ASUS Cerberus Mech RGB Keyboard Review
Last week, we reviewed the ROG Cerberus V2 headset. It was a product iLL loved, and we gave it an award too! This week, we have another product from ASUS’ ROG Cerberus line, the Cerberus Mech RGB Keyboard. Just to refresh the newcomers, Cerberus is ASUS’ line for budget conscious gaming peripherals. The products belonging to this line give you a great bang for your buck, plus, gaming grade performance. In that sense, the Cerberus Mech keyboard is places itself as a budget RGB mechanical keyboard. We are pretty sure there are a chunk of buyers who fit perfectly into this category.
The ASUS Cerberus Mech RGB Keyboard
The Cerberus Mech is a fully mechanical keyboard, with 108 keys in US layout. It uses Kaihua RGB switches, which are very similar to Cherry MX switches. So far, the reports we have heard about Kaihua switches is that they perform just like Cherry MX switches, but aren’t as durable as them. The rated lifespan of Kaihua switches is 70-million keystrokes, which is right up there. Ofcourse, we cannot verify this, but we will try to give you our judgement for the keyboard’s lifespan.
The Cerberus Mech RGB keyboard comes with top-of-the-line features, that match with more expensive keyboards like the offerings from Corsair. You get 100% anti-ghosting, n-key rollover, on-the-fly macro recording, full fledged RGB illumination with seven pre-set lighting effects. You also get onboard memory with gaming profile keys for storing multiple key, lighting and macro settings.
The Cerberus Mech RGB comes in models with Kaihua Red, Blue, Brown and Black switches. Our review unit had Kaihua Black switches. The pricing of the keyboard is in the entry level segment.
Design and Build
Opening up the box reveals the Cerberus Mech RGB keyboard, along with the documentation (manual, warranty etc.), orange replaceable keys and a key puller. The orange keys can either be used to replace the WASD keys, or can actually be used to replace any malfunctioning keys throughout the 104 keys on the keyboard.
The Cerberus Mech has dimensions of 448 x 150 x 35 mm. That means, it isn’t that large of a keyboard. It can fit in small spaces and small desks. What we really like about the Cerberus Mech is that despite its features, it doesn’t scream “I’m a gaming keyboard.” It in fact looks very elegant and blends in well. The keyboard weighs around 1250 grams, which is quite heavy for its little size. We light the weightyness, as it gives the keyboard grounded-ness during gruelling gaming sessions.
The Cerberus Mech RGB keyboard comes with rubberised coating around the outside of the keyboard. This gives the keyboard a smooth finish, making it pleasing to touch. The only downside of this is, that it gathers and houses dust faster than usual. The keyboard is fully made of plastic on the exterior. Yet, it never feels like a cheap product, and I think ASUS has done a good job in maintaining the look and feel of the keyboard. Flex is not an issue here, despite all the plastic. The Cerberus Mech RGB keyboard overall feels durable and weighty, we couldn’t really nitpick any issues here.
There are no dedicated media keys here. I don’t really mind that, as you can always perform media functions holding the FN key. The USB cable is located on the right side of the back of the keyboard. This position is perfect for the placement of the cable, as this arrangement doesn’t make the cable interfere with other cables such as the monitor. The cable is braided and not stiff, and will last long. The USB plug supports USB 2.0 and is gold plated.
The bottom of the keyboard is flat, minus the rubber feet in the corners. There is no bleeding in the LED lights across the keyboard. Infact, I felt it looked very similar to the Corsair K70 RGB keyboard, which is about double the price of the Cerberus Mech RGB.
The keyboard uses the Cerberus Mech RGB software. In the software, you can choose any key to customise its function or assign macros. In the backlight section, you can control the LED brightness. You can select lighting effects like Static, Breathing, Colour Cycle, Reactive, Wave, Explosion and Custom.
The software isn’t as clinical like the offerings from Logitech and Corsair. It seems unfinished to be honest. My first caveat with the software was that you can’t control the Gaming Mode through the software. Also, there are no online lighting profiles for keyboard. My Corsair K70 was so much fun because of the countless community uploaded lighting profiles. With the Cerberus Mech RGB keyboard, I miss out on that part of my keyboarding RGB experience.
Overall, the Cerberus Mech RGB software could have been a lot better than what it is. The competitors has considerably better offerings in this department.
The keyboard several features to enhance the typing or gaming experience. It has a gaming mode, which can be enabled/disabled without the use of the ROG Cerberus software. In Gaming Mode, the Windows key is disabled, to prevent accidental presses. Intelligent. The backlighting brightness has three levels, and is controlled via the FN key.
Taking the key caps out reveals Kaihua RGB Black switches. The keys have good weight, an actuation force of 50G and 1.1mm depth, which is perfect for typing and gaming. After spending about two days with the Cerberus Mech RGB, I can gladly say that I was very pleased with its performance across games and general usage. It took me some time to get used to the Kauhua switches, since I was coming from Cherry MX Brown switches. But once I was in the flow, I was grooving! The keys were a tab little more noisy than Cherry keys though, but still, nothing to be really bothered out. For gaming, I found the keyboard to be nothing short of perfect. The actuation force and the key travel distance perfectly suited me.
The ASUS Cerberus Mech RGB keyboard is a unique offering. It comes with a sleuth of features: full mechanical key switches, RGB illumination, on-the-fly macro recording, 100% anti-ghosting with N-key rollover etc.
The keyboard performs good throughout almost all segments, if only its software would have been better. That still doesn’t stop us from recommending this keyboard to gamers and RGB lovers alike. The keyboard is built to last, and works like a charm. If you’re a casual gamer who simply wants a good looking keyboard that is great to use but doesn’t break the bank, the Cerberus Mech RGB keyboard is a perfect choice. If you’re a serious gamer, we would still openly recommend this keyboard to you, as it checks all the necessary points.
The Cerberus Mech RGB keyboard can be found around ₹5,100. The price alone makes this a stand out product. Other similar offerings, like the Corsair K70, costs double the price. The Corsair RGB STRAFE also costs double, while offering an almost identical feature set and performance to the Cerberus. That is what makes this keyboard a clear winner. Budget gamers would absolutely love ASUS’ latest keyboard offering. There is nothing holding us back.
+Great overall package
+Impeccable RGB performance
+Kaihua switches perform great
-No community profiles