Asus ROG Azoth Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
“The Asus ROG Azoth ticks all of the packing containers of an fanatic mechanical keyboard, and it nonetheless manages to impress.”
- Multipurpose OLED show
- Chic typing expertise
- Gasket mount design
- Swap stabilizers
- Swap lubing station included
- North-facing PCB can current keycap points
- Inventory NX switches aren’t the very best
I by no means thought I would favor an off-the-shelf gaming keyboard over the customized mechanical keyboard I constructed final 12 months. However right here we’re.
When Asus introduced its ROG Azoth, I knew instantly it was certainly one of my most anticipated merchandise of the 12 months. Primarily based on the spec sheet, it’s a chunk of equipment that sits among the many greatest gaming keyboards you should purchase. I didn’t count on it to be higher than a customized, enthusiast-grade mechanical keyboard, although, and it’s. Nonetheless, there are a few minors areas I’d wish to see Asus enhance with a model two.
Fanatic design, mainstream options
The look of the ROG Azoth is straight away recognizable to anybody on this planet of fanatic mechanical keyboards. It’s a 75% design, following within the footsteps of the Wonderful GMMK Professional and Drop Sense75. There are some essential adjustments, although.
The highest is an aluminum body, however there isn’t aluminum throughout the physique just like the GMMK Professional or Sense75. The Azoth is a hefty keyboard, however it’s not almost as heavy as these different fanatic fashions as a result of its plastic backside.
There’s a superb purpose for plastic right here. The defining characteristic of the Azoth is that it helps 2.4GHz low-latency wi-fi and Bluetooth along with a wired connection. There isn’t one other keyboard of the caliber of the Azoth that helps wi-fi, and that’s primarily as a result of it’s laborious to transmit a wi-fi sign by way of aluminum. Asus compromised, and I’m glad it did.
Battery life is phenomenal too, even with the feature-rich OLED display on the board. I began utilizing the Azoth out of the field with out charging (it arrived at about half battery). After per week of each day use, I solely wanted to cost it as soon as, and I nonetheless have half the battery left as I’m typing this assessment.
The 75% type issue doesn’t mechanically make the Azoth an fanatic keyboard, and Asus has a whole lot of justifying to do for the $250 checklist worth. I’m not evaluating the Azoth to keyboards just like the Razer Huntman V2 — which is equally as costly — as a result of it comes with the options and typing expertise worthy of an fanatic badge.
It makes use of a gasket mount, which was beforehand reserved for obscenely costly keyboards just like the Offended Miao Cyberboard R2. The plate is offset on silicon gaskets, which give a mushy cushion in your keystrokes and the satisfying thunk of a high-end mechanical keyboard.
Asus combines the gasket mount with stabilizers that make giant keys just like the house bar really feel easy regardless of the place you strike them, in addition to plate foam to chop down on the metallic ping that’s undesirable for mechanical keyboards. The outcome? A elegant typing expertise that even high-end fanatic keyboards can’t rival.
The one exception are the switches. Asus contains its personal NX switches, both in a crimson (linear), blue (clicky), or brown (tactile) selection. I used the brown switches, and so they’re higher than the backyard selection Cherry switches you discover in keyboards just like the Corsair K70 RGB Professional. The switches come pre-lubed, and so they really feel worthy of the worth tag. However this a keyboard that calls for upgrades, and people upgrades are the place it shines.
Make it your personal
The Azoth is absolutely customizable, and its actual worth lies in choosing up another switches and keycaps and making the keyboard your personal. You’ll be able to change out the switches with an included instrument, much like final 12 months’s Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate.
I reached for some Akko Wine Purple switches and an inexpensive set of keycaps I discovered on Amazon — general, round a $50 improve — and it fully modified the typing expertise. I nonetheless most well-liked my customized GMMK Professional with the inventory configuration, however with a pair minor upgrades? It’s laborious ditching the Azoth.
I’ve a few minor points right here, although. For starters, the included keycaps aren’t nice. They’re double-shot PBT and lots sturdy, however Asus contains some bizarre additions. For instance, you usually discover a raised edge on the F and J keys to sign the place your own home row is, however Asus strikes this to the W key as an alternative. I perceive that it is a gaming keyboard, however whereas enjoying video games, the raised edge turns into an annoyance greater than a useful information.
One other downside is that the Azoth makes use of a north-facing PCB. The RGB LEDs are on the high of the change housing as an alternative of the underside. That is to permit the sunshine to shine by way of translucent legends on the keycaps, however north-facing PCBs can intervene with sure keycaps and result in a less-desirable sound and typing really feel.
Even with these points, there’s no denying that Asus is pushing mainstream mechanical keyboards to a spot they’ve by no means gone earlier than, and I’m on board.
A purposeful OLED show
I’m not a lot for gimmicks on keyboards, however the OLED show on the ROG Azoth isn’t a gimmick. It’s a extremely purposeful multipurpose hub that makes it a breeze to cycle by way of settings, change your brightness, and add a little bit of aptitude to your desk.
On the facet, there’s a change which you could toggle up and down to vary quantity, regulate brightness, and many others. You too can press down on it for an additional perform and use a button on the facet for yet one more. Mixed, you may cycle by way of media controls, brightness settings, and lighting results with a number of clicks.
You’ll be able to customise these features in Asus’ Armoury Crate, too. The OLED show goes a lot additional and might show customized animations, textual content, and even some restricted system info like your CPU and temperature. All these settings are saved in a profile, and you may retailer as much as six profiles on board, too.
That is the sort of mainstream performance you simply don’t discover on an fanatic keyboard. Asus is bringing the very best of each worlds collectively right here.
The gaming keyboard to beat
Even with the whole lot I coated on this assessment, the Azoth brings much more options, together with MacOS help and a lubing station in your key switches. Asus is thrashing fanatic keyboards on the characteristic entrance and mainstream keyboards on the standard entrance.
What’s stunning is that Asus isn’t charging a lot of a premium, as $250 isn’t low cost for a gaming keyboard. That’s the identical worth because the Corsair K100 and $50 greater than the SteelSeries Apex Professional. You’re getting a far higher-quality keyboard with the Asus ROG Azoth for that worth.