Hands-on: the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless keyboard keeps the numpad, stays slim

Oct 10, 2023 Written by:ROG Article

A side view of the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless gaming keyboard in front of a ROG mouse and laptop

As a guy who spends time with a wide variety of keyboards, I get asked quite regularly for keyboard recommendations. For such a deeply personal choice, it usually takes me a conversation or two to figure out each person's preferences and needs. But my job just got a lot easier, because the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless is the most well-rounded keyboard I've ever laid my hands on. 

This premium keyboard checks every item on my list for a great experience in and out of games. Its ROG RX Snow switches are fast, stable, and comfortable, and they’re uniquely quiet thanks to sound-dampening foam with switch-dampening pads. I get my pick of Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless technology, or a wired USB cable when I’m connecting it to my PC. It offers excellent customizability options with hot-swappable switches, per-key RGB LED lighting, and a versatile multi-function button and multiwheel. All this is wrapped up in a surprisingly compact 96% layout that still leaves room for all the function and number keys.  

For most gamers, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless offers everything you want from a premium gaming keyboard — and maybe a few things that you didn’t even realize were possible. Read on for a closer look at everything that the Scope II 96 Wireless has to offer.  

All the right keys in all the right places  

If you haven’t dug into the keyboard market before, you might be surprised by the number of layout options available. Keyboards range from full-size decks with all 104 standard keys to minimalist options that save space by trimming keys that you might not find necessary — or retaining their functionality as secondary keys.  

The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless gaming keyboard with its palmrest attached on a table with an ROG laptop

As a 96% keyboard, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless sits in an enviable middle ground between tenkeyless and full-size models. It gives me the full row of function keys and numpad, but in a surprisingly compact profile that leaves a significant amount of extra room for my mousing hand. There are a few minimal changes to the familiar full-size layout, but nothing that required much of a learning curve. The right control key might be smaller than what I’m used to, but I can’t even remember the last time I used it.  

A closeup view of the function row buttons showing the secondary functions for several important keys

The compact layout leaves no dedicated space for the home, end, and other special buttons, but they’re kept handy as secondary functions for keys on the top row. Additionally, I can access those functions through the numpad. 

A closeup view of the multiwheel and multifunction button on the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless gaming keyboard

The multifunction button and multiwheel in the upper-right-hand corner of the deck does significant work to make sure that I can quickly access everything that I need. By tapping the multifunction button, I can change what happens when I roll the wheel. It can serve as a volume, media, or lighting control, and with the Armoury Crate app, I can customize a fourth mode to my liking. 

ROG NX Snow switches mark a new generation of smooth 

The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless marks the debut of two new mechanical switches: the ROG NX Snow and ROG NX Storm switches. The ROG NX Snow switches offer a refined take on the linear switch experience preferred by many gamers. ROG NX Storm switches, on the other hand, give you that delightful audible click and tactile bump at the actuation point. Both employ a walled stem design minimizes key wobble and prevent dust intrusion.  

An extreme closeup look at one ROG NX Snow keyswitch

The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless on my desk has the ROG NX Snow key switches. The typing experience with these switches won me over almost immediately. With their light initial force and 1.8mm actuation point — just a hair shorter than you usually get with typical red switches — they actuate quickly and smoothly. Mid-height keycaps and a shorter stem do even more work to keep each key stroke smooth and steady. The PBT doubleshot keycaps provide a lightly textured feel, and resist the shiny buildup that easily accrues on glossier plastics. 

As much as I love the typing feel, it’s the sound of typing on this keyboard that I love the most. The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless has a unique dampening foam design with switch dampening pads. These elements diminish the bright pinging noises and echoing that you often hear with mechanical switches, leaving only a rounded, unobtrusive tapping noise as I press each key. If you’ve held off on upgrading to a mechanical keyboard for fear of distracting your coworkers, irritating your roommates, or waking up a sleeping baby in the next room, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless with RG NX Snow switches is the keyboard for you. 

Next-gen connectivity with the ROG Omni Receiver 

The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless’s premium connectivity options make it an easy addition to my battle station. Tri-mode connectivity tech gives me three options for hooking up the keyboard to my gear. I default to the Bluetooth or 2.4GHz wireless options, as I’m always a fan of taking a cord off my desk. The wired USB mode ensures that I can keep gaming even when I need to top off the battery. 

The switch on the back panel of the keyboard allowing you to switch between connectivity modes

The 2.4GHz wireless option deserves some special attention, though — it’s easily my favorite connectivity mode of the three. This mode requires the use of the ROG Omni Receiver, a small USB dongle that can pop into a magnetic holder on the back of the keyboard when it’s not in use. ROG SpeedNova wireless technology gives me over 1,500 hours of gameplay in this mode with the RGB LEDs off. Even with the lightshow on, I get roughly 90 hours of uptime.  

An overhead view of the ROG Harpe Ace Aim Lab Edition gaming mouse alongside the ROG Omni Receiver

The ROG Omni Receiver is a truly special little piece of kit, and the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless is the first ROG keyboard equipped with it. It can connect one compatible keyboard and one compatible mouse at the same time, all through the same dongle. We’ll be adding more keyboards and mice compatible with the ROG Omni Receiver in the future, but right now I can use the dongle to connect both the Scope II 96 Wireless and the ROG Harpe Ace Aim Lab Edition. That’s good news for me, since this lightweight, highly accurate clicker is my current favorite. 

Setting a high bar for gaming keyboards 

Put all these elements together — an innovative 96% layout, a premium typing experience, and exceptional connectivity options — and it’s clear why the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless is my go-to gaming keyboard recommendation in 2023. I say this with no disrespect for the supremely customizable ROG Azoth or the delightfully portable ROG Falchion NX. When I talk to someone eager to open up their keyboard and fine-tune every facet of their experience, I send them directly to the Azoth. And for competitive gamers looking to reduce the footprint of the keyboard to the bare essentials to create space for sweeping mousing motions, I don’t hesitate to point them to the Falchion. 

A side view of the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless gaming keyboard on a desk with an ROG gaming laptop

But there’s a large population of gamers out there — and I’m one of them — who prefer the ready versatility of a keyboard with a larger layout. Sure, I might only use a handful of keys when I’m playing a round of League of Legends. But when I’m playing the world’s best colony sim, I need fast access to the entire function key row. 

Until now, my insistence on having a complete function row and a numpad left me picking between large keyboards and larger keyboards. The ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless changes all that. By giving me a full menu of keys in a strikingly compact profile, I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. 

If you’ve been intrigued by today’s trend toward compact keyboards, but have been waiting for an option that also gives you the familiar comfort of a numpad, the ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless is for you. Pick up one of these gaming keyboards for yourself to experience everything that it has to offer.  

Model Availability (U.S.)
ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless

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