Asus has been showing its Claymore mechanical keyboard for some time now--at least as far back as Computex 2015--but the company announced that its long-awaited device is nearly available.
Although many companies have recently delved into making keyboards, often as a sort of “Hey, why not us” move, our past conversations with Asus lead us to believe that the company took the development of the Claymore quite seriously.
The key feature of the Claymore is the detachable numpad. You can easily stick it on either the right or left side of the keyboard, or you can remove it altogether. This gives users much-needed flexibility, and effectively gives you the option to use it as either a full-size or TKL keyboard.
Apparently acknowledging that not everyone wants the numpad option at all, Asus also has the Claymore Core, which is simply the Claymore without the numpad. Asus also said that the numpad will be sold separately, so you can always add it later if you so desire.
There are other keyboard makers working on detachable numpads. Ducky has its Pocket, Tesoro has its forthcoming Tizona Spectrum keyboard and Tizona Spectrum Numpad, and Epic Gear’s modular “Defiant” platform has one, as well.
Asus did not skimp on any other features. The Claymore sports Cherry MX RGB Red, Brown, Blue, or Black switches, for example, and there are small but important details such as cable routing troughs underneath the keyboard. Further, the RGB lighting is tied to Asus’ Aura Sync software, which not only lets you synchronize lighting features across multiple Aura Sync-supporting devices (including motherboards, graphics cards, and case lighting strips), but it also lets you use the lighting for applications such as CPU temperature indication. Assuming it works as advertised, the Claymore’s lighting system would be the most advanced on the market.
Asus baked in numerous controls on-device, too. In addition to being able to enable nine different lighting presets, you can hit a key to turn on your PC, boot directly into the BIOS, clear CMOS, and even perform simple overclocks and adjust fan speeds. You can store up to six profiles with the Claymore’s onboard storage and program every key.
The cable is detachable and uses a microUSB port to connect with the keyboard.
The look of the Claymore is perhaps Asus’ biggest (only?) risk. The aluminum top plate and bezel feature a pattern that’s sort of a cross between a circuit board and the diamond design you sometimes see on steel construction plates, and the front edge of the keyboard has a pronounced lip with a glowing Asus logo. To be frank, the look is a little much, but we can say that it’s actually more attractive in person than it is in photos.
Asus has not revealed availability nor pricing. We have reached out to Asus for that information and will update this article when we receive it.
|Type||Full-size or TKL|
|Switches||Cherry MX RGB Red, Brown, Blue, or Black|
|Onboard Storage||Yes, up to six profiles|
|Cable||Detachable (microUSB to USB 2.0) 1.8m braided fiber|
|OS Support||Windows 7, 8.1, 10|
|Dimensions||Claymore: 450 x 145 x 45mm|
Claymore Core: 360 x 145 x 45mm
Claymore Core: 770g
|Misc.||-Detachable numpad (Claymore only)|
-Onboard lighting controls
-Onboard PC function controls
-Onboard BIOS, overclocking, and cooling controls