Roccat approached us several months back and asked if we would be interested in doing a review of their new Kone XTD Gaming Mouse. Naturally, we said yes, as taking a look at new hardware and sharing our thoughts with you guys is kind of what we do around here. So they sent us one to take a look at. Now before we get into the review, I just want to let everyone know that I have spent not just a week or two with this mouse, but I have been using it as my main mouse for several months now, (since early June) as I like to get a real feel for something before making a judgment call on it. So, that being said, lets get into the review.
Roccat is a relative newcomer to the gaming peripheral scene here in North America (here since 2012). But in Europe, they are quite a heavy hitter and have been around for several years. Roccat products are designed in Germany, and have made quite a name for themselves with the Kone and Kone [+] Gaming Mice. Now we get to take a look at their latest and greatest, the Kone XTD.
– Pro-Aim Laser Sensor R3 with up to 8200dpi
– 1000Hz polling rate
– 1ms response time
– 12000fps, 10.8megapixel
– 30G acceleration
– 3.8m/s (150ips)
– 16-bit data channel
– 1-5mm Lift off distance
– Tracking & Distance Control Unit
– 72MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit Arm based MCU
– 576kB onboard memory
– Zero angle snapping/prediction
– 1.8m braided USB cable
Roccat’s package design is really nice, it gives pertinent information on the product, as well as it opens up so that you can really get a good idea of how big the mouse actually is, all while being very aesthetically pleasing.
Inside the box you will find the Kone XTD, installation guide, and a small case containing 4x5g weights.
The Kone XTD is a right handed, wired mouse (Sorry Southpaws ) that has 10 buttons, two of which are the mouse wheel moving right to left as well as the regular scrolling. The mouse is covered in a soft touch rubber membrane and overall feels really good in the hand. The mouse also makes use of Roccat’s Easy+Shift[+] technology, allowing for a total of 23 different buttons to be assigned and used during gameplay. The bottons all feel really nice, and have a good “click” to them, my only complaint in regards to the buttons would be, I am not the biggest fan of the way the mouse wheel button feels when being pressed down, personal preference I know, but at least for me, it just feels ever so slightly “off”, I have gotten more used to it over time, but even now, it still kinda bugs me.
The Mouse has a braided USB cable as well as a gold plated USB connector. Overall I feel that the length of the cable is pretty good, no complaints from me in that department.
On the Bottom of the mouse is where we can access the weights as well as see the very impressive 8200 DPI sensor. You can also see the big, low resistance mouse feet on the bottom, these work very well on my old Razer eXactmat mouse-pad. Now about the hatch that houses the weights. I opened it and installed the weights, then I closed it, and I have not for the life of me been able to get it back open. I am not sure if i got a one off in this or what, but all I know is that I still have all the weights in there and I have given up trying to get the hatch open. I would be vary curious to know if this is an issue that other people have had happen as well or just mine.
The Mouse also has a huge variety of LED colours and you can change how they appear. You can change the colours themselves, change how they act; they can breathe, pulse, change colour when clicked as well as set different colours to each side of the mouse, or even different colours from front to back. All in all this is one of the most customizable mice I have ever used. About the only thing missing from this mouse is being able to change the shape.
The Roccat Kone XTD is plug and play and will work fine out of the box, but if you want all the functionality that this mouse offers, you must go to Roccat’s website and download the drivers. No drivers are provided in the box, just an instruction guide on where to go and how to install them, which is fine for me, as that way you will be getting the newest and greatest drivers they have to offer. The only issue here that I could see is if you were not connected to the Internet and could not download the drivers, but who is going to be gaming without any Internet on a PC?
The drivers are well thought out, and designed to be simple and easy to use. They allow you to change the colours on the mouse, as well as the sensitivity, change buttons, set up hotkeys, and multiple profiles. You can pretty much change whatever you would need to change on a mouse.
Overall I must say, I think they did a great job on the drivers for this mouse, they are stable, never gave me any issues, all in all a very solid driver package. Also, when you save your settings, it saves onto the mouse memory as well, so you will always have your personal settings with you, no matter where you may LAN party off to.
So as I said earlier in my review, I have been using this mouse for the last several months. It has a wonderful hand feel, the sensor feels smooth and tracks great on my mousepad, the shape is somewhat reminiscent of the old MX Series from Logitech. The soft touch finish is very nice, and I find my hands don’t sweat to bad with this mouse either.
On the desktop, it is a great mouse, very nice to use, and works well for surfing the web and work type stuff (Work processing, video editing etc)
The Easyshift+ Technology, which allows you to assign many more functions to your mouse keys by pressing down and holding the Easyshift+ button and then pressing the corresponding button is an interesting piece of tech. It essentially means that every button on your mouse can be used for 2 functions, the regular function, and the the second function while you are holding down the Easyshift+ button. Now for some people, and for some games, I can see this being a really great feature, but for me personally, I just never really found that I used it. I tried to get used to it, and use it in games, but in the heat of a Battlefield 3 match, I just never really used it. Getting used to having it when surfing the Internet also took some getting used to, as I had to press the Easyshift+ button and then the left mouse button to go back in my browser instead of just pressing the shoulder button. I have left the Easyshift+ on these past several months while testing, but even now it still feels strange to me. But, that being said, I can understand that for some people, this would be an amazing feature, as having that many buttons without actually physically having that many buttons could be a huge draw. For me personally, not so much.
Playing games with the Roccat XTD is great, the mouse feels nice, the button placement is really well thought out, although the one button right in front of the mouse wheel is a little hard to press/useless in games. But Overall in my gameplay sessions these past few months, it has been a solid mouse to use, never giving me any grief, no matter the game I play. Being able to switch DPI on the fly is wonderful, although I do wish there was an on screen indication of what my current DPI is. In the drivers there is an option to have a voice tell you what DPI it is at when you change it, but in game, I found this much too distracting and turned it off.
Like any new mouse, the Roccat Kone XTD did take some getting used to when I started using it, but that is to be expected, but it didn’t take long before I felt right at home with it in my hand. Buttons feel really great (except for the aforementioned middle mouse button, but hey personal preference)
I think that Roccat has a really solid mouse in this one. They thought the design through really well, the feel is solid, and it feels very well built. This is their top of the line mouse, and I can understand why.
This is a great feeling mouse, it is very comfortable, and you can customize so much of it to your specific liking. I wish I could have gotten the hatch off to play with the weight system more, but I am hoping that this is a flaw that mine had and didn’t effect the majority of the mice out there. I can see how the Easyshift+ technology could be a huge draw for some people, unfortunately I am not one of them, but again I can see that being a huge plus for some people. Also is the mentioned middle mouse button feel, it is that, feel. I may not like it as much, but it is a small niggle in an otherwise great product. If hope they use this as a base to keep innovating in the future, I can see Roccat getting some great fans in North America and I look forward to seeing more products from them in the future.
Currently this mouse can be had for 89.99$ At NCIX.com as well as other fine Internet retailers.
By Dayne “Anjel” Cody