Keyboards have certainly come a long way since the early days of the beige bricks we used to type on. They’ve gotten slimmer, lighter, and generally offer more features and control than their older versions. But in recent years (and especially thanks to PC gamers), the older mechanical keyboards are making a comeback, and are now seen as the keyboard of choice for their short response time. ASUS is just one of the many manufacturers putting out mechanical keyboards, and one of their latest models – the ROG Claymore – really pushes things in terms of design and functionality.
Build Quality & Design
The Claymore comes in two varieties – the Claymore Core is just the keyboard, whereas the Claymore (which we received) contains a detachable numpad. The Claymore is a hefty piece of kit, weighing in at around 943g. This ensures that the keyboard stays in place during frantic use, especially for marathon gaming sessions. The Claymore is well built, no doubt about that, and features a solid aluminum body with an attractive design etched into it.
The detachable numpad features the same solid design and feel, and sports a massive metal scroll wheel at the top which you can use to adjust or mute your PC volume. It was a bit stiff to adjust the volume with, so I just ended up using the keyboard shortcuts instead. You can attach the numpad to either side of the keyboard, so when tagged on the right side it can be used as a normal numpad, but while attached to the left side you can use it to quickly switch through macros. The Claymore itself is incredibly compact without the numpad attached, so it’s perfect for small gaming spaces.
For gamers, there’s a lot about the Claymore that deserves some love. The keyboard features Cherry MX RGB switches (red, black, blue, or brown), which means that you can pick out exactly what kinds of switches you’re comfortable with. Our review unit came with red switches, which is perfect for lengthy gaming sessions and can take one heck of a beating. The Claymore also offers almost unlimited personalization when it comes down to backlighting options, and can even sync up with the ROG Spatha mouse and other ASUS products for a unified lighting scheme. You’ll also get easy access to macro recording, and if you’ve got a compatible ASUS motherboard, you’ll be able to easily access cooling and overclocking features on the fly.
Software-wise you’ll use the ASUS ROG Armoury to configure your keyboard, which includes assigning macros, adjusting the AURA lighting, and more. You can create up to five different lighting profiles using the software, and change these on the fly. I wish there were more profiles available, as I quickly used up all five profiles for different games and programs. You can choose from a number of cool lighting effects for your Claymore – my favorite was certainly the ‘Ripple’ effect, which causes a ring of light to move outward from whatever key you’ve pressed. What’s great about the Claymore is that even when I plugged it into another PC that didn’t have the software installed, I was able to cycle through my macros and lighting modes using the dedicated keyboard functions.
The Claymore is certainly built for abuse, and no matter what game I was playing, it responded really well. The keys put up with some frantic bashing during a heated match of Overwatch, and thankfully none of them popped out or felt loose. The response time is instantaneous, which is obviously the first thing you need from a gaming keyboard. The only thing I’ll say about the Claymore is that it is LOUD if you’re a fast typist like myself. So as long as you’re not using this keyboard in an environment where other people are likely to get disturbed, you’ll be just fine.
Compact and built to last, the Claymore is a great gaming keyboard that ticks plenty of boxes if you’re looking for a sweet new piece of kit to add to your PC setup. The build quality is great, and the response time and lighting features will certainly make any gamer a happy little camper. At AED 759 the Claymore is a bit on the pricey side for a keyboard, however the benefits you’ll get out of it are certainly worth it. The software does need a bit more tweaking in some sections, but overall if you’re looking for a responsive gaming keyboard that will put up with years of use, then this is definitely one to consider.