Asus ROG Azoth – REVIEW From [A-Z]

Finding the finest gaming keyboard is difficult, but we might might have done it. And it’s just been a month!

We chose the Asus ROG Azoth keyboard our Best In Show award since we already knew it was a high-quality product when we first saw it at CES 2023. Well, damn. The Azoth sounds and feels excellent in addition to having a monochrome black-and-gray design that is surprisingly sophisticated for the often aggressive, gamer-oriented, angry-red-eye branding of Asus’ ROG line. It’s like a custom keyboard kit made for high-end enthusiasts went on a binge and became addicted to Fortnite, and I’m totally here for it.

ROG Azoth Design and Construction

The ROG Azoth is a mechanical keyboard that is wireless, gasket mountable, and has a 75 percent form factor. It has fewer navigation keys than a TKL (tenkeyless, or 87 percent) layout with only one column of four keys as opposed to the typical three-by-three. With a keyboard that is over an inch shorter than the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL’s length of 14 inches thanks to this layout, the Azoth can have a smaller footprint without compromising more than 60 or even 65 percent of the keyboard’s length.

Although the ROG Azoth is little, it is constructed like a beast. Under dual-tone doubleshot PBT keycaps, it has a substantial metal top plate in a stylish gunmetal gray finish. Beneath the top plate, the Azoth’s chassis is plastic — necessary, according to Asus, for the keyboard to sustain high wireless performance levels.

The keyboard’s build quality isn’t diminished by the fairly strong plastic chassis, either. The Azoth feels sturdy all over and weighs a substantial 2.61 pounds (1186g). Two sets of flip-out feet are attached to the board’s back for added height.
The upper right corner of the keyboard is home to a two-inch dynamic grayscale OLED display. A three-way control knob and button set is located next to the screen, and it can be used to adjust various onboard settings (including brightness and lighting effects) and manage multimedia. The Armoury Crate peripheral program from Asus allows you to customize the visuals and animations that are displayed on the screen. These can include keyboard information (such as battery life, etc.), system data, and custom visuals and animations.

The keyboard’s connecting options are located around the back of the Azoth: a power switch that switches between Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless, a 2.4GHz wireless dongle connected into a storage port, and a USB-C port for charging and a cable connection.

An whole box of accessories is included with the keyboard. They feature a USB extender, keycap puller, switch puller, and DIY switch lubricant kit. They also include a 6.5-foot (2-meter) braided USB-C to USB-A cable. The lube kit comes with some extra switches, a switch opener, a lube station, a brush, and lubricant (Krytox GPL205-GD0). (Don’t worry, Asus also includes a QR code that links to a video tutorial on how to use the lubrication kit.) The accessory kit is a very nice touch, especially for a high-end, widely used gaming keyboard, even though it doesn’t contain any expensive or difficult-to-find goods.

On the ROG Azoth, experience typing and gaming

The ROG Azoth has a gasket mount design, which results in a keyboard that sounds great, especially for a mainstream gaming keyboard. Silicone gaskets protect the PCB, while three layers of dampening foam and silicone absorb echo and case ping. It’s not to suggest that high-end mainstream gaming keyboards like the Huntsman V2 from Razer or the Apex Pro TKL from SteelSeries sound bad, but the Azoth is on another level.

Even my husband remarked on the Azoth’s audio quality. He only mentioned how my keyboards sound when making snide remarks like, “Did you get some sort of aftermarket keyboard mod equivalent to a muffler delete” or “Is this auditory revenge on the neighbor who asked if ‘writer’ was a euphemism for ‘unemployed’?” Even though all he said was that it sounded “good” and “better than whatever you were using before,” that’s still pretty high praise.

The gasket mount design of the Azoth provides just enough flex for comfort, but not enough to be distracting, so typing on it feels next-level. The Azoth can also be ordered with NX Brown (tactile) or NX Blue (clicky) switches. Our review model came with Asus’ ROG NX Red (linear) switches, which feature straight, smooth keypresses without a tactile bump or auditory click.

The NX Reds are a little bit lighter and shorter than the well-known Cherry MX Red linear switches, having an actuation force of 40g and a 1.8mm actuation point (45g actuation force, 2mm actuation point). I replaced the NX Red switches with the clicky Kailh Box White ones because I found the NX Reds to be a touch too light and hollow-feeling. I did this by utilizing the keycap puller and switch remover that Asus provided.
But don’t be fooled by the Azoth’s enthusiast-level typing experience; this is still a gaming keyboard at its core. Its specifications are comparable to those of other top-tier wireless gaming keyboards: n-key rollover, 1,000 Hz polling rate, tri-mode connectivity with low-latency 2.4GHz wireless, fully programmable keys, and on-the-fly macro recording.

Whether you’re plugged into your PC or connected wirelessly, the Azoth is speedy, responsive, and dependable while gaming. I was able to play through a backlog of roughly 23 impromptu Steam sale titles despite being just unwell enough to be unable to concentrate on work. I had no missed keypresses and never even the tiniest connection slowness.

ROG Azoth features and software

The Azoth contains a small number of pre-programmed secondary keybinds (Fn shortcuts), which are printed on the keycaps’ south side. They consist of illumination mode/brightness, macro recording, and profile altering. You can perform a lot from the keyboard without installing any software if you combine these shortcuts with the OLED screen on the Azoth. However, Armoury Crate, Asus’ peripheral software, is required if you wish to alter features like keybindings, lighting modes, or the OLED screen.

Only the first layer of the Azoth’s keys can be programmed, which is a little surprising considering that everything save the Fn key are programmable. Given the keyboard’s 75% size (it’s not microscopic, but it’s on the smaller side), it seems like a major oversight that there isn’t a method to create any auxiliary keybinds (such Fn key shortcuts). It is likely that a firmware update could correct this (assuming Armoury Crate is capable of delivering said update without crashing).

The conclusion

The Asus ROG Azoth isn’t cheap; with a suggested retail price of $250, it competes head-to-head with similarly sized flagships like the Logitech G915 TKL Wireless and the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless for the top spot in the gaming keyboard market. But the Azoth also gives gamers a taste of the enthusiast side with hot-swappable switches, an exceptional typing experience, and a plethora of accessories for fine-tuning sound and feel, in addition to its low-latency wireless gaming prowess and impressively long battery life (even with all the bells and whistles turned up to the max).

It’s surprisingly difficult to find a wireless gaming keyboard that satisfies both your inner typing enthusiast and gamers with features like on-the-fly macro recording. And Asus not only succeeds in doing so with the Azoth, but excels at it. It’s a bad Asus isn’t as committed to updating its software as it is to improving the Azoth’s hardware.

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