The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless is a cutting-edge gaming keyboard that brilliantly merges portability and performance. It offers a 96% preset configuration and a triple-mode connectivity option with an exceptional wireless connection battery life of up to 1500 hours. The intriguing feel of its pre-lubricated ROG NX Snow mechanical switches with hot-swap capabilities, elegantly minimalist middle-engraved PBT keycaps, and a magnetic wrist rest are just a few of the meticulously designed features. This keyboard is full of intricate details that await your exploration.
Specifications of ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless:
- Key Switch: ROG NX Mechanical Switch
- Connection Types: USB 2.0 (TypeC to TypeA), Bluetooth 5.1, RF 2.4GHz
- Size: 96%
- Lighting: Per-key RGB
- AURA Sync: Available
- Anti-ghosting: N Key Rollover
- Macro Keys: Fully Programmable
- USB Report Rate: 1000 Hz
- RF 2.4G Return Rate: 1000 Hz
- Included Cable: 2M USB Type A to C
- Compatible Operating System: Windows 11
- Supported Software: Armory Crate
- Dimensions: 377 x 131 x 40 mm
- Weight: 1012g
- Included Accessories: Wrist rest, ROG key puller, wireless receiver, USB extension connector, ROG belief blank keycap, USB cable
- Keycap Material: Two-tone molded PBT
Unboxing the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless Keyboard
Unveiled at COMPUTEX 2023, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless gaming keyboard offers three connection modes: Bluetooth 5.1, 2.4 GHz wireless, and a wired USB. The keyboard configuration is cleverly set to provide 96% functionality of a full-sized keyboard – a unique blend of 100+80=96.
Internally, it employs the hot-swappable ROG NX SNOW mechanical switch that comes pre-lubricated. The version marketed in Taiwan is outfitted with a center-engraved ROG two-tone PBT keycap. Among the included accessories is the blank ‘Eye of Faith’ ROG keycap and a key switch puller, providing the option to change the switches and keycaps as per user preference.
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless employs a floating keycap design along with a unique 96% configuration for a compact yet fully functional key layout, which is only 80% the size of a TKL keyboard. This makes it ideal for those with limited desk space, those needing more room for mouse movements, or e-sport gamers who prefer a slanted keyboard. However, getting used to the button layout might require some time, particularly the denser F1~F12 button area at the top and the additional Del and other function keys.
The type of keycaps used may change depending on the region of sale. The author previously tested ROG UV-coated ABS keycaps; this time, however, the keyboard features middle-engraved ROG PBT two-tone molded keycaps. The English letters and number keys are translucent on the keycap surface, while punctuation marks and phonetic symbols are printed and therefore opaque.
Certain keycaps on the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless also feature side-engraved lettering. This allows users to quickly identify and utilize the keyboard’s various functions.
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless is loaded with a multitude of hidden key combination functionalities. The key combination of FN + F1~F5 corresponds to the Xbox Game Bar functions in the Windows system:
- Fn + F1: Open Xbox Game Bar (equivalent to Windows + G)
- Fn + F2: Capture screenshot
- Fn + F3: Record last 30 seconds of gameplay (equivalent to Windows + Alt + G)
- Fn + F4: Start/pause screen recording (equivalent to Windows key + Alt + R)
- Fn + F5: Mute microphone (equivalent to Windows key + Alt + M)
In addition, if you prefer not to use the Armory Crate software for keyboard-related settings, you can opt to use the keyboard’s built-in shortcuts:
- Fn + ESC: Restore to factory settings
- Fn + Win: Lock Win key
- Fn + F6: Multimedia play/pause
- Fn + F7: Previous track
- Fn + F8: Next track
- Fn + F9: Mute volume
- Fn + F10: Decrease volume
- Fn + F11: Increase volume
- Fn + F12: Stealth mode (for switching back to the desktop)
- Fn + Ins: Scroll lock
- Fn + Del: Pause
- Fn + PaUp: Home
- Fn + PaDn: End
- Fn + Left Alt: Start/pause recording macro
- Fn + 1~6: Macro configuration profiles
- Fn + 7: Bluetooth pairing
- Fn + 8~0: Switch between Bluetooth-paired devices
- Fn + ↕: Adjust RGB brightness
- Fn + ↔: Change RGB mode
- Fn + =/+: Lock Fn key
If you need to check the battery life of the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless, you can use the “Fn + ㄦ” key combination. When pressing “` to 0”, the remaining battery percentage is displayed through color bars. If it’s above 80%, it will display green; between 20%~79%, it will show blue, and if it’s 19% or less, it will display red.
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless features a multimedia control wheel in the top right corner. This wheel can be used to adjust volume, control media, manipulate lighting, and perform custom functions. The adjacent ROG belief button is used to switch between wheel control modes. You can check the current setting mode of the wheel in the indicator field next to the number keys.
The indicator field is composed of multiple symbols and uses white lighting for visibility. From top to bottom, they represent Num Lock, Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, Fn Lock, and Windows Lock. The second segment, marked by the ROG logo, indicates the current operational mode of the control wheel. The bottom part signifies the Bluetooth pairing device.
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless has a natural inclination when laid flat, offering a comfortable typing angle. Additionally, it comes with two adjustable support feet on the bottom, providing users with three different height settings. This enables users to adjust the keyboard to an angle that best suits their typing habits, ensuring optimal ergonomic comfort.
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless can be connected via a Type C to A USB 2.0 cable. It also offers Bluetooth 5.1 capability for pairing with up to three devices. The RF 2.4 GHz mode uses the ROG Omni receiver for data transmission, marking it as the first ROG keyboard to incorporate the ROG Omni receiver. This receiver allows multiple supported devices to connect wirelessly to a single USB receiver without compromising on transmission performance.
The keyboard features 100% anti-ghosting keys and N-key rollover technology, ensuring flawless execution of multiple key commands at once. With RGB and OLED turned off, the keyboard can function for over 1500 hours on a 2.4 GHz wireless connection. With RGB turned on, it offers up to 90 hours of use.
The additional accessories that come with the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless include a dual-purpose tool that can be used to remove both the keycaps and the hot-swappable switch body. The keyboard employs its own ROG NX Snow mechanical key switch, which offers a key travel distance of 1.8mm, an initial force of 40gf, and a total force of 53gf. These pre-lubricated ROG NX Snow switches help minimize noise during use and provide a smoother feel compared to the ROG NX Red switches. The required actuation force is lighter and bears some similarity to the feel of silver switches. Moreover, the ROG NX switches exhibit less wobble when pressed at extreme angles compared to traditional mechanical switches.
For users who wish to use different switch types, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless supports a hot-swappable switch replacement design, allowing you to install your preferred switches. However, despite the hot-swappable feature, the manufacturer recommends replacing the switches when the keyboard is not powered on to prevent potential short circuits.
In addition to the keyboard, the package includes several accessories such as a magnetic palm rest, a ROG switch puller, a USB extension connector, a blank ROG belief keycap, and a USB cable. The soft cushioning on the magnetic palm rest provides enhanced comfort and support for your hands. The provided 2-meter-long USB cable allows for a wired connection between the keyboard and the device. The USB extension connector is handy for bringing the ROG Omni USB receiver closer to the desktop, facilitating clear and unhindered data transmission between the keyboard and the receiver.
Armory Crate software settings are more detailed
The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless Gaming Keyboard can be finely tuned using ROG’s proprietary software, Armory Crate. This software allows you to assign functions to each key and adjust lighting effects among other settings. However, for first-time users of Armory Crate, it’s recommended to connect the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless to your device using a wired connection. Once Armory Crate has recognized the keyboard through this wired connection, you can then proceed to use wireless methods for future software configuration.
The multi-tasking scroll wheel and the ROG Faith button can toggle between four different modes. The details of these four scroll wheel modes can be configured in the software. Each mode can be controlled by scrolling the wheel up and down. The custom mode, in particular, hides numerous shortcut functions which can be utilized to enhance your gaming or productivity experience!
Within the software, you also have the option to directly monitor the remaining battery percentage. Furthermore, you can set up warnings for low battery levels and adjust sleep mode settings to optimize the battery performance of your ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless keyboard.
To utilize the one-to-many functionality of the ROG Omni receiver, it’s necessary to update the driver in the update center first. Only then will the “Device Project” recognize the ROG Omni. Here are the steps to pair with the ROG Omni for your reference:
- Open the Armory Crate software.
- Go to the ‘Update Center’.
- Find the appropriate driver for the ROG Omni receiver and install the update.
- Once the driver is updated, go back to the ‘Device Project’.
- The software should now recognize your ROG Omni receiver.
- Follow the pairing instructions provided within the software to connect your devices with the ROG Omni receiver.
Summary and Experience
The author had the opportunity to test the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless keyboard at COMPUTEX 2023. The proprietary ROG NX Snow switches offered a tactile response, needing less force to activate than the NX Red switches, placing them somewhere between the NX Red and Cherry Silver in terms of feel.
With its unique 96% layout, which combines 100% functionality into an 80% size, the keys are closely arranged. This might take some getting used to, particularly for those accustomed to 100% full-size or 80% TKL keyboards, particularly regarding the compact F1-F12 key block. However, users familiar with a 60% compact keyboard should find the transition easier.
The three connection modes – wired, Bluetooth 5.1, and 2.4GHz RF – provide flexibility for different use cases and device configurations. In the 2.4 GHz RF mode, the keyboard boasts an impressive battery life of over 1500 hours. The inclusion of the ROG Omni receiver, which supports one-to-many wireless connections, is especially handy for those immersed in the ROG ecosystem.
The pre-lubricated ROG NX Snow switches with a 1.8 mm keystroke, combined with hot-swappable functionality, sound-absorbing silicone pads, and key shaft shock-absorbing pads, make this keyboard highly customizable. It offers a high degree of flexibility and DIY potential, appealing to keyboard enthusiasts at various levels.
Despite its compact TKL size, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless retains the full functionality of a full-size keyboard. It’s equipped with multi-functional shortcut keys, a multimedia control wheel, a magnetic palm rest, three adjustable angles, and center-engraved PBT dual-color molded keycaps. Add to this RGB lighting effects and OLED status indicators, and you have a feature-rich, all-rounded gaming keyboard well-suited to discerning gamers and users alike.
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Title: Fully functional and 80% the size, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless is a three-mode gaming keyboard that is 96% configured right out of the package