Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless
RRP $ 119.00
"The Gladius III from Asus is a breathtaking, underrated mouse that is particularly suitable for casual games thanks to its comfortable, tactile design."
Great ergonomics for a gaming mouse
Satisfactory Omron optical switches included
Excellent connectivity options
Not quite as good for competitive gaming
Even the best gaming mice aren't usually known for their comfort. That's a shame because not all of us play Twitchy shooter games all of the time.
Today we're taking a look at the Asus Gladius III wireless mouse, which promises both great performance and a more ergonomic design.
While it's not the highest quality option in the line – that's the ROG Chakram – the Gladius III isn't cheap. It costs $ 119 for the wireless version. Fortunately, the Gladius III justifies its price with user-replaceable switches, a great sensor, and a comfortable grip.
Design & comfort
The design of the Gladius III is clearly optimized for comfort, with a large, bulbous body that presses nicely into the palm of your hand. That larger size, coupled with the right-handed design, makes it one of the more comfortable mice I've tested. It's not meant to be clawed or fingertip gripped as much, but this could be a healthier option than something like Razer's Orochi V2 and Logitech's G Pro X Superlight.
In terms of convenience, the Razer Pro Click is the best match I've had with Asus' Pointer, and while this isn't a pure gaming mouse – as evident from the lack of RGB – it's kind of a wolf in sheep's clothing. as it contains solid switches and a great sensor.
However, the Razer mouse has a better overall shape. The pear shape with the larger underside of the gladius requires you to fully grip the mouse; If you grab it a little deeper, it will point slightly to the left on a fingertip.
Apart from the comfort, the Gladius III does not present itself with many high-quality materials. The plastic is soft and the embossed artwork on the left and right serves as a handle enough to pick up the mouse.
At only 89 grams, it's also light. That's not super easy terrain, but – at less than 100 grams for a large, comfort-oriented pointer like this one – it's respectable.
The RGB lighting is also present in three zones: the main logo, the scroll wheel and the artwork of the thumb rest. A supplied 2.4 GHz dongle, Bluetooth and USB-C ensure connectivity.
Under the hood
Under the hood of the mouse – this time not metaphorically – we find a handful of interesting functions. For starters, the mouse's main sensor is one that tracks at up to 19,000 DPI, even though it has a tune on 26,000 – designed for accurate tracking up to 400 inches per second with a maximum acceleration of up to 50g. I don't have the test equipment to verify these numbers, but I can confirm an accurate follow-up in more intense gaming sessions.
There is a more compelling reason to buy the Gladius III, however: you can literally remove the top shell – the hood – and replace bits internally.
To remove the top, simply remove two rubber seals from the bottom, loosen two screws and pull off the hood. From here, the inside of the mouse is completely exposed, although the only thing you are supposed to do here is replace the primary switches.
The Gladius III comes with Asus' ROG 3-pin microswitches pre-installed at the factory, but it also comes with a set of 5-pin Omron D2FP-FN switches. The former are mechanical, the latter optical – hence the additional pins – eliminating the need to consider debouncing and theoretically leading to faster performance.
In practice, I find that the difference is mainly due to the click action. The standard ROG switches aren't bad, but the Omron optical switches feel and sound absolutely better. The click is a bit easier, certainly clearer, and sounds less muffled.
The catch is that they are finicky about their sound, which can get annoying.
When I returned to the ROG switches I found that they felt a bit soft and mushy, so I leave the Omrons on to enjoy their spiciness. The scroll wheel is also pleasantly choppy, so they go well together.
What is significant, however, is the fact that the mouse supports hot-swappable switches in the first place. For the most part, Asus is the only company that does this. Most mice won't open at first, and when you do, the switches must be desoldered to replace them.
Asus also includes a set of four replacement mouse pads that will extend the life of the mouse. So easy to open, I can also imagine that the battery can also be exchanged, provided that a compatible replacement can be found if necessary.
Jump into a game and the Gladius III shines immediately. I've played a fair amount of Insurgency Sandstorm on this mouse, as well as a couple of hours of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and the Gladius III Wireless has been a comfy companion all along.
That being said, there's a reason most gaming mice aren't built for comfort: competitive gaming performance. While I was still good at Insurgency Sandstorm with the Gladius III, I wasn't as good as my previous all-time favorite, the Logitech G Pro X Superlight, and I think that's because of the shape and weight. The Logitech has a shape that requires a more aggressive grip and is much lighter at 63 grams instead of 89 grams.
It's not a big change, but in competitive games it makes a noticeable difference: I didn't feel quite so in control.
However, when I switched to the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, that difference in performance between the two mice immediately disappeared. In this story-oriented game, I preferred the Asus mouse by far – my sensitive hands thanked me for taking a break from the G Pro X. I didn't feel hindered by the mouse, like in a competitive game.
The Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless is an excellent gaming mouse that is clearly designed for use with more casual games and for gamers who spend long hours in virtual worlds with a mouse that doesn't punish them for it. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that it's 80% as comfortable as a truly ergonomic mouse like the MX Master 3, while it's 90% as effective in-game as the G Pro X Superlight. If you play mostly single player titles, the Gladius III is certainly a mouse in question.
Hang that on the fact that it's a serviceable and adjustable mouse with user-replaceable switches and I'm wondering "why isn't this clicker more popular?" The Gladius III is an underrated gem in my book.
Are there alternatives?
If you are looking for a mouse with a neat and bulbous ergonomic shape, the only real alternative that comes to mind is the Razer Pro Click. It's $ 20 cheaper but doesn't have RGB or hot-swappable switches and is only available in white. Other ergonomic mice like the G502 Lightspeed from Logitech or the Basilisk from Razer are too narrow and aggressively shaped to match the comfort of the Asus.
How long it will take?
Normally I wouldn't say a mouse would last three to five years, but with interchangeable parts, I could imagine the Gladius III would last well into a decade. Whether you still use it is another question.
Should you buy it?
Absolutely. If your main focus is on story-based gaming and you spend hours on your PC, your right hand will thank you for using one of the most comfortable palm-grip gaming mice available.