STRIX Gaming Peripherals Review

If you follow my Facebook page you might’ve seen these photos of an orange-colored set of gaming peripherals I tried out during the PC Fair back in Dec ’14.

The headset, mouse & keyboard are all part of the new STRIX series, a new gaming peripherals line developed by renowned IT brand Asus. Compared to their previous ROG line that engineers expensive top-end products, this new Strix line offers a purely gaming-oriented series of mid to high-end peripherals with more affordable price tags.

Introduction to STRIX

Taken from the ancient Roman and Greek word for owl, Strix means the keenest hearing and sharpest eyesight. Strix means feeling your environment so that you detect and react to the slightest movement. Strix means survival on the very edge of instinct. Strix is in your blood, as it is in ours.

Aside from the obvious reason that it’s orange-colored, I felt really intrigued by this new line of gaming peripherals as the whole “Owl” concept seems to complement these high-end gaming gears & their designs really well.

I’ve had the chance to get my hands on some of these beautiful gears for the past few days, courtesy of Asus Malaysia; tried them out on couple of FPS & MOBA games that I usually play. I’ll do a review of each of these Strix gears from a gamer’s perspective.

Headset (Mid-Range) – The Strix Pro

(Retail Price: RM499)

Strix offers 4 different headsets differing in performance and price-range. The first headset I got to try out was the Strix Pro, a mid-ranged headset with a detachable microphone, volume control switch and foldable ear cups.

I’ve tested it on a couple of FPS & MOBA games so far etc., and I’d say that it performs better than expected – In most FPS games you will be able to tell the direction and source of in-game sounds with it, and that’s a pretty commendable feat since it’s not even a surround sound headset, so I’d say it works perfectly well as a cheaper alternative for FPS gamers.

You can clearly notice where they integrated the owl element into the design too.

Design-wise, I really love the orange eye-like design on the ear cups’ exterior, likely to attract second glances when you’re wearing it out. Also when you wear it the leather cups fit comfortably around your ears and block out noise really well. The ear pieces are also not stuffy at all, surprisingly, despite the material.

Wearing the Strix Pro headset.

For gamers though I believe the best feature in this headset would be the environmental noise cancellation (ENC) technology a built-in mic in the volume control box would actively detect and cancel out environmental noise. I’ve tried Skyping with teammates during a game with this headset on at a cybercafe, and the feedback from them was that they didn’t really hear much of the background noise & apparently the clicking sounds from my mechanical keyboard got filtered out too. In my opinion this is definitely a huge plus point in favor of this headset.

My only complaint about this headset would be that, despite being compatible with hand-held devices, it doesn’t handle music all that well, especially when it comes to bass (too soft) and high-frequency sounds (often beyond its limits). However it’s meant to be for gaming and not music, so unless you’re playing an intense horror game or say, Skyrim, in which case the lack of bass might dampen a bit of the effect/mood, it’s still more than enough for most other games.

You may check out the technical specifications here.

Mouse – The Strix Claw

(Retail Price: RM199)

The one and only mouse model offered in the series, the Strix Claw features a 5000 DPI optical sensor without prediction & acceleration, an ergonomic design allowing for really firm grip, on-the-fly DPI switches & 3 programmable side buttons.

Sleek overall design with a thumb groove and 3 buttons on the side.

I quite like the grip on this mouse with its contoured thumb rest – it’s shaped similarly to the Razer Imperator or Logitech G500, allowing for more control over mouse movements. The DPI switches come in pretty handy as well, though I’ve noticed that the cursor went a little jittery/shaky at the highest DPI setting available. The tiers/options offered by the switches are quite far apart too, though if you are particular about the mouse sensitivity you can always tweak it in-game or via your PC settings. Nonetheless I’d say it works adequately as a gaming mouse, and if you consider its price the performance is definitely better-than-expected.

This small and agile mouse seems to be a comfortable choice for claw-grip gamers.

The left, right & all 3 side buttons are rather nice to click, though the middle mouse button takes a lot more effort to press, which might limit its functionality if you’re a frequent user of that mouse button like myself. You might just find it exceptionally tough to throw a grenade, for instance, during a heated in-game gunfight.

Check out the technical specifications here.

Keyboard – The Strix Tactic Pro

(Retail Price: RM499)

The owl element here isn’t immediately apparent at first glance,
but you will realize the top part of the keyboard has been cleverly-shaped to resemble ears of an owl.

Likely to be the jewel in the crown, the Strix Tactic Pro is pretty much an all-in-one keyboard featuring a staggering total of 21 macro keys, a volume control panel (top-right), built-in profile switches and a convenient & simple macro recording system. It comes with a PC software suite that allows for easy customization & macro management, with a plug-and-play hardware mode available too thanks to its built-in 4MB memory.

The Tactic Pro comes in variations of different-colored Cherry MX keys (Red / Blue / Brown / Black) – the one I’m reviewing here has brown keys.

One key feature would be the N-Key Rollover (NKRO) technology, i.e. simultaneous key presses will not cause key-ghosting or jamming. This would be pretty useful in avoiding accidental key presses, especially in musical games or other instances that require rapid or simultaneous key presses. A number of other mechanical keyboards I’ve used before were able to do the same too, so I’d consider this feature as more of a pleasant addition to complete the wide-ranged functionality of this keyboard.

The Tactic Pro offers almost everything you might need in a keyboard, but to me it feels a bit too much. It’s a matter of personal preference – I’ve always preferred minimalistic keyboards over full-length ones, and it’s been a while since I’ve used a keyboard with numpad & macro keys on either side.

I’ve asked the opinion of a couple of professional Dota 2 and CS:GO players, and they’ve all expressed similar sentiments about the functionality of macro keys & numpad in a keyboard – accidentally pressing the macro keys can get annoying at times especially when you don’t use them often. I can see how they can be highly useful & customizable in MMO, RPG or casual MOBA/RTS games, but at the end of the day it all comes down to what you’re looking for in a keyboard. So if you’re the type of gamer / PC user who has the need or use for macro keys then this would be the perfect keyboard, but otherwise the macro keys on the side could be nothing but two extra row of keys that might even hinder your movement when you’re using the usual QWER or WSAD.

Hence I’d probably suggest that they manufacture an alternate edition without the extra keys for those who have no use for them.

Other than the macro keys though I have nothing to complain about the other parts of the Tactic Pro – from the pleasantly springy brown Cherry MX keys to the beautiful orange back lighting in breathing mode, this keyboard is definitely a high to top-end one for gaming, no doubt about it. So if you’re looking for a keyboard that can handle all your macro needs then this would be the keyboard of your choice.

Check this link for the full technical specifications.

Mousepad – Strix Glide Control

(Retail Price: RM99)

Strix offers two different mousepads to complete its series, one being the Strix Glide Speed and the other would be the Glide Control that I got to review. The weaved, textured surface provides for accurate & controlled mouse movement, with pixel-precise tracking that works with both laser & optical sensors, and finally an overall design that’s geared towards durability.

All in all it’s a beautiful mousepad that completes the set. Pick the Control version if you’re looking for more stable & controlled mouse movements in-game; pick the Speed edition if you’re looking for swift mouse movements with minimal effort. More details here.

Conclusion

The Strix line has a lot to offer when it comes to performance and functionality, on top of the stylish, owl-based design that certainly rates high in terms of aesthetic value.

Strix Pro Headset: 3.5/5  Does its job as a gaming headset, despite lacking in bass capabilities.
Strix Claw Mouse: 4/5  Nice ergonomic design, 3 side buttons & DPI on-the-fly, definitely good for gaming; slight issue with middle mouse button.
Strix Tactic Pro Keyboard: 3/5  Slightly too many macro keys for my liking; otherwise it’s an all-in-one high end gaming keyboard, nothing to complain about.
Strix Glide Control Mousepad: 5/5  Perfect complement to the other gears.

The design is definitely a huge plus to the series though!

Price List

Strix Pro HeadsetRM499
Strix Claw MouseRM199
Strix Tactic Pro KeyboardRM499
Strix Glide Control MousepadRM99

P.S. I’ll be giving away some discount vouchers for ASUS ROG & Strix products on my Facebook page soon, so stay tuned!

If you have any further questions, feel free to head to the official Strix homepageASUS ROG Malaysia FB page or just leave a comment under my Facebook page post.


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