized badges, socketed switches, and RGB light zones.

The Pugio II offers both wireless and wired connection options to fit different playstyles. Plug in an included 2.4GHz RF dongle for the ROG Pugio II’s built-in radio with a 1000Hz polling rate for competition-grade responsiveness, or switch on Bluetooth mode and fly dongle-free. The Pugio II’s built-in Smart Hop wireless technology identifies and avoids the congestion and interference that surrounds the 2.4GHz band in real time, ensuring strong, stable connections no matter where users game. The Pugio II also comes with a light and flexible two-meter cable if users want to go the wired route or recharge the mouse’s internal batteries – plugging in via USB fully charges the Pugio II in under two hours. The Pugio II offers excellent battery life in wireless mode, with up to 69 hours* of play when connected via 2.4 GHz or a stupendous 100 hours over Bluetooth LE. (*battery-life estimates are based on using Pugio II without RGB lighting).

The Pugio II comes with an ROG badge installed in the palm rest, backlit by RGB lighting. Users can customize their Pugio II with the included blank badge, which can be designed with any icon or logo and be easily applied by removing the outer shell. Explore further customization by firing up Armoury II software to configure the Pugio II’s surface calibration settings, map its buttons, and switch between the three built-in profiles. There’s also an interface for personalizing the three available lighting zones to adjust the color of the scroll wheel, palm rest logo, and underbody lighting independently, or launch the Aura Sync utility to integrate the Pugio II’s RGB LEDs with other Aura Sync-capable components.

e ROG Pugio II is truly ambidextrous, with a shape that’s comfortable to hold. The Pugio II sports a pair of magnetic buttons on both the left and right sides. Rather than leaving all four of them exposed, bundled covers allow users to hide the pair they don’t plan to use, preventing accidental clicks. And with ROG’s exclusive push-fit switch socket design, users can also customize the feel of the mouse buttons. By default, the Pugio II includes Omron D2FC-F-K switches rated for 50 million clicks, with an extra pair of Japanese-made Omron D2F-01Fs included in the accessory case. For additional customization, the push-fit switch socket design can fit any Omron D2F- or D2FC-series switch to change the Pugio II’s operating force and feedback, or to bring new life to a button that feels worn out.

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