Even with the release of its new line of Strix peripherals, Asus continues to show unwavering support for its Republic of Gamers sub-brand.
Chief among its releases this year is a new flagship mouse, the Gladius, meant primarily for those who play first-person shooters.
Gladius' design is like that of the Razer Deathadder. This is no bad thing. The ergonomic shape is a very comfortable fit for right-handed palm-grip users. Left-handed gamers will have to look elsewhere.
The two thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse are well positioned and need just the right amount of force to actuate.
The rubberised flanks of the mouse give a good grip and are textured with the ROG Mayan signature.
The single DPI switch, sited under the scroll wheel, lets users alter sensitivities on the fly. These can also be modified with the ROG Armoury software, which comes on a disc included with the mouse.
The ROG Armoury allows users to switch the red LEDs of the mouse between "breathing" and static patterns.
A travel pouch is included, as well as two detachable cables, one rubberised and one braided.
The Gladius' customisable left and right buttons are key features. Two higher-resistance Japanese Omron switches are included, so users who desire harder clicks can swop out the standard switches.
But even then, I found the buttons still slightly too easy to click. The one on the right was the worse offender.
While easy clickability may be useful for gaming situations that require repeated clicks, it can be an annoyance in everyday Web browsing and word processing.
Furthermore, you have to remove the feet of the mouse if you want to replace the switches. Asus has packaged a single set of extra feet with the Gladius, but users hoping to perform multiple switch swaps will ultimately be disappointed.
Complementing the new ROG mouse is the Whetstone mousepad.
The Whetstone has a black textured "Mayan" surface, like that on the sides of the Gladius. Asus says it binds the canvas surface to its silicone base using an eight-stage process to maximise durability.
True enough, the pad showed no signs of fraying. But it did develop a few air bubbles beneath the surface after two weeks of use.
In spite of this disappointment, the Whetstone yielded surprisingly smooth mouse movement in all directions. Curiously, despite being advertised as a mousepad with "superior control", the Whetstone feels like a mousepad more suitable for quick movements than precise ones. Gamers looking for a higher-resistance surface should look elsewhere.
The Gladius and Whetstone work together beautifully, and make striking additions to any gamer's set-up with their red-and-black colour scheme. Although they have many customisation options, their high price, particularly for the Whetstone, makes these peripherals strictly for the well-heeled gamer.
Value for money 4/5
Value for money 2/5
This article was first published on May 6, 2015.
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