The Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless looks like any other gaming mouse at a glance, but it has one unique feature that sets it apart: it is essentially a hotswappable gaming mouse. While this is not the first Asus mouse to have such a feature, it’s offered in a package that’s quite compelling.
Of course, the Gladius III Wireless still has a number of shortcomings, but if you want a comfortable productivity mouse with decent gaming performance, it’s definitely worth considering. Yes, this is a better mouse for productivity than gaming – read on to find out why.
What It Is
There are two different variants of the ROG Gladius III. The one we’re reviewing is the wireless version (RM439), but if you don’t care for wireless support, you can get the much more affordable wired model for only RM299. Beyond this, other specifications of these two variants are exactly the same.
Anyway, the Gladius III Wireless can connect to a PC via a 2.4GHz dongle or Bluetooth with a quoted battery life of 55 hours and 85 hours respectively (with the backlight switched off). Not the longest battery life we’ve seen from a wireless mouse, but more on this further down the review.
Weight is important for a gaming mouse, and in this respect, the Gladius III is reasonably lightweight. The wireless model tips the scales at 89g, while the wired model is slightly lighter (since it doesn’t have a battery) at 79g. While it is not the lightest gaming mouse in the market, it’s certainly lightweight enough for a comfortable gaming experience.
Design wise, the Gladius III has an ergonomic shape made for right-handed gamers, so unfortunately enough, it’s not suitable for lefties. There are also two buttons on the left side of the mouse, along with an all-plastic chassis; there are no rubberised sides here.
Finally, there’s the unique “Push-Fit Switch Socket II” of the Gladius III, which allows easy replacement of the left and right mouse buttons. According to Asus, this is the first mouse to feature such a socket, which supports both 3-pin and 5-pin micro switches.
This effectively makes the Gladius III a hotswappable mouse, as you can easily swap out the micro switches on the left and right buttons. Asus also provides two Omron optical switches with this mouse, which we’ll get back to in the next section.
The Good Stuff
Since the ROG Gladius III’s hotswappable nature is one of its most unique features, let’s talk about it first. Initially, I was afraid it would be difficult to swap out the micro switches, but to my surprise, it is really, really easy. In fact, anyone with a screwdriver can easily do it.
In order to disassemble the Gladius III, all I needed to do was undo two screws hidden underneath a rubber cap. Once I’ve done that, I can remove the top chassis from the back of the mouse. It’s a little awkward to pop out the top casing at first, but after a few tries, I can comfortably do it without too much trouble.
Once that’s done, I can use the provided tweezer to easily pull out the original ROG micro switches. Installing the Omron switches to the socket is a similarly fuss-free affair. I can then install the top chassis back onto the base, and voila, I’ve swapped out the micro switches on the left and right mouse buttons.
I love how seamless it is to change the micro switches on the Gladius III. Thanks to its hotswap nature, I can just get aftermarket micro switches if I want to further customise the clicking characteristic of the Gladius III too – how many gaming mice can do this?
Its hotswap capability aside, the Gladius III’s ergonomic design also makes it a comfortable mouse to use for long periods of time. The tall shape of the mouse provides ample support for my hand, and since it’s quite lightweight, it’s easy to navigate with too.
Last but definitely not least is the latency of the Gladius III, which is great. Whether I’m using the 2.4GHz dongle or Bluetooth, I didn’t notice any major input lag while gaming with this mouse. Granted, more competitive gamers may notice a difference, but I reckon most folks will still be able to game effectively with the Gladius III in wireless mode.
The Bad Stuff
Remember when I said the ROG Gladius III is better as a productivity mouse rather than gaming? Well, this can be attributed to the ergonomic shape of the mouse. It’s comfortable, yes, but this is also the reason why it’s not super ideal for gaming.
This is down to the tall nature of the Gladius III; more specifically, the button height. As my fingers are further away from the surface of the tablet, I don’t get the same level of “stability” and precision over a mouse with a lower button height, such as the Logitech G Pro Wireless.
Of course, your mileage may vary, especially if you have larger hands. But personally, I do feel like my aim is more accurate with a smaller, lower profile mouse.
Aside from that, I’m not a big fan of the Omron optical switches bundled with the Gladius III either. While I like their firmer clicks, they produce a very metallic, tinny sound. As for the ROG micro switches, they don’t feel quite as firm, but they do have a quieter (and pleasant) clicking sound.
My last qualm with the Gladius III is its battery life. While I did manage to hit the 55 hours quoted battery life, it’s still not quite as long-lasting as its competition. Logitech’s lighter G Pro Wireless, for one, can last up to 60 hours on a single charge. The Razer Viper Ultimate, on the other hand, can provide up to 70 hours of battery life.
Is It Worth It?
Even though its battery life isn’t particularly great – and the tall button height can be detrimental for competitive gaming – the Asus ROG Gladius III is still a fantastic gaming mouse that I will happily use as my daily driver when I’m doing productivity work.
On top of that, the hotswap capability of the Gladius III is easily one of its best selling points. I don’t need to desolder the micro switches to swap them out, and disassembling the mouse itself is a fuss-free affair. Coupled with its reasonable RM439 asking price – or only RM299 if you want the wired version – the Gladius III is definitely an interesting mouse.