My past two weeks with the Asus ROG Chakram X gaming mouse have proven quite interesting. For the premium price point, Asus have packed in a bunch of quality features, including a wealth of customisable options and a sturdy design. But in the same breath, it also features additional buttons that can be hard to reach, on top of customisable options like switches that feel rather inconsequential in the long term. Make no mistake, the Asus ROG Chakram X sits in the upper echelon of premium gaming mice, but it might not sit at the very top at this point in time.
For the most part, the Asus ROG Chakram X is a pleasure to hold. It’s sleek profile and wide design make it a dream for those with larger hands like myself, with a wider thumb support for added comfort. While it sleek profile can suit smaller hands, a palm rest would suit most sized hands, particular for prolonged use. Complete with three PTFE feet, the ROG Chakram X glides with ease, given the heftier weight of 127g, which is much heavier when compared to similar mice on the market like the SteelSeries Aerox 9, weighing in at just 89g. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the weight accounts for a solid build quality and sturdy design, with the main switches and scrolling wheel supporting the weight of my fingers and grip.
The ROG Chakram X also features a programmable multi-directional joystick which sits on the side of the mouse along with 4 additional side-buttons. The buttons sit in a cross shaped pattern, with the up and down buttons initially programmed for volume control, which I thought was a nice touch, as I had never thought to use those buttons in such a way. The thumb joystick however, is a little less convenient, but not due to its functionality, but rather its placement. I could never comfortably move my thumb to the stick, or in such a way that felt natural or seamless. Besides this, the overall design still fits firmly in the win column. General use is comfortable and smooth, with minimal RGB lighting to interrupt any of the sleek curves, which I personally admire.
Functionality & Customisation
Aside from the aforementioned side buttons and thumb joystick, there’s plenty to love about the ROG Chakram X. With multiple methods of connectivity, users can take advantage of both 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth options for wireless functionality with an expected 1,000 Hz polling rate. However, it also supports USB-C connectivity for an impressive 8,000 Hz polling rate which is simply a joy, although more than most users will ever need. A nifty feature which I believe more gaming mice should include is a spot for the wireless USB dongle, which is conveniently located under the palm of the mouse, via a palm plate that disconnects and reattaches with ease.
Both main left and right click buttons are detachable and interchangeable with either 3-pin or 5-pin mechanical switches. It can feel a little daunting for new users to change them for the first time, but never takes more than a minute or two in order to get them properly seated and back on track. That being said, the lighter of the included switches still feels a little too sensitive for me. Too often did If find myself accidently clicking either the left or right click buttons while relaxing my fingers. I understand this aims to assist with minimising general reaction times, but ultimately feels a little too trigger happy.
Much like the premium gaming mice on this end of the market, battery life of the Chakram X is simply sublime. It claims to last up to 114, and I’m starting to believe it. I have been using the Chakram X for a couple of weeks now, and am yet to need a charge. For the sake of this review, I had tested such features, and can add that USB-C and Qi wireless charging left me feeling spoilt for choice.
Thanks to Asus’ Armoury Crate software, the Chakram X is extremely customisable. It’s been hard to argue with the software from previous reviews, allowing for customisations on all fronts, be it assigning buttons and macros to side keys, DPI settings or RGB options. Changes can be made on the fly, although the Armoury Crate feels a little busy if you’re looking to use it solely to tweak the Chakram X settings, simply due to the fact that it serves as a hub for all Asus products, highlighting the latest deals and offers. That being said, as I have an Asus gaming laptop, it’s a convenient hub nonetheless for the laptop itself and all connected Asus devices.
Verdict & Value
Overall, the Asus ROG Chakram X gaming mouse is a worthy contender, with some slight design flaws. Be it the hard to reach thumbstick or sensitive left and right click buttons, these annoyances linger, but rarely diminish the premium build quality and smooth functionality. My time with the Chakram X was largely positive, but the hefty premium price tag of AUD $269 will more than likely scare casual gamers away.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Solid build quality; Wealth of customisation options; Sublime battery life
Lowlights: Side buttons and joystick can feel a little out of reach at times; Lighter left and right click buttons are too sensitive
Review based on unit supplied by Asus.