ASUS Strix Scope TKL Deluxe Review
Published: 21st April 2020 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
We know we need to talk about the keyboard and features, but we can wait no longer to discuss the Stealth button that exists as the default option on the F12 key. What does it do? It minimises all your windows and mutes your audio in a single button press. Now stop and think a moment about what situation would arise that would lead you needing to do that instantly? Yep, that's our first thought too. So would it be better for you to be casually doing whatever you are doing, or caught enraptured over whatever your desktop wallpaper is? We can imagine situations when we might need one window hiding - much of the stuff we do at OC3D is under NDA and so we don't want passers by seeing secret things pre-release - but the whole desktop? And muting the audio too? We almost wish ASUS were bold enough to call the Stealth button what is really is. Moving on.
One thing ASUS always get right is the build quality and the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is no exception. It's an extremely robust keyboard. The brushed finish on top really works beautifully at helping the lighting show itself off to its utmost, as you can see with the image at the top of the pages throughout this review. If you only care about richly saturated, bright colours then the combination of the excellent LEDs, light grey aluminium chassis and perfect keycap font choice will make the Strix Scope a no-brainer purchase. We especially like how the ROG eye logo and lock status indicators also change with your colour, rather than remaining resolutely white as is so often the case. With the CherryMX Red switches beating at the heart of the Strix Scope it's a joy to type on as all CherryMX keyboards are. It is like slipping on a comfortable sweater, instantly familiar. A particular highlight is the quality of the wrist rest you get in the Deluxe model. It is well padded and magnetic so it is a matter of a moment to attach or detach it, and in use it is comfortable and will greatly alleviate the pain you eventually get in your wrists when you've been typing for years.
There are plenty of built in controls too. A quick press of the Fn and Insert keys toggle the Function keys between their F1-F12 state and the media controls, allowing you to control your audio without always needing to have a thumb on the Fn key. Additionally there are onboard macro controls letting you set up simple macros without needing to delve into the software.
But the software, oh boy. For such a mighty company the inability of ASUS to have a bug-free software package is now starting to hurt them when compared to their rivals. If Steelseries, Roccat, Razer and Corsair can nail it, why can't ASUS? Let's give you, beyond the missing features we endured, a quick example. In the bottom two pictures on our software page it's the lighting controls. One for saturation, one for brightness. All fine, except brightness doesn't control how bright the key is, it controls how much white is in the LED. At one end of the scale the key is black, which is what you'd expect, but at the other end the key is white regardless of the saturation slider. So, counter-intuitively you have to leave it in the middle to get the fully saturated colour. Isn't that what the saturation slider is for? If it wasn't bad enough that the Armoury software breaks your motherboard customisation, it now doesn't work all that well in the simple world of peripherals. Either ASUS need to go back to separate packages for each thing, or employ software engineers who know how to code.
All of which means that the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is a spectacular piece of hardware, guaranteed to last you many years of pleasurable gaming and typing, let down by appalling software. Hopefully ASUS will fix the latter and finally do their hardware and innovation justice. Fortunately for the majority of people the onboard macro recording will be sufficient, which means the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe still wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award. Just.