Chakram X standing on my desk.

Asus ROG Chakram X review: A joystick on a mouse?

Chakram X is on my desk.

Asus ROG Chakram X

Recommended retail price $160.00

“The Asus ROG Chakram X’s built-in joystick feels more like a gimmick than an innovation.”

Pros

  • Hot-swap option for the perfect switch

  • Joystick is a unique feature

  • 8,000 Hz polling rate

  • Smooth PTFE Feet

  • Beautiful RGB

cons

  • Too expensive

  • Frustrating Software Errors

  • The custom logo is just a plastic disc

  • Battery life is not the best

The best gaming mouse differs from person to person. One may prefer a better battery life, while the other prefers a high polling rate. But what about the person who wants something different, like a joystick and the ability to hot-swap switches? That person now has an answer: The Asus ROG Chakram X

The Asus ROG is an ergonomic mouse with a silhouette that resembles a Logitech G502, but the adjustment of the Animate Strix Flare II† Oh, and it has a joystick, a polling rate of 8,000 Hz, and a maximum DPI of 36,000.

However, with so many features also comes a heavy weight of 127 grams and an even heftier price tag of $160.

Design and comfort

The scroll wheel of the Chakram X.

This mouse immediately reminded me of a ghost from Halo – especially if you look at the thumb rest. I got alien vibes from this mouse, especially with the amount of RGB and smoky shell.

The first thing I noticed about the Asus ROG Chakram X was the bulky, ergonomic design that resembles the Logitech G502 with his thumb rest. However, the Chakram X has many unique design features such as a maximum DPI of 36,000, four side buttons, a removable magnetic scale, a polling rate of 8,000 Hz, wireless charging (to some extent) and of course the push-fit switch sockets and the analog stick .

While all these features are cool, don’t expect lightness as this mouse weighs 127g. That is seven grams heavier than the Razer Naga Trinity – and that has special macro keys. However, the weight of the Chakram X is very nicely balanced and lightness was never how this mouse was marketed.

The PTFE feet under the mouse also helped move the Chakram across my desk. They are smooth like the ones included on Roccat Burst Pro Air† Also below the mouse are two buttons, one to adjust the DPI and another to pair the Chakram X with your PC. There’s also a slider that lets you switch between 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, or wired mode.

The best thing about the Chakram X is the analog stick on the side.

The Chakram X has everything most wireless gaming mice do these days, like a small 2.4GHz dongle, a paracord cable, fast charging. and a load of RGB. However, the Chakram X has hot-swap switch sockets and a joystick on the left. Accessing the switches is very easy – just lift the magnetic shell and the left and right buttons.

This is not the first time Asus has released a mouse with hot-swap sockets, as it was available on the previous version of the Chakram and the ROG Gladius III† As a mechanical keyboard enthusiast with almost 20 sets of switches, I love the idea of ​​having hot-swap compatibility on a mouse because mouse switches are cheap and offer a lot of customization.

The most fun feature of the Chakram X is the analog stick on the side, which is said to provide a gamepad-like level of control. The thing is, it’s incredibly clunky and uncomfortable to use. The analog stick feels very stiff compared to a normal gamepad stick and although the Chakram X comes with a bigger one, that didn’t help. Fortunately, the Chakram X comes with a joystick cover that allows you to throw the stick off completely, which was the most comfortable for me.

The switches on the Chakram X mouse are turned off.

The number of side buttons on the Chakram X are numerous as you get four to reprogram to your heart’s content. I’m not a big fan of the four side buttons on this mouse, as the forward and back buttons are too far apart and the other two side buttons are too thin for my liking.

I’m a big fan of the RGB on the Chakram X because you can actually see it when you use the mouse. The front of the Chakram illuminates the scroll wheel and ROG logo, but that’s clearly covered by your hand. The ROG logo can be removed in its place for your own logo or design if you’re smart enough. On the front of the Chakram is a USB-C connector, which not only gives 25 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charge, but boosts the polling rate to 8,000 Hz.

You’ll want to keep your USB-C cable close by for battery life.

If you plan on using all the RGB while going wireless, keep your USB-C cable close by as you’ll only get 59 hours of use between charges. However, if you have some extra coins in your pocket, you can grab the Asus ROG Balteus Qi RGB mouse pad, which enables wireless charging.

Software

I’ve had some issues with the included Armory Crate software. Upon installation, it greeted me with a loading screen that seemingly never ended.

When I finally got into Armory Crate for the first time, I had to update the firmware of the Chakram X and restart my PC. Oof. I haven’t come across such a frustrating application in ages.

Finally, after countless attempts, I was able to get back into the software to set my favorite DPI and RGB.

Despite its flaws, Armory Crate holds great promise for the Chakram X, as you can adjust the DPI using the scroll wheel. Within Armory Crate, you can toggle the digital mode, reducing joystick rotations to just four, allowing for more precise actions such as changing equipment in-game. Of course, you still get the usual remapping options too.

Sensors and Switches

The Chakram X with the shell off.

The coolest thing about the Chakram X is the push-fit switch receptacle design, which allows you to swap switches with ease. Unlike mechanical keyboards, mechanical mouse switches are dirt cheap, and the push-fit sockets even welcome optical switches, so the customization is endless.

While the Chakram X welcomes foreign mouse switches, the standard mouse switches are great and long lasting. The included switches are ROG’s microswitches, which are rated for 70 million clicks and have a very satisfying tactile punch and muffled sound profile.

Asus equipped the Chakram X with its new AimPoint optical sensor and it is fast. AimPoint’s optical sensor has a DPI of up to 36,000 and a polling rate of 8,000 Hz when connected via USB-C.

Game experience

The Chakram X joystick on a wooden desk.

To get the best gaming experience with the Chakram X, I knew I had to use it in wired mode, as it allows for the 8,000 Hz polling. I remember a few years ago when ROG first announced the Chakram, one of the things the company mentioned was the ability to eliminate the need for a controller when flying in a game like Grand Theft Auto

I thought it would be fun to load up Rockstar Games’ precious asset and give flying a shot, and it was quite fun. However, using the thumbstick to fly didn’t feel natural. Even after a few hours of use, I kept an eye on my $20 knock-off Xbox controller that I got from Amazon. That’s not a good sign.

The whole purpose of a joystick is to be more accurate by offering 360 degree rotation. However, because the thumbstick is on the side of the mouse, your full circulation will feel limited. The maneuvers this thumbstick forced my hand just never felt right.

Chakram X joystick installed on my desk.

Even though I didn’t like using the joystick, I liked using the Chakram X like any other mouse because it’s still fast. Let’s not forget that the Chakram X has a polling rate and DPI that is through the roof, so it’s still very competitive.

Our opinion

It’s sad to say I was disappointed with the Asus ROG Chakram X. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how nicely the weight is distributed, the hot-swap sockets and the super-fast sensor. But that’s it. The analog stick feels impractical and niche, especially for a mouse of this price.

Are there alternatives?

If you love the idea of ​​a gaming mouse with its own analog stick, this is it.

However, if you want hot-swap sockets, I’d point you to the Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless or the Spatha X if you’re looking for a ton of buttons and toggling switches. Without the joystick and hot-swap sockets, this feels like a slightly faster Logitech G502.

How long will it stay that way?

The ROG Chakram X comes with a one-year warranty, but unless you plan on whipping this mouse around, I can assure you it will last for many years to come — especially considering you can swap out the switches instantly.

Should you buy it?

No, not for most people. The joystick makes the Chakram X stand out from almost every other gaming mouse on the market. Unless you’re really excited about that feature, the Chakram X ends up being too expensive for what it is.

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