ASUS’ ROG Phone 6D Ultimate has an even more elaborate cooling system

After the launch of the ROG Phone 6 Pro gaming phone, some hardcore fans were left wondering what happened to the “Ultimate” variant. As it turns out, ASUS waited for over two months before unveiling its “one more thing”: the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate. It’s identical to the 6 Pro in almost every way, except for four things: the new “space gray” color, the interesting choice of the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ processor (which is what the “D” in “6D” stands for), the switch to the faster LPDDR5X RAM, and the new “AeroActive Portal” design for blowing cool air into its internal heat-dissipation fins — I’ll abbreviate this as heatsink from here onwards.

The AeroActive Portal itself is essentially a door flap that opens when the bundled AeroActive Cooler 6 is attached, so that a portion of the cool wind produced by the fan — at nearly 1,000cc per second — is guided through a wind tunnel and into the heatsink, with hot air coming out from the top slot. The heatsink is, of course, linked to the generously sized thermal layers covering the logic board and battery cells, in order to transfer heat from the components to the airflow. This is to help sustain a high frame rate over a longer period while gaming, as well as to ensure the phone is still comfortable to hold.

AeroActive Portal

Richard Lai/Engadget

ASUS claimed that after 60 minutes of Perfdog benchmarking on Genshin Impact at 60Hz in air cooling mode, the ROG Phone 6D reached 36.9°C (98.42°F), which was 3.4°C lower than the ROG Phone 6 in the same mode. It appears that the AeroActive Portal does make a notable difference. Likewise in “Frosty” and “Frozen” modes (with the Peltier thermoelectric cooling chip enabled), and it’s worth noting that the AeroActive Cooler 6 is the only Peltier-enabled cooler in the market that doesn’t require additional power externally — it only needs that for the more powerful “Frozen” mode.

While the AeroActive Portal only kicks in when an AeroActive Cooler 6 is attached, you can open it temporarily in settings for cleaning purposes. The flap is otherwise shut tight to safeguard the phone’s IPX4 splash resistance. It also has fall detection for automatically retracting the flap, and the stepping motor along with the zirconium alloy hinge are apparently good for over 40,000 flips — both of which are based on the learnings from the now-retired Flip Camera feature from the Zenfone series.

ROG Phone 6D Ultimate thermal design


The 6D Ultimate packs the same set of key features as the 6 Pro: 165Hz 6.78-inch AMOLED display, 720Hz touch sampling rate, up to 512GB of storage, 6,000mAh battery, 65W fast charging (42 minutes), Dirac-tuned front-facing stereo speakers, ultrasonic “AirTiggers” and a customizable “ROG Vision” color display on the back. It’s also the same set of cameras: a 50-megapixel main camera with Sony’s IMX766 sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera plus a 5-megapixel macro camera; and on the front, there’s a 12-megapixel selfie camera with a Sony IMX663 sensor.

For the processor, ASUS made the surprise switch to MediaTek for its Dimensity 9000+ processor, which apparently scores a tad higher than the ROG Phone 6’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The company added that while the Snapdragon flagship chipset packs a better GPU, the Dimensity’s CPU is allegedly 10 percent more powerful (albeit with the same 3.2GHz maximum clock speed), and this is more crucial to most mobile games. The CPU is complemented by the faster LPDDR5X RAM as well, though this is the same reason as to why this is capped at 16GB instead of 18GB here.

ROG Phone 6D Ultimate thermal design


The ROG Phone 6D Ultimate will be available across Europe very soon, with the sole model (16GB RAM with 512GB storage) priced at €1,399 (around $1,400) or £1,199. Again, this premium model comes bundled with an AeroActive Cooler 6. There’s also the ROG Phone 6D launching alongside, which is basically the ROG Phone 6 but packing MediaTek’s chipset and LPDDR5X RAM instead (also, it’s just an RGB logo instead of an ROG Vision screen on the back; and no AeroActive Portal, of course). This starts from €949 (around $950) or £799 with the 12GB RAM plus 256GB storage base model.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.

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The ASUS ROG Phone 6 has a ‘wireless’ thermoelectric cooler add-on

Following the ROG Phone 5 and 5s, ASUS decided to skip Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in favor of the more efficient 8+ Gen 1, which brings us to the new ROG Phone 6 series today — almost a year after the 5s. In a nutshell, this beastly gaming phone is all about its faster 165Hz 6.78-inch display, 720Hz touch sampling rate, up to 18GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, bigger 6,000mAh battery, enlarged internal cooling system and IPX4 splash resistance, in addition to its handy ultrasonic triggers and proven audio performance by Dirac. The most notable change, however, lies within the revamped clip-on cooler, which has now integrated a thermoelectric chip and yet doesn’t require external power.

This new AeroActive Cooler 6 is noticeably bulkier than before, partly because of its larger, more ergonomic physical buttons — and there are now four of them instead of just two. It also has a bigger kickstand that flips out from the bottom (though not necessary), and there’s a spring-loaded clamp at the top to secure (and activate) the cooler. The new Peltier cooling chip inside — positioned right over the phone’s processor when mounted — is sandwiched between the fan and a large piece of copper plate, and there’s also a humidity sensor nearby to help avoid condensation.

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro and AeroActive Cooler 6.

Richard Lai/Engadget

You can toggle between four cooling modes in the updated Armoury Crate app’s console: “Smart” is basically automatic, “Cool” is fan only, “Frosty” is fan plus Peltier chip, and “Frozen” is pushing the Peltier chip to the max, but this is only available when there’s external power plugged into the cooler. ASUS claims that in “Frozen” mode, the AeroActive Cooler 6 can lower the ROG Phone 6’s surface temperature by up to a staggering 25 degrees Celsius. The cool air blowing out of the two sides serves as a nice bonus for gamers with sweaty palms (like me).

The company also provided some figures from more realistic scenarios. After a 60-minute session in the notoriously resource-intensive Genshin Impact (at 60Hz), “Frosty” mode lowered the phone’s surface temperature from 44.8 degrees Celsius to 37.2, and “Frozen” mode took it down further by one degree. Under the same test environment, the ROG Phone 6 was apparently able to maintain an average frame rate of 59.7 fps while staying cool at 37.2 degrees Celsius in “Frosty” mode, whereas the iPhone 13 Pro Max apparently reached a lower 56.8 fps but higher 46.3 degrees Celsius, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra allegedly only managed 47.3 fps while reaching 47.9 degrees Celsius. This goes to show how cooling is key to maintaining a stable frame rate over a long period. 

The AeroActive Cooler 6 can use its RGB lights to indicate the temperature of the ROG Phone 6 Pro.

Richard Lai/Engadget

Sadly, the AeroActive Cooler 6 — along with its own bumper case — is an optional accessory for the ROG Phone 6 series, so you’ll likely have to pay extra for this handy piece of kit. But there’s some good news for existing fans: ASUS plans to release a variant of this attachment for the ROG Phone 5 and 5s as well, and it’ll make use of the old pogo pins instead of the USB-C side port. Release date to be announced later.

The ROG Phone 6 series comes in two flavors: the regular ROG Phone 6 and the higher-end ROG Phone 6 Pro, with the main difference being the latter has the small “ROG Vision” PMOLED display on the back for showing off customizable animation graphics, as opposed to just having an RGB-illuminated ROG logo. Internally, the Pro packs up to 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM instead of just 16GB. The trade-off — if you want to call it that — on the Pro is that it only comes in “Storm White,” while the regular model also offers a “Phantom Black” version. Save for the different camera module layout, “ROG Vision” positioning and printed graphics, the two ROG Phone 6 variants bear a strong resemblance to their immediate predecessors — to the point where they can share the same glass screen protector and ROG Clip controller. 

An ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro mounted with an ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad at the bottom, with an AeroActive Cooler 6 with bumper case at the top left corner, and the gamepad's handheld grip at the top right.

Richard Lai/Engadget

The modular Kunai 3 Gamepad — now available in white as well as black — has once again been granted a life extension by way of a bumper designed for the ROG Phone 6. If you already have this controller since the ROG Phone 3 or 5, you’ll only need to get the new bumper in order to attach these Joy-Con-like sticks. Or you can just slot them into the same old gamepad grip and use the entire assembly wirelessly via Bluetooth.

The ROG Phone 6 packs an improved (apparently) main camera featuring a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor, along with a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 5-megapixel macro camera. On the other side, there’s a 12-megapixel selfie camera with a Sony IMX663 sensor — as seen on the compact Zenfone 8. The main rear camera is capable of shooting videos at up to 8K@24fps, though I’d imagine most people would default to 4K@60fps to get the best of both worlds.


Richard Lai/Engadget

On the software side, the ROG Phone 6 runs on Android 12 with ROG UI (you can switch to the less flashy Zen UI), with ASUS promising at least two major OS updates and at least two years of security updates. There’s the usual Armoury Crate app which is mainly for accessing your game library, as well as the console for customizing your system lighting, the rear “ROG Vision” screen (6 Pro only, of course), the AirTriggers and more. When in a game, you can toggle the redesigned “Game Genie” dashboard by swiping in from any of the two top corners of the screen while in either orientation. Here, you can quickly toggle the screen frame rate, key mapping, screen recording, performance modes, do not disturb, crosshair and more.

The new AirTriggers 6 now lets you map up to 14 specific touch points, and you get a total of nine input methods with these two ultrasonic buttons, including the new “press and lift” — basically toggling one set of actions for pressing down on the trigger, and then toggling another set of actions when lifting from the trigger. That said, casual gamers like myself will likely just use the classic tap (to fire) and maybe slide (to reload). If needed, you can also map motion gestures with touch points in Armoury Crate.

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro mounted with an AeroActive Cooler 6.

Richard Lai/Engadget

The ROG Phone 6 series includes a bumper case and a 65W USB-PD charger (which takes just 42 minutes for a full charge). As far as availability goes, ASUS has only shared that the ROG Phone 6 series will start from €999 (around $1,000) for the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage configuration in Europe, whereas the ROG Phone 6 Pro will only have one version in Europe: 18GB RAM with 512GB storage for €1,299 (around $1,300). Prices and models will obviously vary across different countries, so stay tuned for further updates.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Asus ROG Chakram X review: A joystick on a mouse?

Asus ROG Chakram X

MSRP $160.00

“The Asus ROG Chakram X’s built-in joystick feels more like a gimmick than an innovation.”


  • Hot-swap capability for the perfect switch
  • Joystick is a unique feature
  • 8,000Hz polling rate
  • Slick PTFE feet
  • Pretty RGB


  • Way too expensive
  • Frustrating software bugs
  • The custom logo is just a plastic disk
  • Battery life isn’t the best

The best gaming mouse varies from person to person. One person might opt for better battery life, whereas someone else prefers a high polling rate. However, what about the person who wants something different, like a joystick and the ability to hot-swap switches? That person now has an answer: The Asus ROG Chakram X.

The Asus ROG is an ergonomic mouse that features a silhouette similar to a Logitech G502, but the customization of the Strix Flare II Animate. Oh, and it has a joystick, a 8,000Hz polling rate, and a max DPI of 36,000. 

With so many features, though, also comes a heavy weight of 127 grams and an even heftier price tag of $160. 

Design and comfort

The scroll wheel of the Chakram X.

This mouse immediately reminded me of a ghost from Halo — especially when you look at the thumb rest. I got extraterrestrial vibes from this mouse, especially with the amount of RGB and smoky shell.

The first thing I noticed with the Asus ROG Chakram X was its bulky, ergonomic design that resembles the Logitech G502 with its thumb rest. However, the Chakram X has many unique design features, like a maximum DPI of 36,000, four side buttons, a removable magnetic shell, an 8,000Hz polling rate, wireless charging (to a degree), and of course, the push-fit switch sockets and the analog stick.

While all of these features are cool, don’t expect lightness as this mouse weighs in at 127g. That’s seven grams heavier than the Razer Naga Trinity — and that has dedicated macro keys. However, the weight of the Chakram X is balanced out very nicely, and lightness was never how this mouse was marketed.

The PTFE feet underneath the mouse helped move the Chakram across my desk, too. They’re slick like the ones included on Roccat Burst Pro Air. Also underneath the mouse are two buttons, one that adjusts DPI and another to pair the Chakram X with your PC. There’s also a slider that lets you toggle between 2.4 GHz wireless, Bluetooth, or wired mode.

The neatest feature about the Chakram X is its analog stick on the side.

The Chakram X has everything most wireless gaming mice do nowadays, like a small 2.4 GHz dongle, a paracord cable, quick charge. and a boatload of RGB. However, the Chakram X features hot-swap switch sockets and a joystick on the left side. Accessing the switches is very easy — just lift the magnetic shell and left and right buttons.

This isn’t the first time Asus released a mouse with hot-swap sockets, as it was available on the previous version of the Chakram and the ROG Gladius III. As a mechanical keyboard enthusiast with close to 20 sets of switches, I love the idea of having hot-swap compatibility on a mouse because mice switches are cheap and offer a ton of customization. 

The neatest feature about the Chakram X is its analog stick on the side, which is said to offer a gamepad-like level of control. The thing is, it’s incredibly awkward and uncomfortable to use. The analog stick feels very stiff compared to a normal gamepad stick and, even though the Chakram X comes with a taller one, that didn’t help things. Fortunately, the Chakram X comes with a joystick cover that allows you to shed the stick entirely, which was most comfortable for me.

The switches out on the Chakram X mouse.

The number of side buttons on the Chakram X are plentiful, as you get four to reprogram to your heart’s desire. I’m not a huge fan of the four side buttons on this mouse because the forward and back buttons are too far apart and the other two side buttons are too skinny for my liking. 

I’m a big fan of the RGB on the Chakram X because you can actually see it when using the mouse. The front of the Chakram lights up the scroll wheel and the ROG logo, but that’s obviously covered by your hand. The ROG logo can be removed in place for your own logo or design if you’re crafty enough. In front of the Chakram is a USB-C connector, which not only gives your25 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging, but bumps the polling rate up to 8,000Hz.

You’ll want to keep your USB-C cable close for battery life.

If you plan on utilizing all of the RGB while going wireless, you’ll want to keep your USB-C cable close as you’re only getting 59 hours of use in between charges. However, if you have some spare coins in your pocket, you can pick up the Asus ROG Balteus Qi RGB mouse pad, which enables wireless charging.


I encountered some problems with the included Armoury Crate software. Upon installation, it greeted me with a loading screen that seemingly never ended.

When I did finally got into Armoury Crate for the first time, I was forced to update the Chakram X’s firmware and restart my PC. Oof. I haven’t run into an application this frustrating to get going in a long time.

Eventually, after numerous attempts, I was able to get into the software again to set my preferred DPI and RGB. 

Despite its flaws, Armoury Crate bodes well for the Chakram X, as it allows you to adjust the DPI using the scroll wheel. Within Armoury Crate, you can toggle digital mode, which cuts the joystick’s rotations down to just four, allowing for more precise actions, like equipment changing in-game. Of course, you still get the usual remapping options, too.

Sensors and switches

The Chakram X with the shell off.

The coolest part about the Chakram X is its push-fit switch socket design, which allows you to swap switches with ease. Unlike mechanical keyboards, mechanical mice switches are dirt cheap and the push-fit sockets even welcome optical switches, so the customization is endless.

While the Chakram X welcomes foreign mouse switches, the stock ones are great and will last. The included switches are ROG’s micro switches, which are rated for 70-million clicks and have a really satisfying tactile bump and muted sound profile.

Asus has equipped the Chakram X with its new AimPoint optical sensor and it is speedy. The AimPoint optical sensor features a DPI up to 36,000 and a polling rate of 8,000Hz when connected via USB-C. 

Gaming experience

The Chakram X joystick on a wooden desk.

In order to get the best gaming experience with the Chakram X, I knew that I needed to use it in wired mode, as it enables the 8,000Hz polling. I remember a few years ago, when ROG first announced the Chakram, that one of the things that the company mentioned was the ability to eliminate the need for a controller when flying in a game like Grand Theft Auto.

I thought it’d be fun to load up Rockstar Games’ prized possession and give flying a chance, and it was pretty fun. However, actually using the thumbstick to fly just didn’t feel natural. Even after a couple of hours of use, I kept eyeing my $20 knock-off Xbox controller I got off of Amazon. That’s not a good sign.

The whole purpose of a joystick is to be more precise by offering 360 degrees of rotation. However, because the thumbstick is located on the side of the mouse, your full range of circulation feels limited. The maneuvers this thumbstick forced my hand into just never felt right.

Chakram X joystick installed on my desk.

Even though I didn’t enjoy using the joystick, I did enjoy using the Chakram X like any other mouse because it’s still speedy. Let’s not forget that the Chakram X has a polling rate and DPI that are through the roof, so it’s still very competitive.

Our take

It’s sad to say that I came away disappointed with the Asus ROG Chakram X. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how nicely the weight is distributed, the hot-swap sockets, and wicked-fast sensor. But that’s it. The analog stick feels impractical and niche, especially for a mouse of this price.

Are there alternatives?

If you love the idea of a gaming mouse with its own analog stick, this is it.

However, if you want hot-swap sockets, then I’d point you toward the Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless or the Spatha X if you’re looking for a ton of buttons and the switch swapping. Without the joystick and hot-swap sockets, this feels like a slightly faster Logitech G502.

How long will it last?

The ROG Chakram X features a warranty of one year, however, unless you plan on slamming this mouse around, I can assure you it’ll last many years — especially given the fact that you can swap the switches out instantly.

Should you buy it?

No, not for most people. The Chakram X separates itself from almost any other gaming mouse on the market thanks to the joystick. Unless you’re really excited about that feature, though, the Chakram X ends up being too expensive for what it is.

Editors’ Choice

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Asus ROG Gladius III Review: Hot, Underappreciated Gem

Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless

MSRP $119.00

“Asus’ Gladius III is a stunning, underappreciated gem of a mouse that bodes particularly well for casual gaming thanks to its comfortable, tactile design.”


  • Superb ergonomics for a gaming mouse
  • Hot-swappable switches
  • Satisfying optical Omron switches included
  • Excellent connectivity options


  • Not quite as good for competitive gaming

Even the best gaming mice aren’t typically known for comfort. That’s a shame, since not all of us are exclusively playing twitchy shooter games all the time.

Today, we’re having a look at Asus’ Gladius III Wireless mouse, which promises both excellent performance and a more ergonomic design.

Though it’s not the most premium option in the line — that’s the ROG Chakram — the Gladius III isn’t cheap. It’s priced at $119 for the wireless version. Fortunately, the Gladius III justifies its price with user-replaceable switches, a great sensor, and a comfortable grip.

Design & comfort

Top view of the Asus ROG Gladius III.

The Gladius III’s design is one that’s clearly optimized for comfort, with a large, bulbous body that presses well into the palm of your hand. This larger size, paired with the right-handed design, makes it among the more comfortable mice I’ve tested. It’s not meant to be claw-gripped or finger-tipped as much, but this might make a healthier option than something like Razer’s Orochi V2 and Logitech’s G Pro X Superlight.

As far as comfort goes, the closest match I have found to Asus’ pointer is Razer’s Pro Click, and although that isn’t strictly a gaming mouse — as is obvious by its lack of RGB — it’s kind of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, as it does pack solid switches and a great sensor.

Razer’s mouse has a better overall shape, though. The pear shape with the bigger bottom of the Gladius requires you to fully grip the mouse; grabbing it slightly lower as a fingertip mouse will have it pointed slightly to the left.

Angled view of the Asus ROG Gladius III.
Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

Comfort aside, the Gladius III doesn’t present itself with a host of premium materials. The plastic is soft, and the debossed artwork on the left and right sides acts sufficiently as grips for picking the mouse up.

At just 89 grams, it’s also light. That’s not super-light territory, but — at under 100 grams for a large comfort-oriented pointer such as this one — it’s respectable.

RGB illumination is also present in three zones: the main logo, the scroll wheel, and thumb rest artwork. Connectivity is provided by an included 2.4GHz dongle, Bluetooth, and USB-C.

Under the hood

Bottom of the Asus ROG Gladius III.

Popping under the mouse’s hood — this time not metaphorically — we find a handful of interesting features. First-off, the mouse’s main sensor is one that tracks at up to 19,000 DPI, though it does have a tune to 26,000 — rated to track accurately at up to 400 inches per second at up to 50 g maximum acceleration. I don’t have the testing equipment to verify these numbers, but I can attest to accurate tracking in more intense gaming sessions.

There is a more compelling reason to get the Gladius III though: You can, quite literally, take off its top shell — the hood — and replace bits internally.

Asus ROG Gladius III opened up to expose hot-swappable switches.
Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

To remove the top, you simply remove two rubber gaskets from the bottom, undo two screws, and pull off the hood. From here, the mouse’s internals are fully exposed, though the only thing you’re meant to do here is to replace the primary switches.

The Gladius III comes with Asus’ own ROG 3-pin Micro-switches preinstalled from the factory, but it also ships with a set of 5-pin Omron D2FP-FN switches. The former are mechanical, but the latter are optical — hence the extra pins — removing the need to account for debounce and theoretically leading to faster performance.

The switches included with the Asus ROG Gladius III.
Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

In practice, I find that the difference is mostly down to the clicking action. The default ROG switches aren’t bad, but the optical Omron switches absolutely feel and sound better. The click is a smidge lighter, certainly more distinct, and sounds less dampened.

The catch is that they’re pingy in their sound, which can get annoying.

When I reverted to the ROG switches, I found them feeling a bit soft and mushy, so I’m keeping the Omron’s on to enjoy their sharpness. The scroll wheel is also pleasantly notchy, so they match well.

The fact that the mouse supports hot-swappable switches at all, though, is significant. For the most part, Asus is the only company doing this. Most mice cannot be opened up to begin with, and when you do, the switches need to be desoldered to swap.

Asus also includes a set of four replacement glide pads for the mouse, which help extend the mouse’s service life. Being this easy to open up, I can also imagine that replacing the battery is also possible, provided you find a compatible replacement when you need it.

Gaming performance

Jump into a game, and the Gladius III instantly shines, too. I played a fair amount of competitive Insurgency Sandstorm on this mouse, as well as a few hours of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and the Gladius III Wireless was a comfortable companion the entire time.

Hovered over view of the Asus ROG Gladius III.
Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

That being said, there is a reason most gaming mice aren’t sculpted for comfort: competitive gaming performance. Although I was still good at Insurgency Sandstorm when using the Gladius III, I wasn’t as good as when using my previous all-time-favorite, the Logitech G Pro X Superlight, and I think that’s down to the shape and weight. The Logitech has a shape that demands a more aggressive grip, and it’s much lighter at 63 grams instead of 89 grams.

It’s not a huge change, but this does make a noticeable difference in competitive games: I didn’t feel quite as in control.

However, when I switched to Mass Effect Legendary Edition, this performance disparity between the two mice instantly disappeared. In this more story-focused game, I vastly preferred the Asus mouse – my sensitive hands thanked me for taking a break from the G Pro X. I didn’t feel hampered by the mouse the way I did in a competitive game.

Our take

The Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless is an excellent gaming mouse that is clearly geared toward use with more casual games and toward players who put in long hours in virtual worlds with a mouse that won’t punish them for it. I’ll go as far as saying that it’s 80% as comfortable as a truly ergonomic mouse, such as the MX Master 3, while being 90% as effective in-game as the G Pro X Superlight. If you primarily play single-player titles, the Gladius III is certainly a mouse to consider.

Tack that onto it being a serviceable and tunable mouse with user-replaceable switches, and I wonder, “Why isn’t this clicker more popular?” The Gladius III is, in my book, an underappreciated gem.

Are there any alternatives?

If you’re looking for a mouse with a proper and bulgy ergonomic shape, the only real alternative that comes to mind is the Razer Pro Click. It’s $20 cheaper but doesn’t have RGB or hot-swappable switches, and it’s only available in white. Other ergonomic mice such as Logitech’s G502 Lightspeed or Razer’s Basilisk are too narrow and aggressively sculpted to match the Asus for comfort.

How long will it last?

Normally, I won’t say that a mouse lasts past three to five years, but with replaceable parts, I could see the Gladius III lasting well into a decade. Whether you’ll still be using it then is another question.

Should you buy it?

Absolutely. If your main focus is story-based gaming, and you make long hours at the PC, your right hand will thank you for using one of the most comfortable gaming mice with a palm grip.

Editors’ Choice

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Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX Review: A $2,999 HDR Dream Monitor?

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX

MSRP $2,999.00

“The Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX is a brilliant piece of PC gaming gear, but its flaws are hard to swallow.”


  • Mind-blowing HDR performance
  • Extremely high peak brightness
  • Excellent colors
  • Thread built-in for camera mounting
  • Fast, fluid gaming


  • No HDMI 2.1
  • Has audible cooling fan
  • Still not a perfect HDR experience
  • Expensive

The ROG Swift PG32UQX was first teased around two years ago, and it hyped up the PC gaming community unlike any gaming monitor in recent history. You’ll find forum threads full of excitement. And for good reason.

According to Asus, the ROG Swift PG32UQX featured mind-blowing HDR performance unlike any other monitor that’s currently on the market. More than that, it was also the first 32-inch 4K gaming monitor based on Mini-LED technology, featuring Full-Array Local Dimming (FALD) for HDR illumination with 1,152 individual zones and a peak brightness of up to 1,400 nits.

The catch, of course, was its price tag. $2,999 is more than most entire PC gaming setups cost, including PC, monitor, and peripherals. As such, it’s only realistic to expect absolute and utter perfection. The ROG Swift PG32UQX does a lot of things amazingly well, but perfect it is not.


Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX
Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

The ROG Swift PG32UQX is quite a large monitor. That’s expected from a 32-inch display, but the PG32UQX is a little bigger than most 32-inch panels due to its FALD illumination panel, which adds a noticeable thickness to the display.

The design style is also quite aggressive, with Asus sparing no opportunity for the PG32UQX to be recognized as a Republic of Gamers product. The monitor’s stand features the new-but-classic tripod design with a downward-cast illumination stamp, the back of the display has strong shapes and a huge, RGB-illuminated Asus ROG logo, and the display’s big chin has a little OLED panel in it for displaying entertaining visuals or system information, such as CPU temperature.

Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

Indeed, there is a lot to take in here. But if you’re not into the styling, it’s easy enough to shove the back of the monitor towards a wall, replace the stand with a VESA mount, and then you’ll be left with just the display’s chin that may look a little aggressive.

The little OLED display is quite nifty though – I doubt anyone will mind it especially because it’s customizable.

The display’s power brick is external, which I suppose is a good thing as otherwise the PG32UQX would have been even bigger, and at the top of the monitor you’ll find thread to insert a camera mount – I tried, and this monitor will happily hold my mirrorless camera with a big lens. Streamers, are you getting this?

There is even a USB port at the top right next to it for plugging your webcam or camera into without having to feel around behind the monitor.

Ports and controls

Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

The ROG Swift PG32UQX packs a wide host of connectivity options, but it’s not complete. There are three HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.4a port, a three-port USB hub, and a headphone out jack.

But indeed, HDMI 2.1 is missing, and that’s a big one. HDMI 2.1 is now the go-to standard for multimedia connectivity, with all of 2020 and 2021’s GPUs and consoles featuring the interface. Without it, your Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 won’t be able to run at 4K 120Hz with full color support, and that’s unacceptable for a high-end 4K monitor in 2021 – especially one that costs $3,000. Most new gaming laptops are even shipping with support for HDMI 2.1.

HDMI 2.1 is missing, and that’s unacceptable for a high-end 4K monitor in 2021.

There is a counter-side to that argument, and that is that there are still barely any PC monitors out with HDMI 2.1 in the first place. That, and the official Nvidia G-Sync module isn’t developed to support HDMI 2.1 yet. Regardless, I find it inexcusable on a monitor of this price and caliber. If you plan on using the PG32UQX with a modern console, keep in mind that you’ll be limited to 60Hz or have to make color sacrifices: You will never have an optimal experience.

The display’s OSD has slightly odd controls with a spinning wheel in the middle and a button to each side, but it is easy to navigate and most of the required settings are present.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX
Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

However, in HDR mode, there is no brightness control, which is a problem. One can argue whether this matters as brightness in HDR is meant to be controlled by the PC and not the monitor, but I still prefer seeing some form of brightness modifier at all so that the baseline brightness can be adjusted to a comfortable level for the room.

There is a cooling fan

Before wrapping up, there is one more drawback that’s worth mentioning: the display has a cooling fan. It turns on the moment the display does, and while it isn’t loud, it is audible. This isn’t a problem if you use headphones or have silent music playing, but it may bug you if you enjoy a silent room and have an otherwise quiet computer.

Mini-LED and HDR

If there’s one reason you’re interested in buying the PG32UQX, it’s Mini-LED and its HDR performance. I’ll start with the good stuff: When using proper HDR content, the visuals the PG32UQX is able to produce are nothing short of astonishing. As if the monitor wasn’t worth its asking price this whole time, it suddenly was, almost.

LCD panels are unable to block out all of the light, even on black, meaning the ability to dim select areas (HDR on PC monitors, explained) is necessary to achieve full black levels. Dimming select areas also allows the display to increase peak brightness in a small area without over-illuminating the entire display. Most PC monitors are edge-lit, with one lamp illuminating the entire display. On ‘better’ HDR monitors this edge-lighting will be split into a minimum of eight zones, illuminating select columns of the display as demanded.

However, as you can imagine, this illuminated column effect is undesirable, which is why manufacturers are experimenting with Mini-LED: an illumination technique that rather than edge-lighting the display, places an array with a huge number of individually controllable LEDs directly behind the panel. This illumination technique is called Full-Array Local Dimming (FALD), and in the PG32UQX’s case, that’s 1152 zones, offering lavishly fine local dimming control.

In a way, FALD actually fixes the major drawbacks of IPS panels: Backlight bleeding and IPS glow are no longer a problem because the afflicted area just isn’t illuminated when displaying black. The static contrast ratio isn’t as relevant either again, because the area simply wouldn’t be illuminated when displaying a black image.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX
Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

Individual zones can peak at up to 1,400 nits of brightness when displaying highlights, and although I was unable to test this number due to my tester’s limitations, I’ll take Asus’ word on it: Bright lights, the sun, fires, and other highlights really popped off the screen in almost eye-searing brightness, which was really a sight to behold when just to the left of said object an area would be fully dark, displaying an inky-black night sky.

This kind of realistic luminosity control is exactly what HDR is all about, and the PG32UQX more than delivers. Especially in games running at higher framerates with G-Sync enabled, the PG32UQX is a joy to use. It’s not the fastest panel, but it’s plenty fast for non-competitive gameplay.

Fire up a game that does HDR properly, and you’re in for a spectacle.

But the technology isn’t perfect. The IPS panel is only capable of blocking so much light, and although 1,152 zones is magnitudes superior over an edge-lit display with 8 zones (which barely feels like HDR at all after experiencing the PG32UQX), they are still visible zones, especially on darker scenes. Plain desktop use is the worst offender to this — take a black or dark background, and hover your mouse over it: You’ll see a round halo of blue light nervously following around the mouse as it jumps between zones. Or grab a white dialogue box on a dark background, its edges will have an odd yellow sheen on them. You can get used to this effect, but ignoring it is difficult and you will always be reminded of how the technology is still imperfect.

However, desktop use isn’t really a fair test, as individual elements are often far too small for the zones. It doesn’t address the higher peak brightness levels, and Microsoft’s HDR implementation still needs refinement. But with dynamic content, such as games, movies or tv shows, the halo effect is far less prominent. That’s because individual bright elements are often bigger, but also because there’s just far more movement happening on-screen.

Fire up a game that does HDR properly, go into the settings and properly calibrate the peak darkness and peak brightness levels so that the game engine correctly addresses the HDR brightness responsivity of the monitor, and you’re in for a spectacle. Trust me, you’ll forget all about the halo-effect with games and videos.

Image quality

Thanks to its IPS panel, the PG32UQX has great color performance, which paired with the 4K resolution at the 32-inch size make it a dream as an editing display, especially if you produce HDR content.

We tested the monitor in SDR mode as our tester doesn’t do HDR, and the panel’s color performance does impress. At the start of testing, I ran into the sRGB color clamp pinning color coverage at a perfect 100% of sRGB, which is a much-appreciated feature: unclamped sRGB colors can often look over-saturated on wide-gamut monitors, so it’s nice to see the inclusion of this limiter.

With the clamp off, the panel covered a tidy 100% of the AdobeRGB and 97% of the DCI-P3 color spaces, with color accuracy rated at a Delta-E (difference from real) of 1.77. Any Delta-E under 2 is considered good enough for professional work. Calibrating the display did not yield any significant improvements, but its performance is plenty good out of the box.

Gamma performance was also perfect, though I was unimpressed with the panel’s native static contrast ratio. Whereas IPS panels, especially flat samples generally pin a result of about 1000:1, the best recorded contrast ratio I achieved in testing this sample was 810:1, which is what I would expect from a curved IPS panel that bleeds a little more due to the pressure. But this is a flat panel.

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX
Niels Broekhuijsen/Digital Trends

That being said, this was tested without HDR and the panel’s variable backlight feature switched off. We test like this to properly judge the panel’s native contrast ratio without automated changes in the backlighting interfering with the result. With variable backlighting switched on, the contrast ratio was much better, genuinely producing deep blacks even in SDR mode – and I reckon that most people using this monitor will want to leave the variable backlighting feature enabled. The only exception would be when doing color-critical work as dimmed backlighting does cause color shift in the adjacent areas.

This raises the question of how much it really matters that the panel’s contrast performance isn’t great, which is a difficult question to answer. On the one hand, it shouldn’t matter with this kind of backlighting, but a panel with better static contrast performance would do a better job at blocking light, and thus do a better job at combatting the haloing exhibited by the PG32UQX.

Do keep in mind that contrast performance is something that varies greatly from sample to sample, and given that I feel this sample performed at the bottom end of the spectrum with other reports stating much higher contrast ratios, chances are you’ll have better luck.

What about OLED as an alternative?

If you’re looking for the perfect HDR experience that doesn’t have any haloing under any circumstances, chances are that you’re thinking something along the lines of ‘what about just getting an OLED panel instead?’ and I wouldn’t blame you for it. In fact, that’s a good idea, but OLED panels do come with their own sets of perils.

The attraction would be that each pixel is its own light source. One pixel could be lit at peak brightness, and those directly adjacent to it pitch black. No halo-ing, just pure and perfect luminosity control across the panel. HDR would look great in the windows desktop and in all movies and games with no visual sacrifice.

But, there are a few catches. First and foremost, there are no OLED PC gaming monitors, and the smallest OLED TV’s currently come in at about 48-inches in diagonal. That’s a little big for use on a desk as a PC monitor, especially without a curve. They’re also all glossy, burn-in is a potential risk especially with the amount of static content PC desktop use pertains, and to mitigate burn-in, peak brightness is also limited so you’ll never quite get that “I have to look away because it’s so bright” level of immersion.

At the end of the day, the choice between Mini-LED and OLED is one of concessions: Which will you be able to tolerate, and which will you not. But if you’re asking yourself whether you should get the PG32UQX or an OLED TV for content consumption, then the PG32UQX is probably not for you – an OLED TV might not last as long, but it costs less than half as much – and I’ll bet that the PG32UQX will depreciate faster than an OLED will reach $0 in value.

Our take

The Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX is an amazing piece of equipment. With an array featuring 1,152 Mini-LED illumination zones, it produces an HDR experience that is unlike any other PC monitor currently on the market. There already aren’t many 32-inch 4K gaming monitors on the market in the first place, so sitting in front of one that not only comes in that size, but also has FALD illumination is like sitting in front of a unicorn. At least at this time, the PG32UQX offers the most stunning HDR performance available on PC without turning to an OLED television.

The PG32UQX is at the cusp of what PC monitor technology can do nowadays, and if you’re after an HDR spectacle for your desk, it’s the tool for the job. But like any cutting-edge technology, it’s far from perfect and in that respect, the PG32UQX feels a bit like a prototype: there is no HDMI 2.1 so it’s not exactly future-proofed and I feel the Mini-LED technology, while it looks good now, will soon be outdated due to new developments. Add to that the usual panel performance lottery, no baseline HDR brightness control and an annoying cooling fan, and it quickly becomes a very challenging proposition to spend $2,999 on a monitor.

Are there any alternatives?

No. There are currently no other PC monitors that offer fast, 4K gaming performance paired with FALD and this level of color performance. Your other best bet is an OLED TV like LG’s 48-inch C1 model, but that comes with its own set of compromises, provided you have the desk space for it at all.

How long will it last?

From a functional perspective, I see no reason why the ROG Swift PG32UQX couldn’t last a minimum of five years. But between the lack of HDMI 2.1 and rapidly developing alternative display technologies, you’ll likely itch to replace it long before it breaks, especially if you’re someone that likes to live at the forefront of technology.

Should I buy it?

For most gamers, no. It has a few flaws that are guaranteed to be dealbreakers for large groups of buyers, especially at this price.

If you have deep pockets, and just want the best HDR gaming monitor you can currently buy right now, then the ROG Swift PG32UQX is as good as it gets But for most of us it’s like an exotic sports car: I’d like to rent it, just to experience it, but I wouldn’t want to own it.

Editors’ Choice

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Acer, ASUS ROG, and Philips announce new HDMI 2.1 monitors made for Xbox Series X|S

If you’re looking for a high refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 monitor to use with an Xbox Series X|S (or a PC), then you might like to know that today Microsoft announced three new displays that fit the bill. The new monitors come from Philips, ASUS ROG, and Acer, and each of them will carry “Designed with Xbox” badges on them when they release later this year.

First up is the 55-inch Philips Momentum 559M1RYV (pictured above), which comes with a built-in soundbar made by Bowers & Wilkins. The display itself supports 4K resolution and has a refresh rate of 120Hz, so it’ll be handy for games where the framerate can exceed 60fps. The Momentum uses AMD FreeSync Premium Pro to reduce screen tearing – a feature PC players can tap into as well – and is VESA Certified DisplayHDR 1000.

It certainly seems like the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV is the centerpiece of Microsoft’s announcement today, but that feature set is going to set you back some cash. The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV will run $1,599.99 when it launches later this summer, though, at the moment, a precise release date hasn’t been revealed.

The 43-inch ASUS ROG Strix Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XG43UQ seems to have a similar feature set as the Momentum display; only it’s offered in a smaller package. Microsoft says that this one will deliver native 4K@120Hz over HDMI 2.1, a 1ms moving picture response time, DisplayHDR 1000 certification, and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. It also covers 90% of DCI-P3 and has an Xbox picture mode tuned specifically for Xbox Series X|S. Pricing hasn’t been revealed yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s only slightly less expensive than the Momentum. Look for it to land this October.

For those who want a more traditional gaming monitor and not a TV-sized display, Acer is gearing up to launch the 28-inch Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XV282K KV. While this is significantly smaller than the other two displays announced today, it still has some noteworthy features, including a 1ms response time, VESA DisplayHDR 400, and support for 4K resolution at 120Hz through HDMI 2.1.

This is probably a good choice for those who split their game time between Xbox and PC – or those with a workstation comprised of multiple PCs – because it has a KVM switch that allows users to switch between multiple PCs while keeping one keyboard, mouse, and monitor configuration. Acer’s Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor is landing this fall with a price tag of $949.99.

Microsoft also confirmed that it’s working with several cable manufacturers to create Designed for Xbox-branded HDMI 2.1 cables for use with Xbox Series X|S. It also highlighted one such cable today by announcing the launch of the Cable Matters Active HDMI Fiber Optic Cable, which clocks in a whopping 32.8 feet (10 meters) and has support for 4K resolution at 120fps. That cable is available today from retailers like Amazon for $99.99.

Disclosure: SlashGear uses affiliate links, If you click on a link in this article and buy something we’ll get a small cut of the sale.

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ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage review: All AMD and A-OK

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Despite being a very fast display though, it’s not particularly bright, especially if you’re using the Strix G15 outdoors. It’s better suited to low-light gameplay in a dark room. Colors look a bit washed out, and it’s not nearly as detailed as the Zephyrus G15’s sharper 1,440p display. (That’s also an option with this model, it just wasn’t available to review.) This isn’t the computer I’d pick to watch movies on, or to do serious media creation work. It’s a gaming rig, through and through.

When it comes to general productivity work, like browsing the web and writing this review, the G15 Advantage is what you’d call overqualified. It has more than enough power to handle my daily workflow without a sweat, and the fast screen made scrolling through websites a dream. But once you stop gaming, it’s easy to see that not all of the hardware got the same level of attention as its beefy internals. The keyboard, for one, feels less responsive and mushier than what I’ve seen on other ASUS gaming laptops. It’s serviceable, but it was never comfortable as I typed up this review. At least its touchpad was smooth and responsive, so no major complaints there.

During our battery benchmark, which involves looping a video until the computer loses power completely, the ROG G15 lasted nearly 8 hours. That’s less than every gaming laptop we’ve seen this year, but it’s at least enough to get some work done out of the house. I was also surprised to find it still performed decently while gaming even when unplugged, something AMD is touting heavily with its Radeon 6000M GPUs. I hit between 80 and 100fps in Overwatch with 1080p Epic graphics settings. That’s roughly half of what I saw when plugged into power, but it’s still very playable.

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Given its plethora of LED lights, something that extends to every one of its keys, the Strix G15 may look a bit too garish for a buttoned-down office or lecture hall. And you’ll definitely hear it in a quiet room once its fans kick up, something that’ll happen often if you’re doing any serious work or running a game in the background. ASUS’s Armoury Crate software can help quiet things down if you choose the “Windows” or “Silent” modes, but that also severely limits its speed. On the flip side, switching to “Performance” or “Turbo” mode will get you more horsepower, but the fans will be incessantly loud. During extended gaming sessions, the Strix G15’s Ryzen CPU reached near 80 celsius, making it feel like a small space heater after a while.

Like many of ASUS’s recent gaming notebooks, the Strix G15 doesn’t have a webcam, which isn’t ideal if you need to handle plenty of remote meetings. But given its intended audience — gamers and budding streamers who likely have some sort of external camera — that’s not a huge loss. On a brighter note, there’s a large number of ports available, including three USB 3.0 Type A connections, one USB-C (which can also charge the laptop at up to 100 watts), HDMI and gigabit Ethernet. The only thing missing is an SD card reader, which would make it a more useful media workhorse. You can also 3D print your own design to replace the Strix G15’s colorful rear corner. That doesn’t offer any practical benefits, but it could be useful if you wanted to match your eSports teammates.

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

What I keep coming back to with the Strix G15 Advantage Edition is its surprising affordability. Coming in between $1,550 and $1,700 (the final pricing hasn’t been locked in yet), it’s still $100 less than a Strix G15 with an RTX 3070. And that’s even more impressive considering the 6800M GPU sometimes performs better than the more powerful RTX 3080. Then there’s the ASUS Zephyrus G15, a slimmer and more subtle machine, which will run you $2,230 with an RTX 3070. (You can nab that for closer to $1,500 with a less powerful GPU.)

By cutting a few corners, especially when it comes to weight and case design, ASUS has made the ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition one of the best gaming values on the market. Sure, there are less expensive notebooks out there, like Dell’s G15 lineup, but those feel even cheaper and offer less performance. The G15 Advantage also makes it clear that AMD isn’t just dabbling in gaming notebooks anymore — it’s finally ready to seriously compete with NVIDIA and Intel.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Tech News

How the ROG Phone 5’s crazy controls turbocharge mobile games

The next gaming phone from Asus has landed—and it continues to push the boundaries of mobile gaming. This year there are three versions of the ROG Phone 5: the standard ROG Phone 5, the ROG Phone 5 Pro, and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. The most expensive ‘Ultimate’ version is crammed to the gills with the highest-end specs including a Snapdragon 888, 18GBs of RAM, and a built-in screen on the back!

rogphone5 5 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate a tiny screen on the back. I put a picture of my cat on it.

I could cover every crazy spec in this hardcore lineup, but instead I want talk about one of the reasons why gaming smartphones exist: the plethora of controls options at your fingertips.

ROG Phone 5 control options

The ROG Phone 5 has a dizzying number of control options–everything from the standard touch controls to capacitive buttons on the frame, to motion controls to physical buttons on the AeroActive Cooler 5 accessory. While I don’t use all these options, it’s great to have them for people who like to game on their phone.

rogphone5 6 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The capacitive shoulder buttons can even be configured to use a sliding motion to trigger an action.

With every option included in the ROG Phone 5 Pro/Ultimate (the only versions with capacitive buttons on the back glass), Asus touts a mind-boggling 18 different control options. The majority are triggered by motion control, but this is still the most control options I’ve ever seen on a gaming phone. I can’t even imagine how you could get more. There are options for each input within the Asus Armoury Crate app that comes pre-installed on the phone. To activate and configure the inputs it’s a simple swipe from the left edge of the screen when you are in a game to activate the Game Genie.

Why do gaming phones need these options?

rogphone5 1 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Controllers are great, but this is much more portable and always with you.

One of the biggest frustrations I’ve had with mobile gaming, ever since third-party apps were introduced on the iPhone, is relying primarily on the touch screen. Over the years developers have been able to come up with some inventive and even ingenious ways to handle this problem, but when it comes to meatier games, or games that rely on more traditional control schemes, the touch screen has not always delivered the best experience. Sure, controller support has also been added to phones and continues to improve, but the mass adoption for this support just hasn’t been implemented yet. 

That is where the gaming phone comes in. As Asus is right to point out, offering triggerable options that map to onscreen actions makes these inputs available for every game out there. Until we have full controller support across the board, this is the next-best option for those looking for a more tactile experience.

rogphone5 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

You can see the L and R hovering over the ADS and fire buttons.

Take, for example, one of my favorite games to play on a gaming phone, Call of Duty: Mobile. In order to play COD: Mobile without a controller, your thumbs have to dance around the touchscreen not only to move and to look around, but also to fire, reload, crouch, and much more. To make things more streamlined, I bind the left bumper to aim down the sights, and the right bumper to fire. So instead of having to lift my thumb to ADS or fire, they can continue to move and aim as needed. This puts me at a distinct advantage over the rest of the players, especially because there are separate lobbies for controller players and non-controller players. These are just on-screen actions, so being placed in the non-controller pool almost always has me in one of the top spots in each game.

rogphone5 3 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Total domination!

Do we still need gaming phones?

For the past couple of years I’ve felt like I need to speak up when people ask whether gaming phones are necessary. Each time I give the same answer: yes. On top of the superb audio experience and ‘gamer’ aesthetics (which I outlined in detail last year), gaming phones will always have an advantage over non-gaming phones because of the control options. Add up all the benefits, and I am very happy that companies like Asus continue to push the gaming phone space forward, and with it, the phone industry as a whole.

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Walmart’s selling an Asus ROG Strix with a GTX 1660Ti and 120Hz display for $300 off

If you’re had your eye on a 1080p gaming laptop, today’s a good day to buy one: Walmart is selling a 15.6-inch Asus ROG Strix with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti for $1,000, $300 off its retail price and a great price for an excellent gaming experience.

The laptop features a four core, eight thread 2.4GHz Core i5-9300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and a 120Hz 1080p display. But even with the lack of G-Sync and a Core i5 instead of a Core i7, this laptop is rocking a whole lot of greatness. The 1660 Ti is one step up from our favorite 1080p gaming card, the GTX 1660. It also has an RGB keyboard with full N-key rollover for more accurate in-game keypresses, an RGB lightbar, and dual 12V cooling fans. For ports, you’ve got three USB 3.0, one USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI out, and Ethernet. Wi-Fi is 802.11ac.

In a nutshell, this laptop’s specs are well worth the price, and it has enough “gamer aesthetic” to impress any RGB fanatic.

[Today’s deal: Asus ROG Strix 15.6-inch 1080p gaming laptop for $1000 at Walmart]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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Tech News

ASUS ROG Phone 5 is the first durability test casualty of 2021

The first generation of gaming smartphones bore designs that reflected their PC counterparts, mixing ruggedness with a distinct beauty that gamers appreciate. Later iterations, however, have started to reflect more the design trends of mainstream smartphones, almost as if to hide their gaming identities. Compared to its predecessors, the ROG Phone 5 looks more like a regular high-end flagship but changing the formula may have caused some problems with the phone’s durability in return.

JerryRigEverything’s smartphone durability tests have almost become boring of late because devices have started to get tougher. Very few phones these days break and some that do show some damage, like the Pixel 5, miraculously remained functional. Fortunately for the YouTuber’s viewers, some do still fail and some fail spectacularly. Of course, that’s not good news for the makers and owners of those phones.

Cutting to the chase, the ROG Phone 5 didn’t survive the durability test. Claiming to have a weaker force because he isn’t using all his fingers, Zack Nelson still managed to bend the phone until it no longer functioned. Even a simple bend was enough to damage the phone’s vibration engine on the first try.

Even without the bend test, the phone also somewhat failed the scratch test indirectly. Unlike other smartphones these days with in-display fingerprint scanners, the ROG Phone 5 consistently failed to detect Nelson’s damaged thumbprints with just a few scratches over the sensor.

The YouTuber basically blames the structural compromises that were made by antenna lines and holes on the edge of the phone for how fragile it was. That said, those same elements were also present in older models, so that may not be the true reason for this catastrophic failure. The ROG Phone 5 may have skipped the unlucky for but, unfortunately, that didn’t save it from an unlucky fate.

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