ASUS has been on the forefront of the consumer market for more than a decade and their prevalence has been mostly due to their ability to fill-in any market segment when they so desire and in the enthusiast and gaming segment, while they’re Republic of Gamers lineup of components and notebooks have been a dominant brand, they have released their gaming peripheral line-up under the more mainstream Strix branding. With the announcement of the new ROG peripheral line-up last year, ASUS has been more active in promoting their gaming peripherals portfolio but with only a few to drum their PR drums to, they haven’t left their mark yet… until now.the ROG Spatha boasts excellent precision, great build quality and a highly versatile feature set making an excellent choice for gamers who favor feature and excellent build quality. While ASUS still hasn’t enabled advanced RGB effects, the ROG Spatha by itself is a stunner to look at
ASUS recently announced their flagship gaming mouse for the ROG brand; the ASUS ROG Spatha wireless gaming mouse. This mouse has been seen earlier last year along with the flagship ROG Claymore mechanical keyboard and both of which have garnered attention for the most obvious reason that they’re from ASUS and secondly, that they’re very high quality. Today, we’ll be putting the ROG Spatha wireless gaming mouse under our scope. The ROG Spatha sets the stage on what to expect from ASUS high-end gaming mice and the Spatha has a lot of competition to deal with so we’re really interested on the design and functions of the ROG Spatha. Read on![section label=”Features”]
- Intuitive command and control
- Dual modes for additional flexibility
- Customizable LED effects and ROG Armoury
Closer Look: ASUS ROG Spatha
The ROG Spatha comes in a small, cubic box with full colored print on the packaging. The features are highlighted on the bottom with a shot of the product in the top cover. This is a unique take on a peripheral packaging as most brands opt for the traditional cardboard with top flaps design but ASUS has went with a packaging we mostly see in premium headset packaging.
Inside the box though is a sizable collection of accessories: the ROG Spatha mouse, the Spatha dock, the dock stand, a rubber cable, a braided cable, a hex thumb screw, two ROG logo emblem stickers and 2 replacement Omron switches. A hard case lets you bring the ROG Spatha along with you whilst being well-protected during travels.
Here’s a closer look on those extras. The ROG logo stickers are metallic and look really good. ASUS gives you both a red and silver version. Also in the bundle are two Omron switches for the the left and right-click buttons. A very nice touch and something we’ve never seen before.
It comes with a braided cable for wired mode and the rubber cable is for connective the dock.
Here’s a closer look at the ROG Spatha. The ROG Spatha features a wide, ergonomic design with broad sides giving this mice a wide look. At the base of the mouse we have a metallic-painted treatment with teflon feet lining the irregular base of the ROG Spatha. The sensor sits just a bit off-center from this perspective and recessed in a triangular groove. ASUS just showing-off right there. A power-on switch, pair button and the charging contacts also lie just beside the sensor area.
From the sides we can see the ROG Spatha resembles a few mice design we’ve seen before but from all angles, it certainly looks unique. The right-side of the mouse has a budge for the ring finger can rest on but nothing really intricate in terms of detailing which is the same as the rear-end of the ROG Spatha. The top area has vent designs which are mostly for cosmetic purposes. The thumb area is where all the action is with the intricate ROG detailing in the plastic and the irregular-shape of the 6 thumb buttons.
The primary button taper is akin to those found in the most popular mice designs and its a good design to go for especially if you’re still trying to get a feel for the market like ASUS’ ROG peripheral design team.
The rubber cable slips just between feet and dock base for a concealed look.
To power-on the ROG Spatha for wireless mode, just slide the power switch on (green indicator) and hit pair while the USB dock is connector to your system.[section label=”Breakdown”]
ROG Spatha Teardown
ASUS allows a bit of DIY with the ROG Spatha by providing a hex screw to disassemble the mouse. You need to remove the rubber caps on the screw holes to access and remove them first.
Removing the 4 hex screws lets the ROG Spatha break apart easily into three components: the top shell, side shell and base which holds the PCB.
Here we have a closer look at the relatively small PCB of the ROG Spatha. The 1000mAh battery is clear in this image but what I want you to focus on are the removable Omron switches for the left and right buttons. ASUS utilizes sockets instead of soldering their switches so if you’re not a fan of Omron or want to try out some other switches that have the same connector size, feel free to do so.
The included switches for your reference.[section label=”Software”]
ROG Armory Software
As with most highly-configurable mice, the ASUS ROG Spatha utilizes ASUS’ ROG Armory software. This software looks like its a multi-device interface but as of this moment we only have the ROG Spatha to configure so the screen presents us with options in configuring the buttons, adjusting performance sliders, changing lighting options and effects, surface calibration and power monitoring options for wireless mode.
ASUS ROG Armory’s macro recorded looks technical but its a pretty basic macro recorder that can tweak inputs (including keyboard commands) at the most. You can then save these macro commands and define them to any of the buttons of the ROG Spatha. The ROG Spatha itself allows saving up to 5 profiles which you can switch between via shortcut keys.[section label=”User Experience & Conclusion”]
User Experience & Conclusion
ASUS certainly wanted to set a great example on what can be seen from a flagship ROG gaming mouse. The ROG Spatha demonstrates that nicely with a lot of features and design considerations that give this mouse a real premium position in the lineup.
Performance is really good for both wired and wireless mode and the ROG Spatha is impressively responsive regardless of surface you use it in. We do highly recommend using a hardmat surface but that’s up to personal preference really as the ROG Spatha works both on soft and hard mousing surfaces. The DPI toggle serves as a sniper button of sorts dropping DPI to a certain level for more precision aiming which is a good choice but out of the box, you don’t really on-the-fly DPI switching but you can set it up yourself via the ROG Armory software. Battery performance is ridiculous with a full-charge giving us almost 4 days now of operation. The ROG Spatha has an idle mode so this helps in conserving battery life but at 1000mAh, its really just down 80% since our full charge when we received this unit for review during release day which is around 4 days ago or so.
The mouse is ergonomic and is designed to perfectly mold to palm-grip preference. Clawing and fingertip-grip is hard on this mouse and we’ll discuss more about that later. Anyways, if you’re a palm-grip gamer, this mouse is designed for that grip with the large top shell fitting well with average sized hands to large. Those with smaller hands might have problems with the ROG Spatha as well as its weight. So going over weight, this is one of the most glaring issues of the ROG Spatha. Its a heavy mouse. Its weight forces you to glide instead of lifting which really limits your ability to make quick jerk movements for fast-paced action which is ultimately a disadvantage in any fast-paced game like FPS and RTS.
That said, the ROG Spatha is clearly not made for competitive gaming. Its weight puts you in a disadvantage unless you’re proficient in high-DPI settings or you’re comfortable slamming the mouse rather than actually swiping it side to side. While the side buttons do allow some level of resistance to accidental presses when lifting, you’ll end up doing so occasionally and with the pre-defined thumb buttons keyed at the number keys, you may either lose focus on your control group in RTS or switch to a secondary weapon in FPS. These are very significant issues that ASUS might not have considered during the design process having not worked with actual gamers and eSports professionals. As an MMO mouse though, its excellent with the array of buttons offering the macro possibilities that enable higher level of play and a certain amount of automation when dropping spells and skills.
That said though, as a gaming mouse where precision is more important, the ROG Spatha does shine through and its good tracking allows for a great, unhindered experience when gaming. In closing, the ASUS ROG Spatha competes with the likes of the Razer Mamba and Logitech G602, both of which have been refined to near perfection and this kind of product maturity is something the ROG Spatha needs to have when its aiming to be the best gaming mouse out there. Still, the ROG Spatha boasts excellent precision, great build quality and a highly versatile feature set making an excellent choice for gamers who favor feature and excellent build quality. While ASUS still hasn’t enabled advanced RGB effects, the ROG Spatha by itself is a stunner to look at.
ASUS backs the ROG Spatha with a 1-year warranty. Price is still TBA with our estimate SRP being around $189. We give the ASUS ROG Spatha wired and wireless gaming mouse our B2G Silver Award.[section label=”Awards”]