Gaming consoles haven’t seen the same pace of development as gaming mice, for example, in recent years. Our favorite is the Razer Keyboard from 2018, and there are very few wireless options that are actually worth the money.
A while ago, we had a few weeks with the modular Everest Max keyboard. Now I had to test another keyboard with the same style a bit, but this time without a cable; Brand new Asus ROG Claymore II.
For around 2,600 kronor (yes, that’s pretty crazy), you get a wireless keyboard with light switches, ergonomic wrist support, decent battery life, bright RGB lights, and a modular NumPad that allows you to choose whether you want to use the keyboard in its entirety form or TKL.
design and comfort
There are probably much finer consoles out there than the Asus ROG Claymore II, because the gaming character is here from the ground up. Large parts of the body are plastic, the left corner is filled with a flashing ROG logo and a very battery icon, while the uppercase has as many characters as possible so the RGB effects are as clear as possible.
In other words, boring. But then this is not a keyboard for those who care about beauty. This is rather a product for those who want to encapsulate as many features as possible into one, and ASUS mostly hits the mark.
On the underside of the keyboard, there is still a massive logo, along with three feet that provide good support for the keyboard. There are also ports for both standard USB (PassThrough) and USB-C. A rod on each side of the keyboard allows you to connect the NumPad to both the right and left, giving you the opportunity to use the Claymore II as a TKL keyboard. Then, in turn, you will lose the particularly comfortable wrist support, because in this case it will protrude where the NumPad should be. It works, but it looks very stupid.
I see little reason to use the keyboard without a NumPad other than to take it on the go, because that’s also where one finds the four programmable media buttons and the oversized scroll wheel. The only thing one really lacks are some dedicated macro buttons, but other than that, this keyboard gives you almost everything you need.
Wireless connection and battery
The keyboard connects to your devices with a micro USB transmitter. The transmitter actually has its own “pocket” on the underside of the keyboard, so you let it go away.
Asus believes the connection has the same delay of less than a split second with the cable (and then with USB-C in the keyboard) and the 2.4GHz wireless connection. Anyway, I don’t notice any difference at all between the modes.
The USB C cable ensures fast and efficient battery charging when needed, but it rarely happens. Even with RGB light at half brightness, the keyboard should keep the burner on for 40-50 hours. It’s almost identical to the Logitech Wireless Top Model. The keyboard goes to sleep shortly after you stop using it, ensuring that you don’t have to turn it on and off. You can also easily set how long the program should run. To me, the minute seems to be a fine balance. There is also no delay in keystrokes when he is asleep – so, strictly speaking, it doesn’t matter other than that the light turns off.
In practical terms, that means the keyboard lasts a full work week if you need it, or three or four days of old marathon playing.
Asus ROG Claymore II is the first keyboard from a Swedish company with self-produced optical mechanical switches. More and more people are joining right now. “Opto-mechanical” switches, as they are called, use light to record the actuation as quickly as possible after a keystroke.
The difference in delay on conventional switches is too small to measure, and it’s not something you’ll notice.
On the other hand, the main experience is quite unique. There isn’t much difference here either, but the RX Red switches for Asus are different from the Red switches for Gateron and Cherry. These are linear switches four millimeters on the bottom, and operate after 1.5 millimeters—exactly the same color as the Cherry MX Red, but there is clearer feedback when you hit the bottom with these. The keyboard also comes with the RX Blue click switch if you want it. I was not allowed to test this.
Otherwise, the noise level is the same as for a mechanical switch. Unfortunately, there is a hint of a sound when the keys pop, which can be annoying if one focuses on it, but I didn’t really notice it until I started actively working on that specific chapter of the test.
These are the keys that deliver the performance you need to be number one in shooting games, all while being ready to type. But linear keys will always be better for playing, so if typing is more important, I’d prefer the blue option.
Software and RGB
Asus has done a complete overhaul of the Armory Crate since the last time I tried it. Design was given a style that fits more in 2021, and finding yours is easier than before. Aura Sync, Asus’ RGB service, lets you control everything you have across products. It allows me, for example, to synchronize the light on the motherboard, video card, and keyboard at the same time.
Furthermore, you can reprogram the properties of all switches, synchronize the battery indicator with the rest of the RGB light and change the balance of power-consuming functions to improve battery life.
It’s not the most comprehensive program, but it does give you what you need. With ten different RGB modes, there’s also plenty to choose from for those who love light and color. Razer is by far the best here, but the Asus RGB effects aren’t too crazy.
There isn’t much to entice Asus’ new flagship. Well, the palm rest could be wider and the design could be a little more tasteful, but it doesn’t have much of an impact on keyboard usage.
Obviously, price is the big question here. 2,600 kroner is a lot of money for a keyboard, but at the same time there is little competition when it comes to wireless keyboards of this caliber.
Logitech G915 The price is down to around 2,000 kr now, but it’s low, has completely different keys and lacks wrist support. The Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro (which we’ll test soon) was a two-chamber at under 2,000 kr, probably the most comparable competitor, but it doesn’t have any standard functionality and is a solid, full-format keyboard.
It is difficult to make a direct comparison between these products, as they are intended for completely different users.
So the Asus ROG Claymore II is unique. The combination of good build quality, choice between full format and TKL, media buttons, scroll wheel for volume and scrolling, long battery life, comfortable wrist support and low latency, no other manufacturer has succeeded in making this kind of product.
The only thing it’s lacking here are dedicated macro buttons and slightly larger wrist support, but other than that, the Asus ROG Claymore II now offers the ultimate wireless gaming experience.
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