Sunday, January 23, 2022

The ROG Strix Flare II Animate puts a tiny dot-matrix display on a keyboard

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ROG, one among Asus’s gaming manufacturers, has introduced the Strix Flare II Animate, a mechanical keyboard that will get its title from the LED display constructed into it, which might play animations or display logos, much like the dot-matrix shows ROG’s constructed into the lids of some laptops.

Asus calls this tech the AniMe Matrix LED display, and says you need to use it to point out all kinds of issues; customized pictures and animations, system information like battery life, time, and date, and even audio visualizations. It’s blingy, to say the least, and extra eye-catching than an illuminated brand. That may very well be a good factor although — this keyboard will price $220, so it has to justify that worth by some means.

Yes, ROG’s all-caps font does make it appear to be it’s known as Anime Matrix.
Gif: Asus

As if the Strix Flare II Animate didn’t have sufficient lighting with the 312 mini-LEDs display, Asus additionally added an RGB strip on the underside. “But wait,” I can hear my arms protesting. “Won’t adding a wrist rest cover up all that lighting?” And certainly, sure it could — if the wrist relaxation included with this keyboard didn’t embrace a diffuser that provides it a colourful underglow.

Who doesn’t love some good, subtle RGBs?
Image: Asus

The wrist relaxation even has a place to carry the diffuser that’s often on the keyboard, which it’s a must to take off when putting in the remaining.
Image: Asus

The Flare II Animate additionally has a laundry record of non-screen and RGB-related options, together with:

  • 8000Hz polling
  • Media controls, which take the form of a knob, scroll wheel, and button
  • USB 2.0 passthrough
  • PBT Double-shot keycaps
  • Sound-dampening foam

Finally, and considerably importantly relating to a keyboard, are the precise key switches. The Animate comes with both Cherry MX Blue, Brown, or Red switches. You may get it with Asus’s personal ROG NX switches, additionally in three totally different flavors. It even has swappable switches, so you may swap out switches relying on your choice — for instance, you would make it more durable to press the area bar, and simpler to press the WASD.

Both the important thing caps and key switches may be swapped on the Animate.
Image: Asus

If you’re not into the heavy bling (and worth) of the Animate, Asus can even promote a customary Strix Flare II for $180. There are extra caveats although. It doesn’t have as many swap selections, as they’re not simply swappable, and it could’t be outfitted with Cherry switches. You additionally, clearly, miss out on the AniMe display screen — it’s changed by an RGB ROG brand (the lights on the underside are gone too). Other than that it’s comparable; it nonetheless has a lot of the Animate’s options, like N-key rollover, a 2-meter braided cable, and macro assist.

The Strix Flare II non-animated can be accessible late this month, and Asus says the Animate’s “tentative” availability is round late January as nicely.

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