Review: Roccat Kone, Kave and Isku Gaming Accessories.

Kone [+]


The Kone by Roccat is perhaps our new favorite gaming mouse. With that out of the way, let us explain why.

Design

From the moment you open the box, you’re presented with well laid out product placement and packaging. While it may seem like overkill and a waste to make these trash bin destined materials so nice, it’s attention to detail that counts. And Roccat delivers.

The Kone’s body itself is a covered in a soft-touch, barely discernible rubber finish. Let us stress again that the “soft” feel is very minor — just right in our book, actually. It won’t slide around like a normal plastic covered mouse will during longer gaming sessions but it also won’t have any annoying grip features that one might assume a rubber finish would have.

The button layout and placement on the Kone is something that will either make or break the bank for a lot of gamers. It’s here where you have to ask yourself what kind of gamer are you; are you a FPS junkie or are endless hours spend exploring vast worlds in MMORPGs with a zillion macros your cup of tea. If it’s the former, the Kone is worth a look. If you fall into the latter, however, you’ll likely find the button count leaving a bit to be desired.

The buttons themselves — two on top and two on either side of the mouse — are all responsive and more soft than hard, but not overly so. We’d say the buttons are “perfect”. But as always, such things are subjective. If you like mice that require more forceful clicking, signaling stiffer buttons, the Kone might be a turn off.

What we like most about the Kone, though, is the shape and rise of the mouse. It’s actually pretty short all things considered, at least compared to our CoolerMaster Sentinel 2 — yet has a pretty high rise. For someone that classifies themselves as “claw” grip gamer, mice such as the lengthy Sentinel 2 are out, and something like the CoolerMaster Spawn is in — short, quick and light. But the combination of stubby, tall architecture actually makes the Kone a freakish hybrid — and we love it. The highest part of the mouse hits us right in the upper part of our palm and makes a semi-claw grip quite comfortable while also allowing most of our hand to rest remain in contact with the Kone’s body. It’s really something you have to feel/see to understand.

Software & Performance


When we sat down with the Roccat rep at CES for the hands-on demo, we were impressed with the incredible level of control and detail packed into the driver software for their products. The Kone in particular features a pretty complex (not for the noob, that’s for sure) software control panel that lets you control a bevy of features.

The software, is organized into 4 main areas: Main Control, Button Assignment, Color Control, Advanced and Update/Support. The Main control tab handles click speeds and sensitivity settings while the button assignment tab is pretty self explanatory. Color control takes spot #3 while the Advanced tab controls additional sensitivity options (such as independently X/Y axis), tracking speed, pointer speed, polling rate and sound feedback. Lastly, the update/support page provides basic information about the Kone[+] with links to online support pages as well as a button to check for and download the latest driver.

Just Short Of A 10…

As awesome as the Kone is, both in terms of presentation/design and performance, we can’t understand why Roccat stopped short with the USB cable. Everything about the Kone (as well as the Isku gaming keyboard and Kave headset) scream high quality, and yet, they decided against using a braided cable like many competitors. In our opinion, braided USB cables feel nicer, look better and signify a higher quality product overall. The lack of braided USB cable is a bummer for sure, but hardly a reason to withhold payment for the Kone.

Cable aside, the other thing that is particular frustrating is that applying any new profile settings to the Kone[+] requires waiting a good 15-20 seconds. During this period the driver software is unresponsive, though, the mouse still functions in other apps. Because of that, we don’t think it’s really a deal breaker as once you get through the initial setup and configuration stage, changing up macros and settings is rarely done.

For us, the combination of killer looks, comfortable grip, top-notch and wide ranging customizability as well as great performance makes the Kone one mouse you should really put at the top of your list.

Gadgetsteria’s Rating: 9.5/10

Next: Isku Gaming Keyboard

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