Asus Strix Claw Mouse Review
A new product line aimed at Gamers by Asus you say? Oh go on then. I’ve been a long time admirer of Asus, in fact more specifically their ROG brand, but given how big and well established the ROG brand is (I’m sure you may have heard of them), I’m kinda surprised to see Asus launch Strix? Is there really a need for another Gaming brand under their banner? I guess it’s down to team pcG to find out!
Just so you know the word ‘Strix‘ comes from the ancient Greek word for owl, which is apt giving the brands various slogans, ‘Stay Cool and Near Silent‘, ‘Sharp Hearing‘, ‘High Adaptivity‘ and ‘Everything Under Control‘, so all very owl like. So whilst James is off testing the new Strix Pro Headset (himself being very owlish, knowledgeable, wise and old….. 😉 ), I’ll be getting my hands (or claws) on the Asus Strix Claw Optical Gaming Mouse (E6YHYHM00170). So what do we know about the Claw?
It features an ergonomic design for right handers, has a total of eight buttons, three of which are independently programmable, a gaming-grade native 5000dpi (dots per inch) optical sensor that offers true 1:1 tracking, angle-snap-free movement and flexible DPI controls to ensure that every movement is tracked accurately and reflected instantly. The movement is tracked at speeds of up to 3.32 meters per second (130 inches/sec) with accuracy adjustable by 50dpi increments. There’s even a DPI clutch button that lets serious snipers reduce the DPI instantly for super-accurate aiming and 64KB of on-board memory so you can save all your settings and Macros for more flexible plug and play.
On paper the Strix Claw is pretty well featured. Perhaps we’d best take a closer look!
‘EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL
Strix Claw is the ultimate gaming mouse for first-person shooters, crafted for those who demand unrivaled precision, comfort and the competitive advantage. Right-handed ergonomics, Japanese-made Omron switches, gaming-grade 5000DPI optical sensor, angle-snap-free movement and flexible DPI controls ensure your every movement is tracked accurately and reflected instantly.‘
Not only does Asus offer a new hardware and peripherals with the new Strix brand, but we also gain new brand imagery. For Strix this would seem to be predominantly satin black, with bright orange. As you can see from the packaging of the Strix Claw, it looks pretty striking and good. Up front we have an image of the Claw itself, the model name and description, it states that the mouse features a 5000 DPI optical sensor, agile DPI control and that it’s designed for all grip styles. We also have a rather subdued Asus logo and slogan ‘In Search of Incredible‘ , as well as the shiny new Strix logo and slogan ‘Unleash Your Gaming Instincts‘.
Over on the back of the box we again have the model name and description as well as the previous brand logos, but this time round we have an isometric image of the Claw showing us a few of the main key features and specifications (see below).
- Scroll wheel and middle click
- Angled cable
- DPI switches
- Illuminated DPI indicator
- 3 Programmable buttons
- Right hand ergonomics
Opening up the box shows us the same features as on the front (and the right side for that matter), more importantly we see a huge window showing of the Claw on a bright orange background.
Opening up the box gives us a far better look of the Strix Claw. The mouse itself is reasonably well packaged and secured and a bright orange tray.
- ASUS Strix Claw optical gaming mouse
- Quick start guide
- Driver CD
- VIP Member Warranty Notice
courtesy of ASUS
|Resolution||Native 5000 dpi|
|Switches:||Japan-made Omron D2F-01F|
|Inches per second:||130 ips|
|Counts per inch:||MAX. 5000cpi|
|Lift distance:||TYP. 3mm|
|Operating system:||Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / 8|
|Size:||122.55L x 71.75W x 45.25H (mm)|
|Weight:||110g (without cable)|
|Cable:||2M with gold-plated USB connector|
Dual Modes: Driver-free mode brings your favourite profile on-the-go.
Software mode provides easy adjustments on the drivers interface.
First impressions are not as good as I was expecting. In fact far lower…… That’s not to say the Strix Claw looks bad, because it doesn’t. Sadly the tough but very thin feeling satin finish black and gunmetal grey plastic body doesn’t look or feel like a Gaming mouse with a £60+ price tag and certainly not an Asus product. If it were from a manufacturer with a lower pedigree and cost around a third of the price, then perhaps I’d think otherwise…….
Up top, we can see the satin black plastic dominates the top of the Strix Claw, there’s no soft touch coating as seems to be the regular thing these days. Towards the back we see the new Strix logo (this when plugged in will illuminate orange), both the left and right mouse buttons feature Japanese-made Omron D2F-01F switches, both of which feel satisfyingly clicky, but there is a lot of lift on the left button, to the front left of the left mouse button are three DPI LED indicators (these illuminate orange and are made to look like three claw marks), despite the appearance of three central mouse buttons, only the front two are functional (DPI shift up and down) and just in front of them the mouse wheel. The mouse wheel is made of clear plastic (this also illuminates orange) with a black rubber tyre for the grip. The mouse wheel ‘tyre’ grip feels very loose and is easily stretched away from the wheel itself and doesn’t feel secure in the slightest.
Beneath the Claw shows four slippery glides in each corner. In the dead centre lives the Strix Claws PixArt PMW3310 gaming-grade optical sensor, this tracks at up to 5000DPI, and at speeds of up to 3.32 meters per second (130-inches/sec) and should be more than up to the task. You’ll also notice the usual sticker telling us the model name, SKU number and the brand logos. Nothing hugely exciting (is there ever underneath a mouse?!?).
- Front / Back
From the front the Claw looks just like your typical mouse. You do get a better view of the claw mark DPI LED indicators and the rubber tyre mouse wheel, but one thing I did find quite interesting is the cable mount (yes, I know, there’s no need to laugh!), this is because the Strix Claw features an angled braided-fiber cable, which Asus claims ‘Say goodbye to annoying tangles and movement-stopping snags and enjoy unfettered mouse swiping, thanks to Strix Claw’s angled braided-fiber cable!‘. I for one often suffer from this with many wired mice, less so with braided cables as they tend to be lighter and more flexible, but if their statement stands true, this very small detail could be a very big difference to the Claw performance (to me at least 😉 ). The USB cable itself features a high quality braiding and unlike many similar cables is surprisingly stiff. Normally I’d see this a bad thing, but with the angled cable fixing this should help it from snagging all the more.
From the back we can once again see the Strix logo, but this time more clearly. It also shows the height (45.25mm) of the Claw and its ergonomic shape. Given this shape and the feel of the Claw, it actually fits very nicely into the palm of your hand and is very comfortable, certainly for my palm style grip anyway.
- Sides (right & left)
The right side of the Claw goes on to show the height again. As you can see it also features a slightly recessed finger rest. Other than than the right side is largely featureless.
Whilst over on the left we have three thumb buttons, the top two having the typical back and forward pre-settings, the third being a DPI clutch or Sniper button. Yes, I understand this has been done before, but has anyone actually put a DPI clutch button on a mouse where you can press it on the fly without little thought? Well done Asus! All of the mouse buttons and scroll wheel can of course be reprogrammed to more or less whatever you want (including Macros).
So despite my initial first impressions of the Asus Strix Claw being made from less than quality materials and perhaps not deserving of its parent brand heritage, it turns out to be a very well designed Gaming mouse and one that fits very comfortably in your palm. We best see how it performs in Game!
The Asus Strix Claw simply connects by way of its single USB connection. This was connected directly to a USB plug on the rear IO port of the MSI Z87-G45 GAMING motherboard that forms part of our dedicated Intel Test Rig.
The Asus Strix Gaming software is supplied in box, but we like to keep up to date with the most recent drivers and software which can be downloaded from here
The Asus Strix Claw was tested using our Intel Test Rig with a fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (service pack 1) installed together with all the latest relevant drivers and software. This of course includes Asus Strix Gaming version 1.03, as without it we couldn’t use all the Asus Strix Claw features.
The Asus Strix Claw Mouse was tested using a OcUK Mega Mat Medium Elite Tactical Gaming Surface.
The following games were used to help in the evaluation of the Asus Strix Claw Mouse:
Something that seemed a little odd about the Asus Strix Claw was its size and shape. It visually looks shorter in length than your typical mouse, but I put this down to it looking very high. In truth it’s exactly the opposite, it is fairly tall at 45.25mm, but the difference in comparison to other Gaming mice is literally a few mm, again the 71.75mm width is more or less the same as many others, the length at 122.55mm is nearly 14mm shorter than my last test mouse, the Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury, which is a huge difference. This also helps it to be almost the perfect shape for any right handed palm grip Gamer out there! It’s just a shame that the materials used to make it just don’t quite come up to par in my eyes.
What about its performance in game?
Well for the best part I’m certainly not disappointed. The Pixart PMW3310 optical sensor is brilliantly smooth and accurate on any DPI setting, whilst the Omron D2F-01F switches have that satisfying clicking sound giving you the right tactile feedback you’d expect and the DPI clutch is perhaps the best positioned I’ve ever used. However the Claw is a little lighter than I’d have liked and the mouse wheel’s rubber ‘tyre’ moves around on it far too easily, which left me lacking in confidence.
The Strix Gaming software (oddly this highlights as Feline_Driver_Config in windows taskbar) is nice and simple to use whilst looking good with its black, orange and grey styling. It offers three main headers to play around with. First up we have:
In this we can quickly and easily set up different profiles and re-map any button in a variety of ways including default, keyboard function, mouse function, sensitivity, Macro, launch program, multimedia, switch profile or even disable the button altogether. Rather nicely if selecting the mouse functions, you can choose to re-map any button to double click when pressed, the DPI clutch can also be timed, toggled, or set as your typical on/off. Very handy for any wannabe Snipers out there.
Here we can adjust the Asus Strix Claw performance (no really! 😉 ). We can adjust each of the four DPI stages from 50 to 5000 DPI (this is done in increments of 50), we can also enable X/Y sensitivity (you can change the vertical and horizontal DPI independently), change the LOD (Lift Off Distance) from 1-10, choose the polling rate(response time) from 125, 500 or 1000Hz. The software also allows you to change the DPI clutch from an incredibly slow 50, to an fast 5000 DPI.
The lighting header is pretty light on options (pun intended). You can choose to turn the LED for the mouse wheel on or off and the same for the logo. Although being a very minor gripe. I’d have also liked to have had the option to have a the logo constantly on. As it is the Strix logo has a constant breathing effect which is ever so slightly jittery and as soon as you notice it, a tad irrititating.
Through the software you can also choose to link to another program (this I assume would be to the Strix Tactic Pro Gaming keyboard software), record Macros and allow you to switch from software to hardware mode (this allows you to store your settings on the Claw memory).
The software is nice and functional, but it’s not a scratch on the likes of the Logitech G or the SteelSeries Engine software.
I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by the Asus Strix Claw Optical Gaming Mouse. Being an Asus product I was expecting something a little bit special and in some areas it is, but others lacking…
The Claw arrived in a box brandishing the new Strix brand style, being predominantly black and bright orange. The mouse inside was fairly well packaged with the package including all the typical bits and pieces you’d expect.
The overall ergonomic design of the Claw is actually very good, in fact for my palm grip style it’s almost perfect, the thumb buttons are exactly where you’d want them to be and having the DPI clutch in its position (possibly the most ideal place for one ever!) is great too, as is the angled-braided cable that not once caught on anything. In fact the performance in Game was certainly as good as any Gaming mouse I’ve used before. So what’s the snag?
The build quality isn’t quite up to the standard I’d expect from an Asus product, the rubber ‘tyre’ mouse wheel whilst relatively smooth, slips and doesn’t feel solid, there’s nothing that really distinguishes it in a very competitive marketplace. The materials used make it feel like a mouse that should be a fraction of the asking price. At £60+ it’s a pretty bitter pill to swallow especially when you can pick up a cheaper and better Gaming mouse from a competitor such as Logitech or SteelSeries.
This may all seem very negative and to some degree I guess it is. What Asus have produced with the Strix Claw, is a Gaming mouse that generally performs very well. It just doesn’t in my eyes at least, meet the requirements of its SRRP and whilst not being a bad looking mouse, it’s just lacking that certain something that makes it desirable.
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