Roccat Kova & Kone Gaming Mice
Author: Michael O'Neill
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 02-11-2011
Provided by: Roccat
Pages:
Kone Software / Conclusion

The software for this mouse is what truly sets it apart from most other mice and where this unit really shines (aside from all the LEDs!). Upon the first plug in on a Windows 7 Ultimate x64 install you will be prompted to install a driver. This is probably one of the few mice out there that absolutely requires a specific driver, which makes sense due to all the advanced features this mouse can provide via software. This can also be a problem if you don't use Windows as there does not seem to be an OSX or linux driver available at this time.

The included driver CD did not contain the correct drivers for Windows 7 x64, but did not seem to even check the OS to see if it was compatible. This on top of the required reboot after the program and driver installed brings a little bit of annoyance to an otherwise good first impression of the unit. A quick visit to the Roccat website provides the updated driver and after a second attempt and subsequent reboot, the mouse was immediately recognized and ready to use.

Tracking of the mouse was just as good, if not better than the Kova and worked on a variety of surfaces. The mouse is very well built and is sturdy. All of the buttons provide good clean clicking action.

Software

The mouse customization program is, quite frankly, one of the most impressive set of mouse options you will find anywhere. This program itself will take up the majority of this review based on its extensive list of options.


Upon opening the program you will be greeted with a friendly tabbed menu that is easy to navigate in and well organized. The five tabs you will be presented with are: Main Control, Color Control, Advanced Settings, Update, and Help and Support. There is also a section allowing you to create game profiles so that you can quickly change between saved sets of options. This will allow you to do cool things like have certain games run with high DPI and the mouse glowing red while being able to fall back to an alternate profile for another game. The driver will monitor for the game's EXE file and whether or not it is running and automatically load the appropriate profile for that game so no manual intervention is required under normal circumstances.


In the main control tab you can do the following functions:

Assign button commands (including Macros and multimedia keys)
Create Macros
Change double click speed
Change mouse sensitivity
Change available DPI options in the switch queue
Change mouse wheel scroll speed

Most of the options are self explanatory. You can assign mouse buttons to macros. The macros can contain any combination of keystrokes including the delays between them. This could be a very powerful tool in some games and is a feature that may sell the mouse in and of itself to some people. There is even an advanced editor that lets you tweak the timing down even further. The macros seem to be limited to keyboard events and there was no way to include mouse clicks. This is really a minor issue as most games have a keyboard equivalent to most mouse buttons. The DPI Switcher simply allows you to change between available DPI options when you press the DPI up/down buttons on the mouse.


Moving on to the color control menu, this area is mostly about cosmetics and allows you to change many aspects of the LED lighting present on the Kone. You will find a total of five LEDs that can have a color of their own based on the settings you provide. The list of available colors is extensive. You can also change the effects of the LEDs to glow, stay solid, blink in various fashions, and rotate colors. You can also turn the LEDs off completely.



The last major menu is the Advanced Settings. Here you can change the following options:

Advanced Sensitivity
Mouse Acceleration
Tracking Control Unit
Window's Pointer Speed
Polling rate

There is also a reset button here that will reset the options back to default. Some advanced features that need expounding on are the Advanced Sensitivity setting and the Tracking Control unit. The advanced sensitivity may or may not be useful to you and basically allows you to adjust the X and Y axes independently. The Tracking Control Unit (TCU) is a sensor that allows you to calibrate the mouse to specific surfaces such as your desk or a mouse pad. Roccat claims by doing this calibration it will further your tracking accuracy especially when running in high DPI modes. The calibration process is painless, so there is no harm in turning this option on. Lastly, you can adjust the polling rate to slower speeds, though it is unclear why you would ever want to.

The last two tabs are to download software updates and to view the help website.

Kone Final Thoughts

The Roccat Kone is one of the most impressive gaming mice on the market today with a rich feature set and powerful software. Anyone on a Windows platform that is right-handed should forgo the Kova and go straight for this gem. The only major downfall with the Kone is the pricing which is a bit on the warm side. For any hardcore gamer though, this mouse may be a must once you center in all its various settings and options. This mouse will give any gamer the tracking accuracy and consistency they need to stay competitive in games. On top of all that, it is not bad to look at either!

OCIA.net has awarded the Roccat Kone our Gold Seal of Approval!




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