Coming from my much loved Ducky Shine 4 I entered the peripherals market with the sole intention of buying the the updated Shine 5. I was however, presented with a number big brands such as ASUS, Corsair and Razer trying to vie for Ducky’s minimalistic, expensive and so far unique take on the keyboard design. Having never owned an ASUS peripheral before but having both an ASUS motherboard and an ASUS graphics card I decided that I would give the ASUS Claymore Core a go. It also came highly recommended from multiple other review sites and friends. Here is my take after a year of use.
✯ N-Key Rollover (100% ghost free)
✯ Genuine Cherry MX Keys
✯ Two variants, 100% size and 80% size (without the keypad)
✯ 1000Hz Polling Rate (The keyboard will check for a keystroke every 1ms)
✯ Height adjustable feet that lock into place
✯ 16.8 million individually lit keys with both software and non-software adjustment
✯ Hotkeys that can adjust fan speeds and boot settings when linked with a ASUS motherboard
✯ Durable aluminium design
✯ Standard Micro USB Cable for easy replacement
Design & Layout
The ASUS claymore is available in two layouts, the 80% tournament sized keyboard without a keypad (claymore core) and the 100% sized board with a keypad. In Australia you are looking for a retail price of around $220 for the core variant and $280 for the full sized claymore. This definitely puts the keyboard into the high price tier.
The build quality on this keyboard definitely feels and looks expensive. The Republic of Gamers are well known for changing their brand from year to year with new releases. In 2015-16 it was the owl-inspired range with their graphics cards and peripherals adopting the round eyes of an owl and their mascot being a robotic owl. This year they have opted for what they describe as a mayan-inspired design with sharp edges and etchings in-line with nvidia’s new 10 series GPUs. Personally, I prefer this design to the owl but it’s obviously up to personal preference. (Side Note: Some of the lower ASUS graphics cards maintain the owl design)
This brings me to my first standout feature: the detachable keypad. For those with minimal desk space such as myself this will come as a much needed feature. You can purchase the board with or without the keypad and can be attached or detached with ease. You also have the ability to purchase the keypad at a later date if you don’t want to fork out the extra cash straight away. Personally, I am use to the tournament sized board and am not missing my keypad but it’s nice to know that the upgrade is available if I so desire.
Here you can see the height difference with and without the feet. The feet add about 3-5cm of raise although it is not adjustable. You can also see the connector where you can slide the keypad in place (gold 6 pin connector).
I will try to be subjective here and just stick to the facts as I think that looks are a personal thing.
The keyboard takes a minimalistic design approach. The top is adorned with a black set of keycaps that sit out of the boards housing. At the top the housing is covered in a full metal shroud with mayan-inspired etchings. This can attract a lot of dust but with the proper care I prefer the cold metal touch and durability this brings. The internals are secured at the bottom with a plastic housing that reminds me of a bat. It uses sharp edges to prop up the keyboard in an appropriate manner and has two plastic feet that flip out and secure with a tight click for angled keyboard use. There is a cut out for the cable to run through. A downside to this minimalistic design is the lack of a palm rest which is obviously a personal preference. I would love to see ASUS include an attachable one for those who prefer to use them (especially at this price). In total it weighs in at 770G with the cable so it carries quite a bit of weight.
On the left you can see the back of the keyboard which reminds me of a bat. On the right you can see the height difference compared to my old ducky shine 5. Both have the keycaps removed showing the Cherry MX (Red) switches.
The claymore is another example of 2016-17(s) LED push from the gaming community with ASUS introducing their AURA RGB technology. Their RGB lighting has 16.8 million different colour variations with 5 different dedicated profiles that you can change on the fly via your macros or software. Through the ASUS AURA suite users have the ability to sync these lighting effects with other AURA enabled graphics cards, motherboards and peripherals. We even found some cases such as the In Win 805 infinity that lets users sync the LEDs on the case to this keyboard. Here is an example of the AURA sync in action (unfortunately I couldn’t find a video with the keyboard syncing to other components);
The standout feature for me here is the ability to customise your lighting scheme on the fly through dedicated macros found on the keyboard. This differs from other companies who usually use software based product customisation. ASUS has in this case opted to put a large number of their functional keys on the actual layout which are controlled via the FN and macro switches as shown below;
I seemed to have some dull areas on my unit and not sure if this is a fault or a design flaw but I don’t have another unit to compare it to.
The ASUS ROG claymore is the company’s most ambitious attempt into the peripheral market yet. The keyboard boasts features that are quickly becoming the cornerstone of the Republic of Gaming (ROG) product line and a design that represents plenty of gaming flair while still being discreet enough to show your girlfriend. This is an in-depth look into the much anticipated claymore keyboard series.
✔N-Key Rollover (100% anti-ghosting)
✔Lightning Fast Overclocking
✔Key Bot Features
✔Micro USB Detachable Cable
✔Control Lighting via Function Key
✔Very Nice Packaging
✖Open Switch Design Attracts Dust
✖Consistency with AURA Products
✖Some Dull RGB Areas (unsure if specific to my unit)
✖No Optional Palm Rest
✖AURA and ROG armoury are not compatible
RATE : 4.5/5
Read more details about this review please click HERE