ASUS ROG Claymore 2: The wireless gaming keyboard with detachable numeric keypad

ASUS ROG Claymore 2: The wireless gaming keyboard with detachable numeric keypad

ASUS ROG Claymore 2

ASUS ROG Claymore 2 is the new gaming keyboard with low latency wired or wireless connectivity, removable numeric keypad for maximum versatility, ROG RX mechanical switches and high autonomy. Available now also in Italy at the price of € 279.90.

We are talking about a modular device, which can be connected to the PC via a USB-C cable (which is also used for fast charging with 30 minutes for 18 hours of operation) or using a 2.4 GHz wireless adapter but without losing reactivity: in both cases the latency is just 1 ms.


ASUS ROG Claymore 2 with numpad connected and Aura Sync activated ASUS ROG Claymore 2 is equipped with ROG RX Red keys with hollow square structure and integrated RGB LEDs: a solution that eliminates the delay due to bounce and that enriches the aesthetics of the keyboard when we go to activate the technology Aura Sync.

Not only performance and aesthetics, but also robustness and durability: the Claymore 2 is guaranteed for 100 million presses, boasts a magnetic palm rest and the aforementioned removable numeric keypad (with four programmable multimedia keys and a wheel for the volum e), which can be attached on both sides and brings the size of the keyboard from 80% to 100% of the standard measurements.

ASUS ROG Claymore 2, keycaps removed and the numeric keypad removable Connectivity side, the ASUS ROG Claymore 2 can be used wired with a USB-C cable or 2.4GHz RF wireless with 1ms latency. Wireless and worry-free: a 4,000 mAh battery guarantees an autonomy of up to 140 hours on a single charge, which drops to 40 hours with the lighting activated.

Versatility is undoubtedly one of the points of strength of the keyboard, which adapts to right-handed as well as left-handed thanks to the possibility of changing the position of the numpad.

Regarding the keys, the command actuation point is 1.5 mm, while the minimum necessary typing force is about 40 grams (gf); 55 gf overall are needed to perfect the pressure. This, in short, means that comfort is never questioned, even during long gaming sessions.

The keycaps can also be replaced quickly and easily, even for aesthetic reasons. In fact, each key can individually manage RGB lighting, through various customizations and presets that can be activated using the free Armory Crate software, also useful for recording macros and other functions.

Data sheet ASUS ROG Claymore 2

ASUS ROG Claymore 2, the ports available

Format: standard with removable numpad, from 80% to 100% Design: standard Layout: Italian QWERTY Switches: ROG RX Red Programming: yes , macros and profiles Connectivity: wired or wireless (2.4 GHz) via USB Battery life: 140 hours (RGB off), 40 hours (RGB on) Lighting: programmable RGB Accessories: magnetic palm rest, removable numpad Software: Armory Crate Dimensions: 462 x 155 x 39 mm Weight: 1156 grams Price: € 279.90

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Asus ROG Claymore II Wireless Keyboard

The Asus ROG Claymore II is a truly impressive full-size flagship keyboard. Along with a bevy of luxury features—a volume roller, USB passthrough, a magnetically attached wrist rest—it's set apart from the competition by a detachable number pad. You can connect the pad to either side of the keyboard, making it one of the few lefty-friendly full-size models out there, or remove the pad altogether for a petite tenkeyless option. The only real downside to this unique keyboard is its USD$269.99 price tag, and the attention given to its design goes a long way toward justifying that. If price is no object, whether you’re a left-handed gamer or simply looking for a really strong gaming keyboard with all the bells and whistles, the Claymore II has got you covered, and it's our Editors' Choice among wireless mechanical gaming keyboards.

To Numpad, or Not to Numpad…

Though Asus introduced the modular gamepad concept in the original 2016 Claymore, it still feels fresh and exciting in 2021. That may be because the Claymore II is a more exciting keyboard overall. Asus threw the whole kitchen sink into this model: new proprietary optical switches, a set of dedicated macro buttons in the traditional media key corner, and, to top it all off, wireless connection to your PC.

Asus ROG Claymore II Wireless Keyboard with number pad on left(Photo: Mike Epstein)

Technically, the Claymore II breaks down into three parts: the core tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard with 87 keys, a 17-key number pad with four customizable buttons and a volume roller, and a thin but well-padded detachable wrist rest. The keyboard supplies the power; the number pad doesn’t work on its own. The wrist rest can be used with other keyboards, but its magnetic top edge is designed to pair with the Claymore II.

The keyboard and number pad are a matching set, with shiny aluminum top plates and glossy black keycaps that let through glowing RGB light. If not for the small gap and cut-off corners at the bottom, you wouldn’t be able to tell they were discrete pieces.

Asus ROG Claymore II Wireless Keyboard seam lefty(Photo: Mike Epstein)

There are two obvious benefits to having a detachable number pad. First and foremost, it gives left-handed typists the opportunity to use the number pad with their dominant hands. Giving more people access to the best possible gaming gear is a huge win in my book. The other advantage is that taking the number pad off entirely converts the full-size keyboard to a TKL that's more portable and takes up less desk space. The Claymore measures 1.69 by 18.13 by 6.06 inches (HWD) with the number pad attached, but only 1.69 by 14.69 by 6.06 without it. You get to choose at will between the functionality of a number pad and the smaller footprint.

Asus ROG Claymore II Wireless Keyboard(Photo: Mike Epstein)

Attaching and removing the number pad is straightforward. Two tabs on either side fit into slots in the side of the keyboard and slide down to lock into place. You can easily and quickly remove it to tilt your keyboard while playing shooters, then put it back for filling in spreadsheets.

The modular number pad also creates a couple of potential issues. Even when it's locked in, the connection feels a bit flimsy. The pad is sturdy enough to type on without an issue, but I wouldn’t recommend lifting or storing the keyboard with the two parts attached. It wouldn’t take much pressure to snap the plastic that holds them together, potentially destroying the whole keyboard.

Also, the design creates some extra pieces, which I’m not fond of. In order to make the number pad ambidextrous, there need to be slots and grooves for the keyboard and number pad to connect on both sides, so both components have removable plastic pieces that cover the unused contacts and round off their edges. (The keyboard looks a little haggard with them off). There’s no built-in storage space for the two covers you aren’t using, which means they’re easy to lose, especially if you aren’t moving the number pad often.

Asus ROG Claymore II Wireless Keyboard core contacts(Photo: Mike Epstein)

The number pad is the Claymore II’s signature, but it’s far from the only new or noteworthy feature. First and most importantly, Asus has switched from Cherry MX mechanical switches in the original Claymore to its own RX opto-mechanical switches. My review unit has ROG RX Red switches, which are comparable to Cherry MX Silent Reds: They press down very easily with no real resistance, but don't quite have the “hair trigger” touch of traditional Red-style switches. Though gamers who like switches with the lightest possible actuation may not like them as much, I find it to be a much more balanced experience for typing and gameplay.

The second major upgrade is cutting the cord. The Claymore II joins the swelling ranks of wireless mechanical gaming keyboards. Using a 2.4GHz connection via a USB dongle, the Claymore II works perfectly in wireless mode. When you plug the keyboard in to charge it up, the dongle can be stored in a dedicated slot on the back edge of the keyboard.

Asus ROG Claymore II Wireless Keyboard numpad on right(Photo: Mike Epstein)

According to Asus, the battery should last up to 144 hours on a single charge with the RGB lighting off, and up to 43 hours with the lighting at maximum brightness. Though that’s a huge drop-off, 43 hours is still a decent amount of time for a keyboard with RGBs on. In my own testing, with only minor power-saving setting adjustments, the battery lasted about 10 days. You can plug the USB-C charging cable into your PC and use the keyboard wired while it charges.

At the top of the number pad are a wide volume roller and four largish buttons marked “01” through “04.” On most keyboards, these buttons would be used as dedicated media inputs. (In fact, the Claymore II buttons default to Previous, Next, Play/Pause, and Mute.) So why not just mark them as media keys? The thinking, I believe, is to give gamers using the number pad some open buttons to customize. It’s a niche use-case, but you can always configure the buttons as media controls if that’s what you want.

Asus ROG Claymore II Wireless Keyboard media buttons on right(Photo: Mike Epstein)

Then there are the more conventional bells and whistles. The keyboard features USB passthrough, though the passthrough port only works when the keyboard is plugged into your PC. That’s kind of a pain, but a limited feature is still a feature. There’s a neat RGB battery indicator in the top-left corner of the keyboard, though it’s hidden behind the keys and hard to see clearly without leaning over.

As for the leatherette-coated wrist rest, it attaches to the base of the keyboard magnetically. It’s well-padded and keeps relatively cool. It’s a bit thin, measuring 0.78 by 17.81 by 2.97 inches (HWD), but it provides enough support to keep your wrists propped up so long as you don’t lay your arms flat.

Simple Configuration

The Claymore II works with Asus Armoury Crate, Asus’ Windows-based configuration software for gaming peripherals. Armoury Crate is a relatively simple but very clean and easy-to-use platform for remapping keys, tweaking power usage, and changing your RGB lighting. The Claymore II can store up to five profiles in onboard memory, and you can store additional profiles on your PC through Armoury Crate—standard for a high-end keyboard.

Asus Armoury Crate software editing media button function

Being able to configure your keyboard is always useful, and it's especially worthwhile for the Claymore II. If you're using it wirelessly, power-saving settings are essential, and you'll need to set up those dedicated macro keys. (You can make limited changes to lighting and record macros without the app, using onboard controls). Asus recently added a feature that allows you to see the keyboard’s battery life (in percentage) while the app is minimized, which is a very convenient little touch.

What Is a Left-Handed Keyboard Worth to You?

The Asus ROG Claymore II is an excellent wireless mechanical keyboard with tons of extra features and very few flaws. But we still have to talk about the elephant in the room: It costs $270. That is a notably high price for a gaming keyboard, even a wireless mechanical flagship. There aren’t any other keyboards that I know of with modular number pads (except the original Claymore), and the extra design work and parts certainly factor into the price. Still, there are a lot of very good full-size gaming keyboards out there that you can get for somewhat less, including wireless mechanical models like the Razer Blackwidow V3 Pro Wireless ($229.99) and the Logitech G915 Lightspeed ($249.99).

Asus ROG Claymore II Wireless Keyboard with numpad and wrist rest(Photo: Mike Epstein)

On the other hand—as it were—left-handed gamers have limited options, and truly accessible tech is worth paying for. If the modular aspect speaks to you, or if you simply want to pull out all the stops, the Claymore II is that rare keyboard that really feels like it has everything. Among wireless mechanical gaming keyboards, it's our Editors' Choice.