Asus ROG Azoth keyboard review

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Asus is set to release its highly anticipated ROG Azoth keyboard, which is expected to be one of the best keyboards of the year. This is significant as Asus is a well-known commercial manufacturer that is making a leap into the custom keyboard world. The keyboard features a gasket mount with three layers of padding, custom pre-lubricated switches, and a hot-swappable PCB.

Additionally, it offers wireless connectivity, software management, macros, and an OLED screen, which is useful for gamers. With the included maintenance kit, the keyboard can be kept in like-new condition, allowing users to enjoy it for a long time. All in all, the Asus ROG Azoth is an excellent choice for gamers and anyone looking for a high-quality keyboard.

Exterior design

Let’s begin by examining the exterior design of the Asus ROG Azoth keyboard. It comes in a 75% format, available in both ISO and ANSI, with Spanish distribution. The unit’s compact dimensions improve its versatility, and at first glance, it looks very similar to fully custom keyboards, which is excellent news.

The exterior cover is made of high-quality aluminum, providing minimal support to the user while maintaining edges of between 6 and 8 mm all around. The border has a beveled finish and rounded corners, with a beautiful gray color.

Moving on to the side edges of the Asus ROG Azoth keyboard, we see a flat design with the OLED screen and a three-function actuator located in the back right corner. In the back corner, we also find the operating mode switch, a USB dongle storage compartment, and a USB port on the left corner.

Asus ROG Azoth keyboard top view

The keyboard base is made of plastic but is of excellent quality and thickness, particularly around the edges. In fact, it feels like aluminum to the touch at times. The base has a typical Asus design with the logo at the bottom and half-tube anti-slip rubber feet that provide an excellent grip. The keyboard also features extendable feet at the back with two positions, each with a rubber base.

Constitution and materials

Having examined the exterior design of the Asus ROG Azoth keyboard, it’s time to study its construction. As a custom keyboard, it is essential to see how well it is built. Firstly, turning the keyboard over, we can see that the two covers are joined with easily accessible hexagonal screws. Removing these screws allows the aluminum top cover to be lifted off without needing to remove any keys or switches since this area doesn’t function as a plate.

Asus ROG Azoth keyboard keycaps

Starting from the bottom up, the keyboard has two layers of padding and insulation on its base. The first layer is a silicon foam base, which is glued to the material to eliminate any echoing effects. On top of it is a foam base, which absorbs the noise from the final keystroke and ping effect. This layer is around 3.5mm thick with high density.

Moving up, we come to the PCB, which is like any custom keyboard’s PCB, capable of hot-swapping switches and incorporating the system’s RGB LEDs. On top of this PCB is another 3.5mm silicon foam layer, which absorbs most of the noise when typing.

Finally, we have the metal plate where the switches rest, and together with the foam and PCB, it uses a gasket installation system around the chassis. Multiple thick silicone gaskets are used to leave the system floating between the covers, providing a cushioned and muffled sound while allowing it to slightly sink to absorb keystrokes’ shock during gaming.

PBT premium keycaps

Moving on to the keycaps of the Asus ROG Azoth, they are made of PBT material and constructed using a double-shot system. This system creates each key using two layers, an opaque outer layer and a translucent inner layer, which are interleaved to create characters that won’t fade or wear due to use.

The keycaps have a slightly rough and matte surface finish. The peripheral keys are black, and the central keys are dark gray, making it look like a separate kit. The concave shape of the keycaps provides excellent grip and finger comfort. The keycaps are anchored to the switches using Cherry-type cross mounts.

The keyboard we’re analyzing is an ISO layout. This keyboard has a 75% layout that includes a double-function F-key row, a separate directional key area, and an additional column of keys on the right that are perfect for editing and office work. The layout that indicates the double functions is not illuminated; instead, white paint is used on the side of the key.

Top-quality Asus ROG NX keyboard switches

Another crucial aspect of the Asus ROG Azoth keyboard is the switches. In this case, it features Asus ROG NX Red switches, although NX Brown and Blue are also available. These switches are hot-swappable, meaning they can be removed from the PCB and replaced with other compatible switches from Asus or other manufacturers that have three-contact plugs, allowing users to keep the keyboard in top condition.

The basic characteristics of these switches are a fully linear and silent keystroke with an activation point of 1.8 mm, a total travel distance of 4.0 mm, an initial force of 40 gf, and a total force of 55 gf, providing high speed and quick rebound. They are mainly designed for gaming but perform well in any task that requires speed. The top and bottom housing of the switches are made of transparent polycarbonate to allow the RGB backlight to shine through, and in this case, the stem and contact area are pre-lubricated, supporting 70 million keystrokes.

Asus ROG Azoth keyboard review

The stabilizers used in the Asus ROG Azoth keyboard are metallic and manufactured by Asus themselves, complete with lubrication. It’s interesting to note the great effort that Asus has put into the manufacturing of this keyboard, even including padding under the Enter key to provide better performance and reduce noise.

Let’s not forget the included maintenance kit for the Asus ROG Azoth, which allows users to remove keys, switches, open them, and lubricate them manually. The only criticism is that the keycap puller is too thick and doesn’t fit well with the keycaps, which is a shame as the typical metal ones work well. The most useful tool included in the kit is the switch opener, which is compatible with the NX and MX series and simply attaches and pushes the switch to open it.

The Asus ROG Azoth keyboard has triple connectivity through USB 2.0, Bluetooth 5.1, and 2.4 GHz SpeedNova with zero latency and a polling rate of 1000 Hz. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS. The keyboard features an integrated battery with a runtime of over 20 hours with RGB lighting enabled, individual key mapping with N-Key Rollover and 100% Anti-Ghosting. In addition to being a custom keyboard, it also has features typically found on commercial Asus keyboards, such as built-in memory for up to 6 profiles, software management, and on-the-fly macro creation.

Screen and management software

In the upper right corner, we find the OLED screen, making the Asus ROG Azoth the only keyboard with this feature. The OLED screen not only displays hardware status data from Armoury Crate but also shows custom animations, audio visualization, and configuration prompts. On the edge, there is a small configurable toggle switch.

With Armoury Crate, users can manage a wide range of options for this keyboard and keep the firmware up to date. In the first section, users can modify each key’s primary and double functions. The next section is dedicated to lighting settings, although if users want per-key control, they must install the Aura Creator add-on.

Asus ROG Azoth keyboard dial

The control knob for the screen of the Asus ROG Azoth allows for customization of its three types of movement. There are 7 options available, and selecting one will display a description of the function on the right. Additionally, in the screen section of Armoury Crate, users can customize the screen’s output, with the telemetry of the hardware being the most interesting option. The last section displays the battery status.

Final thoughts about the Asus ROG Azoth keyboard

Keyboard manufacturers are increasingly incorporating custom aspects into their new creations. However, Asus takes it a step further than all of them by adopting a custom model such as the ROG Azoth, which will have nothing to envy to many custom keyboards from specialized brands.

While having hot-swap switches is not a great novelty nowadays, it is more remarkable that these switches come pre-lubricated and with a maintenance kit. This makes the ROG NX switches reach a higher level of quality, sensations, and performance, being on par with switches like the Keycrom, with perfect performance. The pleasure of typing will be even better with the impeccable construction work, gasket type with triple padding that make a very quiet and pleasant-sounding keyboard.

In addition to custom features, classic gaming keyboard functions from Asus are included, such as management from Armoury Crate (which is more intuitive than in custom models with VIA), triple connectivity (USB, Bluetooth, and 2.4GHz), wireless capability, good battery life, Per-Key RGB, and N-Key Rollover. Notably, there is an OLED screen for enthusiasts and a very versatile 75% format for both gaming and office work.

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