The ROG Falchion is a wireless mechanical gaming keyboard from Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) that features an itsy bitsy 65% layout. From that one sentence, you already know it has that ROG gaming DNA that is wireless and a mini 65% layout, but what else does the Falchion have to offer? A lot, actually. Let’s go through the specs before we dive into the review.
ROG Falchion – Specifications
|Interface||2.4GHz, USB Type-C|
|Multimedia Keys||FN Combo|
|Switch||Cherry MX Red RGB|
|Dimensions||305mm x 101mm x 38.5mm|
What’s In The Box?
- 1x ROG Falchion Keyboard
- 1x Warranty Card
- 1x Quick Start Guide
- 1x 1.8m USB cable
- 1x RF 2.4GHz Dongle
- 1x Dongle Extender
- 1x Polycarbonate Cover
The ROG Falchion has a 65% layout, which makes it extremely compact, and the fact that it’s wireless makes it ultra portable. It has a floating keycap design so that any debris that falls through the keycaps can easily be cleaned off without first removing the keycaps. The polycarbonate cover that comes in the box can be used in two ways, either as an extra base at the bottom to slightly increase the keyboard’s height, or as a cover for when you’re travelling with the keyboard.
On the bottom of the keyboard, there is the signature ROG styling that is similar to the industrial half design found on the Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop. There are a total of four rubber feet to prevent the keyboard from slipping away on your tabletop, and two of them are on the height adjusters which only have one level of angle adjustment.
On the rear, there’s the USB Type-C port for you to connect the USB Type-C cable for wired usage or charging when the battery’s low. Right beside the USB-C port is the on/off switch, as well as a small pocket to keep the wireless dongle which is a very nice touch.
There is no USB pass-through, or dedicated media keys, but the side of the keyboard does have a very unique touch panel which by default, lets you control your laptop/PC’s volume. The touch panel is very responsive, and there’s also a light bar right above it to show you multiple statuses – battery levels, volume levels, PC temp monitor, RGB lighting effects, and more.
But because I have a habit of resting my pinky on the side of the keyboard, I would often accidentally change the volume. This only happens to me, and should be fine for you if you don’t have this weird habit.
How could a gaming keyboard be complete without some RGB goodness? The ROG Falchion is equipped with per-key Aura Sync RGB lighting with tonnes of colour profiles to choose from. They are all customizable either from the Armoury Crate software, or from the keyboard itself by pressing the FN key combo (FN + left/right keys).
The RGB lighting has very minimal light spill, probably due to the fact that the RGB light isn’t very bright. It’s very subdued during the day, and would come to life more during the night under a dark environment. The light being not strong enough isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It still gives you RGB satisfaction, and it doesn’t annoy your gameplay by glaring at you.
The RGB lights are only available on the top of the keyboard, and on the touch panel on the left of the keyboard.
Cable And Connectivity
ASUS included a long 1.8 meter long USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable that is braided. This gives better protection, but it can become a dust magnet when kept unused for a long time. You can use the ROG Falchion in wired mode with this provided cable, or you can simply plug in the 2.4GHz wireless dongle, ditch the cable and go cable-free.
Having a wireless keyboard is amazing because you can place the keyboard, or bring it with you anywhere without being hindered by cables. For the most part, it works great. But, there are some rare moments when the wireless connection gets a stutter, and the key you last pressed on gets repeated multiple times. It’s kind of like thisssssssssssssssssssss. This happens very rarely, so it’s definitely not a dealbreaker at all. Hopefully, ROG can fix this with a simple OTA update via Armoury Crate.
For the ROG Falchion’s keycaps, they went with PBT doubleshot keycaps instead of ABS. The fact that PBT is used means that the keycaps have a matte feel and has a very nice grip. And since they are doubleshot, the legends on each keycap should last longer, without any fading or oil/smudge accumulation.
According to ROG, the keycaps have a mid-height and the stems have been reduced to increase stability. However, there is still some wobble in the EW direction, whereas the NS direction has noticeable less wobble. Overall, ROG made the right choice going for doubleshot PBT keycaps, allowing them to have a better overall usage experience and longer lifespan.
When it comes to the switches, our review unit of the ROG Falchion came with Cherry MX Red switches, which everyone is pretty familiar with by now. These linear switches have a smooth keystroke, with an actuation force of 45g and a key travel distance of 2mm to actuate and 4mm to bottom out.
When removing the keycap, the switches may seem to show the prongs to remove them but make no mistake, the ROG Falchion isn’t a hot-swappable keyboard. These switches are soldered on to the PCB, so be sure to choose the right switch before making your purchase.
As for the sound, the switches are relatively quiet, but there is a tad bit of hollowness to it. They’re not as loud as the Cherry MX Blues, but they do sound brighter than the Cherry MX Browns and Blacks. I’m surprised that there’s quite a bit of “thock” to it, but I do hear a bit of rattling in the spacebar, whereas other modifier keys sound fine. The ROG Falchion is a decent sounding keyboard to both play and work on.
The switches are smooth, and very pleasant to type on. Cherry MX Reds have a nice balance of force and speed, which makes it a jack of all trades. It types fast, and thanks to the PBT keycaps, you’re less likely to make a typo.
Thanks to the 65% layout, you get more compact keys, but you don’t sacrifice the arrow cluster or the number row. However, the F-row keys, media controls do get removed and placed into the standard keys which are accessible via the FN key combo. You can see these controls via the side printed legends. The right shift key is almost halved, so it’s a lot shorter than your usual full-sized 108 key or 80% keyboard. If you’re someone who’s used to using the right shift key, do take note of this.
On the right side of the keyboard, you have four extra keys which are the Ins, Del, Pg Up, and PG Down keys. Fn Lock, Screen Lock, Home, and End key have been embedded here too via the FN key. These are customizable, which we’ll get into in the “Armoury Crate” section of this review.
Because of how fast the switches actuate, the MX Reds on the ROG Falchion are great for gaming. They respond swiftly to every keypress, and registers them instantly with the 1000Hz polling rate, which is also adjustable.
The Gaming Mode can also be activated right on the keyboard by pressing the FN + Windows Key. This locks the Windows key so you don’t make any accidental keypress that abruptly brings you out of the game you were playing.
Again, because of its 65% layout, you’re reclaiming a whole lot more desk real estate back in the mouse region. That way, you have more space for your mouse movements, and to not knock into your keyboard every time you’re trying to snipe enemies. The left shift key also remains full-sized so you can still sprint normally without having to get used to the new layout.
The ROG Falchion can be adjusted and fine tuned to your liking simply by accessing the Armoury Crate software. This is where you can change or customize the RGB lighting profiles, perform OTA updates, editing your macros, tweaking the keyboard’s behaviour to certain actions, and more. It’s a great piece of all-in-one software that lets you alter the ROG Falchion to just the way you like it.
The side touch panel can also be customized to not only control volume, but to launch different apps, games or software. The entire panel is separated into five zones, and tapping each zone can be fitted with a different action. It’s entirely up to you how you want to customize it. For example, the top two zones can be used to slide to control volume, while the middle zone can launch a game, and the bottom zone can be used to go to next/previous track.
The ROG Falchion has one of the best battery life I’ve ever seen on a wireless mechanical gaming keyboard with RGB. With its RGB set to 100% and auto light off set to 5 minutes, this keyboard lasted 9 whole days without recharging. Plugging the cable back in, it took about 4 and a half hours to recharge it back from empty to full.
The ROG Falchion offers a whole lot of customization for such a small piece of machinery. Its 65% layout is great for any desk setup, as well as for travelling. The polycarbonate keyboard cover is a great bonus, and the switches are a fan favourite which most gamers are already acquainted with. All you need to know is which switch do you prefer, and go for it. There’s not much to think about it really.
ROG’s asking price of RM699 for the Falchion might be steep for some, but it is justified with all the pros you’re getting out of the keyboard. It has RGB for days, long battery life, and even wireless connectivity. Add this to your arsenal, and you’ll be very glad with your decision.
Special Thanks to Asus ROG Malaysia for sending over the ROG Falchion Wireless for review!