ASUS ROG Chakram and Strix Impact II – review
ASUS ROG is now a super established brand in the community of enthusiastic PC gamers, but also consoles. The manufacturer does not have time to launch new products that it has undergone in the yard of others, raising the bar of specifications and features more and more. Today we are going to review two recently launched mice, the Asus ROG Chakram and the ROG Strix Impact II, which clearly differ in connectivity, features, specifications, but above all in price range. We tested them together with the ROG StrixSlice, a low friction mousepad produced by the same brand.
Asus ROG Chakram
The Asus ROG Chakram is a really interesting top-enthusiast mouse with unique features. In addition to supporting three types of connection (Bluetooth, WiFi and USB), it mounts a programmable and removable mini joystick positioned on the side, usable with the thumb. The USB Type-C port allows for wired connection and fast charging. With a recharge of just fifteen minutes you get another twelve hours of autonomy. There is no lack of Aura-Sync RGB lighting and the possibility of customization through the Armory software.
An eye-catching aspect of the Chakram is the LED strip on the front and lots of personality with the integrated Joystick.
As you can see from the unboxing video, the mouse is compact and well made. Inside the package we find several accessories and a convenient carrying bag. On the bottom of the mouse there is a three-way switch that allows you to switch from BT to 2.4GHz WiFi mode or turn off the device. The design of the mouse itself is cutting-edge and futuristic: we have removable plastic covers without the need to use screws and with magnetic attachment for easy reassembly. The palm part gives access to a practical slot useful for storing the WiFi dongle, while removing the cover of the right and left clicks you have access to the panel that houses the switches (Omron mechanical switches). The latter are replaceable so you can choose the ones you prefer by changing speed, stroke and click or to replace a broken one and give new life to the mouse since there are two spare ones in the package.
As for the technical specifications, the beating heart of the mouse is a 16,000 DPI optical sensor. As for the physical data, the product has dimensions of 132.7 x 76.6 x 42.8 mm and weighs 121.6 grams without the cable. The base is made of metal and supports QI technology for wireless charging with compatible devices such as the ROG Balteus QI. The maximum supported acceleration is 40G, while the maximum speed of 400IPS. These top-of-the-line specifications make this mouse perfect for use with large 4K or multiscreen setups as well.
Curious to try it out, we first installed the ROG Armory II software, necessary to adjust various aspects such as the mapping of keys and macros, lighting adjustment and much more. Mouse in hand, the Chakram turned out to be quite comfortable: the resting support for the thumb is well positioned and facilitates the use of the integrated joystick, accessible without any effort: indeed, it comes almost natural. The click of the main keys is really fast and there are no uncertainties whatsoever thanks to a mechanism that Asus defines “pivoted” at zero gap. The mouse is lightweight and glides seamlessly across various surfaces, and tracking has always been spotless.
We have found the joystick very useful in open world games like GTA V: in analog mode, the stick can be used to move by car or on foot, to drive planes or ships, all without relying on the joypad and with an accuracy that could not ever get with the mouse and keyboard combo. Alternatively, it can be set to govern the movement of the camera, it’s all up to you and your preferences. The software comes to meet us with a practical interface to map keys and joysticks. The joystick can also be set in digital mode, a useful solution in FPS, platformers, or to obtain four additional keys.
The ROG logo of the Chakram is under the magnetic cover creating a ‘curtain’ effect in the light.
For example, in FPS like Battlefield 5 and Modern Warfare we found it preferable to set it in digital mode and map it for weapon reloading, grenade throwing and crouching. The joystick also finds its usefulness in space simulation games such as Elite Dangerous, allowing you to maneuver the spaceship with more precision than the classic configuration and without necessarily having to use the joystick. The user experience we had with the Chakram has been really satisfying and rewarding. A feature that we particularly liked was the ability to progressively change the DPI using the wheel: just activate a button and the DPI changes gradually, without too large steps. How many times have we encountered a too large gap between the two values and that neither of them was suitable based on the game situation? Well, thanks to this system this problem will only become a bad memory.
We obviously tested the Chakram with each of the three connection possibilities, noting any particular differences in performance or tracking accuracy. Perhaps the WiFi 2.4 mode is the one to prefer: it is simple to use thanks to the USB adapter supplied and the signal is physically better than the BT one. The battery really lasts a long time: ASUS guarantees a maximum of 79 hours and we can only confirm this data. The mouse is also equipped with an efficient energy saving system that deactivates the device when it is not in use, and then returns active in a few milliseconds at the slightest movement. Energy saving, as well as many other aspects, can be adjusted via software.
The ROG Chakram is truly a fantastic mouse, packed with features, connection modes, user friendly features and customization options. The replaceable switches, accessible by magnetic covers, allow you to make the mouse as suitable as possible for your needs, and to increase its longevity in the future. But the real gem is the integrated joystick, which can be useful depending on your needs, of course. And so it’s nice to find two different levers and a slot cover in the package if you want to completely eliminate. Its only drawback? The price. With a cost of € 170 the ROG Chakramnon is certainly a mouse for all budgets: it is certainly a niche product but it will be able to reward the purchase thanks to enormous potential in terms of functionality and build quality.
Asus ROG Strix Impact II
The ROG Impact II is the second version of the mouse of the same name released some time ago, improving practically all the features of the previous model. The ambidextrous design is retained, remaining a good choice for wallet-conscious left-handers who want a good price / features ratio. Price that slightly increases compared to the first version, while the weight decreases (from 91gr to 79gr), the buttons increase from four to five, with two new backbones. The RGB lighting with Aura Sync technology is also expanded and now covers three zones instead of just one. As for the sensor, it is an optical type with a maximum resolution of 6200 DPI. Unlike the Chakram, here you can select the desired resolution from four values that are stored in the memory of the mouse.
The LEDs are scaled down in the Impact II, but the look is equally fascinating.
A selector located on the bottom allows you to jump from one to the other. A solution certainly more common and less immediate than that of the older brother. As for the maximum supported tracking acceleration, here we have a value of 30G, while for the speed we have a value of 220 IPS. The key switches use the same “pivoted” mechanism as the zero gap Chakram, to minimize key travel and produce faster response. Switches that are of the same type (Omron), and also in this case are easily accessible and replaceable in case of breakage or to replace them with the ones you prefer.
The ROG Strix Impact II is compact, easy to hold and a pleasure to use. Due to its anatomy, it is more suited to the clawgrip or possibly fingergrip type handle. All the keys are easily accessible, well suited for left-handed use and is also pleasing to the eye, with the front resembling that of the front of a racing car, although in truth the front of a mouse is the the only part that you never look at. The cable is not braided, but is made of soft rubber for greater smoothness, and it is long enough. We find along the thread a velcro strap with the ROG logo. There is also the possibility of customizing keys and RGB lighting through the Armory software. The supported effects are static, breath, reactive and color cycle. The soft rubber wheel generates little friction and is very quiet.
Overall, we liked the mouse, and for its market range it is a good solution for those looking for a mouse with an ambidextrous, balanced, customizable design and with many LED strips. The sober and easy-to-grip design makes it a product that can appeal to a wide audience and the ability to replace switches puts it a step above the competition. Sure, the sensor doesn’t have a very high DPI value, but it is definitely accurate in tracking. Those who choose a mouse in this range are likely to use a 1080p or 1440p screen, and for this resolution it works great.