Keyboards are not one-size-fits-all peripherals. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we gravitate toward certain key shapes, layouts, actuation distances, acoustics, and aesthetics. Those attributes affect comfort. They affect our performance in games. And when a keyboard looks especially good, it’s one of the first components we notice when we sit down at our PC.
The ROG Strix CTRL mechanical keyboard was designed with the most discerning gamers in mind. Our Xccurate design uses an oversized, stabilized Ctrl key to create a larger target when you need to crouch, walk, dock, or lie prone in your favorite first-person shooter, while media keys put audio controls in easy reach and per-key RGB lighting facilitates endless customization options. Of course, a host of performance optimizations are available ensure hardware never holds you back in a competitive match.
It’s okay to admit that you have a hard time reaching the Ctrl key. On most keyboards, Ctrl isn’t much bigger than a regular alpha key, and it can be tough to hit accurately with your pinky finger. But in a lot of games, it’s the default for important actions like walking and crouching. You can’t afford a misclick, else you become sniper fodder.
For the ROG Strix CTRL, we created an ergonomic solution that we’re calling the Xccurate design. By enlarging the Ctrl key to make it as wide as the left Shift key and adding stabilizers on either side, the Ctrl key is easier to reach and press. The Strix CTRL nixes the Windows key that many gamers disable to avoid accidentally triggering the Start menu in the heat of action, and shortens the left Windows key to make it less of a target.
Of course, a Gaming Mode in our Armoury II software can be used to lock out that remaining Windows key altogether, along with other undesirable combinations like Alt + Tab and Alt + F4. The software also lets you remap keys on the ROG Strix CTRL, so you can use the easier-to-reach Ctrl key for any other action. Another menu in Armoury II provides an interface for recording, adjusting, and saving macros. Alternatively, you can create your own macros on the fly using the Alt key labeled “Macro.” There’s enough memory built-in to the ROG Strix CTRL for one default profile and five custom configurations. Just press Fn + 1-6 to switch between them.
No gaming keyboard is complete without eye-catching lighting. The ROG Strix CTRL features per-key RGB LEDs, plus an illuminated ROG logo. Aura Sync compatibility means you can match the ROG Strix CTRL to other Aura-enabled components on your desktop. Or, you can make the keyboard’s six available profiles correspond to different applications, providing custom layouts and lighting effects depending on the game you’re playing.
The keycaps are designed to take full advantage of the eye-catching backlighting. The F row keys have their primary media functions on top, so you don't have to hunt for the controls you need when you want to adjust volume or pause your music. Front-side legends on the F5-F12 keys keep the keycaps looking clean and uncluttered while still making the F-key labels easy to see while you play. To use the standard F function on any of them, press the Ins key first.
The F12 key has its own unique purpose. It’s a Stealth key that lets you hide all of the apps you have running and mute your audio, giving you a bit of privacy when the phone rings or someone walks in uninvited.
Built for action
At the heart of the ROG Strix CTRL is construction quality and features that ensure you have a solid product under your fingers. The sturdy chassis has a classy yet distinctly gamer-oriented brushed metal finish across the right side and a completely black façade save for the red ROG logo in the top-right corner. If you want to switch things up a bit, the CTRL’s all-black look can be punctuated by four silver caps for WASD. These spare caps come bundled with the ROG Strix CTRL and look incredibly sharp in contrast to the black. A special keycap puller is included for easy removal and customization of your most-used keys. A built-in channel for cable management gives you flexibility in how you lay out your desktop gaming gear. The wire routing recess runs both right and left, giving you two options other than straight out the back.
The ROG Strix CTRL employs high-quality Cherry MX RGB switches, and you can choose which type suits you best. Configure your keyboard with Cherry MX RGB Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Silent Red, and Speed Silver switches depending on whether you like a linear feel, some tactility, a nice clicky sound, or something quieter as you mow through the competition.
Game long and prosper
Gamers love the freedom of choice. Whether it’s picking the perfect switch for your game style, setting up the right combination of RGB lighting effects, or building macros that guarantee impeccable timing, the ROG Strix CTRL covers your bases. The wider Ctrl key puts a greater number of actions in easy reach, additional silver WASD keycaps allow you to customize the look, and built-in cable management ensures a stable surface, no matter how you organize your desk. Come try the ROG Strix CTRL for yourself at CES 2019 from January 8-11 at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Contact your local ROG representative for details on pricing and availability in your region.
ROG announced tons of new tech at CES. Check out this article to see all of our announcements in one place.