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August 09, 2016

Unboxing & Review: ASUS ROG Spatha Gaming Mouse Review


Razer, SteelSeries, Mad Catz are the brand names that produces quite a few exceptional premium gaming mouse known to the PC gaming community. ASUS Republic Of Gamers too have stepped up their game in the recent years to compete with these gaming peripherals giant that has been around for ages. Successfully proven its worth with the ROG Gladius, ASUS now challenge the premium gaming mouse segment with its first premium gaming mouse, the ROG Spatha. 

Specifications



Unboxing

The packaging of the ROG Spatha is nothing like any of the ROG products we've seen before, not the usual ROG packaging in cherry red.


Prominent features of the ROG Spatha gaming mouse can be found at the back of the box, simple and brief description of the features that is.

The Content

The content is surprisingly good we'd say, other than the ROG stickers and user's manual, you're actually getting a charging dock, cable for the charging dock and the mouse itself, spare Omron D2FC-F-7N switches, a mini screw driver and a hard shell carrying pouch.


The ROG Spatha is probably the most amazing looking mouse to be added to the ROG gaming peripherals lineup, as if it's a sculpture that's meant to be framed and displayed on your shelf.


Look at that bragging right you'll get, with the ROG Spatha mounted on its charging dock. Something you can proudly brag in front of your friends whenever they're paying a visit to your man cave. 


The translucent ROG logo at the back of the mouse.


On the side of the mouse, you're getting not 2 but 6 oddly shaped side buttons that can be assigned with a specific function to each individual switch.


Other than its solid mouse click and scroll wheel, you'll also get these extra 2 little buttons on the left of the left button for that can be assigned with a specific function to each as well.


The finger support design on the right of the mouse is part of the ergonomic design of the ROG Spatha gaming mouse, but ASUS might want to reconsider that particular bump right next to the right click, as it'll cause a slight discomfort to the ring finger over long hours of usage. 


The ROG Spatha are both wired and wireless mouse, so you can swap between both in case if you're in the mood for a wired mouse or the opposite.


The bottom of the mouse looks nothing like a normal mouse we've seen in the past. The design might be weird, but ASUS has done a good job in nailing the design without spoiling the overall gilding experience on both hard and soft surface.


Powered by a Pixart ADNS-9800 sensor capable of 8200 DPI and 2000Hz polling rate, the ROG Spatha is one powerful gaming mouse to indulge the gamers who enjoy a highly responsive mouse with high DPI settings. 



ASUS has also included a tiny star screwdriver for switch replacement when necessary. Instead of hiding these screws under the mouse skates, ASUS has actually improved the design with rubber covers now so you no longer have to damage any mouse skates in good condition just to have the switch replaced.




Much to our surprise, the built-in 1000mAh lithium battery has a pretty long battery life that is enough to last you for almost 4 days when it's fully charged.



The very same solder-free design from the ROG Gladius that allows you to swap in a new Omron D2FC-F-7N switch if the current one starts failing without having to go through the all the soldering trouble and mess.

The Software - ROG Armory

The Buttons




The ROG Spatha has a tons of buttons on it and through the ROG Armory software, you can assign specific function to each and every button, ranging from keyboard function, macros, windows shortcut and more.


Performance Adjustments and Calibration


You can calibrate the mouse to adapt with the type of mouse pad you're using, configure the sensitivity, angle snapping, polling rate, response, etc before you start crushing your opponent in game.



RGB Color Modes



There's a list of LED modes you can go for, ranging for static color, color cycle, LED that lights up when you hold down the buttons, breathing mode, random mode and battery indication mode.



Power Options

You can adjust for power saving mode when the mouse is under wireless mode, such as putting the mouse to sleep mode after being idle for a specific period of time, or make it blink when the battery level is running low.

Macro Recording

It's not as flexible as we hope it would be, especially when it comes to modifying the existing macros, but it does get the job done according to your needs.
Testing

We've tested the mouse  on one of our favorite game so far, Tom Clancy's The Division and here's what we think about it, tip to the end: 
  • Glide: The mouse glide smoothly on a both cloth and hard surface mouse pad without any significant draggy sensation. 
  • Grip: Definitely not for those with small palm size. The ROG Spatha is a gaming mouse specially tailored for gamers with large palm size, which gives that good and firm grip with its ergonomic design. Everything is good, except for that little bump at the right side of the right click. It gives you that that unpleasant sensation / discomfort to the ring finger after long hours of usage.
  • DPI Button: The DPI toggle button is fairly easy to reach with minimal movement on the index finger and is less prone to be triggered by accident. It's 2 level DPI switch design might be limiting the amount of DPI level you can customize for it, but having a 2 level only DPI switch has that advantage to toggle between the only 2 DPI level you need the most without having to rapidly clicking on the DPI toggle button just to reach the right DPI level.
  • Weight: The ROG Spatha is one heavy gaming mouse of course. Weighed at 175g, the ROG Spatha is a great choice for games that requires precise movement, especially for FPS games like franchises such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, etc.
Verdict
The ASUS ROG Spatha is no doubt, the best looking and feature rich ASUS ROG gaming mouse yet. Its futuristic design, cool looking charging dock and fancy RGB lighting modes is more than enough to earn you that bragging right you need for its aesthetics aspects. Of course, it can do more than just being a shiny trophy on your desk. The ASUS ROG Spatha also offers some pretty sick features such as the wired/wireless convertible design, right hand sculpted ergonomic design, extra customizable side buttons and ADNS-9800 laser sensor that is capable to do up to 8200 DPI that can be customized to meet all your personal gaming needs. And let's not forget the plug and play switch replacement design inherited from the ROG Gladius, the ASUS ROG Spatha is definitely one premium gaming mouse that is built to last.

While things looks very promising up to this point, there are few issues that we've encountered during the test which has affected the user experience in overall. Though it claims to be comfortable for all kinds of grip style, it's actually more favorable for users with bigger palm size. User with smaller palm size will find it difficult to get used to its extra buttons on the left click as well as those on the side buttons, as we have observed the same behavior on majority of our 'test subjects' during the review. This is more as a subjective issue but the oddly shaped bump on the right is giving some discomfort on the ring finger after a period of time if your grip style involves holding the right section of the mouse with both of your ring finger and little finger.

With its build quality, features and aesthetics aspects taken into account, it's no surprise that the ASUS ROG Spatha comes with a hefty price tag of $169.99 (approximately RM 685). If you're looking for a premium gaming mouse with premium features (and  have some extra cash to spend), the ASUS ROG Spatha is definitely the gaming mouse that is worthy to consider for.

Pros
  • Solid build quality
  • Cool looking design
  • Plug and play switch replacement design
  • Ergonomically sculpted for the right hand
  • Good battery life that last for 3~4 days
  • Comes with a hard shell carrying pouch

Cons
  • Costly
  • Not suitable for those with smaller palm size
Subjectives
  • The little bump on the right of the right button gives a sort of discomfort to the ring finger after long hours usage

 

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