Right now all the craze is about lightweight FPS mice, but let’s not forget about the many heavyweight options that still matter like the ROG Chakram.
This mouse is absolutely loaded with features and after using it for about a week it is an easy recommendation. It has a perfect place in the market in 2020, and it’s actually a really good alternative to the Razer and Logitech options because of the joystick and because of the hot swappable pull switches, which are pretty cool.
The first thing I want to get off my chest is this conversation about the weight, and I feel like it’s actually an advantage for brands that release heavyweight mice because the lightweight section is getting so saturated that anything that’s slightly heavy stands out. Even though the Chakram is slightly heavier versus the Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless and the Razer Basilisk Ultimate it still keeps a distance from the really chunky productivity mice like the MX master 2S. Price wise it is also slightly more than the Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless and the Razer Basilisk Ultimate, but I still think it’s fairly competitive in the grand scheme of best wireless options available.
Accessories & Charging Options
The included accessories are absolutely loaded. You get a pouch, a sticker, a USB Type-C cable, a compartment with extra switches and joystick heads, and a transparent custom badge that replaces the default RGB logo. I guess you can draw on this or maybe put a sticker on it, but the instructions are not clear. I really liked the see-through top surface for extra diffusion of all that beautiful even lighting, especially right below the front triggers. I think this mouse’s texture will fare well over time.
The type-C connector is unrestricted at the front, and as far as I’m aware this is the first mouse that has the equivalent of fast charging, where you can get 12 hours of battery life in just 50 minutes over a USB 3.0 connection. Total runtime is rated at 79 hours, which is awesome, and the mouse obviously goes to sleep when in idle to save on battery life. You can expect a minimum of a full weeks of usage from this wireless mouse over the 2.4GHz wireless connectivity. The included USB Wi-Fi dongle tucks inside the body for safe travels. The mouse also has Qi charging, which is awesome if you have one available on your desk, so you can charge the mouse that way without needing to plug it in. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, which is probably why the mouse is slightly heavier versus the competition.
Shape & Layout
As for the shape, the Chakram is a large mouse that I find very comfortable to grip and it has enough length for massive hands too. As you can see, I’m mainly gripping the back with my fingertip style, but claw and full palm grip should satisfy too. I still prefer the slightly slimmer Basilisk shape over this one. The textured sides are also not as grippy as on the Razer, but I have had no issues with control and the mouse stays locked in my grip.
My only complaint with the button layout is the placement of that joystick, as it’s too far forward for my thumb and I need to basically readjust my entire grip to reach it. As for the functionality of the joystick, you can program it to full 360 degree analog movement or digital movement, which is quite unique for a mouse. I just couldn’t bring myself to use this joystick even for third person games because it’s a bit unnatural, and also it’s too far away from my thumb so it’s not exactly a comfortable to utilize the joystick. It also only works through Steam, once you set up the controller configuration anything that launches through Steam recognizes the joystick as an analog control. However, if I launch into Red Dead Redemption 2 through the other launcher it doesn’t work. By the way, the joystick is also fully removable and can be extended with a slightly longer stem. Something else important to mention is that the joystick is disabled in Bluetooth mode.
What I find more interesting as a feature on this mouse are these swappable Omron switches. You simply remove the primary triggers – which are magnetic – you then pull out the switch and replace it with whatever you have available. The blue ones have the sharper and more tactile actuation versus more travel and softer feeling for the beige switches. You can also mix and match and even install your own Omron switches. I’m not sure how you feel about this, but this might be the next cool thing for gaming mice. The next level of customization for mice, just like we have with keyboards, I don’t know if it will catch on but we will see. It is a standard pin plunger design, so different microswitches will work. I have tested some of the switches that I actually got from Omron in Japan and had no issues. Just make sure the pin layout matches that of the default micro switches that are included with the mouse, and not something like the many generic switches that you can find on Amazon that look similar but would not fit.
Sensor & Software
Finally, let’s talk about gaming as the sensor is top-of-the-line with a resolution of up to 16,000 DPI. I found it actually quite pleasant in games like Escape From Tarkov where character movement has weight, so your turn speed and walking speed are all affected by the gear you wear. Despite the 120 gram body I had good control when finding targets and aim correction. However, jumping into the CS:GO workshop map it was quite challenging to aim as you keep flicking the mouse across the screen. My aim wasn’t bad but my wrist was not used to something this heavy. For FPS I still go back to the very light and MM711 for that exact reason, but the Chakram is still a fantastic performer and I even played at my usual DPI of 800 without any issues. Now where the stability and added weight might be advantageous are all the adventure games and strategy games where featherlight mice simply have no benefit. This means that ASUS is still catering to those who prefer the larger mouse format with the extra weight and a really loaded feature set.
I have nothing special to say about the driver software except that it only have three profiles with all the usual button mapping and lighting options, plus 2 lift-off distance adjustments, and joystick configuration that doesn’t really reflect in-game movement anyway.
In the end, the joystick here is the most disappointing part, because it’s only recognized through Steam and it’s way too far forward for my thumb so I can’t comfortably grip the mouse and use the joystick properly. Perhaps if it was right below the browser buttons I would have more luck. I see this mouse as something that encourages innovation, who’s advancements we will hopefully see again in future releases, and I’m quite surprised that ASUS was able to deliver a mouse that competes with the likes of Razer and Logitech, which are established players in the space. I’m curious to know what you all think of the ROG Chakram.
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