Asus ROG Pugio review: Can you ever have too much RGB?

Jack Baker 7 February 2018

How does Asus' Republic of Gamers Pugio stack up against the vast competition?

Quick Verdict
The ROG Pugio is a fantastic ambidextrous mouse that really is made with everyone in mind. The customisability, comfort, and in particular, the best lighting and aesthetics of any gaming mouse on the market at the time of writing, set this mouse apart from its competition.

The good

  • Super customisable
  • Comprehensive software controls
  • Stylish look
  • Great build quality
  • Helpful included accessories

The bad

  • Lower DPI than other similar mice
  • Only a wired variant
  • Limited DPI button tiers

Asus has become a big competitor in the saturated peripherals market in recent years with a wide array of its own Asus keyboards, mice and headsets being released. How does its Republic of Gamers Pugio mouse stack up against the vast competition?

Design

The Pugio's design is unique, to say the least. The mouse is built with a wide range of users in mind, with customisable side-button placement and replacement switches.

Either replacing or switching the switches is relatively easy and painless. The inclusion of extra Omron switches means that if a switch stops working, you don't have to buy a whole new mouse, which could set you back anywhere from AUD$60 to AUD$250+, depending on the brand. Having the extra switches also means that if you don't like the resistance on the pre-installed switches, you can simply swap them out for a better experience.

While the mouse isn't wireless and doesn't have a wired/wireless variant like many on the market today, the Pugio has a strong braided cable that is long enough that it shouldn't present any issues with connection or interference. It would have been better if there was at least an option for a wireless variant.

AsusPugio738

The DPI button on the top of the Pugio allows you to quickly toggle between two preset DPI settings whenever you want to. While only being able to have two DPI levels programmed to the button at a time, there is a handy white LED just below the button, which lets you know when you've enabled a different DPI setting using the button.

There are two side buttons on the Pugio but, with the mouse catering to all audiences, you can switch which side the buttons are on. You also have the ability to seal off the side you don't want them on for the best experience. Spare covers are located inside the nifty spares box, along with the spare switches.

The mouse buttons are more firm than I was used to but the scroll wheel made less noise and had less resistance than many other mice I have used.

There are 3 lighting zones on the Pugio, the ROG logo, scroll wheel and the base, all of which can be independently controlled or synced together. There are six lighting options for you to choose from and there is further room for lighting customisation.

If you're used to using more typical gaming mice like the Logitech G403 or Razer Mamba, it will take you a while to get used to the shape of the Pugio. After a week of using the mouse, I actually prefer to use the Pugio in some tasks, like web browsing, compared to my G403.

Performance

The Pugio has a responsive optical sensor with a DPI of 7200 and 150 IPS. The DPI on the Pugio is unfortunately below the standard for similarly-priced gaming mice, which sits at 12,000 DPI. This shouldn't be a limitation for most people, but it could rule this mouse out for those who feel that they need more resolution.

For me, tracking was never an issue with the Pugio, but if you're one of those people who likes to lift their mouse during an intense round of CS:GO or other fast-paced esports titles, you may experience some sporadic movement when lifting your mouse to put it in a better position to get that headshot you're lining up for.

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Omron is the reputable Japanese company who make the Pugio's switches, along with Logitech's fantastic Romer-G keyboard switches and others. The Omron switches used in the Pugio are rated for "at least 50 million clicks", so it should last you many an intense gaming session.

There is almost no latency between when the mouse is moved and when the cursor moves on the screen. It is not at all noticeable, to me at least, during use and is only ever-so-slightly noticeable when video footage is played back frame-by-frame. With the Pugio, you won't have to worry about being affected by mouse latency.

Software Integration

The Pugio uses Asus's Armoury software to adjust the different functions of the mouse. Armoury is well-built and functional. Within the application, you can adjust key bindings, mouse performance (such as DPI, polling rate and button response time, to name a few), the all-important RGB lighting controls as well as surface calibration.

On top of the application's core functionality, you can also adjust macros, sync your Armoury devices lighting and record your mouse statistics.

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Unfortunately, Asus' Aura lighting software, which is used to control Asus' motherboard, graphics card and other third-party devices with lighting that Aura support, is completely separate from the Armoury app. This means that you need yet another piece of software to fully control your peripherals. The Pugio is built as a device for everyone, for ease-of-use, yet this lack-of-integration makes the experience less user-friendly.

Asus' Armoury software received an upgrade this year with version two becoming available with Asus' new keyboard, the Strix Flare.

Pricing and availability

The Pugio is available from Umart, Scorptec, PC Case Gear, Kogan and more places within Australia and has a recommended retail price of $119.50.

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Pugio Specifications

Tracking TypeOptical
Length120mm
Width68mm
Height37mm
Weight103g - cable
DPI7200
ConnectivityWired
Connection TypeUSB
OS SupportWin 10, 8.1, 7
Box Contents1 ROG Pouch, 1 ROG Accessory Case, ROG Logo Sticker, 2 Omron switches, spare side buttons (One of each variant)

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