User Experience, STRIX Sofware, and Conclusion
As mentioned on the first page this particular sample shipped with the Cherry MX Brown switches, and the feel of a keypress with these is somewhere between standard membrane and the clicky mechanical models on the market. Ultimately I was left with the impression of a solid, yet light feel. There is a reassuring amount of key travel, and a speed that makes very rapid keypresses possible. This is first and foremost a gaming keyboard, and in this capacity it was crisp and responsive. Of course, not everyone will have the same preference, but overall I found the keyboard to be a great all-around performer and as you can tell I enjoyed my time with it quite a bit.
Looking at some of the keyboard's features you'll notice that the keys have full backlighting, which is an amber shade that can be adjusted to various intensity levels or simply turned off. At the lowest level this produced a softer glow suitable for night use, while the brightest setting allowed the lighting to remain visible in a well-lit room.
Next we'll look at some of the special function buttons on the TACTIC PRO. While there are quite a few programmable macro buttons on the keyboard, there are quite a few dual-purpose buttons which are activated by holding the function (FN) key, including the brightness control and a couple of important game-oriented modes. The first of these is the NKRO toggle, which switches between true N-key and a 6-key rollover mode.
There are three programmable buttons below the spacebar as well
Dedicated audio controls are located on the top right, and a large roller controls volume in Windows. These functioned as expected in my testing, and the volume roller offered finer control than I had anticipated.
Finally, we'll check out a couple of additional details. First, the USB cable, which is a substantial braided design with a gold-plated USB connector:
And the bottom of the keyboard:
A pair of adjustable feet on the back of the keyboard allow users to set the angle to their own liking (I leave my own keyboards flat), and no less than 8 rubber feet keep the keyboard in place on your desk.
Next we'll quickly look at the software, which allows for simple programming for the buttons on the keyboard. The keyboard is mapped out on the screen and it's a simple as clicking on the button you'd like to program, and choosing a desired function.
The STRIX TACTIC PRO keyboard is a very well designed product with exceptionally good build quality and overall feel. The design looks really cool in an understated way, with a subdued finish and muted accents.
The design is very angular (almost bat-like), and I personally like it a lot. The matte finish makes it look very solid, and the matching trim and backlight color provides cohesion that adds to the effect of a well-implemented design. Beyond style the TACTIC PRO performed admirably in games, though this is a subjective assessment as I did not perform any speed or latency tests. While not positioned for typing this keyboard provided a great experience there as well, and I quickly became used to it as my daily driver and felt – at least psychologically – very productive using it (there's just something about a mechanical keyboard…).
Attention to detail is evident with this keyboard as well, as backlighting is well implemented and software worked very well. There are plenty of macro functions (21 keys total when you count the assignable F-keys) for a truly custom experience. Bottom line, I would have no hesitation recommending this keyboard to anyone as a solid gaming and productivity choice – as long as they like the Cherry MX Brown experience. However, while tastes may differ widely I do think MX Brown switches offer an excellent balance between performance and feel.
While the price of the STRIX TACTIC PRO at $150 is high for a keyboard, you certainly get what you pay for.
- Very high build quality
- Distinctive, angular design
- Good backlighting implementation
- Excellent performance
- Software is easy to use
- Pricing befits a premium product, but will be a barrier to entry
This keyboard, this one will
This keyboard, this one will replace the stupidly-dying LED nightmare that is the Corsair K95, besides the fact that the K95 only came in MX Reds, much prefer the Browns for typing all day. I don’t game much, mostly use software and type with my keyboard but having complex shortcuts on macro keys is very addictive. I was on the fence when I saw only 10 dedicated macro keys on the side, but seeing those 3 below the space bar… ohh, this keyboard is very close to what I would describe as the perfect keyboard.
I just wished the LEDs were white or a more neutral color than orange and the shape is a bit gaudy, but I praise function over form. Thank you PCPER for letting me know this keyboard exists. I can’t wait to replace that god-damn K95.
I have literally had that k95
I have literally had that k95 in my amazon cart for weeks and I just cannot pull the trigger b/c of the led problem.
I use a k60 now and love it for everything it is worth but my latenight drunken gaming I need some led’s.
I do wish I could get the while led’s as that is what the k95 offers.
I like my brushed aluminum look and feel but I am not attached to looks.
the biggest thing for me is that volume control bar. afdter having one on the k60 I do not want any other volume control as my keyboard sits slightly under my desk and that makes it so easy to turn down the volume when needed. any kind of turn knob or volume button just will not work and at the price I am paying for a keyboard I want what I want.
also the k95 has to many macros keys for me and this is perfect.
I am buying one as soon as I find it for sale. I will use the pcp’r amazon link when I do. 🙂
Save yourself the hassle. The
Save yourself the hassle. The K95 is really not worth its price with all the dead LEDs, period. Such a stupid and glaring problem for what is essentially a nice keyboard.
Wait. ASUS knows exactly what
Wait. ASUS knows exactly what they are doing with the color. They put out a keyboard that is high quality, popular, wanted…but with orange lights. So people who want it will go, “Well I don’t like the orange lights but I’ll get it anyway”. Then the next revision will have white, blue, red or RGB lighting and not only will that model bring new buyers but repeat buyers as well who will sell their old orange one.
NOPE. (c) Roccat Ryos-god
NOPE. (c) Roccat Ryos-god
Unless you can’t assign a key
Unless you can’t assign a key to specific action, you really don’t need macro keys. Hey, I bet you didn’t use some of the keys (with or without combinations) in your app/ game right? Sure, dedicated macro keys are easier to remember and start with but it can be replaced by key assignments.
Anyway, keyboards have many strange shapes lately. Some good, some cheesy. Personally I like it simple, clean and having good quality materials. LEDs are just a side plus.
Agreeable dimensions are good psychologically.
My monitor is square, I like my keyboard to be square.
I have this keyboard with
I have this keyboard with Cherry Blue keys.
But after trying Linux on my main machine, I noticed something very strange. Key combinations are not working at all. ctrl-c, ctrl-v etc. Simply do not work…
If you grab a Live CD from any distro, you should be able to replicate this.
It would be interesting what Asus has to say about this. 🙂
I wanted to add that this
I wanted to add that this keyboard does come with a choice of black, blue, brown, or red Cherry MX switches.
this comes per the asus website
Thanks, and I added this
Thanks, and I added this information to the review. I should have noticed since the different options are listed right there on the front of the box!
Well this is a bit of a
Well this is a bit of a shame…
Contacted Asus about the ctrl-c, ctrl-v combinations not working on Linux…
They advised me to install the latest windows drivers… And that they are not sure if the keyboard is not supported in Linux due to the non existence of drivers.
If I was complaining about the NKRO, Profiles, Macros, etc I could understand that… But I’m talking about basic stuff that should be common in any keyboard at all…
I had the same problem in the
I had the same problem in the BIOS and multiple Linux ditros. ASUS has issue a Firmware that fixes the issue.
Hello, does anyone has
Hello, does anyone has problem with the spacebar i.e. double spacing or sometime doesnt detect at all?
same here double letters and
same here double letters and double space problem
I will never buy asus keyboard lesson learned here