Roccat Kone[+] Gaming Mouse ReviewThu, Mar 01, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Closer look: features
In order to provide gamers easy accessibility to a wide array of functions while engaged in the heat of battle, ROCCAT outfitted the Kone[+] with 8 buttons, but ROCCAT isn’t the only or even the first company to put a ton of buttons on a gaming mouse. ROCCAT claims to have made this mouse better than the other gaming mice with a wide assortment of buttons. So, ROCCAT designed the Kone[+] to address a fundamental problem with a feature-rich gaming mouse: easy access to those buttons and a wealth of functions tied to those buttons. In ROCCAT’s opinion, other gaming mice with a lot of buttons creates an uncomfortable situation where the buttons aren’t comfortably pressed with a gamer’s fingers.
The key to the Kone[+] being more comfortable and natural to use is what ROCCAT calls the “Easy-Shift[+]” button. The Easy-Shift[+] button enables 22 directly accessible mouse functions by essentially functioning as a “shift” key. So, when a gamer holds down the Easy-Shift[+] button, pressing any button or even scrolling the mouse wheel becomes a different function.
The ability to control up to 22 functions can be useful for controlling other system settings while in-game. For example, if a gamer is playing music while gaming, the mouse can be used to control the system volume, launch a media player application, and flip between tracks in a playlist. The buttons can also be tied to any number of macros for applications and games. The driver includes some preconfigured macros for certain use scenarios, but users can also program totally customized macros that can be very straightforward or infinitely complex.
The Kone[+] also features an Easy-Aim button, which alters DPI sensitivity on the fly, which is particularly useful when switching between a scoped rifle and a machine gun in a first person shooter, for example. The mouse also features an Easy-Wheel button, which works similarly and can be used to control Aero Flip 3D in Windows 7 or the system volume level, among other things. When paired with ROCCAT’s Isku gaming keyboard, the Kone[+]’s customization options can be controlled from the keyboard, making on-the-fly changes to macros and dpi sensitivity even more convenient for use while busy gaming.
The driver for the Kone[+] is highly customizable. It is the tool a gamer would use to program the buttons on the mouse and the various functions and macros for each individual application or game. The Macro Manager can be used to program extensive macros for the various buttons, even allowing simultaneous commands or customizable delays with precision down to the millisecond. The driver application also provides the ability to change the color of the LEDs on the mouse, allowing a user to choose up to four colors at the same time. The LEDs can also change according to different effects such as alternating, rotating, or pulsating. The LEDs can also be switched off.
The driver also allows switching between the mouse’s five different DPI settings. One particularly cool feature is the ability to switch the X and Y axis sensitivity individually. So, for a game where precision on the Y axis is more essential than that of the X axis, a gamer can tweak these settings.
One of the strengths of the Kone[+] compared to other gaming mice is the onboard memory. On this mouse, up to 5 profiles can be stored directly into the mouse, including application-specific button settings, LED settings, and DPI adjustments. Once this information is stored on the mouse, the settings will remain constantly on the mouse. So, for some of us who compulsively wipe and re-install Windows, this feature will ensure all the time we spent customizing our mouse settings will remain on the mouse. This is also useful for someone who plays games on both a desktop and a laptop or at a friends house. This feature could be easily overlooked, but we found it very convenient.