Hardware Review - Roccat Kone Mouse

Written by phat_chopps on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 1:32 PM

This mouse made me feel old. Opening the Roccat box and seeing the mouse equivalent of a Lamborghini Gallardo staring out at me, with it customisable lights and changeable weights, was an intimidating sight. You see, I'd still use ‘QAOP Space' if I could, such an old codger am I - it was only the leap to 16-bit that forced me to use a mouse in the first place. Bah humbug, I remember when all this were fields, etc.

But enough about how old I am and let us instead discuss the brilliant Roccat Kone mouse. Let's get the tech guff (sorry, science) out of the way first: up to 3200dpi; a 72mhz TurboCore processor (YES!); 128k of onboard memory for storing different game profiles; adjustable weights; integrated Tracking Control Unit; 8 customisable buttons; 4 way wheel; flashing lights; the list is endless. Well, it's not, I'm just getting bored. What you really want to know is, how does it perform?

Beautifully, that's how. All the technobabble above certainly comes together to give us a fantastic piece of hardware. The Kone is a beautifully curved beast (hence the reference to the Gallardo - it's warranted) that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. All buttons are easy to access and very responsive, and the scroll wheel is fluid and great to use - and it all feels remarkably well made. The aforementioned weights aren't a gimmick either - the base mouse is apparently the lightest mouse available, and I wouldn't disagree with that. A strong gust could indeed blow the Kone through an open window and off into space. Adjusting the weights to suit your needs makes a palpable difference - too light and the pointer will be all over the place, too heavy and you'll end up with an arm like Popeye's.

"What about in-game performance?" I hear you cry. "It's a work of genius", I bellow back. Stepping up from my ailing Logitech MX518, the increased resolution combined with a far more accurate sensor were a shock at first. The pointer screams across the screen. However, within minutes I was used to it and gaming, especially first person shooting, is a revelation. It's so smooth and accurate, it's untrue. In my first round of Team Fortress 2 for nearly a year, I gained the sniper achievement for killing three consecutive enemies without missing a shot. Snapping between targets is so quick, leading moving victims is hilariously easy, and spinning around to face an opponent behind you is a swift flick of the wrist away - no more smacking mugs of coffee off the desk as you frantically jerk the mouse back and forth trying to spin 180 degrees. The buttons only add to your in-game dominance - as previously stated, they're well positioned and your shotguns WILL blam the instant you click.

Programmable macros aid your gaming too. I'm not too practiced in the art of macroing (if that's what you call it) so I can't really comment on programming in complex macros, but just setting up basic ones is a breeze. Being able to assign various key presses to one of the Kone's many buttons is bliss - even if it's something simple like assigning your Football Manager shortlists. I did manage to set up a macro that healed my party in Dragon Age with one mouse click - that was wonderfully useful and made me feel like a tech God!

Mention should also be made of Roccat's software. It's easy to install, set-up and use, and it's very small - it won't take too much of your precious memory when playing your heavily modded Oblivion. All the features are simple to use - even for an old git like me: fine tuning the sensitivity; setting up the surface recognition; changing the lights. To be honest, I'm not sure I really noticed if these settings made that much of a difference - the defaults were so good - but they're very easy to fine tune with if that's your thang. Actually, I did notice a use for the lights - you can instantly tell what profile the Kone is using just by looking at it, which was actually surprisingly helpful!

Oh, and the TurboCore processor... well, I'll take Roccat's word for it - it reportedly eases the pressure on your CPU by dealing with the macro timings internally, and I'm never going to notice any good that might do. Still, it has one and it sounds awesome. TurboCore. Just say it: "TurboCore". You want one, don't you?

Yes, you do. The Roccat Kone is a phenomenal piece of kit and I could sing its praises for days. The only potential downside is the price - it'll set you back around £60 (€69.99), which is pretty pricey for a mouse. I can't let that detract me from recommending the Roccat though. If you're in the market for a new mouse- hell, even if you're not - you really should check the superb Kone out.

9/10 (9.5 if you're rich like me).

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