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April 27, 2015

Unboxing & Review: ASUS ROG Gladius Gaming Mouse


It doesn't matter if you're using a Razer, SteelSeries, Roccat, CM Storm, etc gaming mice, the double clicking issue has been a real nuisance to gaming mice owner. As it is caused by faulty switch on the mouse, the long term solution is to replace faulty switch with a new one, but it requires a careful soldering and not many people is willing to go through all the hassle. 

ASUS Republic of Gamers came up with a great idea, not to put an end to the double clicking issue once and for all, but a faster and hassle free alternative to replace a faulty switch on its gaming mice. Enters the ROG Gladius, the first gaming mice that offers a quick and easy solder-free solution to replace a faulty switch on the gaming mice itself.


Mighty thanks to ASUS Malaysia inprovision of the ROG Gladius gaming mice for today's review. The price doesn't looks friendly at first, but let's take a closer examine on the ROG Gladius and see if it's worth paying RM299 for?





Specifications


Unboxing

ASUS has taken the usual approach to keep things as simple as possible without losing the premium and elegant touch of ROG.


A brief specifications and the anatomy of the ROG Gladius can be found at the back of the box.


Some of its prominent features is highlighted at the side of the box.


Opening the lid reveals the ROG Gladius and some brief introduction on the origin of the of the name 'Gladius'. 

Content

The content is of course the ROG Gladius itself, a detachable USB cable, User's guide and 2 x extra Japanese-made Omron switches (not available in this review unit, but it'll be included in the retail unit).


Many claimed that gold plated USB connector has better polling rate /refresh rate compared to the ordinary USB connector, but those were all false claims and marketing gimmicks. The only fact you should know here is that gold plated USB connectors has better resistance against corrosion compared to an ordinary USB connector.


Specially crafted for right-handed users for better grip, leading to better overall gaming experience.


DPI toggle button usually comes in a pair (previous, next), but since there's only 2 level of DPI to toggle, a single button will do just fine. 


On the left side of the mouse, 2 side buttons are available which can be programmed with its dedicated software ROG Armoury.


Mayan inspired detailing rubber grip to represent the ROG epic gaming equipment can be found on both sides of the gaming mice.


The ROG logo at the back of the ROG Gladius with internal pulsating glow.


Featuring the Avago S3988 optical sensor capable of 6400 dpi and 4 large teflon mouse glide for smooth gliding experience.

The ROG Gladius removable cable design makes travel easier.



The cable locking mechanism to keep the cable in place and easy to remove.

Tear Down

In order to disassemble it, all of the mouse feet has to be removed to reveal the screws as seen above.


After all of the screws has been removed, the top housing of the ROG Gladius can be removed without any prying required.


Do note that there's a sticker on the PCB as seen above and be extra careful to not tamper with it as a broken seal will result in the void of warranty.


The Omron D2FC-F-7N micro switch has been used on the majority gaming mice we've seen nowadays, especially for widely known brands like Razer, SteelSeries, Roccat, Logitech, etc.


Unlike any traditional mouse where the switch is soldered on the board, ASUS has taken the approach to allow removable switches with its exclusive socket design for the switch.


These are the common switches that causes a lot of misery to pretty much all gaming mice owner - left click, right click and middle click on scroll wheel. Kudos to ASUS for putting an end to the troublesome double clicking issue with this! 


The switches for the side buttons however, cannot be removed even though it looks just like the replaceable switches from the demonstration earlier.


Software: ROG Armory


Simple and comprehensive approach on the software interface allows us to breeze through the configuration with ease.



Macros can be recorded and assigned to the mouse button easily.



Clicking on the label of each button allows you to configure the behavior of the button - make it a Windows shortcut, multimedia function, assign recorded macro, keyboard function. 



DPI level, angle snapping, acceleration/deceleration and polling rate can be configure in the 'Performance' tab.  



The 'Lighting' tab allows you to customize the lighting effect on the ROG Gladius.



The 'Calibration' tab is something new to us, it allows you to choose the type of surface you're currently using and calibrate the lift off distance for the best performance possible.


User Experience

We've tested the ROG Gladius on one of our favorite FPS game, Far Cry 4 and here's what we think about it, tip to the end: 

  • Glide: There's nothing much we can complain here, the ROG Gladius glides smoothly on both cloth mat and hard mat. 
  • Grip: Probably one of the best right hand ergonomic mouse we've ever tried. The ROG Gladius fits perfectly on to the palm and we're able to grip firmly to the mouse with minimal mistakes during very tensed scene with requires very fast mouse movement. 
  • DPI Button: The DPI toggle button is fairly easy to reach with minimal movement on the index finger.
  • Weight: Not too heavy, just right. In addition to the right hand optimized design, the ROG Gladius is a great choice for gamer who wants the best comfortable grip for fast paced gameplay.

Verdict
Build quality is good in overall, except for the rubber side grips that will worn out and turns sticky in the hands of those who sweat a lot on the palm and the hot and humid climate here in Malaysia. Extra care has to be taken if you do not wish to end up with a sticky side grips. Personally we would prefer matte plastic surface that gives a reasonable grip and last longer compared to soft rubberized surface that wears out / turns sticky overtime. Performance wise, the Avago S3988 optical sensor used on the ROG Gladius is capable of up to 6400 dpi in which given users a wider range of selection in terms of DPI preferences. It might not be the best or most advanced gaming mouse you can find on the market, but its right hand optimized design, weight which is just right and solder-free switch replacement  design makes it a gaming mouse worthy to consider for the long run. The ROG Armory is a pretty decent software that is very easy to use, but there's still something that bothers us - we're a little picky when it comes to the software. While using the ROG Armory, we've noticed some windows that always stays on a fixed position and cannot be re-positioned no matter how hard you try. Not entirely mind boggling but ASUS might want to look into this matter as it does affect the overall user experience in a negative way. To wrap things up, we would say the ASUS ROG Gladius is a mouse that is worthy to consider for the long run, not only for gaming but for daily use as well - RM299 well spent.  

Pros
  • One of the best right hand optimized design we've tested so far
  • Reasonable price for what it has to offer
  • Wide range of DPI
  • Tracks well on both cloth and hard mat
  • Comfortable even after long periods
  • Detachable USB cable
  • Easy to use software (ROG Armory)
  • Solder-free switch replacement design
Cons
  • Minor issue with the ROG Armory software (some windows stays in a fixed position)
  • Screws is hidden under the mouse skates and frequent disassembling work damages the mouse skates in terms of its smoothness and overall gliding experience
  • Rubber grips will turn sticky over time

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