Using the Strix Claw – a right-handed gaming mouse from ASUS – for this review over the past two weeks or so reminded me of something: ambidextrous mice are terrible. I’m sorry left-handed people, sculpted mice are just better in every regard, even when they’re a bit on the mediocre side like the Claw.
The Claw’s shell is comfortable no matter your hand size; we know because we tested it with several pairs, including mine (medium) and those of our resident giant, Deon, all with positive feedback.
At 110g with no way to adjust its weight the Claw felt a bit on the light side, but if you’re prone to lifting your mouse around during use this may be to your advantage. To us, not so much.
The surface of the mouse is unfortunately susceptible to accumulating scuffs and stains. One or more previous reviewers had managed to permanently stain parts of the mouse with their grubby mitts, and we were unable to clean it fully. It does resist fingerprints quite nicely, but you will notice a definite build-up of oils over time. Sies.
Light ’em up
To set the mouse apart, there are three areas of illumination: the Strix “owl eyes” logo, the scroll wheel and a claw/scratch mark on the left button. We had these off for the bulk of our testing, but they do put out a warm glow when they’re on and if you’re a fan of orange, they will please you. If not, sorry for you, it can’t be changed.
On the bottom you’ll find an optical sensor, which at a native DPI of 5 000 is extremely sensitive, to the point where we’re pretty sure you’ll want for more precision. It tracks well on all manner of surfaces that could reasonably be moused on as well, and the included feet will give an extremely smooth glide.
The lift-off distance – the distance you can hold the mouse above a surface and still have the sensor register movement – is 3mm by default, but this can be reduced in the software.
Buttons & Scroll Wheel
The mouse’s left and right buttons use genuine Omron switches. For those unfamiliar with them, they are the gold standard for mouse buttons and we’re always happy to see them as they feel amazing and are incredibly resilient.
The switches between the two buttons are quite deceptive: they appear to be three separate switches but the smallest one is actually a solid part of the mold. The two actual buttons are easy to reach and we used them frequently; the one in the middle is the default DPI/sensitivity toggle which came in handy when switching DPI on the fly while gaming.
The three thumb buttons are the best part of the mouse. We found them to be positioned in just the right place, encouraging use when needed but staying out of the way when being ignored. The larger centre button is likewise positioned perfectly, allowing for quick, easy access, to the point where we’re sure almost everyone will enjoy using it as their third mouse button.
The scroll wheel, on the other hand, is notched and unexceptional. It has individual segments which the orange light can shine through and it’s easy enough to press downwards, but does nothing else. No sideways scrolling here, folks, just plain old up-down scrolling.
During testing, the scroll wheel gave us a bit of trouble: after a few hours of use it would stop working entirely and only work again after a PC restart, or it had to be disconnected entirely and left that way for about thirty minutes. We were told this was damage from a previous reviewer; while that’s fair enough, it doesn’t really say much for its durability.
The final part of the physical mouse we’ll mention is the cord, which is subtly brilliant but not without its flaws. It is slightly angled to the right, which may seem strange because it is a right handed mouse, but the tiny change in direction helps it remain tangle free. We’re shocked by how effective such a small change proved, and we hope to see this on future mice.
The USB connector is larger than average and has a design shared by all the Strix products. It may seem unnecessary, but it is just different enough to stand out without being unruly. The cable is not detachable, though, which would have been nice, especially for someone who travels a lot with their mouse. That it isn’t, could well be a deal-breaker for some buyers.
As discussed in the Strix Tactic Pro review, the Strix keyboard and mouse share the same software suite. To avoid repetition, we’ll focus on the mouse-specific part of it.
“No frills” is how we would describe it. Everything you’d expect to find is there: macro and alternate button mapping, program mapping, DPI and sensitivity (which can be set to two values to be toggled by a specific button), and lastly lift-off distance. The software does the job.
At R999 the Claw faces he exact same problems as the Tactic Pro keyboard: at this price there are many, many products which can match it, and it just doesn’t have all the features to justify the price.
If we were to spend this kind of money on a “serious” gaming mouse, we’d want the “serious” features that come with it, such as a detachable cable, changeable weights or even a better box to make carrying it around more feasible.
As it stands the Strix Claw isn’t a bad mouse, but your money could be better-spent elsewhere.