The third generation of Asus Rog Gladius mice is lighter, without sacrificing the comfort that has made the reputation of the series. A drastic diet that makes the Wireless version lose 35g. Without compromise?
Available in wired and wireless versions, the Gladius III follows the trend of lightweight mice. However, there is no question of Asus Rog neglecting the strengths of its favorite mouse, as the new Gladius strives to maintain a certain comfort, as well as its replaceable switch system. The Gladius III is announced at 77 g in its wired version and 89 g in its wireless version that we test here.
Without being really extravagant, the design of the first two Gladius could not be called sober. However, gaming accessory manufacturers are tending to opt for more and more consensual designs, and this is confirmed by the Gladius III Wireless, which has much softer lines.
Sharp angles and edges are replaced by curves that soften the design. This third Gladius loses its identity, but is more discreet and easy to match with other gaming peripherals that are not signed Asus Rog.
In any case, Asus Rog wanted to keep a similar size for this Gladius III Wireless, which measures 123 x 68 x 44 mm, compared to 126 x 67 x 45 mm for the second version. The mouse remains compact enough to be used with small hands, which will gladly put their whole palm on it, while large hands will also find a certain comfort despite a tendency to grasp the mouse with fingers that are a bit more bent.
Despite its very similar dimensions, the Gladius III Wireless manages to lose no less than 36g compared to its predecessor. This impressive weight reduction is certainly due to the disappearance of the elastomer material present on the Gladius II's wafers, but this is not at the expense of the quality of manufacture. Indeed, without reaching the very "premium" side of those of the Gladius II, the smooth plastics prove here to be of good quality and the slices benefit for their part from patterns in relief bringing a sufficient grip to lift the mouse when it is necessary to recenter it on the carpet. Fingers still slip a little, especially on the right edge, which could have been curved more, but the mouse is fairly light, so it doesn't affect handling.
Less concave than those of the Gladius II, the main buttons of the Gladius III still welcome the index and middle fingers, which are wide enough not to reach the edges or even touch the knob. The latter is just as accessible, well-serrated and pleasant to handle thanks to its rubberized coating. The same goes for the two buttons on the left edge, which are wide enough to fit perfectly under the thumb.
Under the 2 main buttons, there are switches with the ROG logo, responsive and very sensitive. However, if you prefer a firmer and more sonorous touch, you can replace them with the Japanese Omron D2FP-FN optical switches (5-pin) supplied with the mouse, or with any other Omron D2F and D2FC series switch.
A big plus for the mouse longevity, especially since the replacement of these switches is very simple. You just have to unscrew the 2 Phillips screws hidden behind rubber covers under the mouse and remove the upper part of the shell to reach them. Asus Rog provides a small pair of pliers to remove them, but you can do it with your fingertips with a little care.
The Kailh switches on the edge buttons are not interchangeable, but they are generally much less stressed and should therefore last longer. In any case, they also prove to be responsive.
On the glide side, the 5 PTFE pads do their job well. We knew more fluid and less noisy on hard surfaces, but the glide remains good. Good point for Asus Rog which provides a set of spare pads with its mouse.
Although it's a wireless mouse, you can't avoid connecting it to USB from time to time to recharge it. The good news is that the cable provided by Asus Rog is flexible enough to not disturb you too much if you need to use the mouse while charging.
Recharging will happen more often from now on, as the Gladius III Wireless battery only offers a capacity of 500 mAh. Nevertheless, Asus announces up to 55 hours of autonomy in radio mode and up to 85 hours in Bluetooth. Enough to last for a few days, which is what we found. However, it's best not to forget to plug it in regularly if you want to enjoy permanent wireless operation in 2.4 GHz radio link for gaming - as always, Bluetooth is best reserved for office use.
Turning off the backlight also helps preserve battery life if needed. Visible through the Rog logo, the scroll wheel and the left edge of the mouse, this RGB backlight is nevertheless quite discreet and well done.
Asus Rog has chosen a Pixart PMW3370 optical sensor to power its Gladius III Wireless. Successor of the PMW3389 which equips the Gladius II, this high performance sensor is also able to operate at a speed of 10.16 m/s and supports accelerations up to 50 g. The player who would be able to reach even these values with the strength of his wrist is not yet born. However, Pixart has reduced the error rate to 0.5% (1% for the PMW3389) and the lift-off distance is also lower (1-2 mm instead of 2-3 mm), for even more accuracy. Of course, we find a rate of exchange with the computer that can reach 1000 Hz, both wired and wireless (with the RF 2.4 GHz link), while the sensitivity can climb up to 19000 dpi, a value just as useless as usual (at this sensitivity, a simple movement of 1 cm is enough to make the mouse pointer travel the entire width of an Ultra HD screen, for example).
Unsurprisingly, the tracking is in any case impeccable, without any perceptible latency, with or without wire (still in 2.4 GHz mode). Of course, you should always avoid using the mouse on shiny or transparent surfaces, as this sensor is not designed to accommodate such coatings, but for a gaming mouse, we recommend using a good mat for more precision and better glide.
The Armoury Crate configuration software
The control center for all Rog's peripherals, the Armoury software allows you to configure the Gladius III Wireless, whether it's assigning pre-recorded functions or macros to the 5 available buttons, choosing backlight effects or changing the sensor settings. Four levels of sensor sensitivity can be defined in order to switch from one to another on the fly by pressing the dedicated mouse button (above the wheel).
The settings can be saved in the five profiles in the mouse's internal memory, so that they can be found regardless of the computer used. You can switch between the profiles by pressing the dedicated button on the bottom of the mouse.
Wiser in its design, the Gladius III Wireless matches the competition in terms of lightness while keeping the specificity of its replaceable switches. Very precise and fast, it is able to satisfy players who are looking for a little comfort in spite of everything.