This feature-rich keyboard offers maximum flexibility.
When it comes to gaming there isn't a dream "one size fits all" setup that suits the needs of every player. Not only is everybody physically different, but we all have our own preferences when it comes to important aspects such as comfort and ease of use. This is something that ASUS has kept in mind when producing one of its latest keyboards, the ROG Claymore II. The device retails for £249.99 and it can be physically adapted to suit a variety of playstyles, as all of its key functions can be altered and its number pad and wrist rest can be detached.
With its shiny metallic frame and all-round clean look, the ROG Claymore II is certainly a handsome bit of tech. The black keys standout boldly against the metallic grey background and its illuminating LED lights feel vivid and vibrant. By downloading the free Armoury Crate software, you can switch between 11 different types of lighting effects and there is even the option to create your very own, if you're feeling creative. Two of my personal favourites amongst these are Reactive, which lights up only the keys that you have used, and Quicksand, which creates a sweeping effect across the whole keyboard. What is great too is that these lighting effects carry over when you move between wireless and wired modes.
As I touched upon previously, the keyboard comes in three separate parts (a number pad, keyboard, and wrist rest) rather than being one standalone fixed unit. Fitting these parts together is really simplistic as they slot together magnetically and don't need to be held in place. A small touch that I appreciated is that there is the option to attach the number pad to both the left and right side of the keyboard. Personally though, I found it disappointing that there weren't two wrist rests included to support the keyboard without the number pad attached. With the number pad removed, there is just an awkward gap present at the far end and this is something that irritated me from just a purely visual standpoint.
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The keyboard's mechanical switches have a real punch to them and they are guaranteed longevity as they have a 100-million-keystroke lifespan. With them having a latency of just 1ms, I didn't experience any delays with inputs whether I was playing either wired or wireless, and I found that very little force was required when registering inputs. What I will say though is that the keys are awfully loud and clicky. This should be expected from a mechanical keyboard, but it's something to bear in mind if you are streaming PC games.
Within the aforementioned Armoury Crate software, you have complete flexibility over your entire keyboard as you can change the function of any key for tasks such as launching a particular application on your PC, opening a specific website, or using a mouse function like left clicking. What is great is that the detachable number pad features four keys that are solely included to be customised, so you don't need to sacrifice any of your key functions elsewhere. It also includes a volume slider that can be effortlessly scrolled without you having to make several button pushes or fiddle around with your levels on screen.
The ROG Claymore 11 functions as both a wired and a wireless keyboard and I found my experience with both methods to be outstanding. First of all, when wireless, the keyboard has a 4000 mAH battery that enables for an impressive 144 hours of battery life when fully charged (with lighting effects off) and 43 hours with lighting enabled at full brightness. When plugged in, the USB-C charger can enable for up to 18 hours of gameplay in just 30-minutes, so you'll never find yourself having to use it wired for long durations. The USB-C is a respectable length too, and it's completely detachable so you can replace it with another cable if it is to get damaged or even broken.
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The ASUS ROG Claymore II will be fondly remembered as one of the most flexible gaming keyboards that I've had the pleasure to review. With the device being comprised of three separate parts, it can be tailored to suit a variety of users, and additionally, its key inputs and LED lighting can also be freely adjusted. I also found its key presses to be punchy and responsive, and its battery life can last for an impressive 144 hours under the right circumstances. That said, I wish there were two separate wrist rests included for using the keyboard with and without the number pad and the price tag of £249.99 is a little bit hefty.
9 / 10
The keyboard offers a wealth of flexibility, its battery life can last for an impressive 144 hours, and each key input feels punchy and precise.
The price is a little hefty, I wish there were two wrist rests for using the keyboard with and without the number pad.