ASUS ROG Chakram review 2020 : The best wireless gaming mouse and gamepad
ASUS ROG why should be a good gaming mouse? The basic requirements are quite simple and understandable: the convenient shape and materials of the case, a fast and accurate sensor, reliable and durable switches and ease of use. But, of course, manufacturers like to experiment and periodically release very unusual devices. Today in our editorial office is just such a model. This is the flagship gaming mouse ASUS ROG Chakram with a joystick, wireless connection and a bunch of different interesting tricks. Apparently, the mouse got its name Chakram in honor of the ancient Indian throwing weapon Chakra in the form of a flat metal ring with a sharp outer perimeter. Surely everyone remembers what it is thanks to the series Xena: Warrior Princess.
What is ASUS ROG Chakram?
ASUS ROG Chakram – an asymmetric wireless gaming mouse under the right hand with the ability to connect via radio, Bluetooth or cable, 16,000 DPI optical sensor, polling frequency up to 1000 Hz, interchangeable switches, an additional joystick, and wireless charging.
What is interesting ASUS ROG Chakram?
The interesting features of the ASUS ROG Chakram turned out to be a decent amount. The mouse can work in three modes: by wire, 2.4 GHz radio channel with a complete transmitter and Bluetooth. It is powered by a built-in battery, which should be enough for 79 hours of operation over the air without backlight. Supports wireless and fast charging by cable. 15 minutes of charging should be enough for 12 hours of play. From unusual design solutions – the joystick on the left side, which can work in analog or digital mode (as an analog stick, or as an additional custom control). The design of the mouse is collapsible: Omron switches for 50 million clicks are installed, which can be replaced. The sensor is optical at 16,000 DPI, the model is not specified. Customizable RGB backlighting with support for AURA Sync, of course, is present.
What is in the box?
The ROG Chakram comes in an unusually large box, which is not surprising given the amount of content. The box is decorated as usual, in black and red colors, with a lot of color printing. Inside – a mouse, a USB transmitter, a USB Type-C cable for wired connection, an adapter from Type-C to Type-A (to get the transmitter closer to the mouse if the system is under the table), an accessory box, a carrying case, a replacement plate for Highlights, sticker, and documentation.
In a small box, there is a removable stick with a higher leg, a plug (if the joystick is not needed), Omron interchangeable switches and tweezers to replace them.
The case for transportation of black color with a zipper, with the logo of the ROG line. In case you like to carry everything with you.
What does the ASUS ROG Chakram look like?
ASUS ROG Chakram – moderately large asymmetric mouse, exclusively under the right arm. Made entirely of black plastic. It is noteworthy that the entire upper part is translucent, made of smooth plastic. This is done so that the backlight can be seen, but in reality, the solution is not the most practical. It looks unusual but is covered with fingerprints and other signs of use. The buttons are separated from the back of the lid, while they do not hang out due to the specific additional design with springs. Thanks to this, the buttons are as close to the switches as possible.
Both side faces have a raised surface for a better “grip” with the hand. On the left side, there is a rather impressive thumb pad, two familiar additional buttons, and the same joystick. It is located just below and closer to the front edge of the mouse. Theoretically, it should be convenient to use the thumb, but by this moment we will return a little later.
On the right side there is only a relief insert:
One of the backlight zones is located in the usual place, closer to the back of the mouse. An interesting point is that the picture can be replaced. The top cover can be removed very easily thanks to the magnetic mount. Under it there is a place to store the USB transmitter and a standard black plate with the ROG logo is installed. In the kit there is a white one on which you can apply any your own drawing. Yes, such a collapsible design is not very good from the point of view of reliability and durability, but the lid does not have any noticeable backlashes, at least for now. For additional fixation, there is a special protrusion on the back of the lid, which falls into the corresponding recess in the back of the mouse.
The scroll wheel has a rubberized surface with diagonal notches and backlighting on the sides. Interestingly, there is no standard button for switching modes behind the wheel, it is located in another place.
Front – the third backlight zone in the form of an LED strip. It can perform not only a decorative function. It also serves as an indication when switching modes and low battery. A little lower is the Type-C connector.
In the middle of the bottom of the mouse, there is an optical sensor in a triangular “window”, three wide Teflon legs, a three-position slider, and two buttons. The slider is responsible for switching the operating modes: via the 2.4 GHz radio channel, Bluetooth and turning off the power (it is also responsible for the cable modem). One of the buttons is responsible for turning on the mouse pairing mode, and the second for switching DPI modes. A large triangular area with technical information is also responsible for wireless charging. It does not play absolutely any role if you use a gaming surface with wireless charging (for example, ROG Balteus Qi), but if you decide to put on a regular Qi-charge from a smartphone for the night, then you have to successfully hit this platform, which I did not succeed with the first time.
Complete cable 1.8 meters, fabric braided. On the one hand – a standard USB-connector, on the other – Type-C. It is not bad in quality, although there are better ones: it is lightweight, but not too malleable.
The mouse is quite large: 132.7×76.6×42.8 mm and weighty: 121.6 g, which is not surprising given the abundance of bells and whistles, a battery and an induction coil. But for fans of easy mice, it will not be the most successful option.
How convenient is it to use?
Dimensions and shapes are best suited for grip with the palm and fingers, depending on the anatomical features and preferences. For me, palm grip seemed optimal for a number of reasons. With a palm grip, the mouse is most securely grasped and controlled on the surface, additional side buttons are located just above the thumb joint, and its end just reaches the joystick. By the way, the implementation of the side buttons is not the most successful: they are large and pressed well, but are located right next to each other and the separation between them is almost not felt. As mentioned above, the mouse is weighty, which is worth considering: everyone has different tastes. I just like this format fits perfectly: DPI set a little more, and make fewer movements. A balanced mouse is very good and does not outweigh anywhere when raised above the surface.
The scroll wheel is tenacious and comfortable, works quietly. Cutoffs are not the most informative, but at a very good level. The main buttons use well-known Omron switches, and an additional fine-tuning mechanism with springs minimizes the distance between the button itself and the switch, which (in theory) should increase the response speed. It is difficult to evaluate how this corresponds to reality “by eye”, but according to the sensations, the buttons are very convenient, they work quickly, the movie is short but informative. By default, installed Chinese Omron D2FC-FK (50M) for 50 million clicks. They are very fast and great for shooters. In the kit, there is a couple of Japanese Omron D2F-01F with a tighter stroke and a resource of 1 million operations.
But the most interesting feature of the mouse is, of course, the joystick. And here there is a specificity (again, it depends on the anatomy): I didn’t get a short stick at all. I couldn’t really hook it with my finger and it was extremely inconvenient to use it. But the situation has changed significantly with the replacement of a long version. The difference turned out to be much more significant than might have been expected. It has become really quite usable. As for its application, it is possible to come up with different scenarios. It can be used in digital or analog mode. For example, to move in sports simulators instead of arrows, or control movement/camera in air simulators or races. In FIFA, the joystick very well entered almost immediately. In digital mode, you can assign 4 additional functions to it (in four directions): for example, voice chat, or something else like that. The thing is definitely interesting, but it takes some getting used to. Plus, there is another important difference from sticks on the gamepad: the joystick in ASUS ROG Chakram is not pressed.
Let’s talk about what can she do?
ASUS ROG Chakram uses an optical sensor with a maximum resolution of 16,000 DPI. It is capable of tracking movement at speeds up to 400 inches per second and acceleration up to 40g. ASUS does not specify which sensor is used, although there is a suspicion that this is some kind of custom variation on the theme of PMW3389 / 3390. In any case, the sensor is excellent, both in terms of its characteristics, resolution margin, and stability. During use, no unpleasant moments such as disruptions, twitches of the cursor, etc. were not observed. The mouse smartly shows itself, both in all kinds of action games, RPGs, strategies and in very high-speed shooters like the new Doom Eternal. Of the features (not the sensor, but the mouse itself) it is worth mentioning the possibility of smooth DPI adjustment without software. To do this, hold down the DPI button for a few seconds, then use the scroll wheel to select the desired level. In this case, the wheel illumination will change color depending on the level. I can’t say that this is very necessary or especially convenient, but maybe it will come in handy for someone. By the way, on the fly, you can also switch profiles by combining a DPI button with two additional buttons or a scroll wheel. There are three of them: the standard mouse model with a digital joystick, the same thing, but with an analog joystick and the gamepad mode. In the latter case, four mouse buttons are assigned as gamepad buttons. ASUS made a video with a more vivid demonstration of how to set it up: On the fly, you can also switch profiles by combining a DPI button with two additional buttons or a scroll wheel. There are three of them: the standard mouse model with a digital joystick, the same thing, but with an analog joystick and the gamepad mode. In the latter case, four mouse buttons are assigned as gamepad buttons. ASUS made a video with a more vivid demonstration of how to set it up: On the fly, you can also switch profiles by combining a DPI button with two additional buttons or a scroll wheel. There are three of them: the standard mouse model with a digital joystick, the same thing, but with an analog joystick and the gamepad mode. In the latter case, four mouse buttons are assigned as gamepad buttons. ASUS made a video with a more vivid demonstration of how to set it up:
You can use three options to connect. The cable connection does not need an explanation. Without a wire, there are two options: Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz using a USB transmitter. The first option is more suitable for working with a laptop in a browser and with some documents. In this mode, the battery discharges more slowly, but the polling frequency is limited to 125 Hz. When connected via 2.4 GHz, a sampling frequency of 1000 Hz is available, and for signal stability, SmartHop technology is used, which analyzes the load and interference in the 2.4 GHz frequency range and automatically selects the freest channel. The signal is stable, there is no noticeable delay. And if your desktop is located under the table, for fidelity, you can use the cable with the adapter as an extension cord, so that the transmitter is closer to the mouse.
ASUS promises up to 79 hours of operation over the air with the backlight off. And fast charging: 15 minutes of power from the cable will allow you to play another 12 hours. Qi wireless charging is an interesting feature, but it will be useful only with the corresponding gaming surface (which also costs money). Or, as an option, attach a mouse to a smartphone for the night. In real life, with the backlight working at maximum brightness, a full charge lasts about 24 hours. That is, for 3 days if you play 8 hours a day, which is quite good.
You can configure the mouse using two applications. There is a traditional ROG Armory and a new Armory Crate, which ASUS recommends switching to in the Armory application. Apparently, Armory Crate is not at the final stage: there are minor nuances, primarily in terms of localization. But, in general, it is a little more functional and is a kind of hub for setting up absolutely all ASUS gaming devices, it allows you to configure AURA synchronization, including with Hue lamps. There are separate tabs with all installed games for choosing different profiles for each, setting up and recording macros, as well as two less useful ones with a kind of news feed and current promotions for games in digital stores.
But we are more interested in the mouse setup itself. The set of settings is generally standard. In the upper right corner, user profiles are switched. In the first tab under the name “Buttons”, the button binding is actually configured, the joystick mode is switched and actions are assigned to it (in digital mode):
The “Performance” section is responsible for setting DPI levels, enabling angular reference, selecting the polling frequency and button response time:
A lot of backlight settings. A bunch of different effects, adjusting brightness, speed, individual color selection by zone and a mode with battery indication.
In the “Calibration” section, you can select the separation height:
The “power” tab displays the current battery level. You can select the level at which the low-battery warning light comes on and set the time to go into sleep mode.
And another tab is responsible for updating the firmware.
In the dry residue:
To summarize, the ASUS ROG Chakram turned out to be a very interesting and unique, albeit rather a strange mouse. If we consider it as a “classic” gaming mouse, then we have an excellent accurate sensor with a large margin of the resolution, a very convenient shape for the right hand, excellent durable switches and three different types of connections. At the same time, there is a lot of scopes for customization to fit your needs: the switches are easy to replace when two complete pairs fail (or just with other suitable ones), the logo on the back can be replaced with your own picture and, of course, you can configure the joystick as you wish. There is also a number of less important, but also pleasant bonuses, including convenient software, the ability to configure some things on the fly, wireless charging and RGB-backlight. On the other hand, such a collapsible design does not contribute to durability: the less moving parts – the more reliable. And not everyone needs all these bells and whistles. And they increase the price and make it extremely impressive. ASUS ROG Chakram is already on sale and cost around $150.
6 reasons to buy an ASUS ROG Chakram:
- convenient shape and dimensions;
- fast and accurate optical sensor;
- excellent Omron switches and the ability to replace them;
- support for 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth, and cable;
- functional proprietary software and the presence of internal memory;
- Are you sure you will use the joystick?
3 reasons not to buy an ASUS ROG Chakram:
- more removable and movable parts, which reduces integrity and reliability;
- You are sure that you do not need a joystick on the mouse;
- high price.