Reviews
Asus Republic of Gamers
Gladius Gaming Mouse

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 6th, 2015

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‎It has been a while since we reviewed a mouse – but there are always new offerings to help gamers refine their gaming experience. ASUS has been pushing their Republic of Gamers (ROG) line over the last year (see our review of the G20), with their optical Gladius Gaming Mouse being a promising entry in the interface space. Aside from the testosterone-laden reference to warriors from ancient Rome, the Gladius is a solid contender with great performance and some neat features that enable a fair amount of customization.

The Gladius comes tightly packed in a relatively small box and is proudly on display when you open up the front flap (it is protected by clear plastic, and there is some interesting literature about the Romans on the inside of the front flap – seriously, you need to read it). Opening the box reveals the mouse itself (which has no cord), a braided USB-to-microUSB cable (2m), a regular rubber USB-to-microUSB cable (1m), a Republic of Gamers carrying sack, stickers, 2 Omron switches, extra mouse feet, and the guide. All of the components are of high quality, though I am particularly drawn to the braided cable due to it’s durability and the fact that there is some slack for those of us with larger desks.

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What you get in the box.

The dark grey mouse has an erogonomic shape, complete with separate left and right buttons, two thumb buttons (“slide-to-press”), a rubber-edged clickable wheel, a two-level DPI switch adjacent to the wheel, and rubberized sides laid out in a “Mayan pattern”. I’m not really sure that the patterns have to be “Mayan” to be effective, as practically any series of grooved shapes would benefit grip – however, it does end up looking pretty damned cool (as you can see in the photos). The overall construction quality is high (there is no rattling here, folks), with each of the various surfaces having a nice finish. Finally, there is a Republic of Gamers logo on the hind end of the top surface, lit with an internal LED (as is the mouse wheel; and there is a third light that indicates the current sensitivity level).

The Gladius is designed for the right-handed, and ASUS claims that the design will accommodate all three major grip types: palm, claw, and finger-tip (which I didn’t realize was a “thing” until now). The surface is “soft” to the touch, and is non-slip, regardless of which grip style you employ. Flipping the Gladius over reveals the 6400 dpi optical sensor, a lock/release switch for the microUSB plug that fits into the port‎ at the front of the mouse (located beneath the top edges of the mouse buttons), and four sizable gliding feet. I really like the fact that the cable is detachable, which makes it easy to cart the mouse around – and the fact that the cable locks in place is great peace of mind for those that are super-intense gamers (the locking mechanism is quite strong, though I wouldn’t use it as a grappling hook).

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A solid, slippery base.

If the exterior of the Gladius isn’t enough to convince you that ASUS is all-business about your gaming pleasure, than a peek under the hood will definitely ensure that you’re on board with its efficacy. Along with the optical sensor, the Gladius has built-in flash memory to save your DPI settings (two settings per profile), and Omron switches (good for around 20 million clicks). Downloading the ROG Armoury software will unlock all of the customization options, allowing you to program buttons, change performance settings, calibrate the mouse for different surfaces (which increases its tracking efficiency), and play with the lighting (my favourite setting for the logo is the “breathing” scheme).

While all of these internal components are interesting, the real test of any mouse is ‎whether or not it can walk the talk in the heat of battle – and the Gladius performs admirably. In first-person shooters, I appreciated the mouse’s responsiveness in terms of both precision and acceleration. The on-the-fly DPI-switching made for great transitions between different shooting modes. Battlefield 4, which is enjoyable for its own sake, was even more fun with the Gladius in comparison to most typical gaming mice. The action of all of the buttons was great, most particularly the thumb buttons with their slide-to-press mechanism, giving me a convenient way to access two other functions in the game comfortably and easily. Even my experience with other less-twitchy games (like Skyrim and some real-time strategy titles) received benefit from using the Gladius.

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The Armoury software is easy to use and opens up the functionality of the mouse a little.

If I was to classify my grip type, it would probably be claw, though that might be a function of the mouse itself (when I use these fancy-dancy ergonomic-types, I tend to shift my grip to claw for some reason). Regardless of my grip, though, I found that I could use this mouse for a long time without getting tired; of course, the shape of the Gladius is also meant to accommodate palm grip, so every so often I would allow my hand to rest upon it, taking advantage of the comfortable angle formed at my wrist (so I could also rest my forearm on the desk). After trying it out with a few games, I swapped out my work mouse and used the Gladius and found that it worked well for all of my applications, especially my GIS program and Photoshop, which both benefit from the DPI-switching. The Armoury software’s calibration section does a great job helping you figure out which surfaces you will be using so the mouse performs optimally – and the feet are substantial and slippery, so the mouse slides around very easily (translation: less effort).

For gamers looking for a solid gaming mouse, there is a lot of value in this product (which runs between $75 and $80 in most places). Besides its excellent performance, customizability, and durability, the two cables (of differing length) ensure that there is a good fit for one’s gaming space. For more avid (read: “hardcore”) gamers, the carrying case makes transporting the mouse a piece of cake, and the extra set of feet is a nice gesture. The inclusion of the extra Omron switches is a nice touch, too, as is the ability to open up the mouse to replace them – however, this is more of a novelty than anything, as most people really won’t care to swap them out (and the default switches are very durable, so there’s no point in replacing them for a long time). On top of these factors, the Gladius is also a comfortable option to use while working, which is nice, as it means you won’t have to transition between different mice, which may taint your gaming edge slightly.

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Omron-nom-nom! Tasty!

Click here to check out a few more pics of the ASUS ROG Gladius Optical Gaming Mouse. »

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