ASUS ROG Azoth review: A keyboard for both gaming and custom enthusiasts
Whether you are a gamer or a custom enthusiast, this keyboard checks all the boxes.
ASUS's ROG Azoth was first revealed at CES 2023, together with their new lightweight mouse, the ROG Harpe Ace.
Although initially appearing like just any other gaming mechanical keyboard, the Azoth has proven to be a strong contender as a 'must-have' for anyone looking for a custom keyboard, while still having low latency in its wireless mode.
After using it for a month, I must say that this is probably one of the best keyboards around for its price.
Although still retailing at a pretty hefty S$429, the value it offers over something like a gaming keyboard or a custom keyboard is justifiable — if you can afford it.
USB-A to USB-C cable
Krytox 205g0 lubricant
Small lube station
By looking at the box's contents, ASUS really isn't playing around.
A lot of these extra equipment that come included with the Azoth are essentials for a custom keyboard enthusiast.
If you are new to the hobby, you could save a good S$20 of added accessories that you would have needed to buy otherwise to start your journey.
The Azoth is solid as a rock. Although having a mostly-plastic underside, the keyboard still feels hefty and well-built.
The aluminium plate and top-side gives it a very sturdy feeling, and there is absolutely no flex on the keyboard whatsoever.
Inside the keyboard are also layers of foam and silicone to pad out the sound made by the keycaps and switches. You can also add more foam or remove them if you like, but in my opinion, ASUS also got the balance of the padding down to perfection.
The stabilisers in the keyboard are also great, and are hands down the best stabilisers I have seen on a stock gaming keyboard.
There is absolutely no rattle due to the generous lubrication by ASUS. I would even go as far to say that it is as good as the high-end stabilisers that you would normally purchase for a custom keyboard.
Swapping the keycaps and switches is also pretty standard and easy.
You will need to download ASUS's Armory Crate software to access full customisation of the keyboard, such as changing the RGB options, and also the graphic on the OLED screen.
That said, a good thing with the Azoth is that you are able to customise the settings to your liking, then delete the software off your PC. It isn't essential to running the keyboard, and won't reset or delete your settings, unlike some other PC parts manufacturers' proprietary software.
The wireless implementation is perhaps the most impressive part of this keyboard.
For those who might not be unfamiliar, wireless custom mechanical keyboards have always struggled to match or even beat the low-latency of wireless gaming keyboards.
If you would like to game wirelessly, you had no choice but to go with the route of buying a typical gaming keyboard from the likes of Logitech, Razer, and even ASUS themselves — until now.
According to a latency test done by keyboard reviewer Keybored, the Azoth's wireless latency is similar to its wired latency.
That is a big win for ASUS, as it now offers a custom keyboard that could be used reliably by gamers who value low latency.
Personally testing it, I have had no issues with the wireless implementations. Counter-strafing in games like VALORANT and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive felt natural like I was on a good wired gaming keyboard.
It's not all roses for the Azoth, however.
If you would like to swap switches on the keyboard, be sure to get some switches as testers first before inserting them in. There are numerous switches that may cause double-clicking/double-actuation. This causes the switch to register the same key twice, even though you only hit the key once, which can be a problem when typing or playing a competitive game, for example.
Personally, I have had the Akko Silver and Kailh Red switches double-actuate on the keyboard, and a friend had some Aqua Kings do the same on his Azoth.
I can't say for sure what is causing these issues, but it may be something to do with how the keyboard is providing power to the switches for actuation. The problem persists on the same kind of switches that are lubed or stock.
This is probably icing on the cake. ASUS claims that the keyboard is able to last up to 2,000 hours with the RGB and OLED screen turned off.
I didn't have that much time to test that even after a month of usage, but with the RGB at 100 per cent brightness and the OLED screen at full blast, the keyboard lasted me a good 80 hours before it dropped to 15 per cent battery life.
That is one of the longest batteries I've seen on a wireless keyboard with everything turned on, having previously tested others that ranged between 15 to 27 hours.
If you are using it without all the bells and whistles, I am pretty sure you would be able to stretch the battery even more, perhaps even as long as ASUS claims it to be
I'll say this again, at S$429, the ROG Azoth isn't cheap and isn't for everyone.
But for the price, you are getting a balance of some of the best features from both gaming and custom keyboards.
Best battery life of all wireless keyboards
Customisability that could easily match a high-end custom keyboard
Latency and features that match the best gaming keyboards
Accessories that could allow a beginner to start their keyboard-building journey
The ROG Azoth gets an easy recommendation from me for the person who wants to dip their toes into the custom mechanical keyboard hobby, without straying too far away from great functionality of a standard wireless keyboard.
Not to mention, it is currently one of the best for gaming as well.
Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy watercooling his computer parts, he does some pro wrestling.
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