At first glance, the Chakram doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from other mice from ASUS’s Republic of Gamers wheelhouse. The build quality and aesthetics are immediately familiar to anyone who has used a ROG Pugio or Gladius, for example, except for the addition of a thumb rest and the joystick mentioned above. I say ‘joystick,’ but that’s a generous term, at least in terms of size: it’s a tiny flat block with a small circle of movement, reminiscent of the lonely folding rule of the original PSP. This is our Asus ROG Chakram Review.
It feels good to use, and it’s a unique selling point, but the Asus ROG Chakram has a steep price tag, and the question remains: who needs a control stick mounted on the side of their mouse?
Asus ROG Chakram Review: Design
The ROG Chakram is undoubtedly an aesthetically pleasing piece of hardware, with a sleek outer shell of hard black plastic and a decent RGB lighting under the two main buttons and the scroll wheel. The top half of the housing is translucent, creating an RGB ROG logo. The housing and main buttons are held in place magnetically, making them easy to remove without screws – a blessing for anyone who likes to fashion their mouse or give it a thorough cleaning regularly.
It’s effortless to take apart, and the ROG logo can be swapped for a blank image to which you can apply custom design. The switches underneath the two main buttons can also be easily removed, using an included tool. The Asus ROG Chakram comes with two spare Omron switches, which means that replacing a switch is easy when it is worn out.
But customization doesn’t stop the re; the folding rule can be pushed loose with a little force and replaced with a higher equivalent or wholly covered with a plastic spool disc. Whatever you choose, any head or cover is comfortable to use, with textured rubber tops and a decent amount of resistance, no matter which folding rule cover you choose.
Besides the folding rule, the ROG Chakram has a few other neat functions. Connectivity can be achieved via Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, or USB dongle. The latter has a cozy slot in the mouse for when you’re traveling. Connecting and setting up the ROG Chakram takes seconds. This easiness in connectivity and design also applies to charge, as the ROG Chakram can be charged via USB-C as well as wirelessly via a compatible Qi-charging pad.
The included USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable is 1.8m in length, and I thought it was the best option; charging the Qi wirelessly turned out to be hit-and-miss, which requires precise positioning and does not work with some third-party Qi chargers. Fortunately, battery life is excellent. The Chakram can be used for a single day of charging and supports fast USB-C charging. However, using the ASUS Aura RGB illumination will certainly affect battery life.
The only thing missing here is an adjustable weighting. It feels unusual that the Chakram can be opened so quickly, leaving much space, but there is no extra weight to place in this relatively light mouse. It is certainly not a superfluous luxury, but it would have been another great feature in the mouse.
Asus ROG Chakram Review: Performance
I anticipated good things from the Chakram, both because of the high price and because of ASUS‘s production pedigree. I was not disappointed. A 16,000 DPI, 40 g acceleration sensor, pulls its weight inside this mouse, providing smooth operation with excellent precision, accuracy, and sensitivity. The scroll and four buttons are all comfortable to use for long periods, and I found that the raised folding rule didn’t cause any hand cramps after hours of use.
The stick can work as a traditional analog stick, making it great for flight simulations and fighting games if you’re not the kind to switch to a gamepad. However, it also has a re-usable digital mode, allowing you to treat it as a four-way stick, handy for calling up shortcuts in MOBAs and MMOs. However, this is not an excellent mouse for first-person shooters: although it works fine, it lacks some features like a live DPI switcher or a ‘sniper’ button. DPI can be customized in ASUS’ Armoury II software, or by using a button on the base of the mouse.
I did try to use the joystick as a standard control stick in a few top-down shooters; however, the combination of moving and aiming with one hand eventually felt awkward. 360-degree space sims like Elite: Dangerous felt great after a short adaptation period.
Asus ROG Chakram Review: Conclusion
It’s a somewhat strange and not everyday product, but the ROG Chakram is a pretty good mouse. It’s definitely on the pricey side, but the build quality is excellent, and it just feels good to use – it’s one of the best game mice to come out recently. This feels more like a better-executed gimmick than a thick Numpad or d-pad on the side of the mouse. More specifically, and mirroring the use of the niche, but don’t want to deal with setting up and using an expensive joystick, the ROG Chakram is definitely for you. For more options, check our list of Best Gaming Mouse
A mouse with a built-in joystick probably wasn't high on anyone's hypothetical technical wish list, but ASUS had its own ideas, and those ideas manifested themselves in the form of the ROG Chakram.
- Awesome customization
- Triple connectivity is great
- Joystick is well-designed
- Fairly expensive
- Wireless charging is fiddly