A well built no-nonsense gaming mouse perfect for right handed FPS gamers
We at Digit have always been highly critical of our choice in selecting gaming peripherals so much so that there have been only a handful of gaming keyboards and mice that we’ve ever liked enough to recommend to our readers. It’s not that a lot of available options in the market are bad, but it’s because when you look at gaming input peripherals, you actually want the most comfortable and feature rich ones available in your budget and the choice here is purely subjective and largely depends on the preferences of a user. As manufacturers keep flooding the market with a boatload of new devices throughout the year with unnecessary marketing mumbo-jumbo, consumers are left befuddled with what to buy and what not to. Then there are some common myths among consumers, a lot of whom think that the higher the DPI of a mouse, the better it is. Trust us when we say that buying a mouse with high DPI and polling rate wouldn’t turn you into the next Fatal1ty. A decent mouse with a stable sensor and an ergonomic design with simple features like on the fly DPI switching are usually enough to improve your game. But a mouse can only take you so far and skill is what really matters.
- Ergonomic design
- Great grip
- Quality sensor with spot-on tracking
- Replaceable switches with extras bundled
- Detachable cable with two cable options
- Good quality carry pouch
- Weight cannot be customised
- No fancy RGB lighting with options
Coming to the product at hand, we got the ASUS ROG Gladius mouse for review and just looking at its pictures and features on the box, we must say that we were looking forward to it in action. ASUS has always differentiated its best range of gaming products in the ROG (Republic Of Gamers) category, be it motherboards, laptops or even peripherals and the Gladius belongs to the same category of devices. There haven’t been a lot of mice from ASUS before as this category didn’t seem to be their primary focus in the past but with the unveiling of their Strix range of gaming peripherals, it looks like this is bound to change. Designed for right-handed gamers, the ROG Gladius has a 6400 DPI optical sensor along with plenty of arrows in its quiver when it comes to features. So let’s take a look at it and see whether Gladius is as sharp as a sword and worthy of its roman roots.
Packaging and First Look
The ROG Gladius comes packaged in a small cardboard box which at first glance will surely remind you of its ROG roots with a black and red colour combination based designs all around it. The front of the box boldly displays the logo, model and picture of the mouse along with a few highlights of its features while the sides talk more about its features along with a picture accompanying each of the main features. Turn the box around and you’ll notice that there is a big blown out picture of the Gladius with labels marking its key areas while there are detailed specifications of the mouse below the picture.
The front of the box is actually a flap that is secured using velcro and you can lift it open with little effort to reveal a see through window that shows the mouse. You can actually feel the curves of the mouse design through this window if you’re at a shop browsing for mice and you spot the ROG Gladius. The flap also has a small paragraph written on its back dedicated to explaining what Gladius actually means (FYI, it is a latin word for the sword used by Roman foot soldiers).
The box of the ROG Gladius is chock full of bundled accessories as along with the mouse, you get a good quality cloth carry pouch, one 2-metre long braided USB cable with gold plated connectors, a 1-metre long regular USB cable with gold plated connectors, extra Teflon feet for the mouse, two extra Japanese made Omron switches for replacing the ones pre-installed in the mouse, a colourful and a black & white Republic Of Gamers sticker and the user manual.
- 1 x mouse;
- 1 x 2-meter braided USB cable;
- 1 x 1-meter regular rubber USB cable;
- 2 x Japanese-made Omron switches;
- 1 x ROG pouch;
- 2 x ROG logo stickers;
- 4 x mouse feet
Features and Design
The mouse itself comes in a steel-gray coloured top with a smooth plastic finish instead of the now more commonly used soft-touch finish seen on mice these days. This finish isn’t necessarily bad as we quite liked the smooth surface because most of the grip part is actually handled by the sides of the mouse. ASUS has designed the ROG Gladius in such a way that both the sides of the mouse have nice rubber grips attached and these rubber grips have an aztec like design pattern on them as well for aesthetic appeal.
The Gladius is specifically designed for right handed use and it shows with the curves of its body perfectly sculpted to meet almost all kinds of holding styles, be it claw or palm. The bulge at the back and the subtle curves around the mouse make it easy and comfortable to grip. The size of the Gladius isn’t very big and it comes somewhat under the medium size bracket considering we’ve tested bigger mice like the Roccat Kone XTD. Size is just another subjective aspect for a mouse because some users like small and light mice while some others like big ones. But if the design of a medium sized mouse makes up for its size you really wouldn’t think all that much about it and this is what happens with the ROG Gladius.
On the steel gray surface of the Gladius, you’ll also spot the ROG logo and label at the back bulge of the mouse. This logo lights up in red in typical ROG fashion and ASUS hasn’t provided the functionality of changing the lighting colour which is somewhat of a downer. Moving to the buttons part you’ll see that the buttons protrude out a little bit from the front of the mouse, the right-click button more so than the left one. Then there is a DPI switching button conveniently placed right at the centre below the scroll wheel area. This DPI button can be used to switch between two easily programmable DPI levels. The scroll wheel has a rubber coating for grip as well and it works quite well as each scroll movement is registered in steps and is great for switching weapons. The scroll wheel also lights up in red from the sides when the mouse is powered on.
Moving to the front of the mouse, you’ll see that the ROG Gladius has a detachable cable and it uses a micro-USB connector for the same. Then there is a grill like pattern around the micro-USB socket to improve looks of the mouse.
The left side of the mouse where a right handed gamers thumb usually resides has two thumb buttons included. These thumb buttons can be used to perform backward and forward operations in the browser and explorer by default. Right below the thumb buttons is the rubber grip that we spoke of before. The grip is a nice addition and the pattern on it makes gripping the mouse more comfortable. The right side of the mouse doesn’t have anything except the same patterned rubber grip.
Flipping the ROG Gladius over, you’ll notice that there are Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE or Teflon) feet at each corner of the mouse. These feet lets the mouse move really smooth on most surfaces without trouble and we didn’t have any problems with it when we used it on our large cloth mouse mat. One interesting thing with the mouse feet is that they’re replaceable and ASUS has bundled an extra set of four replacement feet for the same.
At the heart of the ROG Gladius lies a 6,400 DPI Optical sensor. Yes, we said an optical sensor and not a laser sensor. The one used here in particular is the Avago ADNS-S3988 and is one of the fastest optical sensors currently available and it supports an acceleration of up to 50g. Although this a an optical sensor, according to ASUS you should be able to move your mouse across a 4K screen with just an inch of mouse movement which is seriously fast. That’s not it as the ROG Gladius is the first mouse to have a polling rate of 2000Hz that we’ve ever tested. But in reality, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate between this and one with a 1000Hz polling rate. One thing that is amiss with the Gladius is that it doesn’t have weight customisation options using removable weights and you’re stuck with using it in its default 116g configuration. But from what we gathered after using the ROG Gladius for some time is that its weight is not less nor is it more but in fact just enough. Nevertheless, having the ability to change weights would’ve been an advantage.
Since the USB cable of the ROG Gladius is detachable, ASUS has provided a locking mechanism for the cable when it’s connected to the mouse so that the connector doesn’t get disconnected during the heat of the battle. When you slide in the micro-USB connector in its socket on the mouse, it will snap into place with a small click and you can use a slider at the back of the mouse to slide and unlock the connector back again in case you want to remove it. And since ASUS has bundled two cables with the ROG Gladius – one braided and one regular, you have an option to select and use any one of them. Another factor that improves the portability of the ROG Gladius is the inclusion of a cloth carry pouch that you can put the mouse into along with both the supplied cables and carry it with you to LAN parties.
Mouse setup and performance
For customising how the ASUS ROG Gladius works, you can make use of the ASUS ROG Armoury software. Right after installing and firing up the software, we saw that we could tweak quite a lot of things about the mouse. Firstly we upgraded the firmware of the mouse to the latest version and then set out playing with the settings. The menu was divided into different parts and we could go and change settings for the Buttons, Performance, Lighting and Calibration. The buttons menu provided an option to configure each and every single button on the mouse and assign a new function to any of them.
The performance menu allows you to tune the way how the optical sensor works by providing you options to change polling rate, sensitivity, angle snapping level and more. The lighting menu as the name suggests letS you tweak the lighting in the ROG Gladius. You can modify how the light on the logo works as you can switch between steady and breathing effects for the main ROG logo area on the mouse. Then you can select which parts of the mouse that have lights to be on or off. But you don’t have fancy RGB colour combination based lights and tweaking options available in the ROG Gladius. The calibration menu on the other hand allows you to tweak how the mouse would work on different surfaces and offers you certain presets like Cloth surface, Metal surface, Glass surface and more. You can also modify the lift-off distance if you experience tracking issues on any particular surface. The ROG Gladius lets you set macros and save them as well but it must be noted that the mouse memory allows for saving only one profile. However, you have the option of creating multiple profiles for use but all of them would be saved and stored on the computer itself in .pdf format.
Once we were done setting up the mouse, we moved on to trying it out in a few of our favourite games starting up with our Test Centre favourite – Quake 3 Arena. The first thing we like to report about from this exercise is that we found the mouse to be very ergonomic. It was also very comfortable to hold and the rubber side grips helped maintain the grip really well. As far as the tracking is concerned, we saw that the mouse was spot-on at all times and tracked smoothly. Instagibbing with the Rail-gun was fun and we felt right at home with the Gladius.
This new contender from ASUS’ stables is unique when it comes to the kind of features that it offers especially with the ability to customise certain aspects of the mouse like the buttons for example. The button replacement feature is certainly something that we would like to see in more mice especially considering the fact that many gaming mice even the best ones these days are plagued with double-clicking issues after a while of using them. ASUS also provides a list of compatible switches and you have the option of installing switches either from Omron D2F or D2FC series. Knowing that you have the option to replace a button if it gets busted is of course music to anyones ears considering the fact that the Gladius isn’t cheap. At Rs. 4500, the Gladius is not only a really well built gaming mouse but also a fine performer and made for right handed FPS gamers. We’ve been using and loving mice like the Roccat Kone XTD and the Razer DeathAdder 2013 for quite a long time now and the ASUS ROG Gladius surely makes a rightful place among them. If you’re in the market for a decent gaming mouse with just enough customisation options which is also a great all round performer, you can’t go wrong with the ROG Gladius. But if ASUS can bring down the price of the Gladius at around 4K or less, they’d have a winner on their hands.
- Connectivity: Wired;
- Tracking: Optical;
- OS Support: Windows7/8/8.1;
- Dimensions: 126 (L) x 67 (W) x 45 (H)mm;
- Weight: 116 g;
- Color: Steel Grey;
- Resolution: 6400 DPI;
- Interface: USB;
Compatible switch list for ROG switch socket
- -Omron D2F Series switches: D2F, D2F-F, D2F-01, D2F-01F
- -Omron D2FC Series switches: D2FC-3M, D2FC-F-7N, D2FC-F-7N(10M), D2FC-F-7N(20M)
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Siddhant "BallisticAnt" Sharma
Often referred to as our lord and savior (forgive us Gabe), this tall lad is known for his wide unblinking gaze while playing Quake III with streaming eyes. And when he isn't pounding people by rockets, you can find him jumping around in Super Meat Boy. He is the elusive Ant and he isn't afraid of boots. Mind you!