The assortment of gaming products in the ASUS ROG line continues to expand inexorably, and we, in turn, continue to acquaint our regular readers of our portal with it. The new premium manipulator to which this review is dedicated is called Pugio. Why exactly? The fact is that the company’s marketers have chosen names for mice borrowed from ancient types of edged weapons (for example, Gladius, Sica, Spatha, which we have already reviewed earlier). Pugio was no exception, which is a wide double-edged dagger of the Roman legionnaires from the middle of the first century BC. This name of the mouse subtly hints at its symmetrical shape and versatility (Pugio was used with equal success both for butchering the enemies of the empire in close combat, and for the domestic needs of soldiers). Let’s consider this device in more detail.

ASUS ROG Pugio

Specifications

Model ASUS ROG Pugio
Product page asus.com
Interface Wired (USB)
Type Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)
Sensor type Optic
Sensor model Pixart PMW3330DM-TZFUN
Permission, cpi 50–7 200
Number of buttons 8 buttons + scroll (left, middle, right, four side, resolution key)
Maximum acceleration, g 30
Lift-off height (LOD), mm 1–3
Maximum speed, m/s 3,81
USB port polling rate, Hz 125 / 250 / 500 / 1000
Frame rate, fps 8 000
Internal memory, KB +
Scroll 1
Scroll vertical/horizontal +/–
Cord length, m 2
Ability to change weight
Possibility to adjust the body shape
Cable material Nylon braid
Housing surface material Plastic, rubber
Color Black gray
Backlight + (RGB)
Illumination zones Scroll wheel, logo and inserts at the stern
Leg material Teflon (PTFE)
Software + (ASUS ROG Armoury)
Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm 121 x 66 x 40
Weight, g 109
OS Compatibility Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10
Additionally Replacement main button switches, magnetic side key caps, mouse carrying pouch, switch and end cap case.
Average cost, $ 90

Delivery and equipment

The packaging of the mouse turned out to be quite colorful in terms of pictures, descriptions of the main advantages of the product and its technical characteristics. There is more than enough information here even for a user inexperienced in matters of gaming peripherals.

ASUS ROG PugioASUS ROG Pugio

The front cover of the box is held on with Velcro and easily opens, allowing you to look at the mouse «live». However, trying on her form in this version still does not work.

ASUS ROG Pugio

In addition to the instructions for use, the package included: an adhesive metal ROG logo, a triangular plastic case with interchangeable buttons and switches, and a pouch with ties for carrying the device.

ASUS ROG Pugio

Appearance and design

Unlike the vast majority of modern mice, which are distinguished by rounded body shapes, ASUS ROG Pugio looks slightly angular. Moreover, the designers did their best to emphasize this feature of it by adding straight elements that combine with each other under the slopes. The cover of the top panel is made of matte gray plastic, which is smooth to the touch. The main button panels are separate from the rest of the case, which is rumored to improve the pressing speed and tactile sensations of the user. The rigidity of the LMB and RMB switches is average, they work with a low informative click, they have no backlash and no free play. Behind the scroll wheel is a trapezoidal glossy key for changing the resolution, and behind it is a white indicator strip.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The left sidewall is rubberized and has a tricky texture, made in the form of Mayan reliefs. This panel has an inwardly inclined recess in the middle, but purely due to the more convex aft of the mouse. In the hand, it feels rather unusual, but does not cause rejection. Two side keys, triangular in profile, are also made in an unusual way — their lower edge is glossy, and the upper one is matte. It is most convenient to press these buttons by sliding your finger over them from the bottom up, because the slippery gloss here is more of a constructive solution than a design one. Behind the buttons, there is a strip of backlight LED that smoothly transitions into the back of the mouse body.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The front of the mouse body is understated. In general, its finish is matte, but on the sides it is decorated with oblique glossy stripes made in the form of recesses. The signal cord enters the body exactly in the middle and is equipped with a powerful rubber insert to protect it from bending. The scroll wheel is rubberized and also covered with a relief a la Maya. It’s crisp and informative, with cutoff positions that feel both tactile and aural. Scrolling is accompanied by muffled clicks. The middle button under the wheel is pressed without much effort and quite quietly. The scroll wheel has a slight horizontal play, but only if you shake it on purpose. The wheel does not dangle spontaneously, even if the mouse is strongly shaken. The fit of the body panels is good.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The USB signal cable is two meters long and is wrapped in a nylon braid. There is Velcro on the cord to adjust its length, there is no ferrite magnet. Wire stiffness is medium. Closer to the connector is a sticker with mandatory information about the electrical characteristics of the product and a serial number (duplicating the number on the base of the mouse).

ASUS ROG Pugio

The right side of the mouse is a complete mirror copy of its left side. Here, too, there are two additional side buttons.

ASUS ROG Pugio

A remarkable feature of the ROG Pugio mouse (as its name hints at) is its “double-edgedness”. It is expressed in the symmetry of the shape of the body, which makes it equally convenient to use the manipulator with both the left and right hand. But that’s not all. The side button panels on both sides are easily removable and held on by magnets. In their place, you can put stubs if you do not want to press the left or right keys by accident.

ASUS ROG Pugio

Two plugs (for the left and right side of the mouse), along with two replaceable switches for the main buttons, are stored in a special triangular plastic case with soft insides.

ASUS ROG Pugio

This is how the installed plug looks like, which prevents the side buttons from being pressed. Depending on the user’s desire, four configuration options are possible: with two buttons on both sides, with keys on the left side, only on the right side, or no side buttons at all.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The stern at Pugio looks very entertaining. Its upper part is formed by a plastic gray panel, on which there is an illuminated ROG logo. Triangular inserts made of tinted transparent plastic, resembling eyes, are mounted on the sides from below. A translucent plastic of a colored LED runs along the lower edge of the inserts, while the central part is made of black matte plastic and recessed inside.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The symmetrical shape of the case will be equally convenient for left-handers and right-handers in the palm or finger grip. The claw grip here will be already uncomfortable. The balance of weight in the body is well maintained; when lifted off the surface, the manipulator does not deviate anywhere from the horizontal.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The RGB lighting zones on the mouse are the scroll wheel, the rear logo, and the LED strip that runs around the back of the case. Color rendition looks good overall, and there are a number of fun lighting effects. The only drawback is that the white color casts a strong blue.

ASUS ROG Pugio

On the base of the mouse, decorated with ornate relief, there are three medium-sized Teflon feet — two in the corners in front and one in the back. The serial number sticker is located near the back leg. In the center is a triangular optical sensor window with invisible infrared illumination. And four rubber plugs cover the mounting screws.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The second main feature of the ROG Pugio mouse is that it can be easily disassembled without violating the warranty. There are four Phillips screws under the plugs, by unscrewing which you can easily open the case.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The top panel should be removed carefully so as not to damage the cable leading to the indicator and the resolution change button.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The layout of the internal components here is quite dense, but there are a significant number of removable connectors. For example, the signal cable can be easily detached for replacement in case of damage.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The third main feature of ROG Pugio is easily removable and replaceable main button switches that are not soldered, but simply inserted into special sockets. By default, blue Chinese Omron D2FC-FK(50M) switches are installed here with a MTBF of 50 million clicks. The kit includes two replaceable gray D2F-01F Omron switches made in Japan, but designed for only 1 million operations. Probably, they are supposed to be installed as an urgent temporary replacement if the mechanisms suddenly fail. These sockets accept the following types of Omron switches: D2F, D2F-F, D2F-01, D2F-01F, D2FC-3M, D2FC-F-7N, D2FC-F-7N(10M), D2FC-F-7N(20M) , D2FC-FK (50M). The mechanical scroll wheel encoder is made by the respected ALPS company.

ASUS ROG Pugio

And finally, the most important thing. The “heart” of the mouse is the Pixart PMW3330DM-TZQU optical sensor, which is a more advanced version of the PMW 3310 with an infrared LED integrated into the chip itself and slightly improved performance. I note that this sensor is a novelty on the market, and for me personally it comes across in mice for the first time.

ASUS ROG Pugio

Proprietary software

The ASUS ROG Pugio mouse uses the ROG Armory universal multilingual driver as software. It allows you to automatically or forcefully update the software and firmware of the manipulator, can work both permanently and on request, and supports 12 interface languages, including Russian. There are also direct links to the official website rog.asus.com and the brand’s Facebook page.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The basic setup screen allows you to remap commands on all eight mouse buttons and two directions of the scroll wheel. There are standard mouse and keyboard commands, Windows application functions, macros and multimedia commands to choose from. All settings can be saved in three individual on-board profiles, which can be activated by pressing a combination of mouse buttons or tied to the start of certain programs.

In the «performance» settings, the sensor resolution is adjusted from 50 to 7200 dpi in 50 dpi increments. It is possible to set two separate sensitivity levels, which will be switched by a dedicated button, and indicated by an illuminated or off indicator. In addition, here you can enable or disable the angular binding of the cursor, adjust the level of its acceleration or deacceleration within 10 units, set the sensor polling frequency to 125, 250, 500 or 1000 Hz, and also adjust the reaction speed of the switches, ranging from 4 to 32 ms.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The lighting setting allows you to select the color, brightness, and lighting effect for the logo, scroll wheel, and LED on the mouse base in combination or separately. Of the effects, you can use a static glow, the “breathing” mode, a cyclic color change, flashes when you press any button, an iridescent light wave mode, or a “comet” — when the flash runs through the diodes. Five levels are available to adjust the brightness, including the complete backlight off. The color palette allows you to customize the display of 16.8 million color combinations, although in fact the human eye may not catch much difference between them.

ASUS ROG Pugio

Calibration allows you to adjust the height of the sensor separation from the surface for a specific type of rug. This can be done by selecting surfaces from a list of presets, or by manually setting the tear-off height as low, medium, or high. In any case, the program does not change the setting immediately, but asks you to move the mouse over the surface to make sure that it reads normally.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The macro editor is simple. Here, in order, keyboard and mouse button presses and scrolling of the scroll wheel are registered, with or without time delays. All macros are saved with individual names.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The Aura Sync backlight synchronization mode allows you to combine the color schemes of different ASUS devices — monitors, keyboards, mice, motherboards and video cards. In our case, all this was not available, since there were no other products of the company at hand.

ASUS ROG Pugio

The statistics module, when activated, collects quantitative data about the use of the mouse. The number of clicks on the left and right mouse buttons, the frequency of actions per minute (APM — actions per minute) and the distance traveled in centimeters are calculated. These indicators probably do not represent practical value, but purely out of curiosity, you can turn on this module a couple of times to check.

ASUS ROG Pugio

Ergonomics and testing

The ASUS ROG Pugio has been tested on two fabric surfaces, the Razer Goliathus WoT Edition and MSI JUST GAME Mouse Pad. In both cases, she showed herself from the most positive side. But let’s start with a description of ergonomics. As mentioned above, it differs from the now familiar rounded shapes and takes some time to get used to. Only after a few days of use, the contours of the case begin to be perceived as natural. The mouse becomes familiar in the finger or palm grip, although I would give preference to the finger grip. Good balance and light weight of the body fully allow you to accurately control the mouse when moving quickly on the mat. All buttons are extremely responsive and clear when pressed, the scroll wheel also pleasantly pleased me with the nature of its work. The top panel coating is resistant to dirt, but does not evaporate liquid very well, which can lead to fogging of the hand. The rubber sidewalls stay clean after a couple of weeks of use. The legs are quite slippery and the mouse has a certain margin of inertia on «fast» surfaces. The backlight looks good and vibrant. The software is simple and straightforward, and most importantly, it is only needed for the initial setup of the mouse, because thanks to the built-in memory, it works fine even without a driver.

The Pixart PMW 3330 sensor performs just as well, and in many ways even better, than its predecessor in the PMW 3310. This sensor is almost impossible to rip off and is undemanding in terms of color, texture and surface quality. The maximum speed is 3.8 m/s. There is no acceleration here (unless you turn it on yourself) and the anti-aliasing effect is at a low level. The lift-off height is adjustable from 1 to 3 mm; at minimum settings, the cursor only slightly shifts when lifted off the surface. These parameters can sag at the maximum sensitivity of the sensor, however, in the range up to 4000 dpi, the behavior of the PMW 3330 is absolutely stable.

ASUS ROG PugioASUS ROG Pugio

Results

The ASUS ROG Pugio mouse is a quality gaming mouse in every respect. It has an excellent sensor, built-in memory, decent switches and a scroll wheel, a well-built body and beautiful backlighting. The uniqueness of Pugio, like almost all modern ROG-series of gaming mice, is the ability to easily disassemble the case and quickly replace switches without using a soldering iron. In addition, users have the option to customize it for both left and right-handed use, thanks to the removable magnetic pads for the extra keys.

The retail price of Pugio is at the level of the upper segments of competitive manipulators, but in this case it is more than justified by the quality and functionality of the device. Yes, and in the assortment of ASUS, this is perhaps one of the most balanced mice in all respects.

Editor's Choice: Best Quality

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