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  • Soon Kai Hong

ROG Azoth Review: 2,000 Hours Of Battery Life

Custom keyboards are quite a big trend nowadays and I myself am pretty deep into this rabbit hole. The most amazing thing however is that what started as a niche hobby has now grown so large that huge companies are taking notice. This is the ROG Azoth and as you can tell, it has the more unique 75% layout complete with an OLED display in the corner, it also features hot-swappable switches, 2.4GHZ wireless and other great things like a gasket mount design, dampening foam and much much more. This is honestly pretty exciting.

Okay so first up, I might be in this custom keyboard rabbit hole and some of you might be here with me as well but most of you aren’t. So what exactly is a 75% layout?

The 75% Layout

To keep it very simple, a 75% layout is basically taking a TKL layout and removing the home cluster of keys and squeezing the layout ever so slightly. So you still get a dedicated arrow cluster and you still have access to your entire F-row while enjoying the much more compact form factor to allow more space for your own mouse and ultimately, a much better ergonomic posture.

So while the 75% layout is already pretty common and popular in the custom keyboard scene, the ROG Azoth is the first 75% keyboard from a large gaming company like Asus ROG. But the layout itself is but just the first of many great things about this keyboard and trust us when we say this. ROG has certainly been taking down notes from the custom keyboard scene.

In terms of build quality, the Azoth is seriously well put together and it honestly feels much more premium to the touch as compared to most of their competitors. The top is made out of pretty thick aluminium that’s anodised in a sleek dark grey and while the rest of it might be made out of hard plastic, there’s seriously no creaking at all. Fully built, you’re looking at a weight of about 1.18kg or about 2.6lbs which further gives it that higher sense of quality.

As for the design itself, we actually quite like it. It’s not too game-rish in that sense but rather, it’s more of an industrial design that lends itself well to pretty much any kind of setup in our opinion. The two-tone look is neat in our opinion and of course you do get solid rubber feets to ensure it stays in place even in the heat of battle. There’s also pop out keyboard feet for a total of three different angle inclinations for your comfort.

But the best thing is the fact that this is a wireless keyboard. There’s a switch on the right side that allows you to toggle between Wired Mode, 2.4GHz Wireless via ROG SpeedNova Wireless or even Bluetooth for multi connectivity and more. Right beside that very switch would be a magnetic slot for the aforementioned wireless dongle.

2,000 Hours Battery Life

Now here’s the crazy part.

If you were to run this on the 2.4GHz Wireless and you have the OLED display and the RGB turned off, you can get over 2,000 hours of battery life with the ROG Azoth. That is equivalent to constant usage for 83 days or 2.5 months. That’s how long you’ll need before you have to plug it in and charge it up again.

It’s quite insane because I was personally already really impressed with the kind of battery life you can get from the Keychron K2, another popular 75% semi-custom keyboard that’s also wireless. The K2 has 240 hours of battery life which is already really good. But yet the ROG Azoth can last 9 times that.

It’s extremely crazy when you think about it.

And yes, performance is absolutely stellar. Not once did we experience a drop in connection or any erratic and unintentional inputs in any of our gaming sessions. It performed admirably. The amount of confidence we have with this is the same as we would with a wired gaming keyboard.

Feel & Sound

But what about the feel and sound of the keyboard itself?

After all, such long battery life is a waste if it’s not going to be a good experience. Thankfully, it’s great. Not ‘custom keyboard scene’ great of course, but for what you’re getting from a large gaming company that’s producing this by the tens of thousands, it’s great.

For a start you’re getting ROG’s own PBT Doubleshot keycaps and they do feature top centred legends to allow all that RGB goodness. The font itself is up for debate, it’s probably more of a love it or hate it kind of thing with their slightly futuristic design but at the very least, you can be rest assured that these keycaps will withstand the test of time.

The one interesting thing however is that these keycaps feature what ROG calls mid-height keycaps. They sit right in between the popular Cherry profile and the abundant OEM profile and they feature a shorter stem to reduce key wobble.

In practice, we would say that these feel much more akin to Cherry rather than OEM and that’s a plus in our opinion. It’s really comfortable and once you get the right angle, you barely feel any fatigue at all even after long hours of typing or gaming. On another note, we believe that thanks to the slight increase in height over Cherry, that was what allowed ROG to still implement north-facing switches for all that RGB without bumping into the interference issue.

You’re free to swap out the MX compatible keycaps should you desire however as the switches do feature an MX-style stem. Just do take note that you will need to accommodate the three 1u keycaps on the bottom row on the right side of the space bar, the 1.75u right shift as well as a few other keycaps to fill the additional column of keys on the right.

As for the switches themselves, you will get the option to choose between ROG NX Red, Brown or Blue. We do have the NX Reds here today and they are a linear switch that features a 1.8mm actuation point with a 40g initial actuation force and 55g total force.

The NX Reds are definitely the go to option in our opinion. Keystrokes are light and fast to give you that slight advantage in games but yet not too light to the point that you’re constantly making mistakes. In addition, the switches even come pre-lubed right out of the factory and they do feel smooth with little to no scratch. They are also hot-swappable should you want to change it up and the PCB does support the 5-pin switches, so you don’t have to worry about clipping away those legs on customs switches any longer.

More amazing than the switches however are actually the stabilisers. They do come lubed as well and you really don’t need to re-tune them at all. It’s smooth all the way and they do not rattle even when tapping on the edges. ROG even put extra effort into the spacebar and we would say that the effort has paid off.

Is it as good as a custom keyboard with a custom job? Honestly to a certain degree, we would say yes. Is it better than the rest of the competition from the likes of Razer, Steelseries, Logitech and more?

100% without question. So here’s how the ROG Azoth sounds.

ROG Did Their Homework

Now part of what contributes to the sound aren’t just the keycaps, switches and stabilisers but also the mounting mechanism. If you were to disassemble the Azoth, you’ll find that it utilises a silicon gasket mount with an aluminium plate with a silicone pad between the plate and the pcb. Additionally, you’ll find a PORON foam beneath the PCB and that’s resting on yet even more silicone foam that fills up the rest of the keyboard cavity. All of these were done to reduce case ping and hollowness and provide a clean sound as much as possible.

To that end, ROG even provided a DIY Switch Lube Kit with every ROG Azoth. So right out of the box, you’ll get three additional NX Switches of your choice, a keycap puller, a switch puller, a switch tray, a switch opener for both NX and MX style switches, a brush and even a small tub of actual Krytox 205g0.

Again, all we’ve just mentioned are things you would only usually find in the custom keyboard scene. Yet here it is from ROG.

Hu Tao On OLED

But now let’s quickly talk about the small OLED display and the 3-Way Control Knob in the corner.

It’s fully configurable via Armoury Crate and you can do a variety of things with it, even upload a GIF of your own like what we have here. The 3-Way Control Knob is also incredibly useful to quickly adjust settings such as the RGB brightness and pattern, your system volume and even swapping different profiles on the fly. All in all, it’s just a really nice implementation that’s really intuitive and actually useful.

Did we mention that this fully supports MacOS as well?

We Love It.

Overall, it’s an impressive 75% semi-custom keyboard that really shows that a large gaming company like ROG are actually taking notes and they are actually executing those ideas well. You could even say that we were more impressed with ROG themselves especially when other large gaming companies are so lacklustre when it comes to a properly good keyboard.

But of course, you do have to pay a pretty penny for the ROG Azoth. This will retail for US$249 or S$429.

Extremely expensive for sure. It’s basically bordering on the line to obtain a great custom keyboard. However, customs are usually only wired and most don’t have the nifty features like the knob and oled display amongst other things. On the other hand, if you compare with ROG’s competitors, the ROG Azoth is honestly just leagues and miles ahead and it’s worth every single dollar.

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