ASUS has launched a new brand of gaming peripherals and hardware components called Strix. The name is taken from the ancient Roman and Greek word for "owl" and it means the keenest hearing and sharpest eyesight. Sounds daring, doesn't it? These devices are not sold under the Republic Of Gamers brand and the whole lineup is a new brand of its own. We were quite interested to test these devices and see how well they fare. Luckily, we got our hands on some devices in this lineup. First, we tested the Strix Claw gaming mouse together with the Strix Glide Control mouse pad. Learn from this review how good they are and whether they are worth buying.
Unboxing The ASUS Strix Claw Mouse & The Strix Glide Control Mousepad
If you're familiar with gaming mice, you'll definitely notice something interesting about the Strix Claw, right before you get it out of the box: unlike ASUS' most gaming peripherals, this one is not sold under the Republic Of Gamers brand, which is rather curious. The traditional aggressive shades of red and black which define Republic Of Gamers products are not present on this model. Instead, the box is painted in black with a few bright orange accents, underlining the fact that this is a new brand with a different image and message.
Design aside, the box is very similar to the packaging used for other ASUS mice, including the Gladius that we reviewed here. You will find the mouse inside a transparent protective cover, along with the quick start guide and a disc with drivers.
The Strix Glide Control mouse pad is a premium heavy weave fabric pad that works with all kinds of sensors and comes packaged in an orange box.
As you would expect, you will find only the mouse pad in the box. There's no need for manuals or discs of any kind. 🙂 The Strix Glide Control has a premium heavy-weave fabric for smooth control and great precision. Or at least this is what ASUS promises.
Now that we've got the packaging out of the way, let's check the specifications for the gaming mouse and the mouse pad: The ASUS Strix Claw has a 5000 DPI optical sensor with a 130 inches per second tracking speed and a 30g tracking acceleration level. The maximum polling rate is 1000 Hz and the device is compatible with Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. At 122.55 x 71.75 x 45.25mm (4.82 x 2.82 x 1.78 inches) (Length x Width x Height) it's a medium sized mouse, just a bit shorter than the ASUS Gladius. The Strix Claw weighs 110 grams (0.24 pounds) without the cable. ASUS has chosen the Japan-made Omron D2F-01F switches to go with this mouse, the same kind of switches that were included as a back-up with the Gladius. The company doesn't mention anything about these switches being interchangeable, so they're most probably soldered to the PCB. The left and right buttons are unified and there are also three programmable buttons on the left side.
On the top side of the mouse, next to the scroll wheel, you'll find the two sensitivity switches that you can use to change between four programmable levels of sensitivity. The sensitivity levels are also pointed out by three LEDs that light up three scars on the left mouse button, one for each sensitivity level. On the lowest sensitivity level, all three LEDs are off. The braided USB cord is not detachable and it connects to the PC through a gold-plated USB connector.
The mouse pad's area is 400x300mm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) and it's 3mm (0.11 inches) thick while weighing only 208 grams (7.4 ounces). You can find the full set of specifications of the mouse here: Strix Claw - Specifications and those of the mouse pad here: Strix Glide Control - Specifications.
Using The ASUS Strix Claw & The Strix Glide Control
Using the Strix Claw was an overall pleasant experience. ASUS designed this mouse for all grip styles, so you shouldn't have problems handling it. Thanks to the matte finish it won't slip out of your hand during usage. We've tested the device in both office work and gaming, and it performed great. However, this mouse is suited for right-handed users and left-handed users won't have the greatest of experiences. We've played different types of games while testing the Gladius, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Diablo 3, World of Warcraft, Batman: Arkham Origins or Crysis. The profiles are very useful for cases when you need different levels of responsiveness according to the game you play. Just like ASUS Gladius, the mouse doesn't have any dedicated macro buttons, so you won't be able to assign all of the commands from an MMORPG, for instance, to the buttons located on the mouse. However, that would have made things a lot more crowded and a bit more expensive. A nice touch is the DPI Clutch Stage button. You can assign this function to one of the programmable buttons and it will lower the DPI to a value that you set, but only while keeping that button pressed. This proved to be useful in FPS games where you need to lower your sensitivity for sniping, for instance. The device has a good build quality and the matte black finish of the case doesn't leave too much room for fingerprints. The illuminated Strix logo is a nice touch too, with its breathing effect.
The only downside that we have found is the fact that the scroll wheel has a rather high resistance and is not always easy to press and use as a button. All in all, we enjoyed using the ASUS Strix Claw just as much as we did the Gladius, which is a big thumbs up for ASUS. Regarding the mouse pad there's not much to say except that it works very well with the ASUS Strix Claw. It is very easy to calibrate the mouse to work with this mouse pad and it offers the level of precision and control you would expect. But more about the calibration process in the next section of this review.
Drivers & Strix Software
ASUS Strix Claw was automatically detected by Windows 8.1 and it worked well right out of the box. However, to gain full control over what this mouse brings to the table, you'll need to install the Strix Claw driver and software provided by ASUS. We installed the software and we were faced with a decent looking interface for configuring pretty much every button and function of the mouse.
The mouse has two functioning modes available:
Hardware mode - this mode doesn't require the driver to be installed and automatically switches the sensitivity level to the second one (by default it is set at 2000 DPI).
Software mode - this mode requires the driver to be installed and allows you to configure all of the device's settings.
The Strix Claw software allows you to configure each button of the device, tune the sensitivity levels and polling rate of the optical sensor, change the lighting effects and define macro commands. It also allows you to calibrate the mouse for two types of ASUS mouse pads - the Strix Glide Control and the Strix Glide Speed - or you can manually calibrate it for your surface. The software also allows you to define different profiles, each with its own settings. The interface of the Strix Software application is divided into two main sections:
Mouse - this section allows you to configure every button of the mouse. You can set the type of command to be either a mouse function, a Windows shortcut, a multimedia command, a macro or you can disable it completely. You can also fine tune the sensitivity and the lighting of the mouse.
Macro - This section allows you to define individual macros that you can then assign to any button of the mouse.
ASUS Strix Claw is a solid mouse with lots of customization options that fares well in both gaming and office scenarios. It has a nice design and it fits most grip types easily. The mouse reminded us a lot of the ASUS Gladius and it is another well-rounded device with great precision and performance. It will perform very well in office environments, too, even if you're not a gamer. Paired with the Strix Glide Control mousepad, it works really well and you shouldn't have problems using it.
ASUS Strix Glide Control is a very good all-around mousepad. Its rubberized back side helps to keep it from sliding across your desk and we had no problem using both laser and optical mice on it. If you're a gamer, you will definitely enjoy it, especially since its size is big enough to avoid sliding your mouse on the desk. We didn't experience any tracking issues on it and we also recommend it for day-to-day use, including office work, not only gaming.