Founded in 2006, Republic of Gamers or ROG was formed as a separate division for the purpose of delivering innovative hardware for gamers. ROG is ASUS’ Premium line for Gamers from PC components, systems, laptops all the way to peripherals. ROG now extends its branding through eSports with sponsorships and the launch of its own tournament, the ROG Masters.
UNBOXING and FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The front of the box sports ASUS’ standard packaging with the product at the center and its key features on the upper left. The back parts sports a flat image of the keyboard with its features highlighted. Product Specifications can be seen on the left.
Unboxing the package reveals that the modules separated and protected by a velvet pouch. Aside from that you’ll get a product warranty guide, product manual, 2 ROG case badges in red and black, and a detachable micro USB cable.
The Claymore Core and its Numpad module gives out an alien spaceship motif having textured “PCB Lines” and angular edges. The design is consistent throughout the back part as it still gives an angled body.
The Claymore core has a metal construction and has a higher height compared to most mechanical keyboards. The keyboard’s bottom part, where the ROG Logo is located, can serve as a wrist rest. The extra features on some keys are located in the bottom part provides a great bonus for users, also, ASUS’ strategy on its location helps the keyboard maintain its minimalistic look without sacrificing the added functionality.
The keyboard’s flip stand angles the keyboard enough considering its large body.
Moving to the back of the keyboard, you can see 3 rubber feet at the bottom with 2 more additional rubber feet if you’ll use the flip stand. The keyboard also sports a detachable micro-usb cable which is secured thanks to its design construction keeping it from accidental unplugs. The keyboard also has cable routing groves for a better cable management to improve your overall desk setup appeal.
The numpad module has a large volume wheel on top as well as its own flip stand.
The modules can be connected thru the side that uses a proprietary pin-type connection. ASUS provides rubber covers in order to protect the connectors when not in use.
The metal construction of the modules helps it to be secured when connected to each other. The numpad module acts as a basic numpad if its connected at the right. If the numpad is connected to the left, all keys act as a macro key which you can input macros via the ASUS Armoury Software.
The default tab on the ASUS ARMOURY software contains the individual key mapping/assignment of the keyboard. On the left side, you can select individual profiles for different sets of customization. The bottom part lets you select which key or key combinations will be disabled when activating game mode.
The Macro tab enables you to create your macros. Note that these macros are profile dependent and once you saved your macro to a profile, you need to either import it if you want the macro to be applied in a new profile. The stats tab just shows how many times certain keys are pressed and your KPM(Keystrokes Per Minute).
The sync tab contains all the settings you will need for lighting customization. This includes standard lighting presets as well as the ability to have your effects layered that allows the keyboard to have two or more lighting effects running at the same time.
The ASUS Armoury software also allows you to create custom lighting profiles if the presets aren’t enough. However, the speed of the effect however is only limited to 3 different rates.
User Experience & Conclusion
Performance. The long wait for the release of this is keyboard is definitely worth it as its performance doesn’t necessarily rely on its software as compared to most keyboards thanks to its on the fly customization. CherryMX key switches give out a solid typing experience coupled with a premium feel.
Build Quality. The Claymore’s construction is arguably one of the best in the market thanks to its aluminum build. The modules just snap in buy placing the sides on top of each other, but I would’ve preferred a stronger locking mechanism so that the keyboard is still in place especially when you’re carrying it.
Functionality. The modularity of the Claymore allows the user to have dedicated macro keys, that’s if you are willing to sacrifice your numpad as a tradeoff. As of writing, ASUS has not yet released any other modules compatible with the Keyboard.
Bundle. Content wise, ASUS never fails to deliver a premium package with the Claymore. The velvet pouches, the keyboard’s solid construction, and its software are ASUS’ trifecta in its flagship mechanical gaming keyboard. However, a keycap puller would’ve been the keyboard’s cherry on top.
Value. For Php 9,520 SRP, the keyboard competes with the Razer Blackwidow X and the Corsair K95 Platinum RGB as they are of the same price range. While the keyboards mentioned excel in their own field such as 100% per key and RGB customization, what you’ll get with ASUS’ offering is the ability of switch from a full sized layout to either a compact TKL version with only the use of the core, or utilize the numpad as a macropad similar to Razer’s Orbweaver.
As the flagship gaming keyboard carrying the ROG name, ASUS backs this up with a 1-year product replacement warranty. We give the ASUS ROG Claymore our Gold Award!