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ASUS ROG Spatha Review: Too Big For Its Own Good

by John Nieves  April 27, 2017

 

We review the ROG Spatha!

A few days ago we reviewed ASUS’ ROG Claymore, their own take on a gaming-focused mechanical keyboard. Today we’ll be taking a look at its supposed companion, the ROG Spatha mouse. The Claymore and Spatha was forged from the same design team and share the same Aztec design aesthetic.

The Spatha is also ASUS’ most ambitious mouse to date, as it’s both a wired and wireless gaming mouse. It has a plethora of extra keys and buttons in its substantial body to suit even the most demanding multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) player, but its ungainly size and haphazard placement of extra buttons make it difficult to recommend for most players.

It’s big, and not in a good way

Looking at the ROG Spatha’s photos in this article won’t convey just how big it is in person. It’s huge – we usually joke that we have gorilla-like hands in most articles because our palms are so big, but despite that we still felt that the Spatha a little on the large side.

Sure, you could probably palm it in your hands if you really wanted too, but you would end up cupping something that really didn’t fit. It’s also quite heavy for a mouse at 179 grams, far heavier than the offerings of the competition. The result is that the Spatha feels quite heavy to the hands, and is a chore to move around despite having a smooth, magnesium base. If you have a claw-type grip, forget about the Spatha – it’s palm or nothing.

Despite that, it’s a looker – the Spatha’s angular lines and Aztec-inspired design makes it stand out in the realm of gaming mice. Just like any self-respecting gaming peripheral today, the Spatha also has customizable LED lights around it that you can change depending on your preferences, and can sync up to ASUS’ ROG peripherals and gaming components using their Aura lighting solution.

So many buttons, but you’ll only end up using a few

If there’s one thing that the Spatha has plenty of, it’s buttons. It has 12(!) buttons scattered over its body, with most of them arranged into ROG’s eye logo on the side. While this is undoubtedly cool to look at from a branding perspective, actual use of those side buttons aren’t as good as we first thought.

First of all, the placement of the buttons means that some are just inherently hard to press because of their location. It also doesn’t help that the buttons are a bit stiff for our taste, which makes actuation difficult, if not impossible. We ended up using just a few of the additional buttons on the side (the two near the top) for games.

The left and right click buttons are satisfying to hit, and can be further customized by the user. ASUS uses Omron switches that are usuable replaceable unlike some other brands (*cough*Razer*cough*) which means that your mouse won’t become an expensive paperweight if you manage to go over the switches’ 20-million click guarantee. ASUS also includes a pair of harder actuating 75gf switches if that’s not stiff enough for you, though those switches are only rated for a measly 1 million clicks.

It’s a good mouse, if your hand is big enough

Ergonomics issues aside, if your hand is big enough you’ll find that the Spatha is quite a good mouse for gaming. You can use it either wireless or wired – the former requires the use of the dedicated charging pad that can lay flat or standing up for better presentation when in use. ASUS throws in a total of two semi-proprietary USB cables to use with the Spatha that you can use if you decide to go the wired route. Battery life for the mouse in wireless mode is around 5 – 6 hours of continuous use.

The Spatha has a 2,000Hz polling rate when used in wired mode, which is a very high number in the realm of gaming mice. The sensor in the Spatha is capable of tracking up to 30g in hand acceleration, and speeds of up to 150 inches per second. Those are numbers that are good enough for high-end, competitive gaming and is more than enough for casual use.

The Spatha also has a maximum DPI of 8,200dpi, though realistically very few people will be playing using that setting. Nevertheless, the Spatha has a dedicated two-level DPI switch on the top that allows you to cycle through two different DPI settings, so you can bump up DPI on the fly, useful when you’re sniping in FPS games and want to track fast-moving targets, for example.

The Spatha has three different, distinct lighting zones – one for the side buttons, one for the scroll wheel and one for ROG logo. You’ll be able to customize the lighting scheme via the ASUS ROG Armoury software suite that you download off of ASUS’ official website.

Verdict: A big mouse for big boys

When all’s said and done, the ROG Spatha is certainly one of the more interesting products to come out of ASUS’ gaming peripheral business. It’s a slick mouse that’s loaded to the brim with features meant to compete with more established names in the industry.

Unfortunately, it’s way to big to be used by most people and is very expensive, even for gaming mouse standards, priced at Php 7,300. Gamers with dainty hands and lighter wallets may want to look elsewhere for their next mice.

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