Verdict

The Asus ROG Claymore II is a great gaming keyboard for those who want to cut cables and customize their keyboard, both in terms of hardware and software. It’s modular in design is smart, the switches are pretty decent overall and provide a great gaming experience. Price is likely to be an issue for most, but if you’ve got the cash to spend, it’s one of the best options available.

Benefits

  • Premium build quality
  • Modular design is ingenious
  • Clicky optical switches feel decent

The inconvenients

  • High price
  • Non-removable wrist rest
  • Cheap keycaps

Availability

  • UKList Price: £ 249.99
  • United StatesList price: $ 269.99
  • EuropeRRP: € 279.99

Main characteristics


  • Modular design: With a detachable numeric keypad, you can customize the keyboard layout.

  • Optical mechanical switches: RX Red and RX Blue switches provide great performance and fast feel.

  • Wireless connection without lag:This keyboard offers a response time of 1 ms in wired and wireless 2.4 GHz mode.

The Asus ROG Claymore II is a ridiculously expensive gaming card that puts modular design front and center, along with clickable opto-mechanical switches, wireless connectivity, and incredible build quality.

It joins the likes of the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog and SteelSeries Apex Pro at the top of the keyboard world, displaying features you simply won’t find anywhere else in the mainstream space.

But are the unique features of the Claymore II just a gimmick, or can it make a name for itself as one of the best gaming keyboards on the market?

  • Modular design is a brilliant inclusion
  • Military grade construction with a blue metal top plate
  • ABS keycaps maybe depreciate the look a bit

For a keyboard priced the same as an Xbox Series S, there are arguably a lot of expectations regarding its feel and build quality. I’m happy to say that Asus has delivered on those expectations with the ROG Claymore II.

Even for the price, it looks like a remarkably sturdy board. There’s no sign of the deck flexing, and it comes with a nice blue-tinted metal plate that looks like it was ripped off from one of Logitech’s premium offerings. Claymore II is as solid as a rock.

Asus ROG Claymore II seen from above

This is one of the prettiest keyboards I’ve tested in a while, displaying a class that other manufacturers just can’t compete with. There’s the usual ROG trim, too: it has decent lines and gives it a certain crispness, which was reflected in older models like the Strix Scope TKL Deluxe that I reviewed last year.

The most important aspect of the Claymore II isn’t the way it was constructed or the fact that it has an attractive metal top plate; it is the fact that it is modular. The numeric keypad is detachable and connects to the main board via a secure mechanism on either side. Not only is this a great idea for space savers, it also works for lefties.

The numeric keypad itself is as well designed as the keyboard and comes with its own set of four tactile macro keys and a smooth volume roller. The only minus point is that it can be a bit of a hassle to tie up at first, but once you’ve done it a few times it’s pretty straightforward to do.

Modular design Asus ROG Claymore II

The keycaps are, compared to Razer card counterparts, made from the usual ABS plastics, which reduces the feel of Claymore. However, they’re at least double-cast, which allows the soft RGB backlighting to shine pretty well. Their stems are a bit odd though, which means you can’t swap these keys out for other standard MX stems because the RX switches on offer don’t use the same vertex.

Asus is generous enough to include a wrist rest, but unlike versions of its competitors, there doesn’t seem to be a proper way to secure it to the keyboard, either by clips or magnets. It’s quite comfortable, but can feel a bit cheap against the background of the rest of the board.

  • Clicky opto-mechanical switches feel great under your finger
  • Some users may experience a seemingly short trip
  • The latency-free wireless connection is fantastic

On the switch side, Asus sticks to its new RX Opto-mechanical Blues. These offer a similar feel to Logitech’s older Romer-Gs in terms of travel, despite the RX units offering the standard 4mm travel with a slightly higher actuation point of 1.5mm.

The click is pleasant, even if it seems a little superficial compared to the others offered. Overall, the feel of the Switch is a bit hollow, as it is with the optics. I experienced the same with the Razer Huntsman Mini, for example, which has the same type of switches inside.

Close-up on the D-Pad

The RX Blue’s 65g actuation force makes them quite heavy, but for a typist they feel great. Just beware of the slightly shorter-than-expected travel feel and loudness associated with clickable switches in general.

There is no sign that these have the adjustable points of the Huntsman V2 Analog or the SteelSeries Apex Pro, which tie the Claymore a bit in comparison. However, its 1.5mm actuation makes it faster than more standard keyboards, reducing the stroke required for inputs.

The Claymore II is cordless, with a decent 43 hours of battery life with full RGB quality, or 144 hours with the lights off. For a full game board, that’s great, practically eating up the living competition – it beats Razer’s premium wireless offering four times with full RGB turned on.

Asus ROG Claymore II with modular numeric keypad on the left

Charging is provided by a USB-C connector, making this new Claymore one of the most avant-garde keyboards. It has a USB-A passthrough that requires power, but can be used to plug in a mouse, an external hard drive, or maybe your phone for charging.

There’s also the usual 1ms response time thanks to the Claymore’s zero-latency wireless connection, blurring the lines between a wired and wireless experience.

  • Relatively bright RGB lighting
  • ROG Armory provides the usual customization options
  • Wireless Aura Sync works well

Overall, the Claymore II backlight is pretty good, helped both by the clear switch housings and being quite bright. It’s not on the same level as Razer, however. Asus’ lighting was a bit dim right out of the box, but that can of course be adjusted through the included Armory software.

Asus ROG Claymore II lighting

ROG Armory can be quite handy for the usual macro-customization and backlight preset options. However, even alongside Roccat’s Swarm and in particular Corsair’s iCue and Razer Synapse 3, it feels a bit stripped down for general functionality, and its layout isn’t as intuitive or slick.

What the Claymore II has on its side is a wireless version of Asus’ Aura Sync lighting, which means the device’s lighting is synced even over a wireless connection. This could be especially useful if the Claymore is paired with the wireless variant of the Asus Gladius III mouse, for example.

Should we buy it?

If you want one of the best wireless gaming keyboards on the market:
The Asus ROG Claymore II is a fantastic gaming keyboard, with top notch performance. Its modular design also allows you more flexibility for your setup.

If you are looking for a good deal:
Unless you have £ 250 spare this is to be avoided. It’s incredibly expensive, especially since you can still get great gaming keyboards for half the price.

Verdict

For those with a lot of money to spend on a wireless gaming keyboard, the Claymore II is a very good option. Its modular design is excellent and it offers brilliant autonomy. However, its cost is a big scarecrow, especially since it lacks analog switches found at similarly priced rivals.

Faq

Is it noisy?

It is rather noisy. If you want something quiet you better look elsewhere.

Is it mechanical?

Yes, it has mechanical switches.

Is there any additional software?

Yes, customization is offered through ROG Armory.

Full specification title

Maker

RRP in UK

Recommended US price

EU RRP

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

Release date

Date of first review

Ports

Connectivity

Switch type

Number of macro keys

Battery length

Jargon hunter

Opto-mechanical switches

Mechanical key switches that operate through lasers as opposed to traditional springs

Modular

A device that comes with various removable parts. Usually coined as different “modules”.

Keyless (TKL)

A keyboard layout that does not include the additional numeric keypad.



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