ASUS ROG Keris Wireless Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

ROG or Republic of Gamers may be ASUS' sub-brand for gaming peripherals, but the ROG Keris Wireless has a pretty tame appearance. Most gaming peripherals have nowadays moved to a cleaner and simpler look, but there are some specific gamer features here that I think even everyday users would appreciate. The all-black exterior is only marked by the ROG mask logo. This logo is translucent to allow some RGB lighting through if you want. The whole body is made up of a plastic shell, although the finishes on primary buttons is a bit different from the back. This is because these buttons, as well as the sides closer to the front, are made out of PBT or polybutylene terephthalate. Normally found on aftermarket keyboard keycaps, PBT plastics are also known to be more durable and resist shining after handling it. They also have a grittier feel as compared to ABS, which makes the Keris Wireless a bit easier to hold. I do appreciate the harder plastic, as it changes not only the durability and aesthetics, but also how the button feels. The rest of the shell is composed of ABS plastic for a lighter weight.

As for measurements, the ASUS ROG Keris Wireless measures 118mm in length, 62mm in width, and 39mm in height. This peak height is situated slightly towards the back with a smooth slope from the primary buttons up to the peak and a more apparently slope and curve down the back. As for the width, the front is generally uniform in width, but the sides flare out a bit more to accommodate the natural curve of the hand. The back side bulges out slightly to better fit into your palm. As for the weight, the ASUS ROG Keris Wireless is 79g in mass. While this is not the lightest of mice we have seen, this still feels pretty agile. The lack of a cable at the end also helps in this regard. You might be wondering how ASUS managed to shave off weight without leaving honeycomb holes all over the shell. Inside, the shell has been hollowed out with holes to cut down on weight. Thankfully, this means the overall body still keeps its structural integrity. Otherwise, this weight is balanced to line up with the middle and the sensor location underneath. This is a right-handed mouse with the curves and sides clearly made to fit in a right hand. Overall build quality is excellent. This is in part due to the thicker PBT plastics used here, but there are no odd squeaks or noises in the body or the buttons. The body also does not flex like some more hollowed out ultralight mice do.

From the left side perspective of the ASUS ROG Keris Wireless, you can see almost all of the buttons you have access to when holding the mouse. The primary buttons at the top are separated from the rest of the body to ensure a faster clicking feel. Underneath each primary button is an ROG Micro switch with a seventy million rated click endurance. Compared to Omron switches, I found the ROG Micro switch to feel a bit lighter in the press with a less clicky sound. If you so desire, you can swap out the switches easily by taking apart the mouse and swapping them out.

In between the primary left and right buttons, I have a notched scroll wheel with a rubber ring around it to grip onto. The sides have a thin translucent edge, but the whole wheel allows the second zone of lighting shine through. On the left side of the mouse, we have two secondary buttons mapped to Forward and Back by default. These use Kailh switches that feel generally good albeit slightly squishier. This is pretty typical for side buttons. The side buttons were placed out of the way enough to avoid accidental presses, although this will vary from person to person. Finally, at the top is a USB Type-C port used to plug the ROG Keris Wireless for wired operation or for charging. It is offset from the bottom so that the plug does not drag on your surface.

Underneath the ASUS ROG Keris Wireless, you will see quite a few things of note. We have five PTFE locations with four feet and one ring around the sensor. These feet are intended to provide a good gliding performance. In the middle of the base is the PixArt PAW3335. We have seen this sensor on the Cooler Master MM831 and it generally is meant to be a low-power draw sensor. Operating at a lower current than the commonly seen PMW3389, this sensor still offers 400 IPS of tracking speed, up to 40g of acceleration, and a maximum sensitivity of 16000dpi. This sensor makes sense in this application, especially since this is a wireless mouse. Polling rate is set to a minimum 1ms or a maximum frequency of 1000Hz. There is a bit of sensor rattle, unfortunately.

Beside the sensor is a switch to switch the operating modes of the ASUS ROG Keris Wireless. If you leave it in off, you can still operate in wired mode. On the left side of the sensor are two flat buttons, each marked for what they do. The DPI button lets users cycle between a set of sensitivities. This set can be changed in the Armoury Crate software, as you will see shortly. The Pair button is meant to let users pair their mouse to connect in Bluetooth mode. There are two rubber pads near the back. These pads cover two screws to let users open up the Keris Wireless to change the aforementioned switches. Finally, at the back is a plastic slot for you to store the wireless USB transceiver when you are not using it.

Wireless may be in the name, but ASUS has provided a 2m paracord for greater flexibility, both in terms of connectivity options and the cable itself. I really like this paracord cable because it is flexible and does not catch on table edges. It also is very light so that it does not create much drag. It terminates in a Type-C connection on one end and Type-A on the other. Other accessories included with the ASUS ROG Keris Wireless include a pair of Omron switches to swap out the primary ones if you want, a set of four replacement PTFE feet, and two more plastic side buttons in gray and red. The two side buttons on the Keris Wireless are easily replaceable as they are held on by magnets. They hold surprisingly well to the side, but pop off if you like to swap to a different color.

The last thing to point out is the wireless USB transceiver, which is pretty small. As we mentioned, the ASUS ROG Keris Wireless operates in two different wireless modes. The most obvious wireless mode works in conjunction with the USB dongle. I would have appreciated if ASUS included an extension cable for this wireless dongle because my connection between the Keris Wireless and the computer would sometimes lag or skip if the dongle was at the back of my computer tower. I have seen this on other wireless devices, but I would have appreciated an extension cable nonetheless. The second wireless mode is with Bluetooth, which is useful for operating this device without needing the dongle, such as on a tablet or a secondary computer. Internally, there is a 500mAh battery to provide up to 78 hours with no RGB lights turned on and 52 hours with a breathing lighting effect according to ASUS. Charging is done with the USB Type-C plug at the top of the mouse. Personally, I found these estimates to be pretty accurate, although I mostly operated my mouse without any lights turned on to extend battery life. In addition, the Keris Wireless can be set to automatically sleep after a certain amount of time with no activity. I often did not power off my mouse overnight and I was able to go three to four days before needing to recharge the ROG Keris Wireless. Charging time was around two hours. Judging by these metrics, I was quite pleased.

As we saw in our ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX review, the ROG Keris Wireless uses Armoury Crate for modifying settings and synchronizing their lighting effects. The setup process is easy to work through and it automatically adds additional peripherals as you plug them in. There were also many updates for all of my products during my evaluation process, so they generally do keep this utility up to date. There are other features in Armoury Crate, including AURA Sync, a game library, system-wide profiles, game deals, and more news, but I will focus on the configuration pages for the ROG Keris Wireless for the purpose of this review. Even so, I found all of these pages to be generally clean and up to date. I am not entirely sure how many people would use all of these features, but at least everything is kept organized within their own section.

After selecting the mouse to modify, there are several tabs within this configuration page. The first is marked Buttons and this lets you set different actions to set for each of the buttons on the mouse. The only button you cannot reconfigure is the primary left button. The macro creation is done on a separate page where you can combine and record keyboard and mouse actions into a single key press. The second tab is Performance, where users can change the DPI sensitivity levels, polling rate, and button response time. The sensitivity can be modified in 100 DPI increments within a range of 100 to 16000 DPI. The third tab is Lighting, where users can modify the different lighting effects for this mouse, choosing between various static and dynamic modes, as well as responsive or non-responsive ones. You can also choose to split up the effects based on the two zones of lighting. If AURA Sync is enabled for the Keris Wireless, the modifications of lighting effects are done on another page. A second application called AURA Creator can be used to further customize the lighting if you so desire. The fourth tab is Calibration, but this is just a single page to modify lift off distance. There are two settings marked Low or High. I would have liked to see this combined with the Performance page. The fifth page is labeled Power and it shows the current battery percentage, sets lighting alerts for battery percentage levels, and sleep mode timers when the mouse is idle. Finally, the last page is marked Firmware Update, which can direct you to the necessary updates you may need to install for future updates.

After using Armoury Crate for some time, I do find the software to be a bit overloaded in terms of extras, even if they are logically separated. There are some sections that could have been combined together so users can navigate less pages to modify their peripherals. I did notice a few hiccups while using Armoury Crate for a longer period of time however, including a few update bugs. You can also completely avoid the software altogether if you so desire.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests
4. Conclusion