Keys To Success: Mechanical Keyboard Round-Up With ASUS, G.Skill, Aorus, Logitech

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ASUS Strix Tactic Pro Design

Out of the four mechanical keyboards in this roundup, the Strix Tactic Pro is the only one to offer all four major Cherry MX key switches, those being Blue, Brown, Red, and Black. The model ASUS sent us uses Cherry MX Blue switches, which are known for their tactile feedback and audible clicks.

ASUS Strix Tactic Pro

This is a full size keyboard with a dedicated number pad on the right and two rows of macro keys on the left. Those macro keys make the plank a little longer than your typical keyboard, but it doesn't look or feel huge, nor is it particularly wide from top to bottom. ASUS did a good job utilizing the available real estate, as keyboards that offer dedicated macro keys often tend to have a large footprint that can dominate your work area. That isn't the case here.

ASUS doesn't list the weight of the Strix Tactic Pro, but that's not because it's trying to hide a cheap construction. There's a bit of heft when you pick it up, enough to make a crook regret breaking and entering if you were to crack this thing over his head. That's the not the purpose, of course, but in case we've swayed too far from the point, this is a well built keyboard, albeit heavy on the plastic.

Aesthetically, the Strix Tactic Pro has ASUS's Republic of Gamer's DNA all over it. A few sharp angles and strategically placed lines give it a slightly aggressive profile, one that blends in nicely with the company's line of gaming laptops. The somewhat menacing appearance is further aided by a glowing Strix logo above the macro keys and orange LED backlight.

ASUS Strix Tactic Pro Number Pad

These are individually backlit keys, meaning each key has its own LED. However, you can't adjust the luminescence individually, a feature known as per-key backlighting, nor can you change the color. What you can do is adjust the brightness level by pressing FN+8 (up) or 2 (down) on the number pad. There are three levels of brightness, plus an extra step that triggers a breathing effect. You can also turn it off altogether.

For the most part, the lighting is uniform across the keyboard, though it fades in places where keys are long like the enter key, and dual-labeled keys. That's because the LEDs sit at the top of the keys. As a result, the symbols above the numbers are more brightly lit than the numbers themselves. It's a bit more noticeable on some of the punctuation keys.

ASUS Strix Tactic Pro Macro Keys

If you're a fan of macros, the Strix Tactic Pro might be your soulmate. In addition to the two rows of five macro keys each on the left (for a total of ten), there are three thumb keys below the spacebar labeled M11-M13, plus the F1 through F8 keys can double as macros too—you press FN+F11 to toggle between normal Function keys and macros, both of which are labeled. If you're keeping count, that's a total of 21 macro keys, which extends to 63 operations if you utilize all three profiles.

ASUS Strix Tactic Pro Right Side Keys ASUS Strix Tactic Pro Orange Keys

We mentioned that ASUS made great use of the available real estate and it's mainly because of the dual-purpose keys. Not only do the F1-F8 keys hold a second job as macros, but the right-ALT key allows you to record macros on the fly. The Page Up key (used with FN) toggles the keyboard's NKRO functionality, and the F12 key (also with FN) turns Game Mode on and off (when on, the Windows key is disabled).

There's no built-in USB hub or audio ports on the keyboard. And the Strix Tactic Pro also lacks a wrist rest. However, it does come with a handy key puller and four blank orange colored keys, presumably to swap out for the WASD keys.

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