ASUS revealed its latest lineup of Gaming Keyboard designed for gamers at the ASUS Media Showrooms at CES  2019 in Las Vegas. Featured products include Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix CTRL and TUF Gaming K7 gaming keyboards. The ROG Strix CTRL mechanical keyboard was designed with the most discerning gamers in mind. An oversized Ctrl key creates a larger target when you need to crouch, walk, dock, or lie prone in your favorite first-person shooter. Media keys put audio controls in easy reach. Per-key RGB LEDs with Aura Sync support facilitate endless customization options. And of course, a host of performance optimizations ensure hardware never holds you back in a competitive match. The ASUS TUF Gaming K7 optical keyboard is no slouch either with faster actuation, near-instantaneous switch response time, and durability that exceeds anything mechanical switches can offer.

ROG Strix CTRL – Take CTRL

On most keyboards, Ctrl is barely bigger than a regular alpha key, and it can be tough to hit accurately with a pinky finger. But in a lot of games, it’s the default for important actions like walking and crouching. In games, a misclick can be lethal.  ROG created the Xccurate design on the Strix CTRL by enlarging the Ctrl key, making it as wide as the left Shift key, and adding two side-stabilizers to improve accuracy. To accommodate the extra size, the right Windows key was nixed. Most gamers disable that key anyway to avoid accidentally triggering the Start menu in the heat of action. The left Windows key was also shortened to make it less of a target.

 On most keyboards, Ctrl is barely bigger than a regular alpha key, and it can be tough to hit accurately with a pinky finger. But in a lot of games, it’s the default for important actions like walking and crouching. In games, a misclick can be lethal.  ROG created the Xccurate design on the Strix CTRL by enlarging the Ctrl key, making it as wide as the left Shift key, and adding two side-stabilizers to improve accuracy. To accommodate the extra size, the right Windows key was nixed. Most gamers disable that key anyway to avoid accidentally triggering the Start menu in the heat of action. The left Windows key was also shortened to make it less of a target.

 The perks

No gaming keyboard is complete without eye-catching lighting. The ROG Strix CTRL features per-key RGB LEDs, plus an illuminated ROG logo. Aura Sync compatibility means the ROG Strix CTRL can match with other Aura-enabled components. Alternatively, the keyboard’s six available profiles can correspond to different applications, providing custom layouts and lighting effects depending on the game being played.

The F12 key has its own unique purpose. It’s a Stealth key that hides all running apps and mutes audio, giving privacy when the phone rings or someone walks in uninvited.

Built for action

The Strix CTRL’s sturdy chassis has a classy yet distinctly gamer-oriented brushed metal finish across the right side, and the all-black look is punctuated by four silver caps for the WASD keys. Those caps come bundled with the ROG Strix CTRL.

A built-in channel for cable management gives flexibility in how to lay out gaming gear on the desktop. The wire routing recess runs both right and left, giving two options other than straight out the back.

The ROG Strix CTRL is configurable with Cherry MX RGB Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Speed Silver and Silent Red switches.

Game long and prosper

Gamers love the freedom of choice. Whether it’s picking the perfect switch for your game style, setting up the right combination of RGB lighting effects, or building macros that guarantee impeccable timing, the ROG Strix CTRL covers all bases. And it’s a pleasure to use during long gaming sessions. The wider Ctrl key puts a greater number of actions in easy reach and built-in cable management ensures a stable surface, no matter how you organize your desk. 

ASUS TUF Gaming K7 – Blink and you’ll miss it

The TUF Gaming K7 keyboard offers a unique combination of lightness and speed thanks to its TUF Optical-Mech Switches, plus toughness and durability with metal construction and IP56-related protective measures.  TUF Optical-Mech switches use the speed of light and gamer-friendly construction to deliver speedy response. Optical-Mech switches are like standard mechanical switches in terms of their internal moving parts.

There are two versions of the TUF Optical-Mech switch. One is linear, and the other is clicky and tactile, meaning there’s an audible click and a physical bump in the key travel that can be felt. The click and bump of the TUF Optical-Mech switch is placed right at the actuation point, so when it’s heard and felt, that’s the moment the signal is sent to the PC.

The actuation point of both TUF Optical-Mech switches is 1.5 mm, which is much shallower than the approximately 2-mm actuation of most mechanical switches.

The per-key RGB lighting can be controlled with the Armoury II software. Moreover, Aura Sync compatibility allows the TUF Gaming K7 to participate in the ROG gaming lightshow. There are lots of effects to try out, plus more than 16 million colors to cycle through. The software makes it possible to create, edit, and assign macros to customize gameplay input.

The ASUS TUF Gaming K7 keyboard offers a unique combination of lightness and speed thanks to its TUF Optical-Mech Switches, plus toughness and durability with metal construction and IP56-related protective measures.

 

ROG Gaming Keycap Set

The seven alpha caps are designed for the QWERASD keys and the Escape key. When in place, they map out the ROG logo in a mosaic of black and red. It’s a great visual, but not the primary differentiating feature. In addition to their artistic style, each alpha key is textured with a coarse grain finish that sets it apart from the rest of keyboard. This textured surface adds additional grip for improved control. It makes it easy to find the keys by feel alone, and reduces slippage when the heat is on and palms start to sweat. The caps are fashioned from plastic to avoid changing the weight of the keys, which might throw some off their game and impact performance.

 

The cherry on top is the shiny Esc key. It’s Republic of Gamers red with the ROG logo in relief. The diamond-cut ROG logo stands out in shiny silver and makes Esc impossible to miss when going to launch the game menu. Since weight is less of a factor for single function keys that you don’t press very often.

 

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

The ROG Strix CTRL and ASUS TUF Gaming K7 gaming keyboards will be available in January 2019.
Expect the ROG Gaming Keycap Set in February 2019. Pricing will be announced at launch.

 

 

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