Asus has returned to its convention of giving names of swords to its gaming keyboards. It does make a bit of sense if you consider that a gamer’s tool is their keyboard. But we doubt if many gamers know that a falchion is a single-handed European sword with a single edge. Hardcore ROG fans seemed quite pleased with the earlier Claymore keyboard, which had a detachable number pad. Now, the ROG Falchion is the company’s first compact keyboard.
The main sell of this product will surely be the ROG bling and brand name. If the rest of your rig is already comprised of ROG components, why not go a step further and complete the package. There are two interesting things of note, however. Asus has claimed a touch panel, and low latency input will set this keyboard apart from the crowd. But like the rest of their lineup, we can predict that this is going to be expensive. If you’re looking for a compact gaming keyboard, will it be worth the wait? Let’s explore.
Right off the bat, the Falchion checks off significant features necessary for a mechanical gaming keyboard.
It has a 68-key layout, which is why it is touted as a 65% keyboard. If you aren’t aware, traditional full keyboards have 108 total keys. A TKL keyboard has 80% keys, at around 88 keys. The most compact (but still comprehensive qwerty) layout is the 40% keyboard. But it might verge on unusable, as it retains only the alphabets and a few other keys.
The Falchion includes all the number keys at the top and page up/down keys at the side. It does not have any function keys but does have arrow keys. Obviously, how much you need and use arrow keys depends on the customer. If you don’t really use them, going for a 60% keyboard might further minimize space.
Asus has highlighted ‘gaming-grade’ 1 ms latency at 2,.4 GHz RF, but that is mostly marketing fluff. Most gaming keyboards from reliable manufacturers hold up to this standard. Per-key RGB lighting is good to see, but the competition has long been doing the same once again. The switches are said to be Cherry MX switches, and let’s hope multiple options will be available. (The author is looking forward to the brown ones.) Not much is demonstrated about the ‘interactive’ touch panel. Most likely, you’ll be using it for volume adjustment.
Availability and Conclusion
There is no word on pricing or availability at the moment. We are quite sure this will be $100+, though, because ROG is not precisely a cheap brand. This will definitely not appeal to the budget or value-focused consumer. In terms of innovation or specs, nothing really stands out that much. The touch panel is likely to stay out of your mind at best, and at worst, be a nuisance.
This does look to be a simple, no-frills keyboard, though. While hardcore enthusiasts may dismiss this product, it may be the perfect purchase for many fans. Once again, if the rest of your rig is already ROG, this will be a worthy addition.