Most high-end gaming mice have the same basic features like RGB lighting, high DPI, and lots and lots of buttons. The upcoming Asus ROG Chakram has all that, but it aims to set itself apart with a feature other mice don’t have: a joystick. It’s programmable and completely removable if you decide you don’t want it under your thumb.
Asus quietly revealed the ROG Chakram late last year, but it didn’t let anyone get their hands on it until CES last week. It also confirmed shipping for later this month. The ROG Chakram is a right-handed gaming mouse that supports Bluetooth, wired connections, and a 2.4GHz wireless dongle. The optical sensor operates between 300 and 16,000 DPI, although the DPI switcher button is on the underside of the mouse. There are banks of RGB LEDs flanking the left and right buttons as well as the inner surface of the scroll wheel — it wouldn’t be gaming without RGB.
This device supports wireless Qi charging, which is a universal standard unlike the wireless charging systems available for Logitech and Razer mice. So, you can use the same wireless charging pad for your mouse that you use for your phone. It also has a USB Type-C port for wired connectivity and fast charging. Again, that might be the same charger you use for your phone. Asus says the ROG Chakram can power-up enough in 15 minutes to support 12 hours of gameplay. A full charge lasts about 79 hours, or six and a half days of gameplay.
Asus’ claim to fame here is the joystick, positioned for the thumb on the edge of the mouse. It’s fully programmable and operates in either analog or digital modes. So, you could use it as a d-pad with four buttons to cycle weapons or peek around corners in a shooter. In analog mode, you can use it to look around in a flight sim or racing game.
While it doesn’t get as much attention as the joystick, Asus’ custom switch housing might be even more useful. You can pop off the left and right button covers to reveal the Omron switches underneath. The switches can be removed and replaced with new ones should anything go wrong with them. That could keep this spendy mouse working for a long time to come. Asus expects to ship the ROG Chakram later this month at $ 150.