Gaming mice have always fallen to that area where most people just ask “why buy it?” but for the majority of gamers its a no-brainer. Gaming mice offer specifications above standard which translates to much better responsiveness which in turn translates to game-changing situations. Going past that, there’s nothing more a gaming mouse can offer maybe say extra features like lighting and macro support. Others take it a step further offering key-customization options to go beyond what your normal mice can do. Enter Roccat. There are many gaming peripheral manufacturers out there and whereas others pride themselves in pure performance, Roccat offers a breed of gaming gear that sport ultimate customization options. Today we have the latest iteration of their top-end gaming mice, the Kone XTD. Read on and see if the Roccat Kone XTD is the mice for you.
Roccat (official site) has been bringing gaming peripherals to the scene for a while now and they have really shown some great stuff recently with the Power Grid, Ryos and of course the Kone XTD which we’ll be looking at today. Let’s check out some specs on the Kone XTD:
- FULLY-ADJUSTBALE 8200DPI PRO-AIM (R3) SENSORÂ with 41 true DPI setting ranging from 200 to 8200
- ROCCATâ„¢ CLICK MASTERÂ switch tech powered by OmronÂ© for precision button activation
- EASY-SHIFTâ„¢ BUTTON DUPLICATORÂ with Easy-Aim + Easy-Wheel functions for max command power
- 32-BIT TURBO CORE V2 PROCESSORÂ for lightning-fast computing speed
- TRACKING & DISTANCE CONTROL UNITÂ for less pick-up flight & more precise gaming
- 576KB ON-BOARD MEMORYÂ for storing a wealth of macros and settings
- 4-LED LIGHT SYSTEMÂ for customizable colors + effects
- 8 MOUSE BUTTONS + SOLID 4D WHEELÂ for a full complement of command options
- 4 EASY-TO-CLIP-IN WEIGHTS (4 X 5G)Â for customized weight adjustment
- ROCCATâ„¢DRIVER + MACRO MANAGERÂ for advanced customization + presets for games & apps
- ROCCATâ„¢ ACHIEVEMENTS DISPLAYÂ for monitoring gaming performance
- 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
CLOSER LOOK – ROCCAT KONE XTD
Roccat packages the Kone XTD in their standard box with the slanted side. The Kone XTD’s box has a flip-out front cover to sample the mouse inside. Opening up the packaging we have a humble bundle of the Kone XTD gaming mouse, a small plastic case containing four 5g weights and some manuals. The driver is available in Roccat’s product page.
One of the main gripes against the Kone before was the lack of braiding in the cable, this time around Roccat has got that covered as the Kone XTD features a fully braided 1.5m USB cable.
Kone XTD Up-Close
Looking around the Kone XTD, we can see that the mouse sports an ergonomic design for right-handed users. The mouse features a large base with a deep recess for the thumbgrip with 2 thumb buttons on the side. Â Around the mouse wheel we have 3 extra buttons; one above and 2 below the scroll wheel named the Titan Wheel by Roccat. Curiously the Titan Wheel has sideways actuation allowing it extra functionality beyond regular mouse scrollers.
Roccat has chosen to opt for illuminating the edges of the Kone XTD instead of the logo. Though usage may vary, I do prefer something more bold to be highlighted with my lighting more importantly when I’m gaming with the lights off so as not to disturb people around me when they’re asleep.
A sample of the variable lighting options for the Kone XTD. The mouse is capable of so much more combinations with flow patterns able to flow in 4 directions and in multiple color combinations. The light effects can either pulse, beat, stay lit or be turned off via the driver panel.
And here we have the pride of Roccat: it’s Driver+ configuration panel is home to a multitude of options none of which I have ever seen in any mouse software. The main screen is where sensitivity options are set, another window takes care of button assignments and here we’ll find the much-lauded EasyShift feature as well as the tons of macro options for the Kone XTD. Roccat’s EasyShift acts like the Shift button on your keyboard, giving you another set of function in conjuction with another button. The default is the lower thumb button on the Kone XTD. Aside from these you also get precision sensitivity control and color control. The last two screens are the RAD screen and Support. Support is for downloading driver and firmware updates and the RAD screen is a statistics panel where it shows how much you’ve clicked or pressed certain buttons. It might be a novelty for some but I’ve found it a nice measure of which button I should utilize more during gaming or overall usage.
ROCCAT SENSE MOUSE PAD
Roccat has also included their Sense mouse pad with the Kone XTD possibly to fully experience the intended feel of the combo. The Sense is a large, 2mm soft surface and has been tested with most top-end gaming mice in the market including Roccat’s, Razer’s, SteelSeries’, etc. the sample we have features the Chrome Blue design but consumers have the another option which is the Meteor Blue. The Sense mouse pad is a tight-weave, medium-glide surface perfect for general usage and offers precision tracking. We’ll include our feedback about it in the later section.
USER EXPERIENCE & CONCLUSION
So before we dive into wrapping up this article let’s get a couple of things out of the way. First off, the Roccat Kone XTD is a refinement of an existing product and having used the Kone and many other ergonomical mice, I have to say the design is excellent. The shape lends itself nicely to all palm sizes and doesn’t favor a certain grip style. The coating treatment also adds a premium feel to the mice without that dry, rubbery texture. Last off the weighting option is a nice touch, and I’ve found myself sticking to using all 20g of additional weight as I want my Kone XTD well-planted.
On daily desktop usage, the Roccat Kone XTD is great and feels great. It doesn’t induce fatigue from prolonged usage and for those that enjoy multimedia and heavy browsing, the EasyShift really gives one-hand control without moving the mouse much. Accuracy with the Roccat Sense mousepad is good and switching between different mats from soft to hard variants, the Kone XTD doesn’t have any problem adjusting. In-game, the Kone XTD is where it really shows off. In FPS titles like BF3, I’ve customized the left and right tilt to act as my weapon switch buttons giving me faster access to my sidearm. I’ve disabled EasyShift and enabled EasyAim for more accurate aiming. For Starcraft and RTS, I’ve customized the EasyShift sets for macro settings and group calls. This is one heck of a customizable mice.
So let’s wrap things up and break down our score:
Performance. The Kone XTD is a solid-performer and as a heavy FPS and RTS gamer I want topmost precision when it counts. The Kone XTD delivers in this respect and surpasses my expectations. A perfect score.
Build Quality.Â It’s easy to look past some things the Kone XTD lacks but let’s just state it for the record. First off, the lack of illumination is a letdown along with the scroll wheel. Also, the chamber for the weight could’ve used a differnet mechanism as its hard to quickly change weights when needed. Last bit is that the upper thumb button is too far inwards and is barely reachable making it almost unusable in gaming scenarios. I’m docking less than a point for all of those though.
Functionality.Â The mouse is rich with features and functions a 10 is an unfair score for it. It goes beyond being a mouse and adds another level of interaction to your applications there is just no reason not to give the Kone XTD a perfect 10.
Bundle.Â Aside from the weights and manuals, the Kone XTD does not include anything else in the package. We’d have appreciated a carry-pouch with the mouse. The average bundle gets an average score.
Value.Â Last up is value, the Kone XTD retails for $89 and goes as low as $79. This puts it just below the higher-priced offerings from Razer and directly in competition with SteelSeries. At this range, its an easy choice and it will mostly come down to looks and features.
The Roccat Kone XTD is supreme gaming mouse made for much more than just pointing and clicking. Its level of precision and granular customization allows it to become a lethal weapon in any gamers arsenal once mastered and it rewards the player with its superb comfort and statistical achievements. The Roccat Kone XTD may lack the visual flare of other mice but it looks good as it is. Roccat has once again refined their Kone with a new installation and have produced an excellent product worthy of gaming legend.
We rarely give out Gold to peripherals but the Kone XTD deserves the Back2Gaming Gold Award and our Recommended Seal.