Roccat Kone - The Next Generation
It has been a while since we reviewed the flagship mouse from Roccat: Roccat Kone (Finnish for machine). At the time, a fellow reviewer at HG rated it as one of the best gaming mice that we have ever placed our sweaty palms on. But times move on and gaming mice keep developing. In order to stay at the top of the flock, Roccat has updated their Kone and named it Roccat Kone[+]. Naturally, our sweaty palms wanted to have a touchy-feely with the new arrival as well!
Other important changes include a redesigned wider mouse wheel and bigger button above the mouse wheel. The laser sensor has a 10.5 megapixel resolution, 1000Hz polling rate as well as Tracking and Distance Control Unit – meaning that it can track the mousepad and calculate the lift-off distance to the mouse pad as you use the mouse.
Max. DPI: 6000
Form factor: right
Size in mm (lxwxh): 135 x 78 x 45 mm
Weight min/max: 126g/146g
Price: c. 79.99€ /
The mouse is coated with a type of non-slip rubbery material that usually works very well when you use the mouse and especially well when your hands sweat up a little bit. At the other end of the extreme, though, when you have only just washed your hands and they are very dry, the rubber coating suddenly feels very slippery. Again, if you are using full-palm contact, this should not prove too troublesome, but fingertip-controllers will be at a definite disadvantage.
The slippery non-slippery coating might not be such a problem if the mouse shape was otherwise more allowing to fingertip-controllers. But, as it is, the narrow ledge against which one rests one's thumb in this position is so narrow that your thumb will very easily slide into the thumb groove (which is nice and deep for those who use full-palm control). Therefore, even though the mouse is wide enough for a relatively nice fingertip grip (although nowhere near the width of Steelseries Ikari), the hold that you achieve with this method will be rather uncertain.
In the basic profile settings, you will use the two buttons in front of the scroll wheel to change the DPI. The driver software actually gives you spoken feedback when you do so, telling you the current DPI setting. This is very handy if and when you change the setting accidentally as you can quickly rectify the situation and switch the DPI again before it has time to ruin your game. On the other hand, this makes switching the DPI in the midst of the game very usable, since you will never be confused of your current setting.
In the basic profile the EasyShift button is configured to be the hindmost thumb button and this is actually the best possible position for it: you quickly learn to use it like a regular Shift button. Many people feel that they don't need more than the regular 3-4 buttons on a mouse, but I'm sure that if any of them try out the EasyShift function on Roccat Kone[+] they will finally see the light: having the main buttons serve two functions is very handy in games and many other applications as well.
The wheel on Roccat Kone[+] is simply the best one I've used, beating even the ones in Logitech mice. In addition to serving as the middle button when clicked, it also has the left and right tilt functions (side scrolling for browsers etc.) that will provide you with quick access to more actions (also taking advantage of the EasyShift). The wheel button is rubber-coated and very big, giving perfect control of scrolling and also the tilt function. The only downside might be that it scrolls a bit too loosely. If you have configured some action to the middle click in an FPS, you may accidentally switch weapons as you click on the button as the wheel easily clicks forward or backwards at the same time.
Customisability and drivers
The driver software is simply astounding. You have 5 profiles that you can switch through freely as you game and for each of these profiles you can pre-determine all the 22 functions that are accessible on the mouse. Four of these functions should naturally be reserved for the profile and DPI setting switching and one button is taken by the EasyShift (though you can configure this on the keyboard as well, freeing up that button for 2 functions as well). This still leaves you with 16 functions per profile that are always easily reachable. Can you really ask for more than that?
Furthermore, the drivers allow you perfect freedom in assigning the five DPI settings for each profile between 100 and 6000, so you can easily set your personal favourites for fast movement vs. sniping and other activities. You can also adjust mouse sensitivity separately for x&y axis, vertical scroll speed, horizontal tilt speed, the colours of the two stripes running along the body of the mouse (including various effects), sound feedback volume, polling rate etc. etc. The possibilities are almost limitless.
One nifty function is also the distance control unit and tracking control unit settings, which allow you to calibrate the mouse to your mouse pad surface texture and determine the distance to the mouse pad that turns the mouse movement off (for safe lifting and moving of the mouse above the pad without ruining your control).
Ergonomics 9 (for full-palm, 6 for fingertip control)
Overall, the Roccat Kone[+] is a wonderful mouse and certainly an improvement to an already magnificent Kova. There's no reason for anyone using full-palm control method to look any further for their next gaming mouse (unless they prefer the lighter weight mice). The easy-to-use DPI switch with voice feedback has finally made DPI switching more accessible to all gamers – not just tech junkies.
Roccat Kone[+] is definitely a great mouse and one of my personal favourites at the moment, even though I prefer the fingertip control method and slightly wider mice. Do not overlook this mouse when you are next in the market for a new gaming mouse!