The work-from-home trend of recent years has achieved a lot, but through it all, it's forced many of us to take a hard look at our computer settings. result, custommechanical keyboardThe popularity is overwhelming. However, while these keyboards can easily show off how great your typing experience feels and sounds, they aren't exactly tailor-made for gamers. That's where ASUS ROG Azoth comes into play. Designed to be the best of both worlds, it has almost every feature you could ask forgaming keyboardAnd it offers one of the best writing experiences in its class. At $249, it's not cheap, but it's worth the price of admission.
ASUS ROG Azoth: Design and features
ROG Azoth is the product of one of the simplest things a company can do: listen. Asus has clearly paid attention to all the hype surrounding custom keyboards throughout the development process. In fact, every part of your plan is an answer. For gamers, it has pretty much everything you could ask for: one-button RGB, lots of programmability, high-speed wireless connectivity, and long battery life. For keyboard lovers (who also happen to be gamers): It has sound-deadening foam, lubricated stabilizers, great keys and great switches, and comes with its own lube kit.
The design sits somewhere between playability and keyboard functionality. Azoth uses a 75% layout, meaning it has a full array of functions and arrow keys, as well as a navigation bar and editing buttons on the right. It has most of the TKL's keys, but leaves a few inches for the mouse arm. Compared to 60% smaller designsSteelSeries Apex Pro MiniTheCorsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless,It's completely more functional. While you'll still need to hold down the power button to access some keys, like the print screen, there's a dedicated button for most of the functions you'll need, so if you need to write a report or complete a task.
In the upper right corner is an OLED screen, which is not pretty at all. Although small, it can be customized to display anything from your own custom logo and animated GIFs to system information such as CPU and GPU temperatures, date and time, and even calendar and email notifications. ELECTRONICS. This is especially useful if you're pushing your system for maximum performance and want to monitor temperatures.
The screen is also connected to the keyboard control dial, which has a button to press and a joystick to navigate up and down. Click the button to toggle the category between Intensity, Light Levels, Light Effects, Media Controls and OLED Brightness. Each category gives you a clear readout of the current setting and makes it easy to adjust, although I would have preferred a single knob for more precise volume settings.
The Azoth's battery life is also worth a look.
The screen also indicates your current connection status between USB, Bluetooth and SpeedNova 2.4GHz wireless. The keyboard paired automatically with its USB dongle when I first tried it, but I'm glad to have a screen to confirm my Bluetooth devices and pairing status. Once connected, it's reliable and fast. Bluetooth typing is best because of the inherent latency, but I've found that the SpeedNova can compete with even the best wired keyboards, including 4000 Hz.Corsair K100 RGBand 8,000 HzRazer Hunter V2, despite maintaining a polling rate of 1000 Hz.
The Azoth's battery life is also worth a look. Asus claims a whopping 2,000 hours of total battery life with the RGB and OLED displays turned off. Most people probably use both and won't hit that number, but even if I ignore that advice, I didn't even use 50% of the battery in over two weeks of daily use. I estimate 200 hours of use with half-bright lighting and power-saving settings that put the keyboard to sleep when not in use.
Azoth is built like a tank. The top half of the case is made of solid aluminum like you'd find on expensive custom keyboards. Keyboard manufacturers like to brag about their "aircraft grade aluminum" bezels, but what they really mean are the plates that hold the switches. The top of the Azoth is a steel plate for the switches and then a solid aluminum case. Unlike many gaming keyboards, this hides the top of the switch housing so it's not as visible from the side, but helps isolate the RGB below the actual keys. The design also means the keyboard is heavy and feels special in the hand.
The bottom case is plastic, but the material changes for good reason. Metal tends to block wireless signals, and since the Azoth is designed to deliver low-latency wireless, the bottom case provides a way to escape those signals. Along the back edge of the keyboard is a toggle switch for selecting your preferred connection mode, and at the bottom is a pair of two-stage tilt feet for adjusting your preferred typing angle. There's no additional USB port or audio jack, which is disappointing but increasingly common in gaming keyboards.
The keys are made of durable PBT plastic so they won't shine or look greasy even after prolonged use. They are thick and textured, and feel and sound great under my fingers. The legends are double and made from a second piece of plastic, so there's no chance of them chipping or fading. They are also backlit, allowing RGB to glow in the dark for gaming. Asus still uses their typical angular gamer font, which some people don't like, but I think it works well here.
Below these keys, Azoth uses ROG NX switches. They are the latest generation of mechanical switches from ASUS and they are excellent. My samplers come in touch brown, but they also come in linear red and blue. I was also able to swap in a set of NX Red switches and although they weren't lubricated, they felt lubricated. The Tactile Browns, on the other hand, had minor scratches, but were more pleasant than the Cherry MX Browns. The switches are also interchangeable so you can easily swap them out to try something new without replacing the entire keyboard.
This is where Asus really starts to use the custom keyboard inspiration in their cases. Azoth comes with a full lube kit including keycaps and switch pullers, a switch opener, a bottle of Krytox 205g0 (the industrial lube of choice for keyboard enthusiasts), a disc to hold the switches open, and three spare breakers. for emergency training. deformation.
As a huge keyboard nerd, I was happy to see this kit included. Lubricating the switches makes them feel smoother and sound deeper, which is why almost every keyboard manufacturer takes the time to do it. At the same time, it is a tedious process that can take hours, especially if you are new to it. Rest assured that it's completely optional and without touching the lube kit, the keyboard feels and sounds much better than most gaming keyboards. But if you've been on the fence about building your own keyboard, this is a good middle ground to see what all the fuss is about.
Under those switches, Asus combined layers of foam and silicone to cushion the keyboard and fine-tune its sound. It features a flanged construction with silicone sheet around the plate to isolate typing sounds and ensure smooth typing. Underneath the circuit board and PCB is another layer of silicone that disables the keyboard and outputs sound from the switches. At the bottom of the case is a thick layer of PORON foam and another layer of silicone to eliminate any gaps in the case.
With all the great switches and padding in the box, the Azoth is one of the best sounding gaming keyboards available today. It has a clean, poppy sound signature that is all about the switch. Best of all, it's easy to unwrap and modify if you want to try other mods popular in the keyboard community, like adding tape to the back of the PCB.
ASUS ROG Azoth – Software
Azoth works with Asus Armory Crate software. It allows you to customize all the keys, record and assign macros, program lighting effects and change what is shown on the keyboard's OLED screen. The software has tabs for easy navigation, but is more limited than competing keyboards when it comes to layered keymaps.
The first tab is where you'll remap keys and assign macros, but as of this writing, there's no way to break down the functionality into sublayers. For example, it is not possible to assign a macro to Fn+1, it is only possible to assign "1" by replacing the key. The Armory Crate lets you store keymaps in five profiles that can be quickly swapped, but there's no way to assign two functions to the same key like the Razer Synapse or Corsair iCUE.
Apart from this limitation, the software offers almost everything you could ask for. Keys can be fully mapped and assigned to keyboard and mouse functions, as well as macros, media controls, Windows shortcuts, text strings, and even launching individual applications. Creative gamers can use dozens of macros to create multiple layouts for different games and applications.
There are 11 basic lighting effects to choose from, including all the basics like breathing, reactive writing and classic rainbow waves. You can also go to the Advanced Effects tab and create custom animations in the video editor-like timeline. All presets can be adjusted for color, brightness and speed, so if you want rainbow waves with custom gradients, it's totally doable and very easy.
The OLED Tab lets you customize the screen and does a lot more than I originally expected. Asus offers a few animations and banners to choose from, as well as a sound visualizer that reacts to your games and music. If you prefer to display your own chart, simply upload an image or GIF file. There was no limit to the resolution or file size I could view (4K images loaded just fine), and the screen resolution was high enough that even complex GIFs looked good.
Armory Crate also lets you set it up as a custom info display. Currently, options are limited to single hardware information, dual hardware information, and date/time. Hardware options can read temperature, frequency, usage and voltage. You can add multiple screens that the OLED will pass through. I found it particularly useful for monitoring CPU and GPU temperatures while gaming.
ASUS ROG Azoth – Performance
I won't bury the lede: The ROG Azoth is one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy today. Whether you're playing games or writing class reports, it feels, sounds and performs best in its class. In just two weeks of testing it with daily use, it has become one of my favorite gaming keyboards, despite its hefty price tag.
Asus' focus on the world of custom mechanical keyboards has paid off as a joy to use. For typing, the flange support structure and layers of foam and silicone do a good job of isolating the switch from the case, reducing vibration. The Azoth is cleaner and quieter than any other gaming keyboard from a major brand I've tested. The keys don't have a lot of elasticity or bounce (features that are very popular with keyboard enthusiasts these days), but they are a pleasant medium between expensive custom gaming keyboards and traditional gaming keyboards.
As I mentioned before, the NX switches are great. When you fire them up, a small amount of lube is applied beforehand to eliminate any sting from the springs. Brown shafts have a stronger feel than Cherry MX Brown, so they are ideal for typing and you can easily avoid typos. In fact, it might be too sharp for some and not the best choice for pure gaming. NX Reds are smoother, quieter, and overall better at crushing enemies.
The wireless connection is excellent, on par with most wired gaming keyboards. Despite clocking in at 1000Hz versus the Razer Huntsman V2's 8000Hz, I had a hard time telling them apart. This keyboard is fast and lacks nothing without cables. Being able to connect to my laptop via Bluetooth to quickly switch between gaming and email is especially versatile.
OLED screens are especially great if you want to monitor your system hardware. As a computer min-maxer, it's helpful to be able to see my temperature without an overlay on the screen. I wish I could input more information like FPS to completely replace the software screen, but not yet. I'm also grateful to be able to replace the confusing media access keys and lighting controls with the push of a button on the side.
As a complete suite, ROG Azoth's offerings are pretty complete. It comes with all the basic features you'd expect at this price: instant macro recording, Windows locking, and software support for key remapping and custom lighting combinations. If there's a gaming feature you can think of, chances are this keyboard has it.
Like many things in life, it is the culmination of many small things that make Azoth special. It's great for gaming, but also for everything else. It's the kind of keyboard that makes you want to go back and "run" the keyboard again.TipoRacerEven at $249, this is a very good buy.