Would you believe that this is only the second ASUS keyboard review on TechPowerUp? It was over two years ago that we saw the ROG Strix Flare in all its detailed glory, and the company has since brought out a lot of peripherals, including some very interesting keyboards and new switches. The Strix Flare was the company's flagship keyboard at the time, so what better way to get back to the brand than taking a look at their current flagship released just this week? Thanks to ASUS for sending a review sample to TechPowerUp!
The original ROG Claymore turned quite a few heads when it launched in 2016, which itself surprised me since I thought it was a more recent release and goes to show that the modularity introduced then still comes across as modern because only a handful of other keyboards have followed suit. The Mountain Everest is probably the newest and would have been here if it weren't for the company struggling with production yields. ASUS decided it was time to update the Claymore with so many new things that this review has not one, but two disassembly pages! That says it all really, so strap in for what is probably my longest keyboard review ever, beginning with a look at the specifications in the table below.
ASUS ROG Claymore II Keyboard
TKL or full-size (right/left-handed numpad) form factor in a US ANSI layout, other languages based on your region
ABS plastic case and keycaps, aluminium frame
Full N-Key rollover USB or 2.4 GHz wireless
Dedicated media playback and volume wheel
155 (L) x 462 (W) x 39 (H) mm
1.1 kg/2.4 lbs.
6 ft / 1.8 m
Choice of ROG RX Red or Blue optical mechanical switches
Yes, per-key 16.8 M colors
USB or 2.4 GHz
Packaging and Accessories
ASUS operates a web shop in the USA. However, this sample came from a marketing hub, so we begin with a look at the product packaging. A plastic wrap covers the packaging, which is not very practical, and removing it reveals the product box in more detail. As a member of the ASUS ROG brand, packaging gets the red ROG badge instead of the actual ASUS logo in the top left. The product name is on the top right, with a large render of the keyboard in the middle all lit up. We also see salient features listed on the right, and this continues on the back with more renders, features, and specifications. The box nicely illustrates the novelties on board if you happen to come across the ROG Claymore II in a brick-and-mortar store, and seals on the side keep the contents inside in place place during transit. As it turns out, ASUS is using a two-piece packaging with an outer box over an inner cardboard box that slides out on either side.
This inner box is more subtle in design, with a black banderole over the cardboard and a shiny red ROG eye in the middle. Side flaps are all you get here, and opening the box continues what is quite a premium unboxing experience. A foam sheet on top adds protection to the items inside, and immediately underneath is a transparent reference guide, which is a neat way of showcasing all the pre-programmed functions aboard the ROG Claymore II. The numpad is separately packaged on the right, with the rest of the keyboard on the left behind a cardboard separator.
You need to remove both components as well as the separator to access the rest of the contents. First up is a thick booklet embossed with the ROG logo, and it has the paperwork consisting of a thank you card for purchasing the keyboard, warranty card/booklet, set of stickers, and quick start guide (online copy here) in multiple languages. The reference sheet from earlier is arguably more handy, at least for English speakers. The other accessories are in the bottom layer, inside cutouts to snugly keep them there. ASUS throws in a wrist rest, detachable cable, and two adapters. Both adapters have the ROG eye, just in case those so far were not enough, and one is a female USB Type-C to male USB Type-A adapter, whereas the other is a female-female converter for extending the reach of the wireless dongle if combined with the provided cable. Speaking of which, this is where we see ASUS actually using a male-male Type-C cable instead of the usual Type-A to Type-C cable, and now the adapters make more sense. There is a good reason for this choice, which we will get to shortly.
If there is one thing I can assure you of, it is that there is no lack of ROG eye logo placements. The cable connectors have some too, and of course the wrist rest. There is a leatherette surface over soft foam on the top of the wrist rest, with the aforementioned logo on the right. The top surface is quite soft and durable, and magnets on the touching edge pair the wrist rest with the keyboard no doubt. Rubber pads have been put on the bottom for friction against the resting surface, and a side shot confirms an angled profile with the wrist rest itself.
Before we move on to the keyboard, here is another look at the soft cloth bags that cover both the TKL section and numpad. It is black with two variations of the logo depending on size, and you can easily pull out the items inside. It does not really add much protection, but keeps dust away and is a nice finish to the unboxing experience.