While most mechanical gaming keyboards come in full-size, TKL, or mini form-factor sizes, they are usually too big or too small for different kinds of pro-typers and gamers. ASUS’s latest 75% keyboard fits both worlds where it’s portable and also offers a full-keyboard typing experience. We take a look at the new ASUS ROG Azoth custom wireless gaming keyboard.
With the introduction of the new ROG Azoth, ASUS has entered the domain of 75% custom gaming keyboards. While the form factor almost resembles TKL keyboards, the positioning of the directional keys is slightly different and it actually feels perfect where the keys aren’t really cramped like the mini keyboards, nor there is a waste of space as seen on full-size models. And without the cables, the Azoth weighs about 1186g and the dimensions are 326 x 136 x 40 mm. We love the gunmetal color of the keyboard.
The keyboard also features a 3-way control knob that is located on the right side of the device. One of the main highlights of the keyboard is the OLED display that sits next to the control knob. By using both the control knob and the OLED display, users will be able to adjust the volume, screen and OLED brightness, multimedia, and lighting effects, and also view the status of the keyboard.
Unlike certain keyboards with a multimedia control dial that spins freely, the control dial on the Azoth needs to be pushed front or back and also pressed to control different settings of the device. To change different modes of the control knob, there is another button facing outwards for this purpose. We should also mention that users will be able to change the animations on the OLED and also customize the words to their liking via the ASUS Armoury Crate application. Users can also upload images, GIFs, and other file formats to make them appear on the OLED screen.
Looking from the top-frontal side, there is the USB-C port that is located on the left, and the wireless/USB/Bluetooth mode switcher on the opposite end. We like the part where the keyboard also features a magnetic area to house the USB dongle. Unfortunately, the Azoth does not have a 3.5mm audio jack or an extra pair of USB-A ports for extra connectivity.
The keyboard also comes with two-level feet that can be set based on your liking. This has come to great use for me while I used the keyboard at both my workplace and at home. Since the height of my chairs was different in both places, the 2-level feet structure of the keyboard allowed me to set the one that offers a comfortable typing/gaming experience.
If there is one thing that I can’t compromise on a mechanical gaming keyboard, it’s the typing experience that we get. While many users prefer mechanical switches to be clicky, silent, tactile, or a balance of all, the ROG Azoth comes with ASUS’s newest generation of hot-swappable ROG NX mechanical switches that are pre-lubed for smoother clicks, eliminated bounce noise, and faster actuation for the best keystrokes. While ASUS offers the Azoth in NX Brown (more tactile), NX Blue (clicky and tactile), and NX Red (more linear), our Azoth review sample came with the silent and impressive NX Red switches.
And I must say, this is perhaps one of the best gaming keyboards I have ever tried for its size and typing experience. The NX Red switches are also more silent than most other CherryMX Red keyboards and pressing each key feels very satisfactory. It’s even perfect for office use and at home where we are with kids or family so others do not get disturbed by the tapping sound that is caused by other mechanical keyboards.
ASUS has carefully designed the Azoth so users receive the best typing experience. Apart from the impressive NX switches, the device uses silicone gasket mounts that provide a cushioned and pleasant typing experience. Under the silicone gasket is a durable 3.5mm thick silicone pad that is designed to absorb the noise. To absorb the hollowness and ping of the case, ASUS also installed a PORON foam for this purpose. And underneath the PORON foam is the silicone foam that is designed to eliminate the echos.
That said, the keyboard also features the ROG PBT doubleshot keycaps that are more durable and also provide a premium feel when pressed. ASUS mentions that the stem of the keycaps is shorter to reduce key wobbles. Certain keys such as the Spacebar, Shift, and Enter feature a pre-lubed keyboard stabilizer that produces less friction so both gamers and casual users feel the true feel of the keystrokes. The Spacebar specifically also has extra lubing for an enhanced feel and acoustics when pressed. ASUS mentions that the NX Red switches offer an actuation force of 45gf and the actuation point is 1.8mm. The total travel for these keys is 4mm.
The ASUS ROG Azoth isn’t just the usual mechanical keyboard that you see in stores. It’s a customizable keyboard for the DIY crowd and ASUS has surprisingly provided the necessary kits and tools for DIY switch lubing. The package includes the usual keycap puller, the switch opener, a switch puller, a special lube station, a brush, and a bottle of Krytox GPL-205-GD0 lubricant.
While lubing all the keycap’s stems and switch housings is a time-consuming process, it’s worth it if you want to enhance the typing experience or gaming sessions. There are also three extra ROG NX switches just in case you want replacements, along with one USB extender, one USB cable, ROG stickers, a quick start guide, and a warranty booklet.
Other features include AURA Sync lighting with RGB per key, N-Key rollover, and programmable macro keys. The included USB Type-A to C braided cable is 2 meters in length and the USB reporting rate is 1000 Hz. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 5.1 and wireless 2.4GHz networks. The keyboard is compatible with both Windows PCs and macOS 10.11 and later. ASUS also mentions that the keyboard is capable of lasting up to 2,000+ hours of low-latency gameplay when switched to the 2.4 GHz RF wireless mode. However, these numbers are achieved only when the RGB and OLED are turned off. That said, the keyboard was able to last for several days while we used the keyboard for work and gaming sessions.
ASUS has done it again, proving that they can offer unique gaming peripherals and the new ROG Azoth is no exception here. The new keyboard features a 75% form factor where it takes lesser desk space while offering a good typing experience. The keyboard features an ergonomic design with dual-level feet that offer three tilt positions. There is also a control knob and an OLED display on the left side that allows users to easily control the brightness, volume, OLED brightness, and other settings of the keyboard. Users can also customize the wording and visuals of the OLED screen or upload images or GIFs via the Armoury Crate application.
The DIY properties and the included DIY tools allow gamers to lube the key switches for a better typing experience. The keyboard comes with ASUS’s latest NX Switches and our review unit came with the NX Red switches. The typing experience is just fantastic while using the Azoth and the keyboard acoustics are quite silent, thanks to the silicone gasket mount and the 3-layer of dampening foams. The keyboard uses ROG PBT doubleshot keycaps. And the keyboard can last up to 2000 hours of low-latency gameplay while in wireless mode.