Conclusion: Fantastic Mice, But Expensive

ROCCAT's Kone mice were incredibly pleasant surprises. Usually doing these peripheral reviews is just interesting for me because I get to see what other vendors are producing before going back to my Logitech G500, but having had time to play with the Kone XTD has left me questioning whether or not I want to make the jump. I mean hey, the Kone XTD's lighting could match the K90. That means something, right?

As far as the mice themselves go, they're mostly bulletproof. The texture used for the grips is soft without causing your hands to get too clammy over time, the lighting is attractive, the grips themselves are very comfortable, the software has a tremendous amount of functionality, and as a whole they're both exceptionally full-featured. While I feel like the Kone Pure is just a little bit too low, and I do wish they'd managed to find some other way to incorporate the "Easy-Shift" functionality, these are small gripes in the scheme of things.

The Kone XTD is definitely the mouse of choice out of the lot, but boy will you pay dearly for it. The XTD is a punishing $89.99 on NewEgg, putting it in the price range of a lot of esoteric (and ergonomic) mouse designs. That makes it kind of a hard sell, when other mice (including some popular Razer kit) are available for less, but it might still be worth the investment. This mouse does a hell of a lot, and it feels good in the hand. A good mouse is, like a good keyboard or a good monitor, often worth investing in.

At a less astronomical but still pricey $69.99, the Pure is at least a more affordable alternative. It's true that you lose the adjustable weight, extra button, and mouse wheel tilt, but all the functionality is still there in the software. Given the choice between the two I think I'd fork out the extra Jackson for the XTD, but your mileage may vary. The Pure's slightly lower profile may even be more suitable for some users.

Of all the mice I've reviewed so far, I have to say the ROCCAT Kone XTD and Pure are among my favorites. Reviews on NewEgg will tell you that settings sometimes take a long time to apply (approximately 20 seconds), and that's true...within the software. It's a minor nuisance and I hope they fix it, but no product is absolutely perfect. The XTD and Pure do just about everything else right, and while the software itself is tremendously busy and can seem difficult to use, it's definitely powerful and wonderfully complete.

As with any peripherals, your mileage may vary, but I definitely think the ROCCAT Kone XTD and Pure are worth considering. ROCCAT has produced two exceptional peripherals here, worthy of a Bronze Editor's Choice, and I look forward to getting more of their hardware in for testing.

ROCCAT's Kone XTD and Kone Pure in Practice
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  • Kalessian - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    They never tested lift off distance either, or even mentioned if you can change the poll rate?

    Though to be fair this is not the site to look at when meticulously judging gaming mice.

    I have a first gen deathadder which has been retired to office use, an abyssus which I just could not get used to grip-wise, and have returned to using the WMO, which I developed my fingertip/claw hybrid style on. It's a huge pain to keep at 500mhz, though, and I feel that most pros have moved on to newer mice, but I don't have the money to buy each of them to try out for a week to see if the grip is compatible.
  • JPForums - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    there is no reason to use the g500
    the sensor isn't that good
    g400 is better

    optical mice are better in general, ...

    That statement requires a lot of qualification that you don't present. Optical mice are better in general IF you are using it on a cloth mouse pad. Laser mice don't perform to their potential on cloth mouse pads. To be fair, this is situation you see most often.

    Laser mice track on a wider array of surfaces and are therefore better than optical on surfaces that they have trouble tracking on. Also, it can be argued that Laser is better on rigid, textured surfaces. In general, laser is more sensitive (not to be confused with more accurate).

    The only inherent advantage/disadvantage between the two is that Laser are smaller and can therefore support higher resolutions. This also means they use a smaller aperture and are more susceptible to dust if they aren't cleaned. In practice, though, laser sensors employ prediction to smooth traces due to the fact that their greater sensitivity reveals jitter in the movements of most peoples mouse movements. Unfortunately, when low ratios of cursor movement per dot (high cm/360), this can also have a negative effect on the mouse movements. Built in mouseaccel isn't universally applied, but like prediction, doesn't really manifest itself very much at high ratios of cursor movement per dot.

    In conclusion, currently, optical mice are better for people who use a suitable surface and prefer 45cm/360 (rough guess) or larger cursor speed. Lasers are better for people who prefer 15cm/360 or smaller (or have non-optimal tracking surfaces). The cross over point isn't clear.

    All that said, it doesn't matter how well your sensor tracks if the mouse ergonomics prevent you from moving how you want to in the first place. You just get a well traced crooked line. The Razer Lachesis had such terrible ergonomics that it forced jitter every time you clicked one of the main mouse buttons. Not that it tracked perfectly otherwise, but there was no practical way to snipe even if it were.

    I've used a lot of Logitech mice (though not the G400), number of razer mice (though not the deathadder 4G), and a few others, but I still haven't found a better optical mouse than the MX518. In most settings, I prefer my G500 due to my preference for a low cm/360 except when sniping. Of course, the MX518's ergonomics make it better for me than most other laser mice.
  • cactusdog - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    I bought the Kone+ about a year ago, it ws the most expensive mouse but the mouse didnt live up to the high price.

    Problem 1. In a very short period of time, the grippy coating wears off and you have finger wear marks on the mouse making it look old and beatup in no time.

    Problem 2, Changing the driver settings takes a very long time. With so many settings I thought I would test out a few different settings, So you change one setting , then click apply, then wait......and wait.....and wait maybe 20 seconds later the new setting is activated. If you want to test more settings,forget it, it takes so long I just gave up.

    Problem 3. Driver updates come with firmware and the Roccat update process is by far the worst updating software I have seen in any device in over 12 years. You install the driver, then the automated firmware update invariably fails forcing you to dig into program files to find the stand alone firmware exe to update firmware manually. Drivers wont work until new firmware is applied.

    Problem 4, Early mice had a dodgy mousewheel problem although I believe they have fixed that one.

    The mouse feels ok in the hand but too many problems for a highend mice and unfortunately you dont find out until its too late. It has the kind of problems that arent mentioned in reviews.
  • 053EC2A5B2 - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the great review.

    I'm on the market for a new mouse, can you recommend anymore ergonomic mouse that is titled for right-hand, maybe with less bells and lights and cheaper?
  • Slash3 - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    Roccat Kova[+] - it's great. I bought one a while back after watching some youtube reviews and looking at the high res mouse pictures. Has a nice, wide rubber scroll wheel, two buttons on either side (ambidextrous in function and shape) and tracks great. It has the same profile software with the ability to use a shift button function, and has little glowing LEDs that can be changed to cycle, set for a color or disabled. I let it do a slow "breathing" cycle and find that it doesn't annoy me at all.

    Plus, it's ~$50 on Newegg or your favorite web store. Just punch in Kova and it'll come up.
  • 053EC2A5B2 - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    yes roccat mouses look great, and so far are my best option but I'm looking for more good quality mouses that are NOT ambidextrous.
  • Amp300 - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    The Mionix Naos 3200 (~$50) is the best inexpensive ergonomic right-handed "gaming" mouse I was able to find. I have medium-sized hands and the mouse shell feels like it was molded specifically for me.
  • Khato - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    I'll second that - I actually bought a Roccat Kone[+] first and while I liked it initially not having anywhere good to rest the ring finger got to being extremely bothersome. On the logitech G5 style there's an adequate ledge to the right of the right mouse button that works quite well for that, but there's no analog on the Kone - instead there's a smaller amount of space at a less ideal angle and a sharp corner. Now I acknowledge that this won't be a problem for everyone as some are fine with having their ring finger on the side, but yeah, that bugged me.

    Comparatively the Mionix Naos ergonomics are great. About the only problem being that it can be a bit difficult comparatively to pick up the mouse if you're so inclined.
  • quas - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    There's actually a problem for Naos that all the reviews I've seen didn't mention. The material surface used attracts sweat like crazy. In just 5 minutes of usage, it makes my palm sweat more and then the sweat stains really permeate through making it impossible to remove. The Roccat Kone may have the ring finger problem but the surface material used is superb, it doesn't attract sweat and it doesn't make me sweat either.
  • Pheesh - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    Definitely the G400. Least flawed sensor you can get and not that expensive. It's a favorite of FPS gamers.

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