The ASUS ROG Gladius III mouse is the latest iteration of the company’s line of asymmetric mice, which first debuted on the market about seven years ago and, in fact, started a new page in the history of its gaming peripherals. As of now, there are two versions of this device — fully wired and wireless with the additional ability to work via cable and BT protocol. We will initially introduce readers to the first, simplified and more accessible version of the mouse. And if there is an opportunity in the future, we will tell you in detail about the second one.
|Model||ASUS ROG Sword III|
|Product page||ROG Sword III|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor Model||PixArt PAW3370DM-T4FUND|
|Permission, cpi||100 – 26 000|
|Number of buttons||6 buttons (left, middle, right, two side buttons, resolution switch) + scroll up/down|
|Maximum acceleration, g||50|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||1–2|
|Maximum speed, m/s||10,16|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125 / 250 / 500 / 1000|
|Frame rate, fps||Variable|
|Inner memory||+ (five profiles)|
|Cord length, m||2|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||Braid, paracord|
|Housing surface material||Plastic|
|Backlight||+ (RGB, 16.8M colors)|
|Illumination zones||Logo, scroll wheel, left side|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Software||+ (ASUS Armoury Crate)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||124 x 69 x 45|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 10|
|Additionally||Easy-to-swap connectors for mechanical and optical LMB and RMB switches, spring-loaded main keypads, ROG main switches with 70M clicks MTBF, additional Omron optical switches.|
|average cost||UAH 2599|
Contents of delivery
The mouse is sold in an informative and small package, decorated in the corporate colors of the ROG brand.
The package includes a user manual, a warranty brochure, a sheet of four stickers, a set of four spare feet, two additional Omron optical switches, and tweezers for easy removal of mechanisms from quick-swap sockets.
ASUS ROG Gladius III remained within the concept of the asymmetric shape of its predecessors, but with some nuances. In particular, the left panel is now even more recessed inward, a notch is felt under the thumb. And the right panel is made more even in the front, but with a rounded and protruding stern to the right. The differences are subtle visually, but are immediately felt when you take the mouse in your hand. The top panel cover is a smooth, matte plastic that picks up dirt with heavy use. The panels of the main keys are separate from the body, they are spring-loaded with special hinges for better pressing on the switches. It requires little effort to operate, and the sound is of medium volume. LMB sounds quieter than RMB. There is a slight play in the left button, but there is no free play. The middle key is pressed very quietly and with medium effort. The glossy triangular resolution switch is marginally noisier and also requires a medium level of effort.
The left sidewall is made of slightly more tenacious matte plastic with diagonal stripes, in which the inscriptions are visible when the backlight is on. Under the thumb there is a tactile notch. The side buttons are made of plastic that is rough to the touch. They are pressed easily, without free play, with a sonorous, but quiet click.
The front panel has a recess where a signal cord goes in the center at a decent height. It is equipped with an anti-kink protection pointing upwards. The scroll wheel is transparent and rubberized, with diagonal texture notches. It rotates very quietly, clearly practicing all fixation positions with tactile feedback.
The soft and flexible cable is two meters long and is wrapped with a paracord braid. It does not interfere with mouse movements in any way and can be used without a holder. However, the braid tends to slip and twist around the cord, which raises concerns about its tangential durability. There is no ferrite filter here, but there is a Velcro tape with a logo that allows you to adjust the required length of the wire.
On the right side of the mouse, at the point of contact with the fingers, there is a diagonal notch made of tenacious matte plastic, behind which the ROG logo is stamped.
The mouse feed is rounded and as low as possible. The illuminated ROG logo is in its usual place.
The ergonomics of the mouse is designed for the right hand and is suitable, on average, for all types of grip. The shape of the case will fit perfectly in the hands of medium or large size. The weight of 79 grams is quite small and, at the same time, does not create the feeling that the mouse is empty inside. The perfect middle ground for me. The balance of weight along the axes of symmetry is well maintained.
The base of the ASUS ROG Gladius III has four triangular rounded legs at the corners (with hooks for easy replacement) and one triangular glide around the sensor window built into the center. Just below the middle is the button for switching profiles. And on the sides of it are rubber plugs for mounting screws that hold the case assembly.
In addition to the two classic backlight zones — the scroll wheel and the logo on the rear panel, ASUS ROG Gladius III also has inscriptions on the left sidewall illuminated. It cannot be said that they are especially visible there, or that they are really needed there, but such was the flight of the designer’s imagination. But all colors are displayed correctly by LEDs, including white.
Although the signal cable of the new Gladius III has become non-removable in the wired version, the main «trick» of this model, namely, easy access to the inside to replace switches, has been preserved. To do this, just remove the two rubber plugs on the sole and unscrew both Phillips screws. Then move the top panel slightly back and lift up.
The interior of the mouse looks very well thought out. All individual component boards (including the scroll wheel encoder) are connected via detachable cables. Body with holes for light weight reinforced in the right places.
Spring hinges are built into the top cover, the task of which is to press the main button panels to the switches. In addition, the contact pads of the buttons are covered with damping elements, and they also have reverse upward limiters.
The presence of a plastic basket for the battery in the central part of the body hints that the mouse was originally planned as a wireless one. The same is indicated by the type of sensor installed here — PixArt PAW3370DM-T4QU. This is an energy efficient version of the reference 3360/3389 gaming sensor. The place of the wireless chip remained unsoldered.
Both additional buttons and the scroll wheel encoder are made by Kailh. Separately, we note that the scrolling is suspended in a separate basket, which moves entirely when you press the middle button. This eliminates the classic problem of an encoder broken off the PCB, due to constant skew when pressed. This is actually rare now.
Switch sockets are occupied by default with ROG proprietary mechanisms in a red translucent case. For them, the manufacturer declared a MTBF of 70 million clicks, no more than +/- 5 grams of difference in actuation force and gold-plated contacts. Please note that the socket has changed and, in addition to the three standard sockets, there are four more holes for the optical LEDs of the new hybrid switches.
Alternatively, Omron D2FP-FN optical switches with white buttons are included. They make a loud and resonant click when pressed. They are easy to distinguish from mechanics by two pairs of additional contacts in the rear of the case and a single leg in front. The main advantage of the optics is the absence of a delay for the “bounce” of the signal, which in theory can help reduce the button response time by a couple of tens of milliseconds.
ASUS ROG Gladius III has five on-board memory profiles that allow you to separately store sensor settings, remapped commands for all buttons, and backlight settings. Switching profiles is done cyclically by pressing the Profile button on the mouse base. Successive presses of the DPI button cycle through four preset resolution levels.
ASUS ROG Gladius III uses the resource-intensive Armory Crate software as software, which requires downloading from the official website and installation. It is constantly active.
In the Buttons section, you can remap six keys and two scroll directions. Mouse and keyboard functions, macros, multimedia commands and Windows commands, «invisibility» mode and the ability to completely disable the key are available for assignment. All changes are saved in one of the five on-board profiles.
There are four levels of resolution in the sensor performance settings that can be adjusted from 100 to 26,000 cpi in 50 cpi increments. You can choose from polling rates of 125, 250, 500 or 1000 Hz. The mouse button response delay is adjusted to fixed values of 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 ms. Separately, you can enable or disable the angular snapping of the cursor.
On the backlight setting screen, you can select six lighting effects, customize them to any color and five levels of brightness. Separate settings for the LEDs of the scroll wheel, logo and sidewall are available separately. And with the help of Aura Creator, you can create additional effects.
In the «Calibration» section, you can adjust the height of the mouse separation from the surface. It can be turned on or off. You can customize the mouse to one of 12 preset surface options. With them, the separation height is set in two options — low and high. The first corresponds to 1 mm, and the second to 2 mm. Or you can calibrate the LOD manually by running the appropriate process and moving the mouse over the carpet for a while.
The mouse and software support automatic and forced checking for firmware and program code updates.
The macro editor allows you to record commands from the mouse and keyboard, including the direction of the scroll wheel. The cursor movement trajectory is not fixed. Up to 100 commands are placed in one macro, each of which consists of a delay time associated with pressing and releasing a key. All recording and playback delays, sequence and content of commands can be easily edited at the end of the recording.
Ergonomics and testing
The ASUS ROG Gladius III mouse was tested on a plain black Mionix Alioth M cloth mat. But it passes the «rattle test» successfully — there are no backlashes and extraneous sounds when shaking the mouse. The device is comfortable in the hand. Due to the light and well-distributed weight, in combination with verified dimensions, the mouse is suitable for right-handers with large or medium-sized hands. The coating is generally pleasant to the touch, although prone to rapid accumulation of dirt. But, in comparison with the old model, the mouse has become much easier to clean. A definite plus in the novelty is excellent legs and a super-soft cable, even if it is no longer removable.
The main mouse buttons are spring-loaded and act too lightly for my taste. There is a slight horizontal play in the paintwork. The scroll wheel, on the contrary, is almost perfect — clear, quiet and without dangling. This is largely due to the design of the suspended carriage. The side keys work fine. The mouse slides with almost no inertia.
The basic difference from previous models is sockets for quick replacement of switches, which support not only mechanical, but also optical switches. Five on-board profiles allow you to customize the mouse for your favorite games and forget about the driver in principle. The backlight has also improved in general, except for the need for diodes on the sidewall. Armory Crate software continues to improve, but is still aimed at those who have most of the system assembled from ASUS components.
As mentioned earlier, ROG Gladius III comes in two versions — wired and wireless. And it is the latter that is the base, while the wired version is cut down relative to it in order to reduce the cost. That is why a very energy-efficient PixArt PAW3370DM-T4QU sensor is installed here, designed more for wireless use. Does this mean that it is worse, for example, 3389? Not at all, in some respects it is even better. It’s just the next generation of sensors where the race for accuracy and resolution has stopped and design optimization has begun. Initially, the sensor supports up to 19000 cpi, but it seemed to ASUS engineers that this was not enough, and they set the allowable resolution to 26000 cpi through the driver. The sensor has excellent positioning accuracy, extremely low and adjustable frequency of separation, does not suffer from parasitic effects in its work. It is almost impossible to cause a cursor break here. According to the program readings, the anti-aliasing level looks slightly overestimated, but it may well be that this is a feature of the current firmware version of the device, and not of the sensor.
The ASUS ROG Gladius III gaming mouse is a great update to one of the company’s first and most successful line of gaming peripherals. In comparison with previous versions, the device has retained its original shape with minor modifications on the sides. A new economical and efficient sensor is installed here (which is especially important for the wireless version), sockets for quick replacement of switches of both mechanical and optical types are added, a soft and flexible cable is installed and optimized legs are glued (I hope that they will become universal for all models of the line) . In addition, the mouse received an excellent scroll wheel with a suspended click mechanism and the case became significantly lighter (almost 30 grams compared to the Gladius II). The kit also includes a set of spare legs and optical switches, and even tweezers to remove them.
ASUS ROG Gladius III has no significant drawbacks. If you start to find fault, then I would note the more easily soiled coating of the top panel, the horizontal play of the paintwork, and, probably, the extra backlight on the left sidewall. In general, nothing critical.
ASUS ROG Gladius III is a more than worthy gaming mouse that meets all modern standards in the gaming peripherals industry. The device is able to impose tight competition on the best models of other leading brands, as it has a number of unique features in its design.