Capsule Review: ROCCAT's Kone XTD and Kone Pure Gaming Miceby Dustin Sklavos on February 27, 2013 1:01 AM EST
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ROCCAT's Kone Software
Both of these mice, the ROCCAT Kone XTD and the Kone Pure, feature half a megabyte of on-board memory along with a dedicated 32-bit processor. It's kind of crazy when you think about it, given that these are mice, but the key to unlocking them really is in ROCCAT's software. Unfortunately, that software does have a slight learning curve. The common problem of having a lot of features is that it can be overwhelming, and peripheral designers have almost never gotten the software right.
Frustratingly, ROCCAT doesn't have a unified software package for all of its peripherals. That means you'll need to download and install different drivers for different peripherals. This is kind of silly when you realize just how much is duplicated between the suites; the XTD's software suite was only slightly different from the Pure's. Note that both mice can store up to five different profiles, and these profiles are extremely detailed.
The first page of the Kone software contains extremely detailed control for all of the mouse motion and allows for up to five dpi settings per profile. It's self-explanatory, but it's still very busy, and I've honestly never had a great need for this much detail. Your mileage may vary, though.
In my opinion, the Button Assignment page is practically the Kone's ace in the hole. These "shift" functions are becoming increasingly common, and the Kone adds a little to its learning curve by configuring the typical "back" button to be a shift button. Hold the shift, and the "Easy-Shift" profile is available. I love that ROCCAT treats virtually every function of the mouse like a button, though. Just about every function you could want can be configured, though, including media keys, DPI shift for aiming, and macros. If anything I wish they'd found a way to include another button to use as the "Easy-Shift," one that doesn't basically replace the back button.
The remaining pages include even more detailed and precise pointer control functionality, color configuration, and ROCCAT even has a mouse-related achievement system. This last one could probably be done without in favor of simplifying the software some. It's not in the way, necessarily, but it's kind of silly.
You can also use the software to update the firmware of the mice, and configure the software's voice. Whenever you switch profiles, a gravelly voice says "Profile Up" or "Profile Down." He thunders and is actually a little off-putting, but you can turn disable him.
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shaolin95 - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - linkI went through a long research and those were my two top choices. I ended up with the ROCCAT and I couldnt be happier but the 8200 seems to be awesome as well so I dont think you can go wrong.
BrokenCrayons - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - linkNeither of ROCCAT's mice look overstated or obnoxiously "loud" and I like the idea of adjustable weights. While I'm partial to an Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 series at work because of the acknowledgement to ergonomics, I can't see myself gaming on something that's turned sideways. The Kone XTD in particular catches my interest. The only thing I'd like to see added to the design is (bear with me on this) a micro SDHC card slot buried someplace in it. With programmable profiles stored on the mouse, it would be nice to see some ability to cart a game, documents, or portable app suite around with me and maybe the mouse's drivers so I could drop it between PCs without needing to tote a thumb drive. I only suggest user replacable flash for the sake of upgradeability and, depending on how hard you thrash your portable storage, fault tolerance.
Despite my probably unreasonable wishlist, it still seems worth a closer look and maybe a purchase.
graison - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - linkGot an XTD last week, upgrading from an MS intellimouse, it's awesome. Well made, super customizable software, nice feel. You can't go wrong if you got $90.
BadVoodoo - Friday, March 1, 2013 - linki complained about the long apply time at roccat support a while ago and they told me to set up the kone monitor.exe and the option.exe as exceptions in microsoft security essentials. The apply time dropped from 30 to 2 seconds.
B3an - Saturday, March 2, 2013 - linkGot one of these the other day, upgraded from a Logitech G5 and had loads of other gaming mice before that. This is miles better including the software which is excellent, i've not found one bad thing about the Kone XTD so far... best mouse i've used.
I stayed away from the Kone+ as it didn't have a braided cable and the scroll wheel seemed poor from user comments. Both these issues have been fixed on the XTD. Also didn't like the tacky silver logo on the Kone+ and silver paint on mice ALWAYS gets worn off after a few months usage, so atleast on the XTD it's just a thin silver outline. I'd prefer no silver at all but thats the only small issue i have with this mouse.
snoukkis - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - linkDude, it's a gaming mouse. You barely even reviewed it. :(
The higher dpi is not meant for making it faster, but to enhance precision.
1. max out the dpi in driver
2. leave "windows pointer speed" setting to "default" / "+-0" / "middle" / "1:1" (different names)
3. disable windows mouse acceleration
4. reduce sensitivity in-game to compensate for driver dpi setting
Now you are able to make more precise movements. If the game is poorly programmed, the in-game menu mouse speed will be crazy fast like in windows because the sensitivity affects only camera movement.
Ideally you should test with a game that meets the following:
- high FPS
- low input lag
- no mouse acceleration (in addition to windows setting)
- no dead zone (poor console ports might have this)
- no vsync
- sensitivity affects both camera and menu speed
Did I forget anything? I'd recommend Quake 1. Anyone else want to suggest something more modern? Except for menu speed, Minecraft meets those requirements (disable vsync and set view distance to tiny to max out fps).
And as mentioned in previous comments, you should note the poll rate. It's important.
snoukkis - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - linkmore to perfect game:
- no movement smoothing/filtering (adds input lag and hides possible problems)
Galbias - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - linkThe XTD looks tempting; I use a Cooler Master Storm Inferno myself and I love the "Shift" functionality that it has since I find myself running out of buttons to assign on most standard mice, but it seems to be a rather uncommon feature. The XTD seems to have more assignable buttons in the end since it has horizontal scrolling and assignable vertical scrolling so I may look at getting one. Thanks for the review.
GullLars - Friday, March 29, 2013 - linkI've got a Roccat Kone[+] (plus), and before that i had the original Roccat Kone for 4 years. I made the switch from MX518, which is basically the prior iteration of the G500.
The reason it takes a while to apply changes in the software is because they are flashed onto the storage in the mouse, which is a self-contained unit. Everything you can access in the software is hosted on the system integrated in the mouse, you can plug your mouse into a system that doesn't have the software and you still retain all your configurations, profiles and macros. This is a big selling point for users that can make use of this functionality, be it gamers that travel and use other machines, or for productivity work on many different machines. A mouse is not too big to carry with you if it increases productivity and ergonomy notably.
I don't game as much anymore, but i buy enthusiast grade gaming equipment because it's made for people who have high requirements for their eqipment and don't settle. I spend so many hours in front of the computer that +$50 for (each of the) peripherials is worth it, and because of typically higher quality the TCO if the equipment lasts 3 years or more is not that much higher.
Hypersphere - Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - linkI was frustrated by my tests of the Roccat Kone XTD and Roccat Kone Pure. The sticky feel of the transparent plastic used for the cosmietic lighting on the XTD was a deal-breaker for me. The Kone Pure does not have the LED stripes, but it is too small. I am also not fond of the ostentatious Roccat logo on these mice and the cheap weight cover on the XTD. This is unfortunate, because otherwise the build quality, size, shape, weight, sensor, and switches of the XTD are all excellent. I especially liked the solidity and quietness of the scroll wheel. Alas, the clammy feel of the light stripes on the XTD ruined it for me.