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We’ve been teasing the ASUS ROG Claymore review for a while now, and I’m excited to say that the wait is finally over and the review is here! The ASUS ROG Claymore is a full sized mechanical keyboard which has some very unique features. The very first of which is a detachable numeric keypad. And not only does the Claymore feature a detachable numeric pad, ROG took it to the next level by giving you the option to attach the numeric keypad on the other side. How often do you get to see that? It also sports MX RGB mechanical switches from the renowned company known as Cherry. And to top it off, ASUS ROG also implemented some very unique hotkeys on the keyboard like CPU OC, Memory OC and more.
A little briefing about the company. I’m sure you must have heard of the brand ASUS as they’ve been manufacturing computer components for about 30 years. And it is also one of the brands that’s easily available in Pakistan. ROG, short for Republic of Gamers, founded in 2006, is a sub brand of ASUS that handles the PC gaming oriented hardware.
ASUS ROG Claymore Unboxing:
So we get the ASUS ROG Claymore in a giant rectangular box. I’ve reviewed a few mechanical keyboard in past on a different website, but never have I seen a keyboard box of such size. On the front, we have a picture of the keyboard, with RGB LEDs enabled, and I would guess in the wave effect. Above the keyboard picture, we have the product name. On the left side, we have some features mentioned like it supports Aura Sync, got Cherry MX Red RGB switches, and that it even won the reddot 2016 award. Below that we have the ASUS logo, meanwhile, the Republic of Gamers logo is present on the top right side.
Flipping over the box, we have some more features listed here like the detachable numerical keypad, the switches, 11 customizable lighting effects etc. On the left, we have the product name once again and on the right, we have a unit information sticker and some standard markings.
On the back of the box, we have some detailed specifications of the keyboard. On the left corner, we have the ASUS ROG logo followed by the product name. In the middle, we have a picture of the Claymore with pointers describing some of the secondary functions of a few keys. And at the bottom, we have a mention of the ROG Armoury software which we will cover in the review. And besides, that is the contact info of the manufacturer.
And on either side of the box, we have the ROG Claymore printed. Also, the box is opened from the sides as well, as there’s another box inside that we need to pull out.
This box features a flip design, and removing the top reveals one large compartment and one small compartment, both holding something within a cloth bag. We all know that’s the keyboard and the Numpad.
So here’s all the stuff we get with the ASUS ROG Claymore. From right to left, we have a braided cable, 2 ROG badge, a greeting card and an instruction manual. If you’re wondering what the black piece underneath the badges is, it’s a small box. All the stuff, other than the cable was inside it.
Here’s a close up of the ASUS ROG Badge. It has double-sided tape behind it so you can attach it to anything.
On one side of the USB end, we have the USB logo. And on the other side, we have the ROG branding. And if you haven’t noticed, it features a polygonal design. And on the microUSB end, we have a similar situation, with USB logo on one end and ROG on other and the same polygonal design.
Now let’s take a look at the keyboard bags. We have ASUS ROG branding on both cloth bags, however, they are somewhat smudged.
ASUS ROG Claymore Closer Look:
Starting with the QWERTY part of the Claymore or the core body, this is how it looks. The top frame features an aluminum construction. The aluminum construction also gives it a bit of glossy texture and talking about texture, the top frame features a Mayan-inspired detailing. Those detailing aren’t much visible in this picture, but you’ll get to see more of it down below. As for the keycaps, they have some secondary functions printed along the main function while some more are present at the front bottom. The front bottom prints can be seen clearly from the position one would use the keyboard, so that’s a nice touch in my opinion. And the top prints are translucent so the LED effects would pass through them easily. Then we also seem to have an ASUS ROG logo present at the mid-bottom. And the ROG Logo also features RGB LEDs.
From this angle, you can grasp an idea of what the Mayan-inspired detailing looks like. Also, the ROG logo seems to be wearing a film from this picture, however, it isn’t. That’s just how it looks, and my guess would be they’ve merged the LED strip with the Logo, that’s why it looks like that. Then there’s the “REPUBLIC OF GAMERS” title printed on the spacebar. You wouldn’t see something like this on many other keyboards, decorating it with small details like this is what makes the Claymore different from the others.
And from this picture, I think you can better understand what the Mayan-inspired detailing looks like. That pattern is followed throughout the top aluminum frame of the keyboard. This picture also gives a better view of the secondary function prints on the keycaps.
Now one question about this keyboard, in particular, would be, how do you attach and detach the numeric keypad? Well, we have this special housing made for the detachable numeric keypad, on both sides of the keyboard. They both have these rubber covers protecting the connection points.
Removing which reveals the connection points. Now ASUS ROG didn’t just make a detachable Numpad for the Claymore, they took it one step further by giving you the option of attaching the Numpad on both sides of the keyboard. That’s a pretty nice move.
This is how the back of the keyboard looks like. The details aren’t much visible in this picture, but we can see the information sticker at the bottom along with 3 feet and the extenders at the top corners. And unlike the top frame that had a aluminum construction, the bottom body is made out of plastic.
And I believe this is the best shot I took of the keyboard. However, this is not what you’ll buy the keyboard for. The details at the back become much clearer in this picture. The aggressive design at the back looks like something you would see in a move filled with sci-fi content. Also, if you look closely, we also have the ASUS ROG and Claymore engraving in the middle. And just below that is the insertion point for the microUSB cable. And the two cuts below the microUSB port on the left and right sides are the cable routing grooves. This is most probably the best-detailed back of a keyboard I’ve seen so far.
Here’s a comparison of the lift the extenders at the back provides. But at the angle the keys are installed on this keyboard, I don’t think you would require those extenders. But you still have the option.
And this is what the detachable numeric keypad looks like up close. It features the same aluminum construction and Mayan-inspired pattern throughout the frame. Then there’s a roller at the top which is used for the volume adjustment. And you can even press the roller to mute the volume. And on both ends of the roller, it seems like there are two screws, but that’s not the case, it just some detailing touch on the Numpad.
Similarly, on the numeric keypad, we have the connection points covered with rubber on both sides.
Removing the cover reveals the connection pins on the Numpad. And there’s one more crucial detail that the ASUS ROG didn’t forget. It’s the way the Numpad is attached to the rest of the body. If you haven’t noticed, the housing/detachable mechanism is designed in such a way that you have to insert the Numpad from above into the housing on the keyboard. Not the other way around where you would have needed to insert the connection points on the keyboard into the numeric pad from above. This would have been way too inconvenient. So, props to ASUS ROG design team for thinking it through.
This is what the back of the numeric keypad looks like. We have 3 feet in total. Then we have an information sticker, on top of which is the ASUS ROG Logo engraved onto the body. And at the top, we have the extender for the Numpad.
So that pretty much covers the keyboard along with the detachable Numpad. These are the two profiles you can set up by attaching the Numpad to either left or right side of the keyboard. Now let’s talk about the Cherry MX Red RGB switch being used in this keyboard.
ASUS ROG Claymore Specification:
|Connectivity Technology:||Wired, USB 2.0|
|OS Support:||Windows® 10|
|Dimensions:||450 x 145 x 45 mm|
|Weight:||943 g with cable|
|Contents:||1 x Claymore keyboard 80%|
1 x Claymore keyboard 20% (numerical keypad)
1 x USB cable
2 x ROG pouches
2 x ROG logo stickers
Cherry MX Red RGB Switches:
When we talk about mechanical switches, there’s one brand that everybody knows about, Cherry. And the Claymore we are reviewing today features Cherry’s MX Red RGB switches. These switches are a product of Cherry and Corsair’s partnership and it was introduced back in 2014. The only difference between the Cherry’s MX Red and MX Red RGB is the addition of RGB LEDs.
These switches have a linear feeling, they aren’t tactile. These switches only require about 45cN force to register. Due to the linear response and low actuation force, these switches are favored by most gamers. As it makes for rapid actuation of the keys easier.
ASUS ROG Claymore Alternate Function Keys:
The ROG Claymore also comes with many hotkeys to make your life a lot easier. Some of these hotkeys are basic that you may see on most keyboards in the market, but some of them are exclusive to the ROG Claymore. Following is a list of hotkeys that the ASUS ROG Claymore has.
You can change the brightness of the LEDs by pressing Fn+ Down or Fn+Up arrow key.
You can also increase the level of Red, Green and Blue colors by 10 on the go. Press Fn+Delete for Red, Fn+End for Green and Fn+PageDown for Blue.
The Claymore also features a hotkey that lets you sync the LED effects between the Claymore and the ASUS ROG Spatha mouse. However, this hotkey only works when the ROG Armoury software is activated.
To sync both mouse and keyboard, press Fn+PrintScreen button.
Windows Key Off:
This hotkey lets you disable the windows key. One of the most helpful and much-needed feature of a gaming keyboard.
To disable the Windows key, press Fn+Windows key. And same to enable it.
On the Fly Macro Recording:
The ASUS ROG Claymore, even though has a macro recording tab in the ROG Armoury setup for all the macro customization, it also features on the fly macro recording.
There are three steps to recording a macro on the go.
Step 1: Fn + Right-ALT to start recording
Step 2: Fn + Right-ALT to end recording
Step 3: assign Macro Key
The ROG Claymore also has a hotkey for Memory overclocking. However, this feature is exclusive to systems using ASUS ROG motherboard.
To Overclock Memory, press F12
Also, a nice thing to have. Just press the Enter key to power on your system. Very handy when you have your system in a compact space.
Lighting Effect Switch:
To switch Lighting Effects, press Fn+Right or Fn+Left arrow key.
The ROG Claymore can hold up to 6 profiles at the time in its memory. To switch between profiles, press Fn+1/2/3/4/5/6 key.
Fan Speed Control:
Another feature exclusive to systems utilizing ASUS ROG motherboards. Also, to access this feature, you must have the ROG Armoury and Fan Xpert software activated.
To increase the fan speed, press “Fn” + “+” key and to decrease the speed, press “Fn” + “-” key.
I don’t think I’ve seen this feature on any other keyboard before as well. It lets you increase the key repetition speed when you’re holding down a key on the keyboard. I don’t really see a practical use of this feature, but it’s there if you need.
Fn + F1: 1X
Fn + F2: 2X
Fn + F3: 3X
Fn + F4: 4X
Just like RAM overclocking, you can overclock your CPU as well just by pressing one button the ASUS ROG Claymore. However, once again, this is exclusive to systems utilizing ASUS ROG Motherboard.
To overclock your system, press F11.
Enter Into Bios:
Press Del key to enter directly into bios when your system if off.
You can also clear CMOS in case your OC settings go wrong just by pressing CLR keys on the keyboard.
ROG Armoury Software
ASUS ROG Claymore is accompanyed by a software called ROG Armoury. You’ll need this software in order to access the maximum customization capabilities of the Claymore. To download the software, head over to the following link: ROG Armoury
The installation is pretty easy and is just like any other program you’d install.
Once your firmware update is complete, this is where you’ll land. Right now, we’re in the Keyboard setting tabs. From here you can select and customize up to 5 different profiles. Also, you can enable/disable some functions from the keyboard that can be annoying in gaming mode. Also, you can link programs to different profiles by clicking on the little lock symbol in front of the Profile names. So, when you execute the said program, the keyboard will change to the profile connected with the program.
From here, you can also assign different functions to the keys by pressing on the key you want to customize from the keyboard picture. Once you click on any key, and popup will open. And from here, you can assign the key different keyboard functions, mouse functions, macros etc.
And also, from the keyboard tab, you can change the LED effects of the keyboard. There are about 8 LED effects pre-programmed for the keyboard. However, Claymore also has an option for customizing your LED effects.
This is LED customization tab. From here you can assign different LED effects to every key individually. So, there’s a lot of patterns to play around with. This is also one of the most satisfying LED customization experience I’ve had with a keyboard. You can see the LEDs and customization of LED effects in action on next page.
Then beside the Keyboard tab, we have the macro tab. Recording the macro in the software is pretty simple. Just create a macro by clicking on the + symbol on the top left corner, press the record button, input your desired function and press stop. And that’s all you need to do. You can also edit the input if you’d like by pressing the right click. Now go ahead and assign the macro to a key in the keyboard settings tab.
Besides the Macro tab, we have the Sync tab. From here, you can sync the keyboard LED effects with the ASUS motherboard and other ASUS peripherals I believe. The options in my pictures are disabled because, at the time of this review, I didn’t have any other ASUS product that utilizes this function. And having not used the Asus Aura software, I believe the keyboard should show up there as well for synchronization.
And the last tab is called Stats. As the name suggests, it keeps a track of some of the most used keys in-game like WASD. However, you need to press the record button first to keep a tab on your stats. It does not record these keys by default. Not really a practical feature in my opinion, since, let’s be honest, who has the time. But if someone’s concerned, they can surely check their key stats from this tab.
What better express the LED effects than a video demonstration? So, check out the LED effects in action in the video below
User Experience and Conclusion:
I’ve been using the ASUS ROG Claymore for about 2 weeks now and the keyboard leaves me nothing more than satisfied. I really love the detachable Numpad design of the keyboard. The fact that I can remove the Numpad when I’m gaming for a better and closer hand posture is a great feat that this keyboard provides. And not only can you remove the Numpad, you can install it on either side of the keyboard. So, this also gives you the option of installing the Numpad on the right side and use it as it’s supposed to. Or, you can use the whole Numpad as a macro pad by assigning macros to the Numpad keys. This could be an amazing feat for those who require lots of macros in their daily life.
Other than the detachable Numpad, ASUS ROG has put a lot of efforts into the whole design. The whole keyboard features Mayan-inspired detailing that looks great up-close. Then the ASUS ROG logo at the bottom is sure to catch your eye multiple times. And who can forget the aggressive back design that this keyboard features? Even though you won’t be seeing it much, but that doesn’t stop ASUS ROG from design a back like that.
There’s one question may have about this keyboard. It’s that the numeric keypad has a volume roller at the top where you’d usually find the LED indicators for Num lock, Scroll lock, and Caps lock. So where are the LEDs for those? Well, there aren’t any separate LEDs for those, instead, the Num lock, scroll lock, and Caps lock button glows in white color themselves when these functions are enabled. This does get in the way of your LED effects, but it doesn’t make them look awful bad, and I think they had to make do with something, so that’s the only solution they could find without compromising the overall design.
About the volume roller, it’s a pretty awesome feature. Makes adjusting volume very easy since you don’t have to reach for a multimedia shortcut or mouse to adjust the volume. Just reach out for the volume roller and adjust it. And you can also mute the volume by pressing the roller downwards. And it does add that extra points to the aesthetics of numeric keypad.
As for the LED effects, the keyboard features some cool effects, as can be seen in the video in the Lighting Effects section. Also, the fact that you can assign different LED effects to each key individually makes the possibility for numerous pattern. I love the LED effect that I created with the keyboard where the spectrum waves are running upwards and the WASD keys are set to breathing effect in red color.
Now talking about the software, the ROG Armoury software is pretty well laid out, with everything you need in their respective categories. I’ve played around with the software for a while and didn’t come across any bugs. Recording and assign the macros from the software is pretty easy, so is recording macros on-the-go on the keyboard.
Whereas this keyboard comes with some basic hotkeys like profile switch, LED effect switch etc, it also comes with some special hotkeys. The only drawback, which I think ASUS ROG can’t do anything about is that some of these Hotkeys are exclusive to ASUS ROG motherboards and peripherals like the CPU Overclocking, CLEAR CMOS etc. It would have been great to see these features in a universal usage environment.
Even though the ASUS ROG Claymore has an MSRP of $250, as available on their official store, it is going for as high as $310 on Amazon & Newegg. And I just wouldn’t recommend or personally go for a keyboard for a price as high as that. And even at $250, it’s a bit difficult to recommend but believe me when I say this that it is one of the best keyboard money can buy. If you were to find this keyboard on sale, don’t think twice if you got a healthy wallet.
As far as the local market is concerned, The ASUS ROG Claymore is yet to be launched in Pakistan, however, it is available on some local online stores for a miraculous price point of 20500-22500. I know that sounds crazy considering the MSRP and the dollar to PKR exchange rate but that’s what the situation is like. So don’t miss this chance to score the Claymore if you’re looking for a keyboard for the long run. You can contact Easetec for local availability. Buy it on Amazon for 310$ at ASUS ROG Claymore Gaming Keyboard
In the end, considering everything we’ve talked about this keyboard in the review, I would like to give the ASUS ROG Claymore our precious Editor’s choice award.