it has been quite some time since I sat down to review a keyboard on its own. Usually, these things come with PC builds I have to construct and to be honest, I don’t usually focus on it enough to make it worthwhile. However, the ASUS ROG Azoth is an exception to this. If anything, this keyboard is leaps and bounds ahead of its time and ASUS is once again showing what’s possible if you spend a small fortune on RnD.
I kind of see the ASUS ROG Azoth as a “next-generation” device because it feels unlike anything I had used in the past. It is definitely an enthusiast’s keyboard and the asking price of R5,000 is a clear indication of that. But it would be a keyboard you end up using for a while and the sheer amount of features here, makes this an investment in your gaming setup.
The ASUS ROG Azoth is a 75% sized mechanical keyboard. It features 81 keys and from the outside, you’ll likely think this is just another standard gaming keyboard. Pull away the RGB and you have a keyboard that is so intricately designed that every part is impressive.
The ASUS ROG Azoth packs a thin bezel design. There’s also an aligned edge column which features the Insert, Delete, Pg Up and Pg Down keys. I was also impressed to see the four directional-arrow keys included in this model. Most mid-sized keyboards are taken for granted that you’re not getting them.
The body is made from a number of metal layers which makes this quite a hefty keyboard. It weighs 1.1Kgs which is quite heavy for a keyboard of this size. The kickstand seamlessly merges into the back and feels great to pull out. It makes typing at an angle much more comfortable too.
There are also a few ports and switches on the back. You’ll find a slider switch to change the wireless mode to Bluetooth or 2.4GHz. There’s also a port to store the USB dongle away. Lastly, there’s a USB C port for charging. It also doubles up as a connection to your PC so you can either go 2.4GHz, USB RF dongle or USB C wired. ASUS does include a 2-meter braided USB C cable in the box which is
There’s also an OLED panel. Yes, an OLED panel on a keyboard. This 2-inch screen is placed next to a spring-loaded toggle which can be flicked up and down to toggle through a range of settings. There’s also a ROG button to press whatever option you’re on. The toggle is incredibly versatile. It can change RGB, keyboard macros set up on the Armoury Crate and even tweak the volume. It’s like having a little control panel at your fingertips and the OLED display helps to show what you’re actually doing instead of hoping you’re selecting the right stuff.
Apart from showing what setting I was currently working with, the OLED panel also shows the battery level at all times. It also shows what connection type I used at that the current time. Be it wireless, wired or Bluetooth. But it gets better. The panel acts as a control pad for your other ASUS hardware too. With supported devices, you’ll be able to control lighting effects and other features through this keyboard toggle. This is pretty amazing. It is like having a portable Armoury Crate on the go.
Sure, the settings available are limited to what you set in Armourt Crate but to have them available on the go makes the world of difference.
ASUS says this is a custom DIY gaming keyboard and that is one of many factors on this device. It comes with a full set of tools. Some of which I had never seen before (more on that in a bit). There’s also a female-to-female USB-C to A converter in the box which converts the USB-C cable to a USB A port so you can use the RF dongle. It even has a metal clip to attach it to stuff. ASUS…. you’re outdoing yourselves here.
Overall, I really enjoyed the design of this ASUS ROG Azoth. Like a lot! The keyboard feels great to type but the general design feels super premium at the same time. The sheer ability available on the OLED panel also makes things easy to navigate around. Without having to open an app after settings things up. But the cool design of the ASUS ROG Azoth is just a small factor here.
The keyboard is also customizable and tweakable. In the box, ASUS has included a full set of cool tools. Now you’re probably thinking “What is so special about taking off a keycap and replacing it?”. But the ASUS ROG Azoth doesn’t only do just that. You can also swap out switches underneath the caps for different kinds. You can also tweak their fluidity by lubricating the gaskets on the switches too. It is next-level customization here.
Sure, you can keep things simple and stick to the keycap removal tools but there’s also a switch-puller tool and full lubrication kit. ASUS has also included what they call the “lube station” (giggle) which is a rack where you can place down your keys while you smother them in lube (I am not making this up). The box also includes lube, a brush to paint with and three extra NX Red switches as a backup.
Of course, what you likely know about customizing a keyboard is swapping out a keycap for a new one. Perhaps you designed your own. That is one thing. However, the next level here is the process of swapping the switches out and lubricating them. The swappable switches mean you can order different key switches and completely customize the keyboard to your liking. Perhaps this means replacing the WASD switches with quieter ones or even sturdier ones.
When it comes to lubrication, you’ll likely never think of doing this but now you can. You can lube up your switches to refresh their feel or smooth out a new switch. ASUS includes all the tools to really get into the innards of the switches and apply the lube.
Doing so was quite simple too. I had to remove the switch with the switch puller and use the switch cracker to pop open the clear plastic shell exposing the inside of the switch. I then aligned the bottom of the switch on the lube station and applied the Krytox using the brush.
I had to Google what the lube was called so I sounded fancy in this review. It is called Krytox and is a white greasy material which oils up the contact portions on the stem of the switch. All the switches already came lubed up but hey, I had the tools so I couldn’t resist trying it myself. There was no real difference in the general feel of the keys because the keyboard was already new. However, this is great for someone who plans on keeping this keyboard for a long time. Given its price tag, you’ll likely do so.
Here’s a video showing how its done.
So customization and design aside, the ASUS ROG Azoth was generally a pretty great keyboard. Working on it felt good. Typing articles felt nice. It is a little too loud for my liking in comparison to my MacBook but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I did wish ASUS put the Delete key at the top of the right-hand column though. Would have made life a little easier.
Gaming was just as satisfying though. Out of the box, every key felt stable and the granite finish really made this keyboard stand out for me.
Its asking price is a little high but the keyboard is for enthusiasts. You know who you are and you won’t bat an eye at splurging on this level of premium. Its sheer lifespan alone makes it a 10-year investment but its customization and tweaking features makes it unrivalled in the industry.
The ASUS ROG Azoth is set to launch in South Africa later this year and cost around R5,000. Find out more about it here.
ASUS ROG Azoth DIY Mechanical Keyboard
The ASUS ROG Azoth DIY Mechanical Keyboard feels like the next generation of gaming keyboards thanks to its incredible level of customization and tweaking.
Great to use
Expensive in comparison to others
That “Delete” key position