Look and Feel
So on to the look and feel on the mouse. First off, it’s BIG! Much bigger than my current mouse of choice, the Corsair Vengeance M65 which is dwarfed by the Spatha.
Visually the Spatha is a bit of a looker, uses premium plastics and a magnesium alloy chassis making it a very sturdy beast. The top is finished in matt black with rubberised Aztec (or Mayah according to ASUS) patterned grips. Its surface is quite smooth which with other mice can result in your grip slipping but the design and grip inserts make this stick hard.
At the front you’ll find the micro-USB port for using the mouse in wired mode or when updating its firmware.
Underneath it’s mainly brushed magnesium with a plastic surround housing the laser sensor, on / off switch and wireless pairing button.
The mouse wheel (Alps® encoder), six thumb buttons and the Republic Of Gamers logo all have their own independently controlled RGB back lighting but we’ll look at that in more detail later.
Of course PC peripherals are very personal to each user and this is especially true with a mouse. Our hands and fingers vary in size, we don’t all hold them in the same way and what might feel perfect for one user might not suit the next. This makes giving an unbiased review of its feel in use a little challenging, though as with most things, with a little patience you learn to adapt to change. I have to say that after using it for a few days, I can say that it feels very comfortable and I haven’t experienced any discomfort at all, even during prolonged periods of use.
Just to put things in perspective, my mouse grip style is a palm grip so your experience may differ from my own. That being said, it’s our opinion that the Spatha is more suited to a palm or claw grip rather than a tip grip due to its size and the thumb rest placement. Unfortunately, the design also makes it completely unsuitable for left handed gamers. Sorry guys! 🙁
My thumb sits naturally on the rest, my third (ring finger) comfortable in the moulding and my little finger grips nicely on the rubberised Aztec patterned side grip. The mouse sits nice and deep in my palm too. This allows me a really good solid grip and improves both comfort and accuracy.
The Spatha is well balanced and feels weighty without being too over the top or would require any adjustment. This is a good thing as ASUS have decided to exclude any weight adjustment that most gaming mice employ. Perhaps a bit of an oversight in its absence?
ASUS have certainly not been shy in the button department! It’s squeezed 12 into the Spatha and every single one of them are fully customisable using the ROM Armoury software which we’ll cover later on.
The Left and Right mouse buttons (using Omron® switches) feel very accurate, easily pressed without being too sensitive. The same can be said too for the mouse wheel (Alps® encoder) which has a very smooth action, rubber finish and a nice click . Behind this is the configurable DPI selector button.
The forward and back buttons sit right alongside the left click button and are generally easy to access though I did find the rear back button a little stiff. I would have probably preferred a little more separation from the left click button too, but again that’s a personal preference.
Now we come onto one of the killer features on the Spatha, the 6 thumb buttons. These are arranged in what others have described as an eye arrangement but personally we think it looks more like a cracked rock. You can make up your own mind.
Not all of the thumb buttons have the same tactile feel and sound though unfortunately. This could just be an issue with the review unit we have but it’s worth baring in mind.
- The Lower Front button sits right where you thumb rests naturally, making it easy to access. It’s clickable across the whole surface and its press and has nice loud tactile click.
- The Upper Front button feels less natural to access and almost 40% of the front portion is barely clickable without using a lot of pressure. Once you find the sweet spot the press is a fairly quiet and the click on the soft side.
- The Centre Front button is much smaller than the rest though and only the centre of it is easily clickable due to it shape which makes it a little harder to use consistently. Again the press is a fairly quiet with a soft click.
- The Lower Rear button is easy to access, is clickable across almost its whole surface and offers quite a loud tactile click.
- The Centre Rear Button is a little harder to access though, as it needs you to adjust your grip slightly. While this might be fine for some games (in particular RPG games), using it in a game such as an FPS title would suffer due to the level of mouse accuracy required. When you do press the button it’s fairly tactile though with a nice click.
- The Upper Rear button is the hardest of the buttons to access comfortably without having to re-adjust your grip. When you do find the sweet spot though, it produces a nice loud and tactile click.
Wireless Receiver / Charging Dock
The Spatha also comes with a well designed charging dock which doubles as a wireless receiver and connects to your PC using one of the 2 included micro-USB cables. The ROG branded plastic upper construction and heavy metal legs is more than strong enough to support the mouse. This is further helped with the inclusion of magnetised dock area which grips onto the mouse to prevent it falling off when on charge. It’s also possible to remove the metal legs and use the dock flat, though we think it looks at its best when it’s in the standing position.
As the Spatha is a rechargeable mouse, the dock has a battery level indicator LED at its base so you know exactly how much juice you have left. The current battery level is presented in 1 of 3 colours as below:
- Red – Low Charge
- Amber – Medium Charge
- Green – Fully Charged
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