We take a look at ASUS’s latest take on mechanical keyboards with the ROG Claymore.
It is not a surprise to see more brands joining the scene of mechanical keyboards, as more gamers and PC enthusiasts are putting mechanical keyboards on their must have list. Now there are new gimmicks that were being added to the keyboards; from frameless bodies to customizable RGB lighting and even aluminum plate bodies. Now ASUS has returned once again to the mechanical keyboard territory with the ROG Claymore, let’s take a look if the Claymore will deliver as one of the top keyboards to be released this year.
Let’s first take a look at the specs of the ROG Claymore:
Connectivity Technology: Wired, USB 2.0
Dimensions: 450 x 145 x 45 mm (360 x 145 x 45 mm without numpad)
Weight: 943 g with cable (770 g without numpad)
Cable: Braided Fiber, 1.8m
Mechanical Switches: Cherry MX RGB (Red, Black, Blue or Brown)
Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
1 x Claymore keyboard (80%)
1 x Claymore numpad keyboard (20%)
1 x USB cable
2 x ROG pouches
2 x ROG logo stickers
The first thing you will notice with the ROG Claymore is that it’s lighter than your standard mechanical keyboard which is usually at more a kilogram, the ROG Claymore is less than a kilogram considering it is built as a full keyboard, taking off the numpad will put the Claymore at less than 800 grams. This makes it lighter to carry to LAN Parties or other gaming tournaments that require you to carry your own gaming gear, and good thing the package includes two keyboard pouches to store your Claymore when you are on the go.
The Claymore features an aluminum body to ensure durability to the keyboard, so you no need to worry when you are mashing on your keyboard too much that it might break. It also has a Mayan-inspired detailing on the aluminum body to a unique and dynamic look, however dusts can stick on the detailing due to the uneven surface, so cleaning the keyboard be a chore if you don’t maintain it regularly. The keyboard also sports a frameless design which is now a popular thing to most premium gaming keyboards and it is a good thing that they opt for that look to complement with the Mayan-inspired etchings on the keyboard’s body. It has three stand feet that lets you adjust the height of the keyboard and good thing each of the feet has rubber padding to keep the keyboard in place. The cable can be removed as it uses a micro USB port and it has grooves below the keyboard to allow cable management where you can route your cable either on the middle or on the side.
There are no additional keys for the Claymore that provides additional functions such as a dedicated media control, but it features an Fn key that lets you use some of toggle some keys on your Claymore to use other media functions, from LED brightness to multimedia controls to synchronizing to other Aura-supported components and even overclocking directly by just pressing a combination of keys. The font style used for the Claymore’s keys shows a sharp edgy design but still make the letters clean and easy to read.
Its major highlight is the swappable numpad; you can place the numpad to any side of the Claymore depending on your playing style, or you can just remove the numpad and have a compact sized TKL keyboard on your desktop. Take note that you cannot use the Numpad as a separate device if not mounted on the Claymore, but it would have been a great feature if you can plug a micro USB cable on the numpad and use it as separately.
Another major feature is the RGB lighting effect, this lighting gimmick may have been around for quite some time, but ASUS is stepping up the level by providing a total synchronization with other ASUS components on your PC for one unified RGB experience. If you have any ASUS ROG components that are Aura-enabled, you can sync the RGB effects on your keyboard, motherboard, graphics card and mouse, giving you a lot of possible customization on your gaming rig. All of the lighting effects can be configured in the ASUS Aura app.
The Claymore uses the popular Cherry MS switches and is available in either Blue, Red, Brown or Black. Each of the switches have different input feedback and choosing a switch will be on the user’s perspective, the review unit uses a Red switch which has linear feedback, less audible feedback than the Blue switch and has a faster response than the Brown switch. The N-Key rollover is also present providing an anti-ghosting feature on the keyboard. We tried using the Claymore in our everyday use and we are liking the feedback on the Red switches, the response on the input are faster so playing FPS games will be more effective thanks to the faster response time.
Using the Armoury App to customize the Claymore is very straightforward, there are a list of lighting effects that you can use for the keyboard and even adjust the colors, though there are some RGB functions that would have been added such as the speed of the effects, probably an app update would help include this. Here you can also configure the macro programs and set profiles that you can select on the keyboard.
Overall the ASUS ROG Claymore is one of the best gaming keyboard to arrive this year, its design and build makes it look and feel like a high quality gaming keyboard as it should be, though the Mayan-inspired detailing has its fair of hit and miss, but it still help bring out one impressive look for the Claymore. The detachable numpad was a great feature along with the RGB lighting effect that allows you to customize the way you use your keyboard and with the Aura Sync that lets you connect other Aura-supported components to sync its RGB lighting effect with your keyboard, a nifty idea if you have any ASUS component installed on your rig. The price tag at around PhP 9,310 may be too steep for some, but investing on the Claymore is worth it as you will know you are getting the best gaming keyboard your money could get.
The Claymore Core (PhP 7,250) is also available in the market, having the same keyboard with less the detachable numpad.