Introducing the ROCCAT Kone XTD and Kone Pure

The "dirty" secret of PC peripherals is that the word "gaming" can often mean any combination of two things: robust quality and gaudy design. Most mechanical keyboards tend to be geared towards gamers, and likewise, most high quality mice tend to be pointed in the same direction. It's not unusual for digital illustrators to use one of the single-hand gaming keyboards for Photoshop shortcuts, and a good mechanical keyboard like the Corsair Vengeance K90 pretty much sells itself the instant a regular user feels the keys.

Yet sometimes these peripherals don't feel like they were actually designed with human hands in mind. I've tested a few gaming mice that were definitely reasonably comfortable, but still clung resolutely to my aging Logitech G500. ROCCAT sent me two gaming mice to test, though, and I walked away seriously impressed. With the Kone XTD and Kone Pure, ROCCAT has two mice that are surprisingly comfortable and incredibly full-featured. Have I finally found a reason to retire my G500, and should you be looking for these?

I know I'm not the only person who's picky about the peripherals they use. Once you know what quality feels like, it can be very difficult to just go back to a run of the mill keyboard or mouse (let alone monitor.) And sometimes, when you use one, it can just click in your mind: "this feels absolutely perfect for me." That was the moment I had with the Corsair Vengeance K90, and before that, the Logitech G500. It was the same confusing moment I had when I began to settle in with the Kone XTD and its little brother, the Kone Pure.

Neither of these are ambidextrous mice. I'm right-handed, but most of my good friends are southpaws, and I kind of feel for them in that they've had to adapt to a world that hates left-handed people. Still, one of them has been using a tired old basic Logitech mouse for some time now, and when I handed her the ROCCAT Kone Pure, she was pleasantly surprised.

The reason for that is because the grip of the Kone is designed to fit snugly in a broad range of hands, and importantly, ROCCAT dodges a big problem that I've found a lot of gaming mice have: poor texture. The soft touch plastic treatment that Razer and some other peripheral manufacturers tend to use doesn't breathe at all, and I've found their mice to cause my hand to sweat and perspire much worse than other mice. In comparison, the treatment on the surfaces of the Kone mice is more conservative. The glossy plastic that houses the LED stripes on the Kone XTD will undoubtedly be a sweat magnet, but the majority of the surface is quite comfortable.

Both mice are solidly built, though. They're comfortable in the hand, and the buttons are where you'd want them (with the exception of the button above the mouse wheel on the XTD, though I suspect that's very deliberately out of the way.)

While the XTD and Pure are clearly related, the Pure is the cut down version. Both feature a rainbow of configurable LED lighting (typically tied to the active mouse profile), along with DPI adjustment buttons below the wheel and back and forward buttons on the left side, beneath the thumb. They also both feature a laser sensor rated for 8200 dpi. Where they diverge is in the additions to the XTD: a button above the mouse wheel, left and right tilt on the mouse wheel, and customizable weight. Disappointingly, the door on the XTD for the weights is a little bit loose.

ROCCAT's Kone Software
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  • Azethoth - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    I think the most important thing is to match your hand size to the mouse. I have large hands and most of the hotly recommended mice are for tiny child hands. I cramp up using them. For me the Cyborg RATT MMO 7 is just the thing. It adjusts to hand size. It is not cheap though. There are plainer versions of the mouse that are FPS oriented.
  • Goodtwist - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    My first generation Kone would be perfect if it wasn't for the silicon/gummy surface. Makes your palms sweat like crazy.
  • Wall Street - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    I wonder how many of these reviews Dustin can do before he discovers the world of polling rates, angle snapping, error speed and liftoff distance.
  • kagey - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    I'm still waiting for a good mouse to surface and these may be it.
    As Dustin is still using a G500 I am still using a G7 cause I like the quick swap batteries that are rechargable right in front you and being able to swap them out. It's got a few configurable buttons, nice feel and it's comfortable. Kinda like my wave keyboards.
  • BrightCandle - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    For a lot of reviews Anandtech has a good reputation, rightly earned by using the best known testing techniques you can find. But when it comes to mice you haven't even tested the first thing or laid out the basic specs. I don't know why you even bothered. For mice reviews we need to know:

    - What sensor it is based on
    - How centrally placed the optical port is
    - Tested for jitter, acceleration, deacceleration, lift off distance, snapping and angle correction
    - Maximum tracking speed and how it behaves after that
    - How the sensor handles different types and colours of mouse mats
    - Its weight
    - The cord weight and type

    Your review doesn't contain a single technical component of what makes a mouse a mouse. With there being so few actual mice that do well in these tests it seems kind of vital to actually do these tests, because for gamers they matter. More to the point gamers might not know they matter and you ought to be breaking through and testing mice properly and showing gamers why they should care.

    This review was pointless like all your other mice reviews, get it to together or stop wasting your time.
  • five_seven - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    u mad bro?
  • WeaselITB - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    No, I agree with BrightCandle and Wall Street (above).

    Imagine if there was a monitor review that went up saying "Well, it can move up and down, the base is pretty, I like the feel of the buttons, and the colors are nice and color-y. There's an on-screen display, but it takes 10 seconds between button pushes to adjust the brightness, but that's a small gripe." Comments would be setting that reviewer on fire for not testing color accuracy, uniformity, etc. You know ... the things that actually matter when differentiating between monitors?

    This review, as BrightCandle said, doesn't cover ANY technical details about what makes this mouse different/better/worse than another mouse. The default 800dpi is all well and awesome, and the ability to adjust it is great (with a delay of up to 20 seconds in between settings, apparently), but if the polling rate is 10Hz I don't care what dpi setting you use, the mouse performance is going to suck. This review doesn't even get that far.

    Dustin, no offense to you personally, man, but these reviews are not up to the usual Anandtech quality standards. $90 is an awful lot of money to drop on a mouse when the best a review can come up with is a completely subjective "It's a good mouse."

  • Mumrik - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    The design doesn't exactly look foreign...
  • meshugge - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    Any chance for a review of the available mice for us left-handers?
  • Spydermag68 - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    I am still using my Logitech left handed mouse that I bought 10 years ago. This is the last left hand mouse I have seen. I wish manufactures would make more left handed mice.

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