ASUS Cerberus gaming keyboard review — Spill resistant with LED backlight
+ Strong construction with the SECC metal backplate
+ 12 programmable macro keys
+ Spill resistance
+ Evenly spread backlight
+ ABS keycaps
- Lack of lighting effects
- Just a little bit pricey compared to the competition
- A white version would look sexier
At the beginning I thought that it would easier for me to write a single review about the entire ASUS Cerberus gaming peripheral line-up. Then after several days with the samples, I realized the Cerberus line-up are just OEM products rebranded by ASUS. Each peripheral have different standards and each is worthy of being mentioned individually.
In my review of the ASUS Cerberus gaming mouse and mousepad, I had issue with its lift off distance, result of incorrect placement of the optical sensor. Today I have the ASUS Cerberus dual LED backlit gaming keyboard and this is what I think of it.
Cerberus is a monstrous multi-headed dog with a serpent for a tail in Greek mythology. This is the idea behind the Cerberus insignia. But, instead of guarding the gates of the underworld, ASUS Cerberus guards the gates of under-budget gamers.
On the front of the packaging, we have the product image, and some highlighted features.
On the back we have the picture of the keyboard again with some explanation of its features flanked by the detailed specifications of the keyboard.
Inside the box we have the ASUS Cerberus gaming keyboard itself, and some documentation. If you bought this keyboard please make sure to read the user manual thoroughly as it doesn’t come with any driver software to edit macros.
This edgy design took me several days to see the similarities with another keyboard. Back in April, SuperDaddy published his review of the Cooler Master Devastator II combo, take a look at its design, and you might get the idea.
By looking at the multimedia keys, I noticed the ASUS Cerberus actually share the same DNA as the Cooler Master Devastator but with a slightly different outlook. This doesn’t mean that ASUS ripped off Cooler Master’s design, since both of them might be getting the keyboards from the very same OEM.
On the underside, a plain bright red base with plenty of drainage holes as it features spill resistance. The amount of rubber feet is also enough to keep the keyboard planted stably on my desk.
ASUS mention that this keyboard has dual LED lighting on the box, but I actually found the third color, purple. That color is only visible when programming macros. If there’s any way to unlock it permanently, ASUS should share with us how to do it.
ASUS Cerberus keyboard uses printed ABS keycaps and unlike the CM Devastator, this unit is a standard rubber dome membrane keyboard.
As I have mentioned earlier, you really need to read the user manual before using the keyboard. Even the dual LED backlighting doubles as an indicator. Red LED is when the keyboard has macros enabled and blue is where the macro function is disabled.
Either typing or gaming, I have no problem with this keyboard, double tapping should not be a problem as I was able to pull off quick double taps in games. Personally I found the build quality of this keyboard much better than the mouse’s. It feels way more solid and got a nice weight to it. The reason behind this is most probably the SECC full metal plate.
The key travel is not too deep and it makes no sound when typing. What I like about the keyboard is the slight tactile feedback when typing. You might not notice it when you first start using it but you can actually feel it after several days of usage. Of course, the tactile feedback is not the same as what mechanical switches offer. In term of the body design, ASUS could improve the aesthetic value is the keyboard comes with fully matte material body.
The rubber dome membrane keyboard isn’t that impressive when compared to mechanical switches keyboard. In addition, the 12 programmable macro keys would be advantageous for gaming or simply improving productivity. For me the keyboard is actually pretty good as long you don’t compare it with mechanical keyboards. It feels solid and has a nice weight to it. ASUS asks for USD 50 (approximately RM120) for this gaming keyboard, but it would be a better deal if the price is reduced to somewhere around USD 45. This is because there are too many competitors out there that have already saturated the “budget” gaming peripheral market. I’m satisfied with this keyboard and I award it the Bronze Pokdeward.