Keeping a clean, minimalist desktop set-up can be a daunting task. While I love my gaming keyboard I always find that the black wire sticks out like a sore thumb on an otherwise clean set-up. When I bought my PC gaming peripherals, a wired keyboard was preferred because it allowed for RGB light syncing and fast response times. Since that purchase gaming peripherals have come a long way. Today, wireless gaming keyboards are just as good, if not better than their wired counterparts. In this article, I will be reviewing the ASUS ROG Falchion Red wireless mechanical RGB gaming keyboard.
Compact well thought out body
The ASUS Falchion is a compact keyboard that is 65% the size of a regular keyboard. To achieve this ASUS removed the dedicated number pad, modified the key sizing, and adjusted the layout of the keyboard.
Along the top lining of the keyboard there is the on/off switch, a USB-C charging port, and storage space for the wireless dongle. Looking over the body I’m impressed with ASUS’s clever design language. Instead of making a dedicated storage compartment ASUS opted to make the space recessed so that it’s not visible when you look at the keyboard from above. This makes it easy for the user to access the charging port and on/off button while still keeping them out of sight.
Another thoughtful design decision is the included keyboard cover. This cover is made of a hard plastic and can be mounted on the top or bottom of the keyboard depending on your needs. During transportation the cover can be mounted on top of the keyboard to protect the keys. When stationary, the cover can be conveniently mounted to the bottom of the keyboard. ASUS designers were also careful to ensure that the touch bar and charging ports are accessible when mounted on the bottom.
Connectivity and long lasting battery life
The ASUS Falchion can be connected to your computer in two ways both requiring a USB-A port. The primary method of connection is the 2.4ghz wireless option. This is done through a wireless USB-A dongle connected to your PC. The second method is a traditional wired connection.
During my testing I was impressed by the Falchion’s amazing battery life. On the left hand side of the keyboard you will see an LED bar letting you know how much battery remains. With the RGB lights turned off the Falchion has a 450 hour battery life. Personally, I love RGB LEDs so I left mine on full brightness while testing the Falchion.
Over the course of 1.5 weeks I played games for 2-3 hours daily. After 1.5 weeks the Falchion’s battery level was still at an impressive 75%. It’s safe to say that users will not have any battery life concerns while using the keyboard.
If you do find yourself needing to charge the Falchion you’ll be happy to know that it is capable of fast charging. Plugging in the Falchion for just 30 minutes will give you 32 hours of battery life with the LEDs turned off.
Comfortable and responsive keys
The Falchion’s keys are Cherry MX and can be purchased in red, brown, blue, or silver switches. The unit that I used for testing came with red switches. Cherry MX red are my preferred type of switches for gaming and daily typing.
During my tests I found the Falchion’s keys easy to press and responsive. Response time is important when it comes to gaming, especially when you’re playing games that require real time instantaneous feedback. According to the ASUS website the Falchion has a 1ms response time. While playing Call of Duty Warzone I was pleased to find that the Falchion’s response times were equal to my wired gaming keyboard.
When it comes to day-to-day typing, if you are used to typing on a full-sized keyboard you will probably need time to adjust to the Falchion. In order to achieve a 65% keyboard size ASUS had to modify some of the keys sizes. For example the spacebar and the right hand shift key are smaller than standard size. During my testing it took me about three days to get used to the Falchion keyboard layout. After that I was able to type on the Falchion at the same speed as with a full-sized keyboard.
Keycaps of the Falchion are double shot PBT. This is nice to see since double shot coating protects the keys from becoming shiny and reduces the likelihood of text fading. The longevity of the Falchion’s keys are important for two reasons. First, as I previously mentioned, because of the compact body of the keyboard some of the keys are custom sizes. Second, the Falchion’s keys have text on the front indicating their secondary functions. Because of this, replacing the Falchion’s keys is possible but will need to be purchased directly from ASUS.
Generous customization of the Falchion keyboard
Like other high quality gaming keyboards the ASUS Falchion comes with some stellar customization options. By far my favourite feature is the touch bar located on the left hand side of the keyboard. Out of the box this touch bar is set to control media volume. However using ASUS’s Armoury Crate software you can customize this touch bar to create shortcuts and switch between apps.
The touch bar can be customized to support five different input options. This includes swiping up, down, or touching the top, middle, and bottom of the bar. I really enjoyed the level of customization that I got out of the touch bar. The only challenge that I had was learning where to touch the bar without taking my eyes off my computer screen. Because the bar is out of sight, you will need some practice locating the top, middle, and bottom without looking at the keyboard.
In addition to customizing the touch bar, the Armoury Crate software unlocks a whole host of functionality for the Falchion. This includes the ability to program all of the Falchion’s keys based on your needs. Other customizations that you can make through Armoury Crate include custom lighting, power consumption, and updating the keyboard’s firmware. It should be noted that as of this review the Armoury Crate software is only available for Windows. Mac OS and Chromebook users will still be able to use the keyboard. However, without the Armoury Crate software they will not be able to take advantage of all the customization options.
Final thoughts on the ASUS Falchion
The ASUS ROG Falchion is an impressive wireless gaming keyboard. I enjoyed its compact size, touch bar, and the long battery life. Likewise, I’m impressed with features and customization that ASUS was able to pack into such a small keyboard. It’s clear that ASUS put thought into this product and how it will be used. This is evident in the inclusion of a reversible keyboard cover, port placement, and secondary key texts.
While there are many benefits to the ASUS Falchion there are some minor downsides. For those coming from a full sized keyboard they’ll need to get used to typing on the smaller Falchion. In addition to that, the ASUS AURA Sync software is currently only available for Windows. This means that non-windows users will be limited in their keyboard customization options.
Do you think the ASUS Falchion will be your next gaming keyboard? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’re interested in seeing what other gaming peripherals are made by ASUS have a look here.