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ROG Strix Flare II Animate Review

I feel like the guys over at ROG are purposely naming their products to be as difficult to remember as possible, the ROG Strix Flare II Animate is one of the most complicated and long winded names I've ever come across. It is also, however, a very solid product and aside from the main selling point being a sort of a gimmick, it's one of the best keyboards I've ever used.



ROG is a brand that just about every gamer knows, they not only sell some of the best accessories on the market, but they make PC’s, laptops, tablets and just about everything in between. So whenever they tell me they have a product available for review I instinctively say yes. This is not only because of the reputation they have in the gaming world, but also because every product they have sent me so far has been a damn good product. In fact I currently use multiple ROG products daily and the ROG Strix Scope RX (another fun name to remember) is the best keyboard I've reviewed…… Until now!


Pros

Cons

Excellent Build Quality

A Bit Pricey

Intuitive Media Keys

USB Passthrough

AniME Matrix Feature Is A Bonus

Extremely Vibrant RGB

Very Satisfying Mechanical Switches


The ROG Strix Flare II Animate is quite similar looking to the Strix Scope RX with an additional row of intuitive media buttons across the top as well as that “aniME LED section” that while its a really cool and fun little addition that some will love, personally, I found ended up being a bit of a gimmick. One of the main things you'll notice about the Strix Flare II Animate is just how vibrant this thing looks. It really is the most impressive looking RGB I've seen in a gaming keyboard. The depth in the colours is incredible and really adds to your overall setup. The RGB strip along the front is a nice touch and can be removed to fit a magnetic wrist wrest which in turn houses an RGS strip along the front. This level of attention to detail is something that is a bit of a theme for the ROG Flare II Animate.



When it comes to performance, the Strix Flare II Animate has all the features and specs you expect from a high end gaming keyboard including things like an 8000hz polling rate and an incredible 0.125ms response time making it up to 8x faster than other leading gaming keyboards. Featuring ROG NX mechanical switches with Lubricated stem for smooth clicks, lubricated housing to eliminate bouncing noises, fast actuation and ROG-tuned force curves for great keystroke feel with great keystroke consistency. I thought ROG’s RX switches that feature in the Strix Scope RX keyboard, and don't get me wrong they are incredible. But the NX switches are on yet another level. There is almost zero wobble and they have a perfect amount of actuation force at just 45g and an actuation point of just 1.8mm making each and every click incredibly clean and deliberate, no accidental key presses or mistypes. Oh and did I mention they are hot-swappable. Trust me when I say that ROG’s range of RX and NX switches are incredible.



Getting back to the aniME Matrix feature for a minute, the LED display is made up of 312 programmable mini LED’s that let you show both custom images and animations as well as system visualisations such as when you press play or skip track or things like notifications when you have mail and can even display your battery life. There's a lot that this animate feature can do and while it's really cool and adds a level of personalisation that you usually don’t get, it ultimately falls flat and like I said earlier seems like a bit of a gimmick


The Flare II Animate comes with what I think should be a standard feature on Keyboards and that's the USB passthrough allowing me to run my mouse without needing to take up another USB slot on my PC



Honestly, the Flare II Animate is my new favourite keyboard. It takes what is already an established level of quality with the Flare and Scope ranges and just refines everything and makes it just that little bit better. Honestly, don't buy it solely for the AniME feature, but if you are looking for a really, really good keyboard with a bit of personalisation then this is as good as you'll get.



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