The ASUS ROG PUGIO II is the gaming brand’s newest iteration of their PUGIO line of ambidextrous gaming mouse focused on portability and performance. In this review, I’ll discuss its features and merits while gaming and other nuances I noticed.
Instead of simply refreshing the external look of the mouse, they opted for a complete update. The external changes include a removable cable, revamped RGB lighting, easier disassembly and customization for the badge.
Inside the mouse, its optical sensor now has 16,000 DPI, which is much more sensitive than the first generation model. We can tweak the sensitivity of the mouse on-the-fly thanks to the DPI on the scroll functionality. By making the cable removable, the PUGIO II now has wireless built-in. The Pivoted Button Mechanism is a new design ASUS made for its mouse buttons. This allows for quicker response times, letting the mouse button spring back quicker than the old design utilized.
The biggest change of the ROG PUGIO II over the older model has been its Tri-Mode Connectivity. It enables us to play using the mouse either wired, using radio frequency (RF), or good old Bluetooth (BT). Having a wireless functionality lets the mouse have improved portability, not requiring to have its USB Type C cable attached all the time.
The amazing design change made by ASUS engineers was that the weight of the mouse is lighter than that of the first generation PUGIO. What’s more, the RF module is neatly tucked inside the mouse; and requiring us to simply remove the magnetic top mouse cover and pull it out.
Since I’m currently using 2.4GHz WiFi at home; the RF dongle interferes with my WiFi connection. Switching to a 5GHz WiFi Network (mobile hotspot using my phone) does resolve the interference. A next feature that would be nice to have is a dual/multi frequency mode to avoid some cases like this. With the WiFi connection issue out of the way; the RF connection to the mouse is steady and fast.
Bluetooth mode offers no other problems when I synced it to my work laptop, except Armory II will not recognize it. Battery life is impressive, functioning for hours on end and only needed recharging once. For the rest of the review, I’ve plugged in using the USB Type-C cable.
Part of ROG mice’s selling point is to allow us to swap its mouse switches. Even it’s equipped with Japan-made OMRON switches which are known to be durable, ROG still allows us to swap with a sensitive set (included). This allows us to have a combination of fully sensitive switches or a left/right sensitive/normal switch setup.
As mentioned, the top mouse cover has small magnets that allow for easy removal of the cover. Removing the top allowed me to get the RF dongle, and replace the ROG badge design.
The package includes a blank plastic film similar to the attached ROG badge letting us ‘print’ on our own custom badge. This is similar to ROG STRIX monitors.
Removing the top cover reveals the screws that secure the mouse buttons. They are now found on top instead below like the original PUGIO. This made removal of the mouse buttons and switches easier.
The side buttons are removable, making it easy to clean. Usually those buttons end up with gunk especially when I eat while playing. Also using the Armoury II software, I can reprogram the function of the keys
Having used the likes of Logitech’s G402, which is shaped to be held with the right hand. I find that even if it is designed for ambidextrous users, it felt comfortable holding on to it either hand. The PUGIO II felt grippy, thanks to its ribbed texture and a wider bottom. Comparing it with my ASUS ROG STRIX Impact, the PUGIO II offers a bigger mouse size to comfortably hold and the ribbed texture on the sides are useable, compared to being simply for aesthetics.
Thanks to its Pivoted Button Mechanism, my mouse button clicks are responsive. The buttons reset quickly like a properly dampened suspension of a car. From my feedback on clicking the left mouse button (LMB) I’m able to fire quickly and immediately stop allowing me to control my fire in-game.
The number of available sensitivity settings of the mouse wasn’t an issue; however, the DPI switch is found below the mouse. And in order to change DPI settings, I need to press the DPI button and scroll the wheel to change settings. This can lead to an awkward situation, like changing DPI when sniping. To solve that, the handy Armory II application allowed me to re-bind the extra keys on the mouse to use that. I was able to re-bind one of the keys using the app and adjust the DPI on-the-fly, or change the two side buttons to work as DPI toggles, switching through presets.
The ROG PUGIO II is a vast improvement over the first ROG PUGIO gaming mouse. The move to using Pivoted Button Mechanism improved my click reaction time for gaming.
Having a wireless mode certainly makes it portable, but if gaming on a desktop, I would recommend to continue using its wired mode. But if going wireless using the RF dongle, it’s best that the PC or laptop is connected to a LAN (cable) or a 5GHz Wireless LAN. It has Bluetooth connectivity as well, and it offers vastly improved battery efficiency, it lacks connectivity with the ROG Armoury II software.
Even when included with a rechargeable battery AND RF module, the mouse weighs in at a low 102g a whole gram lower than the older model. Ease of disassembly was improved by the use of magnets, with improved access to the OMRON switches. And the ease of managing through the use of the ROG Armoury II software makes it more customizable. It is a versatile mouse that is hard to find fault on, and is truly capable for gaming.
- Improved shaping makes it comfortable to hold
- Pivoted Button Mechanism improves mouse’s button response time, along with durable OMRON switches (with spares in package)
- Software allows for button reprogramming
- Tri-Mode Connectivity is a plus for portability and flexibility
- Apparently none I could find!
The ROG PUGIO II is still pending release here in the Philippines so price is not yet certain as of this moment.