Introducing the ROCCAT Kone XTD and Kone Pure

The "dirty" secret of PC peripherals is that the word "gaming" can often mean any combination of two things: robust quality and gaudy design. Most mechanical keyboards tend to be geared towards gamers, and likewise, most high quality mice tend to be pointed in the same direction. It's not unusual for digital illustrators to use one of the single-hand gaming keyboards for Photoshop shortcuts, and a good mechanical keyboard like the Corsair Vengeance K90 pretty much sells itself the instant a regular user feels the keys.

Yet sometimes these peripherals don't feel like they were actually designed with human hands in mind. I've tested a few gaming mice that were definitely reasonably comfortable, but still clung resolutely to my aging Logitech G500. ROCCAT sent me two gaming mice to test, though, and I walked away seriously impressed. With the Kone XTD and Kone Pure, ROCCAT has two mice that are surprisingly comfortable and incredibly full-featured. Have I finally found a reason to retire my G500, and should you be looking for these?

I know I'm not the only person who's picky about the peripherals they use. Once you know what quality feels like, it can be very difficult to just go back to a run of the mill keyboard or mouse (let alone monitor.) And sometimes, when you use one, it can just click in your mind: "this feels absolutely perfect for me." That was the moment I had with the Corsair Vengeance K90, and before that, the Logitech G500. It was the same confusing moment I had when I began to settle in with the Kone XTD and its little brother, the Kone Pure.

Neither of these are ambidextrous mice. I'm right-handed, but most of my good friends are southpaws, and I kind of feel for them in that they've had to adapt to a world that hates left-handed people. Still, one of them has been using a tired old basic Logitech mouse for some time now, and when I handed her the ROCCAT Kone Pure, she was pleasantly surprised.

The reason for that is because the grip of the Kone is designed to fit snugly in a broad range of hands, and importantly, ROCCAT dodges a big problem that I've found a lot of gaming mice have: poor texture. The soft touch plastic treatment that Razer and some other peripheral manufacturers tend to use doesn't breathe at all, and I've found their mice to cause my hand to sweat and perspire much worse than other mice. In comparison, the treatment on the surfaces of the Kone mice is more conservative. The glossy plastic that houses the LED stripes on the Kone XTD will undoubtedly be a sweat magnet, but the majority of the surface is quite comfortable.

Both mice are solidly built, though. They're comfortable in the hand, and the buttons are where you'd want them (with the exception of the button above the mouse wheel on the XTD, though I suspect that's very deliberately out of the way.)

While the XTD and Pure are clearly related, the Pure is the cut down version. Both feature a rainbow of configurable LED lighting (typically tied to the active mouse profile), along with DPI adjustment buttons below the wheel and back and forward buttons on the left side, beneath the thumb. They also both feature a laser sensor rated for 8200 dpi. Where they diverge is in the additions to the XTD: a button above the mouse wheel, left and right tilt on the mouse wheel, and customizable weight. Disappointingly, the door on the XTD for the weights is a little bit loose.

ROCCAT's Kone Software
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  • shaolin95 - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    I went through a long research and those were my two top choices. I ended up with the ROCCAT and I couldnt be happier but the 8200 seems to be awesome as well so I dont think you can go wrong. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    Neither of ROCCAT's mice look overstated or obnoxiously "loud" and I like the idea of adjustable weights. While I'm partial to an Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 series at work because of the acknowledgement to ergonomics, I can't see myself gaming on something that's turned sideways. The Kone XTD in particular catches my interest. The only thing I'd like to see added to the design is (bear with me on this) a micro SDHC card slot buried someplace in it. With programmable profiles stored on the mouse, it would be nice to see some ability to cart a game, documents, or portable app suite around with me and maybe the mouse's drivers so I could drop it between PCs without needing to tote a thumb drive. I only suggest user replacable flash for the sake of upgradeability and, depending on how hard you thrash your portable storage, fault tolerance.

    Despite my probably unreasonable wishlist, it still seems worth a closer look and maybe a purchase.
    Reply
  • graison - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    Got an XTD last week, upgrading from an MS intellimouse, it's awesome. Well made, super customizable software, nice feel. You can't go wrong if you got $90. Reply
  • BadVoodoo - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    i complained about the long apply time at roccat support a while ago and they told me to set up the kone monitor.exe and the option.exe as exceptions in microsoft security essentials. The apply time dropped from 30 to 2 seconds. Reply
  • B3an - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    Got one of these the other day, upgraded from a Logitech G5 and had loads of other gaming mice before that. This is miles better including the software which is excellent, i've not found one bad thing about the Kone XTD so far... best mouse i've used.

    I stayed away from the Kone+ as it didn't have a braided cable and the scroll wheel seemed poor from user comments. Both these issues have been fixed on the XTD. Also didn't like the tacky silver logo on the Kone+ and silver paint on mice ALWAYS gets worn off after a few months usage, so atleast on the XTD it's just a thin silver outline. I'd prefer no silver at all but thats the only small issue i have with this mouse.
    Reply
  • snoukkis - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Dude, it's a gaming mouse. You barely even reviewed it. :(

    The higher dpi is not meant for making it faster, but to enhance precision.

    1. max out the dpi in driver
    2. leave "windows pointer speed" setting to "default" / "+-0" / "middle" / "1:1" (different names)
    3. disable windows mouse acceleration
    4. reduce sensitivity in-game to compensate for driver dpi setting

    Now you are able to make more precise movements. If the game is poorly programmed, the in-game menu mouse speed will be crazy fast like in windows because the sensitivity affects only camera movement.

    Ideally you should test with a game that meets the following:
    - high FPS
    - low input lag
    - no mouse acceleration (in addition to windows setting)
    - no dead zone (poor console ports might have this)
    - no vsync
    - sensitivity affects both camera and menu speed

    Did I forget anything? I'd recommend Quake 1. Anyone else want to suggest something more modern? Except for menu speed, Minecraft meets those requirements (disable vsync and set view distance to tiny to max out fps).

    And as mentioned in previous comments, you should note the poll rate. It's important.
    Reply
  • snoukkis - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    more to perfect game:
    - no movement smoothing/filtering (adds input lag and hides possible problems)
    Reply
  • Galbias - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    The XTD looks tempting; I use a Cooler Master Storm Inferno myself and I love the "Shift" functionality that it has since I find myself running out of buttons to assign on most standard mice, but it seems to be a rather uncommon feature. The XTD seems to have more assignable buttons in the end since it has horizontal scrolling and assignable vertical scrolling so I may look at getting one. Thanks for the review. Reply
  • GullLars - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I've got a Roccat Kone[+] (plus), and before that i had the original Roccat Kone for 4 years. I made the switch from MX518, which is basically the prior iteration of the G500.

    The reason it takes a while to apply changes in the software is because they are flashed onto the storage in the mouse, which is a self-contained unit. Everything you can access in the software is hosted on the system integrated in the mouse, you can plug your mouse into a system that doesn't have the software and you still retain all your configurations, profiles and macros. This is a big selling point for users that can make use of this functionality, be it gamers that travel and use other machines, or for productivity work on many different machines. A mouse is not too big to carry with you if it increases productivity and ergonomy notably.

    I don't game as much anymore, but i buy enthusiast grade gaming equipment because it's made for people who have high requirements for their eqipment and don't settle. I spend so many hours in front of the computer that +$50 for (each of the) peripherials is worth it, and because of typically higher quality the TCO if the equipment lasts 3 years or more is not that much higher.
    Reply

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