Review | ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe Keyboard

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TKL, or TenKeyLess keyboards are my favorite and it looks like ASUS knows that fact very well by sending in a top-end model in the name of the ROG Strix Scope Deluxe.

With a 7950 Peso market value, the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe features everything the standard Strix Scope has but in a smaller package. It also one upped the former with an included wrist rest.

Technical Specifications

Keyboard
Size TKL
Layout 87 Key
Design Frameless
Macro Yes
Profile Yes
Software Yes
Interface USB 2.0
Polling Rate 1000Hz
Lighting RGB
Wrist Rest Yes
Pass-through NA
Cable Management NA
Multimedia Keys Yes
Cable Length 1.8 meters
Switch
Type Cherry MX Red
Actuation 2.0 mm
Travel 4.0 mm
Lifespan 50 million
Dimensions
Length 356 mm
Width 136 mm
Height 40 mm
Weight 938 grams

Packaging and Accessories

ASUS had the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe packed inside your usual ROG mechanical keyboard box with an internal padding. The packaging comes with the following items inside:

  • ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe wrist rest
  • Detachable braided USB Type-A to Type-C cable
  • 2x ROG stickers
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty booklet

Design, Layout and Build Quality

The ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is exactly the smaller brother of the Strix Scope. Just imagine chopping off its number pad and you’d get this one. Weight has been drastically reduced too at 811 grams.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an ROG product without a stylish rear end. You’ve got the usual stuff here but notice those unusually large rubber footings.

The Strix Scope TKL follows the standard model’s enlarged CTRL key which is nice for gaming centered ergonomics – especially for the pinky finger. The frameless nature of the keyboard also adds up to the overall ergonomics of the keyboard.

Connectivity is courtesy of a removable 1.8 meter long braided USB cable. It is USB Type-C to Type-A and while braided, it is easy enough to route.

Test Setup and Methodology

Testing a keyboard is not that difficult, but it is mostly subjective; similar to testing head gears in a sense. That said, no keyboard is perfect and the verdict usually depends on personal preferences. With that in mind our methodology is overhauled to follow the key pointers that should matter the most. That includes how good the switches are, the quality of keycap and its profile plus the comfort.

Test Setup
Repeat Rate Shortest
Repeat Delay Fastest
Polling Rate 1000Hz, If possible
Software EliteKeyboards Switch Hitter

Physical Layout, Functionality and Ergonomics

Keyboards are generally categorized in 4 standard sizes or layouts: Full Size, TKL, Compact 75% and 60% layouts. These standard layouts had drastic effects on the functionality and ergonomics of the keyboard. Generally, compact layouts allows for better ergonomics; whereas full layouts offers 100% functionality.

Mechanical Keyboard Information 2018 (4)

The ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is a compact mechanical keyboard – even with the included wrist rest.

The wrist rest is one of the best I’ve tested so far – and is definitely way better than the hard surface ones usually bundled on some keyboards. It is plush, but I’m not sure if its PU leather material will stand the test of time.

Listed below are the most common key combinations for the Scope TKL Deluxe:

  • Fn + Ins = Toggle between system function and media control for the F5 – F12 keys.
  • F12 = Minimize all active windows and mute the system, or maximize all minimized windows and
    unmute the system.
  • Fn + Left-ALT = To start macro recording.
  • Fn + Left-ALT = To end recording then assign macro key.
  • Fn + 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 = Profile switch.
  • Fn + Right / Fn + Left = Lighting effect switch.
  • Fn + Up = Brightness up.
  • Fn + Down = Brightness down.
  • Fn + Delete = Print Screen (PrtScr).
  • Fn + End = Scroll Lock toggle (ScrLk).
  • Fn + PageDown = Pause (Pause).
  • Fn + Esc: Hold these two buttons for over 10-15 seconds to reset to factory settings.

Keycap Profile, Printing and Material

The keycap profile is often overlooked when it comes to keyboards. It shouldn’t be, considering that the profile usually makes or breaks a portion of keyboard’s ergonomic and feel. The DCS family is the most common one here, with Cherry and OEM profile slotted beneath it. On the other hand, profiles such as the DSA and SA profiles are mostly found on higher end mechanical keyboards.

Mechanical Keyboard Information 2018 (5)

Keycap printing method is also an important aspect we should look into. Pad printing is the most common one here, while dye sublimation and double shot injection being the more premium ones due to their printing quality and durability.

Mechanical Keyboard Information 2018 (1)

Keycap materials are important too in selecting a mechanical keyboard; though it is common to see keyboards shipped with either ABS and PVC keycaps. These materials do however shine faster than other materials and quality is generally not the best. PBT doesn’t shine as fast compared to these keycaps and are highly regarded for their quality and distinct texture. POM on the other hand is also a durable material but they are rarely found as aftermarket options.

Mechanical Keyboard Information 2018 (3)

DCS family is definitely the profile of this keyboard from the top to the bottom row. Nothing special at the bottom row too.

Keycap material used for the Pulsar Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is ABS plastic which is a common thermoplastic used on keycaps. Prints are clean and crisp which is nice.

Keycap thickness is consistent across all caps inspected and with proper stems as well. However, undercoating isn’t as consistent. Not a problem though since you wouldn’t see the inconsistencies under normal use.

Mechanical Switches and Stabilizers

The mechanical switches makes up the reason why mechanical keyboards are called “mechanical keyboards” in the first place. There are tons of switches out there but Cherry MX switches are the most popular of them all; setting a standard for the rest. They have clicky, linear and bumpy switches; all with their own mixture of actuation forces and actuation points.

Mechanical Keyboard Information 2018 (2)

ASUS opted to use Cherry MX switches for the Strix Scope TKL – with Red, Brown, Blue, Silver and Silent Reds as options. Our model comes with the Red variant with the clear housing.

There are key stabilizers though mounting could be better. I almost lost one while removing some switches.

Key Rollover, Chatter and Ghosting

EliteKeyboard’s Switch Hitter is an excellent freeware to test key rollover, chatter and ghosting. Key rollover is basically the number of keys the keyboard could register, while chatter is multiple registered inputs with a single press of a key. Ghosting on the other hand is the unwanted input registration when several keys are pressed together.

TT Premium X1 RGB Review (1)

The ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe passed with flying colors on our rollover, chatter and ghosting tests like most of the keyboards tested.

Software, Lighting and Special Features

ASUS decided to go with the Armoury II when it comes to the Scope TKL Deluxe. It is a basic software with 6 selectable profiles.

Lighting is adjustable on the fly as well as within the Armoury II. You may even fine tune the speed and brightness of each effects to your liking.

Macro could be recorded within the software too. You may even remove or add delays as you wish.

Key press could be recorded within the app by pressing the record button. This is only applicable if the Armoury II starts up with your OS. Otherwise, you have to open the app every time to log in.

Lighting effects are fancy and even made fancier by the light bar underneath the keyboard. You have to choose between it and the wrist rest though.

Again, the wrist rest is one of the main reason why this thing is called the TKL Deluxe in the first place. Yes it is non adjustable but it is one of the best I’ve tested so far. It is magnetic too so it’ll go wherever you slide the keyboard.

Final Thoughts

If there’s any statement compact mechanical keyboard from ASUS, then that’s definitely the ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe. Coming in hot shy of 8000 Pesos, the deluxe variant of this TKL keyboard is just an appealing upgrade if you really want the best of the best that ASUS has to offer.

Lighting is of course superb and with Cherry MX switches under the keys, you’d get a consistent performance across all keys. That’s with a number of MX switches to choose from right from the get go.

Now while I like this keyboard, the stabilizers could still be improved upon. The switch from Armoury II to the Armoury Crate is also highly suggested, given that ASUS is now leaning towards that software to manage their devices.

If you are looking for a compact Cherry MX based keyboard with the comfort, performance and looks to complement the rest of your gaming gears then the ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is a mighty fine option. Just get your budget ready. It is expensive.

TechPorn Awards 2018 (6)

ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe Keyboard

  • Performance - 9/10

    9/10

  • Build Quality - 8/10

    8/10

  • Features - 8/10

    8/10

  • Design - 9/10

    9/10

  • Value - 7/10

    7/10

8.2/10

Summary

If there’s any statement compact mechanical keyboard from ASUS, then that’s definitely the ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe. Coming in hot shy of 8000 Pesos, the deluxe variant of this TKL keyboard is just an appealing upgrade if you really want the best of the best that ASUS has to offer.

Pros

  • Comfortable frameless design
  • Immaculate lighting effects
  • Excellent build quality
  • Cherry MX options
  • Excellent bundle
  • On-the-fly features

Cons

  • Stabilizers could be better
  • Expensive for a model with additional wrist rest

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Leo Bien Durana is the Owner and Chief Editor of TechPorn. A competitive PC gamer with a robust technical background. He usually breaks a lot of stuff though.
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