ROCCAT Suora FX RGB Illuminated Frameless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Software Setup and Testing

Article Index
ROCCAT Suora FX RGB Illuminated Frameless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Closer Look, Features and Specifications
Software Setup and Testing

 

 

Software Setup:

There are some really great software features, some flashy and handy software features and one in particular horrible software feature. The mechanical keyboard with blue switches makes enough noise on it's own, but if you are so inclined, ROCCAT gives you the option of having each key press register and produce a sound over your computer speakers or headset. Thankfully the sounds are pleasant, such as; "click sound", "typewriter sound", "beam sound" and "sifi sound". The volume of each obnoxious sound can be turned up really loud and this would be the perfect way to annoy your friends. Other than that, I'm not sure what purpose this serves.

Other features on the initial screen have to do with character repeating and reaction time. A pair of settings that is probably just fine when left to default, but can be customized for the discerning enthusiast.


Swarm - Settings

 

The next tab in the Swarm software takes us to the "Key Assignment" page where you can load pre-defined key functions for popular programs and games, assign them to one of five different profiles and enter the Macro Manager interface. I mentioned earlier that you can assign macros to pretty much every key, but that is not entirely true. You can assign macros to the keys labeled M1-M6 that we looked at earlier, but you can assign different key functions to each individual key - other than the top row on the keyboard. For instance, you could assign every key on the keyboard to be the "Enter" key when a game is launched; while not useful, is a great way to troll your friend if he has the Suora FX keyboard.

Swarm - Key Assignments

 

There are a ton of macro functions, game profiles, key tweaking and more that we could spend pages covering. If you're familiar with macros, it's suffice to say that the ROCCAT Suora FX will do everything you want it to in terms of customization of macros - including key timing on press, release, delay and more.

The last main screen in the Swarm software has to do with key lighting. The Suora FX is a full RGB keyboard with per-key-lighting, so the options here are pretty much endless. It takes quite a while to set up something really custom, but it can be done as you can specify individual key color, delay, reaction and more. For those of us that just want to impress our friends with a quick and fancy key lighting scheme, there are a few effects to choose from. My favorite for sitting around and typing is the ripple effect. All of them are pretty nifty, very smooth and add a touch of flash to the otherwise super minimalistic keyboard.

Swarm - Key Illumination

 

Testing:

Some hardware isn't all that fun or exciting to test, but I rather enjoy testing keyboards. I love the tactile feedback that mechanical keyboards give and the audible confirmation of key presses as well. While their is something to be said for short-stroke keys like on a laptop or thin keyboard, there still is some fantastic nostalgia and quality that comes from using a nice mechanical keyboard. After writing at BCCHardware for years and as we are just about to embark on our 11th Annual CES coverage, I really enjoying trying out keyboards to see how they feel, how they fit my typing and gaming style as well as how they perform when pounded. The keys claim to be able to withstand 50 million presses, but I came up short as I wasn't able to do that much typing and gaming in the weeks that I had this keyboard.

Still, I was able to do quite a bit of writing and some gaming with friends over the holidays and this is one reason why I enjoy testing. Working, yet relaxing with buddies while we try and conquer the battlefield.

As mentioned previously, the Suora FX uses TT blue or brown switches, but I chose the blue switches so it matches up with my Poseidon ZX I reviewed a few years ago. Both keyboards use the same switches and the Poseidon ZX is still going strong, so I've got high hopes for the Suora. I can't find any information on the ROCCAT product page for warranty, but ROCCAT has and will take good care of their customers.

Top Down

While I do love the feel of blue switches, this is not a podcast friendly keyboard. The keys are quite loud. For general typing and gaming, the feel and fit of the keyboard is fantastic, but if you spend your nights up late and gaming with buddies, your room mate will not be happy with this keyboard.

Now that I've been using mechanical keyboards almost exclusively for years, the move from one mechanical keyboard to another is pretty painless. Each keyboard has it's own slightly different feel, but it isn't as big of a change as moving from a membrane keyboard to a mechanical keyboard. With that in mind, typing, gaming and general use was very good right out of the box with no major errors, fumbling or issues at all. I was able to easily adapt to the different location and size of some of the keys and type just fine. In terms of WASD gaming, I noticed no difference but I did like the "Game Mode" toggle that has a different color LED to ensure you know whether it's activated or not.

Although I don't get a chance to game as much as I used to, I made sure that I took a fair amount of time to game on the Suora FX as that is the primary function and market for this keyboard. I played some Call of Duty, League of Legends and my current favorite - Ghost in the Shell. Overall, it performs like it should and moving from my previous keyboard to this one posed no issues.

While the keyboard claims to be MOBA, MMO and FPS approved, I don't play much for MMO games, so I just put it through the FPS and MOBA paces. I approved it as well.

The Swarm software adds some extra functionality, customization and lighting options, but on a Windows 10 computer, keys like the media controls, game mode and other application keys work out of the box and this is nice if you have things set up like you want and just want to pack around your keyboard. Software isn't critical for day-to-day usage of this keyboard as the defaults are very good right out of the box, but again, if you want customized pretty, the software will help you out.

 

Conclusion:

I've been using the Suora FX exclusively for the past few weeks plugged into a laptop, my gaming desktop as well as a crazy HP Elite X3 that I'm currently working on. It has worked great on all three devices without any issues and the compatibility is great. While I had been using the Thermaltake Poseidon FX keyboard on my gaming machine, the lack of number pad kept that keyboard from being my every day use office keyboard. The fact that this ROCCAT Suora FX has a number pad - and is frameless, make it take up very little room on my desk - and give it the much sought after comfort and usability of a dedicated number pad.

If you're looking for a gaming keyboard that has quality, performance, function and that is flashy, the Suora FX is pretty hard to beat. If you want a keyboard that is quiet, please look elsewhere - or at the very least try the brown switches. There are a growing number of companies using TT switches and I've had no issues with them at all.

While some may not like the frameless design of this keyboard, it is one of the big attractions for me as it is a bit different that most other keyboards. ROCCAT isn't the only one doing this, and I'm sure it will catch on and everyone will be offering a frameless keyboard in 2017, but until then, it's different and it works very well. This keyboard will be equally at home at a LAN event, if your gaming den, or even at your office where it will work longer and better that you do. Of course, it will probably annoy your co-workers, but a minor bit of trolling is always fun, right?


Pros:

  • Per-Key RGB Lighting
  • Frameless design
  • TT Switches rated for 50 million strokes
  • Lots of lighting options and customization
  • Solid feel
  • High Quality

 

Cons:

  • Some software features are pretty useless
  • No mention of warranty on product package or website

 


At the end of the day, I can recommend this keyboard even though I don't see any mention of warranty. ROCCAT has a proven track record and when combined with the TT mechanical switches, this keyboard should last you a long, long time.

If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please feel free to post it in the forum right here.