How seriously do you take your mouse? That quiet, unassuming little device that sits meekly beside your keyboard, minding its own business? Because if you're the sort of cove who'd look at his mouse, shrug a quick ‘meh', and move on to bigger things, the Kone +, and indeed this entire review, will be of little interest to you. However, if you want a mouse which is bordering on intimidating, read on.
Roccat's flagship mouse, the Kone, has been a thing of enviable beauty since its release two years ago. Long-time Game Debaters will no doubt remember the warm reception given to the Kone by our very own Phat_Chopps over the summer. But our Teutonic chums over at Roccat are not ones to idly sit and watch the sun dance across the sky: " Progress is the will to make what's necessary possible, to keep what's tried and tested and to dare to venture new ways of doing things", says Dr. Erik. J. Dale, Roccat scientist, on their website. And, whereas most of the good doctor's quote on that site are wonderful leet gibberish, I'm inclined to agree with him this time around.
The Kone + weighs in at a remarkable 6000dpi, with a 10.5 megapixel resolution. What all this means is that in terms of raw performance, the Kone + is easily in the first class of mouse performance, putting the top mice of certain industry leaders to shame. This is an incredible jump in performance from the original Kone, which Phat_Chopps was so eager to praise. In fact, if I was to have any complaint it would be that this level of performance is so dramatic that it's perhaps too good, and has entered a realm of performance beyond that detectable by the human wrist. That said, if you want to be able to zoom your mouse pointer around with an amazing lack of effort, the Kone + allows you to take this laziness to Olympian heights.
They've thought a lot about button placement and the mouse wheel too, making significant improvements over the Kone. Smooth-rolling mouse wheels are lovely if you're paging through a PDF document, but to quickly switch to the combat knife for that desperate, unexpected melee clash, you're going to want something that lets you know you've selected a new weapon. The notches on the wheel mean a sturdy feeling every time you move up or down. The dpi up and down buttons, something I'm used to from my old Logitech G5, have been redesigned and repositioned slightly too. Additionally, every time one of these buttons is pressed, a slightly scary sounding man will bellow "DPI UP!" or "DPI DOWN!" from your headphones directly into your brain. While this is no doubt extreme, I'm planning on replacing both with samples of Blakey from ‘On The Buses' at some point.
And the lights! While the cold pulse of the Pyra became like an old friend to me, the customizable lights on the Kone + filled me with childlike glee. Obviously, I configured and reconfigured them to match the colour of my lightsaber in The Force Unleashed, but everyone does that, right? These neon strips along either side of the mouse are a cute touch if that's your thing, and I won't ever roll my eyes at boy racers with neon underlighting again.
In order to really put it through its paces, I tried the Kone + out with the new Medal of Honor, and found its precision and button placement to be great. There are no buttons on the right-hand side of the mouse, and actual number of physical buttons on the mouse itself are down from the original Kone, but the shift button allows for up to 22 button possibilities, although it'd take a bit of work to truly set the mouse up this way for every single game. For personal favourites, though, it's well worth doing.
Admittedly, Amazon might not be the best place to purchase gaming hardware awesomeness, but they're flogging the things for £70.07 at the time of writing this. That's a ‘premium' price, it's true, but what you're getting really is a premium piece of equipment. This mouse screams "I mean business", and once again Roccat's ‘red carpet treatment' is evident from the moment you open the box - honestly, they could wrap a week-old dead shrew up in a box like this and it'd still feel like Christmas day by the time you'd got to it, so complete is it with knickknacks, gewgaws and gubbins. As with the Kone, a full set of weights are provided for easy customisation for the spindly or ham-handed.
Make no mistake - n00bs need not apply. This is an expensive piece of kit, for serious gamers or mouseophiles only. But the ease with which the Kone + handles everything thrown at it is really a marvel to behold. This is the mouse by which all others will from now on be judged.