(Pocket-lint) - The Spatha X is an absolute monster of a gaming mouse that rocks 12 programmable buttons, fancy RGB lighting, a convenient charging dock, plus so much more.
This is a large gaming mouse with some intriguing design aspects that might make it appealing to those large-handed, palm-grip gamers out there. Here's how we got on with it.
- 12 programmable buttons
- Wired or wireless 2.4GHz mode
- Dimensions: 89 x 137 x 45mm / Weight: 168g
- 19,000 DPI, 400 IPS, 50G acceleration, 1000Hz polling rate
When we first got our hands on the ROG Spatha X we were immediately struck by the sheer size of this thing. Where other mice have gone small and lightweight, Asus has gone completely the other way here.
The Spatha X weighs in at a staggering 168g, which is almost three times the weight of some of the lighter mice we've reviewed of late. Even the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra Wireless with its aluminium frame is just 110g standard. So the Spatha X is already setting a tone for doing things differently.
Then there's the shape and setup. The frame on this mouse is huge, which we were honestly pleased to see as we generally play with a palm-grip style and dislike having our hand touch the mousemat. If you're that way inclined too, then you'll be pleased to see that the Spatha X has finger and thumb rests on both sides of its frame, so it's easy to keep your digits out of the way while you game.
Although thumb rests are common, it's pretty unusual to see a spot for your other fingers on the right-hand side of a mouse. The quirky design here also means you can seemingly hold it in two different ways: either with your ring finger resting on the raised area on the right and pinky on the rubber grip on the jut-out side; or with all fingers resting on top, having to use your middle finger on the mouse wheel (which seems like an intention of this design).
Next to the left mouse button are two small buttons for easy access - assuming you can get used to them being there. By default these buttons are set to be 'backwards' and 'forwards'. These are actions usually assigned to the thumb buttons on most other gaming mice. It's another clue as to the way you're meant to hold the Spatha X really.
On the left side of the mouse, where your thumb rests, there are no less than six programmable buttons. We think these are weirdly designed, though, as they appear in a variety of shapes and sizes. This is again by design as they're styled in order to resemble the iconic 'ROG eye' symbol. This area is nicely accented by the surrounding RGB lighting and there's no denying it's certainly great looking.
Asus says that the "... placement of each button has been carefully considered so they're within reach, and all have been designed to provide a tactile click feel for intuitive, responsive control." We're not sure we agree with that, unfortunately. Our experience with these buttons was muddied by how closely clustered together they are. It's not easy to discern between them on the basis of touch alone. With the exception of the front bottom one and the top two, it's hard to feel which is which, so don't assume you'll be able to programme all of them for important actions, then be able to pull off successful in-game moves.
By default, these ROG-aligned buttons are also set to some weird commands, including muting audio and opening the Windows menu. So if you're primarily using the ROG Spatha X for gaming - that's the point isn't it? - then you'll need to reprogramme them in Armoury Crate software or come unstuck (like we did when your game minimises or your sound mutes when you're in the middle of a game).
We generally like multi-button mice as such a design gives plenty of flexibility in terms of adding controls, customising the setup, and having access to more buttons when playing a variety of games. The experience is certainly one you have to spend time getting used to - but we think after enough use you'll be able to get the hang of it.
Besides, there's a lot to like overall. Even the DPI switching - where you adjust the dots per inch sensitivity for different tasks - can be actioned via the button behind the mouse wheel or with that and the wheel itself. This is also unusual.
- Magnetic charging dock
- 67 hours battery life
One of the highlights of the Spatha X is certainly its included charging dock. This not only acts as the place to put your mouse when you're not using it, but also as the signal transmitter. This means you can easily get a good signal out of it when gaming over the 2.4GHz wireless and have no problems with latency.
More importantly, that dock handles the charging. It's magnetic and only requires you to basically hold the mouse a short distance away before it'll suck it into place.
When you've finished playing you can pop it on there to ensure it's fully charged for next time. The Spatha X has 67 hours battery life with the RGB lighting off, but we found with the charging dock we never had to plug it in and use it in wired mode. If it does need a charge you'll also be pleased to read that there's fast-charging tech, so docking or plugging in for 15 mins can get you another 12 hours of playtime. There's an LED indicator on the dock that lets you know how much charge the mouse has too.
There are two USB-C cables included in the box, so you can leave the dock plugged in and keep another cable free for going wired if you feel the need. It's these little touches that make the Spatha X extra appealing.
- ROG Micro Switch with a 70-million-click lifespan
- Hot-swappable push-fit switch design (three-pin)
- Pivoted button design
Just like other Asus ROG mice - the Gladius III wireless, for example - the Spatha X has been built with a user-swappable switch design. It uses ROG Micro Switches as standard and comes with an extra pair in the box. These are good quality mouse switches that are designed to last and give you a responsive and accurate gaming experience. But should they wear out over time, you have the option to replace them.
Asus has made this remarkably easy. On the underside of the mouse, there are four rubber bungs. Pop these off and you can use the included tool to unscrew the frame and pop the top off the mouse. From there you can access not only the battery (for future replacement) but also the switches. They're not soldered and feature a push-fit design so you can just pop them out and put some new ones in.
This is great because it helps with the durability of this mouse. If you start experiencing double-clicking problems or other wear and tear, then you can simply change them yourself with ease. There's also the option to simply buy your own switches to try a different click setup. We had some Huano white dot switches to hand and they fit nicely too. As long as the switches are three-pin it's an easy swap.
There's no denying that the ROG Spatha X is a gaming mouse that stands out from the crowd thanks to its funky, large-scale and button-tastic design.
However, it sure takes some getting used to, but we think that if you like a larger mouse to game with and don't mind the extra weight then you'll fully enjoy this one.
The easy-to-use charging dock is a massive bonus in our mind, too, so all told this is a good mouse - but a little too heavy for our personal preference.
Corsair M65 RGB Ultra Wireless
A touch smaller than the Spatha X and it has fewer buttons, but it's also lighter and wonderfully capable. If you want a weighty mouse, but one that isn't too heavy then this is a great alternative.
Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless
If the Spatha X appeals because of its push-fit switch design, then the Gladius III is worth a look too. This mouse might be even more appealing as it's lighter and has the option of working with three or five-pin microswitches, making it even more flexible. Plus there's the added bonus of optical switches for extra accuracy.