Upon opening the retail package you will find the mouse, a quick start guide, a promotional pamphlet from Roccat and a Roccat ID card where you can join the “Roccat World” which appears to be largely a social network for gamers. Unfortunately the club looks to be mostly about Europe at this time, and may not appeal to those of us who are state side. There is no special software CD included as this mouse is driverless.
The Kova is a small ambidextrous mouse. Its main selling points are up to 3200 DPI tracking resolution, the fact that it can be used by left or right handed gamers, its light weight and its “driverless” operation. Some other features worth noting are the color customizable LEDs, Mac support, and on-the-fly DPI changing.
This mouse is attractive out of the box and is very lightweight. The Kova’s availability seems to be limited in the United States at the time of this review. Pricing varied wildly (as items with limited availability usually do). It was found as low as $75 upwards to $110. Even with the lower end price, it is quite an investment for what appears to be a middle of the road gaming mouse.
The mouse installed automatically once plugged in to a Windows 7 x64 Ultimate install and was ready to use within seconds. You will quickly notice the high DPI as the mouse is quite sensitive. The unit has the typical layout of mouse buttons with an exception being forward and back buttons on both the left and the right sides of the mouse. This is good news for those who are left handed as you can switch the forward and back commands to the two buttons on the other side of the mouse. Note that the two buttons opposite of your active forward and back buttons are useless and can only be used as “combination” buttons as labeled in the guide provided by Roccat. More on what this means exactly in a bit.
The scroll wheel is very large. It is almost twice as wide as other mice and features “clicking” scrolling which is important to some people as mice with completely smooth scrolling can be annoying in some games. The mouse is also lit up by LEDs to give off an attractive but not over powering glow. The color and the mode of this light can be changed to a solid color, to a fade in and out of all the colors or turned off completely. The colors available are: light blue, dark blue, red, light green, and dark green.
Since there is no software included you must change the colors, LED mode, DPI, and left hand/right hand mode by holding down the back or forward button at the same time as the “combination” button. The “combination” button is just a fancy way of saying the inactive back or forward buttons on the opposite side of the mouse depending on whether you are in left handed or right handed mode. Different combinations change different settings and all are explained in the quick start guide included with the mouse. The DPI can be changed between 400, 800, 1600, or 3200 DPI.
Using the mouse could be a bit uncomfortable to some. The shape of the mouse may be awkward to those who are used to an exclusively right-handed designed mouse, or those with larger hands. It is very light as well. These facts could be a blessing or a curse, and results will vary from person to person. The tracking was excellent even at lower DPIs and worked on a variety of surfaces. Impressively enough, it somewhat worked on a glass surface as well which is a testament to the fine tracking optics present in this hardware. Also worth noting, the scroll wheel only does vertical scroll and does not support horizontal scroll.
Kova Final Thoughts
Overall, it is hard to recommend this product solely based on its price. Other than the moderately high DPI, it is a middle of the road mouse and much more feature rich mice can be had from other manufacturers for less than or equal to the cost. I suspect the high cost is due to the limited availability in the States, so this may change in the future. If you have your heart set on a Roccat product and are right handed go for the Kone, which we will be moving on to now.