Held over three days from 13 June to 15 June at the MaGIC Centre in Cyberjaya, ASUS Master DIY LAN Party 2014 sure brings back a lot of good memories; which includes hearing the new STRIX brand from ASUS for the very first time.
Greatest appreciation to ASUS Malaysia for we’ve been given the opportunity to get the first hand experience in today’s quick overview of the ASUS STRIX gaming peripherals. Price the STRIX gaming peripherals is still an unknown while this article is prepared, but let’s put that aside for now and get the game on with the STRIX gaming peripherals.
- Connector: Single gold-plated USB
- Anti-ghosting: True NKRO (6KRO switch included)
- Switches: Fully mechanical Cherry MX type
- Switch lifecycle: 50-million keystrokes
- Backlit: Individually-backlit (orange) keys with 4-level settings
- Cable: Braided fiber 1.8m
- Key cap material: Tough ABS
- Media keys: Volume control, play/pause, previous track and next track
- Macro keys: Up to 21 customizable keys (13 dedicated macro keys + 8 switchable macro/function (F1-F8) keys)
- On-the-fly macro recording
- Dual modes: plug-and-play hardware mode and software mode
- Gaming mode (disables Windows® key); Macro mode (reassigns F1-F8 as macro keys)
Braided cables and gold plated USB connectors has been a common traits of today’s gaming peripherals for extra protection against pulling damage and protection against corrosion.
A good news to those who needs a lot of macro keys – instead of the common media control function, the F1 – F8 keys on the ASUS STRIX Tactic Pro ships with switchable macro keys. You’ll find a series of LED indicator above the F1 – F12 row to indicate which macro profile and mode you’re using to avoid confusion.
And here’s some extra features such as:
- M – Macro mode to change F1 – F8 to Macro keys
- G – Game mode to disable Windows key which is often a combo breaker to most gamer
- NKRO – Switch between 6 key rollover and N-Key rollover mode
Keyboard Macro Software
Simple and comprehensive approach with every macro keys available labelled, we have no trouble in assigning macros to the keys that we need throughout the test.
A selection window is prompted when a key is selected and you can assign the function of the selected macro key according to your needs.
Keyboard macro management and macro recording is very straight to the point and we must say that this is definitely one of the best keyboard macro software we’ve tested so far.
STRIX Claw Gaming Mice
- Sensor: PMW3310DH-AWQT
- Resolution: Native 5000 dpi
- Switches: Japan-made Omron D2F-01F
- Frames per second: 6500 fps
- Inches per second: 130 ips
- Counts per inch: MAX. 5000cpi
- Maximum acceleration: 30g
- Lift distance: TYP. 3mm
- Maximum polling: 1000Hz
- Operating system: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / 8
- Size: 122.55 x 71.75 x 45.25 (mm)
- Weight: 110g (without cable)
- Cable: 2M with gold-plated USB connector
Aside of braided cables and gold plated USB connectors for extra protection against pulling damage and protection against corrosion, there’s a ferrite bead attached to the USB cable which function as a filter to help eliminate noise which could potentially affect a gamer’s performance when fast and rapid input takes place.
The Strix Claw is crafted with right-hand ergonomics to ensure the best comfort and control for most common grip styles.
The left side of the mouse features three easily reachable thumb buttons where the unusually large one being a DPI clutch/sniper button by default.
Right hand ergonomics – better comfort and enhanced grip compared to most mainstream mouse design with non-curved side. Another unique feature of the ASUS STRIX Claw is that the cable end of the mouse is slightly raised to reduce the unpleasant mood killing dragging sensation during a heated gaming session.
The primary click buttons are responsive and with good tactile feedback on each clicks. The scroll wheel on the other hand, has a rather odd looking design on the surface but we soon find out that it’s specially sculpted this way for better grip.
The DPI toggle buttons is fairly large and easily reachable without much effort to curl your finger. Located on the left is the DPI level LED indicator that shows you which DPI level you’re currently at, a very handy feature indeed.
At the bottom of the mouse you’ll find the commonly found teflon mouse feet that ensure smooth glide and the Avago PWM3310 optical sensor which is capable of a DPI of 5000.
Mouse Macro Software
The very same simple and comprehensive approach just like the keyboard macro software for STRIX Tactic Pro, allowing us to breeze through the macro setup for the STRIX Claw without breaking a sweat.
A selection window is prompted when a mouse button is selected and you can assign the function of the selected button according to your needs.
The mouse macro management and macro recording is very straight to the point and we must say that this is definitely one of the best mouse macro software we’ve tested so far.
Other than the mouse macro, you can adjust the USB polling rate, mouse sensitivity / DPI, lift-off distance for each DPI stage as well according to your preference.
There’s nothing much can be done on the lighting tab except for turning in ON or OFF.
STRIX Glide Control Gaming Mousepad
- Dimensions: 400mm x 300mm x 3mm
- Weight: 208 g
- Anti-fraying stitch to prevent fraying on the edge of the mousepad
There’s 2 version of STRIX Gaming Mousepad comes available in 2 design, the STRIX Glide Control and STRIX Glide Speed that serves different purposes – though the name is pretty much self-explanatory. The STRIX Glide Control gaming mousepad we have here is made of heavy weave fabric which is meant for better control and precision.
The anti-fraying stitch on the edge of the STRIX Glide Control mousepad is a good approach to overcome the common fraying issue on cloth based mousepad.
The rubber base gives the best grip possible to prevent the STRIX Glide Control from any unnecessary mousepad movement during intense gaming session.
Just like any other cloth based gaming mousepad, the STRIX Glide Control can be easily folded to carry around to events such as LANParty, tournament etc.
STRIX DSP Gaming headset
- 3.5 mm(1/8”) connector Audio/mic combo
- 3.5 mm(1/8”) connector Audio/mic separate
- 3.5 mm(1/8”) connector unique 5-pole
- Mobile device
- PlayStation® 4
- Driver diameter : 60 mm
- Driver material : Neodymium magnet
- Impedance : 32 Ohm
- Frequency Response (headphones) : 20 ~ 20000 Hz
- Sensitivity (headphones) : : 98 dB
- Pick-up Pattern: Uni-directional
- Frequency Response: 50 ~ 16000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -40 dB
Braided fibre cable (headset cable 1.2M + control box 1.5M = 2.7M (Max.)
Cable Length: 2.7 meter
Weight: 320 g
- Control box (with 3.5mm audio/mic separate connectors)
- Mobile adapter (type A)
- Mobile adapter (type B)
- Quick start guide
All connectors are gold plated for protection against corrosion and with braided cables for extra protection against pulling damage.
We’ll take a closer look at the STRIX USB audio station; there’s an environmental-noise-cancellation (ENC) microphone located under the STRIX logo, volume control knob, sound profile buttons that offers a unique function of its own – true 3D surround sound, headphone amplification, enhancement for microphone and speakers.
You’ll find another knob just under the sound profile buttons to switch between 3 modes microphone, main audio and spectrum which shares the same volume control knob for volume adjustment.
The spectrum mode allows you to select the best audio spectrum that meets your gaming requirements – footstep and gun for FPS games, sword and shield for action role playing games, flag for racing games.
The main audio mode allows you to adjust the overall sound volume.
The audio jacks for speaker / headset output.
The main USB port to connect to your computer by using the included USB cable.
As we all know that the naming of STRIX brand came from the ancient Roman and Greek word for owl, the headset is made with design that resembles a pair of fierce looking eyes of an owl when earcups is folded 90° inwards.
Cushion layer on the headband is rather thin but we have no issue on the comfort level in overall.
We can see a very generous amount of padding in the pleather cushion for an enhanced comfort and noise cancellation property.
Noise cancellation is really commendable, all thanks to the thick pleather cushioned earcups is large enough to cover almost anyone’s ears.
There’s a microphone jack at the bottom of the left earcup where you can attach the included microphone in the times of need.
The included microphone features an omnidirectional design which allows you to direct it to any direction which you feel comfortable with.
If the quality of the keycap can be improved, solid build quality, responsive, feature rich and easy to use is what we would use to describe the STRIX Tactic Pro. Its build quality and responsiveness is pretty much the same as most gaming mechanical keyboard is promoted by each respective manufacturer, but its ease of use isn’t something that all gaming peripherals manufacturer is able to achieve. The dedicated media control keys is one of the commendable feature that doesn’t requires the FN key and F1 – F12 row like most mechanical keyboard we’ve seen.
Dealing with various gaming keyboard with macro keys and its software is a major headache to many especially when the given instruction / guide is unclear and the situation worsen by complicated design of the software itself. The STRIX Tactic Pro keyboard software is by far the easiest to use when it comes to setting up keyboard macros. Instead of having a software that allows you to programming almost the entire keyboard keys with macro function, the STRIX Tactic Pro focuses on its dedicated macro keys and profile selection keys which we find to be a better approach to avoid confusion – the LED indicator plays an important role too.
We don’t have much to complaint on the mouse as we have no issue with its build quality. While the STRIX Claw is advertised as the jack of all trades mouse for various kind of grip styles, we find it to be a little short for the comfortable palm grip gesture the grip style and the best grip style that is actually comfortable for us while using the STRIX Claw is none other than the claw grip style.
Primary clicks felt great, very responsive and it’s the Omron switches to thanks to. Ease of use is there, easy to use macro software, DPI toggle buttons that is easy to reach and the DPI level LED indicator works great to show the current DPI level without the need to rage click only to find out that you’re not on the right sensitivity.
The sensor seems to be doing very well as stuttering on the cursor (angle snapping) when we did a quick run on several FPS games like Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Sniper Elite V2, Far Cry 3. We’ve tried drawing horizontal and vertical lines in paint with the STRIX Claw and a conventional mouse, it turns out that the probability of getting a straight line is much higher when using the STRIX Claw compared to the conventional mouse.
There’s nothing much to mention about the mousepad as it’s basically the same as most gaming mousepad of its kind; can be folded, rubber base as grip, heavy weaved surface for better control and precision. What’s worth to invest for is the anti-fraying stitches on the edge that will keep it in one piece, basically last longer compared to cloth gaming mousepad without the anti-fraying stitches.
Physically, the STRIX DSP is pretty comfortable to wear not just because of the soft pleather earcups but also because it’s there’s still plenty of space left even though the earcups has covered your ears entirely. The clamping force might be a little over the edge but it’s still within comfortable level. Nothing much to worry about as it’ll loosen overtime. Noise isolation is pretty good on the other hand, we have no problem with any minor noise while we enjoy our games with the STRIX DSP on.
Sound quality is rather impressive on gaming, especially when the sound spectrum is selected for relevant games. Be it gun shot, footsteps, raging car engine, the USB sound station is able to simulate the sound as it is intended to. For movies, we find that speech is much more clearer and I could detect more vibrance in the BGM; though the explosions sounds realistic enough, we’d like to have it present more kick into it.
It’s a big bet for ASUS to join the gaming peripherals market with its new STRIX brand instead of sticking to the already stabilized ROG, but ASUS didn’t just stepped in unprepared. Competing against big brands like Razer, SteelSeries, Roccat, CM Storm will not be easy, but being able to offer the features and ease of use that exceeded out initial expectation is what makes the STRIX gaming peripherals something which worth keeping an eye on.