It’s no secret that the ASUS ROG Gladius mouse was created as a competitor for the very popular Razer DeathAdder series. And when DeathAdder was updated to the version of Elite, ASUS already had its answer – ASUS ROG Gladius II, which will be discussed in this review. For convenience, we recommend that readers, when reading this article, open in parallel and our review of the first version of Gladius, in order to be able to compare changes in models during the course of reading.
The outer design of the package, despite the presence of the ROG badge, tends more towards the orange-gray style of the Strix series than the burgundy-black shades of the Republic of Gamers. Informational polygraphy is at an average level. Specifically, there are very few technical specifications here, but all the main advantages of the manipulator are underlined as loudly as possible.
The reclining front cover will not allow you to specifically look at the shape of the mouse, but at least it helps to make sure that the goods are inside intact.
The package has changed slightly. There is still an instruction, two removable cables, a sticky metal ROG logo, a mouse carrying bag, two replaceable switches for the main keys and, in fact, the mouse itself. However, there are no spare legs that were in the first Gladius.
The shape and dimensions of the hull have not undergone any significant changes. Unless the overall weight has slightly decreased and is now 110 grams instead of 116. Ergonomics ASUS ROG Gladius II remained the same as in the first version. The upper panel is made of a very tenacious and smooth to the touch matte plastic gray. The panels of the main keys are separated from the case, the glossy insert between them is now slightly longer, and near the button for changing the resolution there is no more LED indicator. The main buttons are pressed with medium effort and a loud click, the middle key is a little tighter, but also sonorous. The resolution switch requires a minimum of effort to activate, which is followed by a muffled click.
On the left side of the manipulator, as before, there remained a rubberized surface with drawings in the style of the ancient Maya Indians. However, now there appeared the third vertical side key. All three buttons are made of glossy plastic and are triangular in profile, which makes it easier for them to be touched and pressed by slipping their thumb. The location of the keys is chosen successfully, it is not necessary to reach for them. Trigger clearly, with medium effort and medium in volume by clicking.
In front of mouse is USB connector for connecting a removable cable. The scroll wheel is rubberized and covered with the same pattern as the side surface. The fixation positions in it are not very clear, but tactilely discernable. When scrolling, a characteristic crunch is heard, which increases as the speed of rotation increases. The panels of the main keys have a slight backlash and free wheeling in the vertical plane.
ASUS ROG Gladius II includes two USB cables with a specific connector shape. The first of them is enclosed in a nylon sheath and has a length of two meters. It has medium rigidity and can memorize a given shape. To adjust the length of this cord is provided with a reusable Velcro. The second wire has a length of only one meter, is stripped of braid and, according to sensation, is slightly more rigid in comparison with the first cord. It is more suitable in case of using a mouse with a laptop, where the excess length of the wire will be a hindrance to the user. Though, probably, it would be possible to manage and one cord. And instead of the second put a couple of sets of spare legs.
The connector is inserted into the mouse until it clicks. To remove it back, you need to pull the fixing slider on the bottom of the mouse. The connector housing itself is a good protection against the bend of the cord.
The right side of the mouse is also rubberized. There are no buttons on it.
At the stern of the mouse, the ROG logo is illuminated by all rainbow colors. It should be noted that although the “hump” on the left side of the body of the manipulator is not pronounced in form, it is quite noticeable due to the overall panel height of 45 mm.
Form ASUS ROG Gladius II is designed for right-handed people and will fit under any of the three main types of grip, provided that the palm of the user has an average or large size. The balance of weight along the axes of symmetry of the mouse is good, the manipulator does not fall on either side when it detaches from the surface.
Based on the mouse, a number of significant changes occurred. The most sad of them are the legs. Now they represent four small ovals, which do not have hooks for dismantling and are located diagonally on all four corners of the body. Near the right front leg is the lock slider that holds the signal cable. In the triangular window, the center of the lens is the updated optical infrared sensor PMW 3360 with a resolution of 12 000 cpi, replacing Avago ADNS-S3988 from the previous model of the mouse. And this is very good news, because if the old sensor was also quite good, then the new one is the pinnacle of engineering thought as of today, taking the position of the best in its class. Under the four rubber plugs, the fixing screws that hold the mouse body assembly are concealed. By the way, along the rim of the base, there is a hardly noticeable strip of translucent plastic, which is the RGB illumination zone.
The second Gladius, as well as the first, is easily disassembled to replace the main switches without losing the warranty. Actually, this is one of the most unique features of it, distinguishing this product from hundreds of other mice on the market. For dismantling, it is necessary to remove the rubber plugs on the base and unscrew the four screws. In the old version of the manipulator, this would require removing the legs.
After the screws are removed, the body must be gently pushed from behind and pulled up and back. Then the entire top panel will separate from the base, exposing the inner filling of the mouse.
This is how the printed circuit board of the manipulator looks. All elements are attached and soldered on it very neatly.
For side buttons, red switches from Kailh are used. The scroll wheel encoder is made by Alps.
For the main switches, special sockets are used, which make it easy to dismantle them and replace them with new ones, without the need for using a soldering iron. By default, the Omron D2FC-FK (50M) blue mechanisms are installed here, with a life-time resource of 50 million activations.
As an alternative, they include D2F-01F switches with a life-time of failure of only 1 million activations. Judging by the official site, it is possible to install switches of the Omron D2F series (D2F, D2F-F, D2F-01, D2F-01F) and Omron D2FC (D2FC-3M, D2FC-F-7N, D2FC-F-7N (10M), D2FC -F-7N (20M)).
The mouse supports very beautiful RGB-backlight ASUS Aura in three zones with various effects. The decision to place the multizone illumination at the base of the mouse, making it look like a tuned sports car, looks very fresh and beautiful.
Consider the software.
As the software ASUS ROG Gladius II uses the universal driver ASUS ROG Armoury version 1.01.29. At the first startup, it automatically (with a preliminary request) updated the firmware of the mouse to version 0162. The program is available in 12 languages, which can be selected after installation. In addition to forcing the driver and firmware update, there is an option to configure the program’s autorun and automatic update check.
The basic mouse configuration screen allows you to remap commands for the seven mouse buttons and the two scroll directions. To change are available all the mouse commands, any key press, macro, basic Windows commands, any set of commands for multimedia control. To better visualize the location of the keys, the manipulator image in the window can be rotated in a top or side view. The settings are saved in three profiles (which are stored in the built-in mouse memory). Profiles can be activated either by tying them to the start of a specific application, or manually by pressing the resolution key and one of the three side buttons at the same time.
In the “efficiency” settings, the sensor resolution is adjustable from 100 to 12000 cpi in steps of 100 dpi. You can configure two separate sensitivity levels that will be switched by a dedicated key. You can adjust the degree of the angular binding (actually turn it on or off), set the acceleration or de-acceleration of the cursor. There are four polling frequencies to choose from – 125, 250, 500 or 1000 Hz. In addition, a specific function is available, such as setting the response rate of buttons in the range of 4 to 32 ms.
Backlight settings are very rich. First, you need to decide whether all three zones will shine with the same color, or separately. This switch, for some reason, is called in the “Synchronize” driver. The brightness of the glow is regulated in five fixed positions – off, 25%, 50%, 75% or full brightness. Among the lighting effects there is a static illumination, slow blinking, cyclic color change, reactive (the illumination lights up when you press the keys), a wave (diodes quickly shimmer with all the colors of the rainbow), a comet (a color splash runs through all the diodes). The palette for selecting any of the 16.8 million reproducible colors is available on the right side of the screen.
Calibration of the surface allows you to set the optimum height of sensor detachment for a specific type of mat. You can select surfaces among the preset settings or perform manual calibration. If the calibration fails and the cursor is frozen, hold down the left and middle keys for five seconds, to reset the settings to the default values.
The macro editor looks pretty simple. The left tab of the tab contains a list of all the recorded macros. In the window where you record, you can enter keyboard commands and mouse clicks. Delays and repetitions can be set in the settings window, or can be edited manually. It is also possible to record without delay.
Synchronization mode allows you to associate mouse backlight settings with other devices that support Aura illumination functions – for example, motherboards, keyboards and other.
Software ASUS ROG Gladius II can be called simple and intuitive to use. Let’s go directly to testing the mouse in gaming and working conditions.
ASUS ROG Gladius II mouse was tested on a Razer Goliathus WoT (Speed medium) mat. For all those who are accustomed to using ergonomic manipulators such as Razer DeathAdder or its clones, ASUS ROG Gladius II will not present any surprise in terms of novelty of sensations. It fits well in the right hand, regardless of the type of grip, but it is unlikely to be convenient for people with a small palm. Rubberized relief sideways hold tightly in the fingers, and the tenacious upper panel prevents the hand from sliding. With prolonged use, misting of the palm is observed, and the upper panel is quickly contaminated. Fortunately, it is easy to clean. The location of all the buttons is good, in terms of tactile sensations, there are no complaints about their work. The only thing that slightly spoils the picture is the backlash of the panels of the main keys. The scroll wheel works well. The manipulator may seem a little heavy at first use, but eventually you get used to its weight, especially since the weight balance along the axes is completely adequate. This mouse slips reluctantly, very small legs are affected, unable to smooth out all the roughness of the rug and the skewing of the hull. Illumination is realized very well, and will please the eye of experienced connoisseurs of light effects.
The sensor Pixart PMW 3360 works as always perfectly. It can not be broken, the trajectory smoothing is minimal, there is no cornering. There were no anomalies in the behavior of the cursor. Adjusting the tear-off height for a specific surface allows you to achieve a minimum cursor shift when the mouse is raised. Excellent sensor behavior is maintained throughout the entire range of resolutions – from minimum to maximum.
ASUS ROG Gladius II received a number of pleasant improvements in comparison with the first version of the mouse. The most important of these is the powerful and best-in-class optical sensor Pixart PMW 3360, capable of withstanding loads far beyond human capabilities. The second, more decorative moment, is the RGB-illumination of three separate zones, adding a mouse of visual beauty, but not affecting its performance in any way. And the last is an additional side button.
In addition, ASUS ROG Gladius II has retained the unique ability to replace the switches of the main keys, while the process of disassembling the mouse has become even simpler. The only unpleasant moment for me in this mouse was the use of small legs, characteristic more for office manipulators, rather than for top-end game models. But the most important thing is that at the price of ASUS ROG Gladius II is practically no different from its predecessor and is able to offer for it quite a competitive set of characteristics in its segment.
ASUS ROG Gladius II – a worthy gaming mouse, suitable for all genres of games and cyber sports competitions. If the models built on a similar sensor in the performance of competing brands do not attract the buyer for one reason or another, ASUS ROG Gladius II definitely deserves attention as an alternative.