Review: Roccat Kone XTD gaming mouse is a beautiful fusion of aesthetics and features
PC gamers take their choice of mouse seriously. I've switched between a lot of gaming mice in my journey to find the right one. Some have lasted longer than others. I've recently reviewed the Razer Taipan and Roccat Savu. While both are excellent choices, they weren't for me. Then I got my hands on the Roccat Kone XTD. After a month using the Kone XTD, I can say with great confidence that it is one of the best -- if not THE best -- gaming mice I've ever used. With an eye-catching design that's both comfortable and beautiful, and great customization, the Kone XTD doesn't have something for everyone -- it has everything for everyone.
Visually, the Kone XTD is an aesthetically pleasing gaming peripheral. It has a soft-touch black matte finish that comes to life with two LED lighting strips that run down the top of the mouse. The Kone XTD offers lighting customization that's absent in a lot of other gaming mice. Currently, I have the LED lighting system starting at an orange-ish red and transitioning to a navy blue at the rear of the mouse. #GoBroncos You could spending hours going through colors and lighting effects. The ROCCAT logo doesn't light up, but that's a good thing; the mouse would look too busy if that was the case. The lighting also brings the game to life in your hand with cool lighting effects -- like a breathing function or a color rotation.
It's not just about looks with the Kone XTD. It avoids being a shallow piece of hot gaming tech-a** by offering deep functionality. To begin, the soft-touch finish combined with the shape makes for one of the most comfortable mice I've used to-date. The depth comes from the easy-shift button. Where you usually have the back/forward buttons, instead you now have the Easy-shift button. What this does is effectively double the amount of buttons on the mouse, acting as a shift key. For games like StarCraft 2 or any MMORPG, this feature is a godsend. If you play mostly FPS games, you won't find yourself using it, though. I was worried about my finger accidently hitting the Easy-shift button, but the mouse is such a good size that I didn't experience that problem at all. Whether your hand is on the small size or you have gigantic, clumsy paws, the XTD is a perfect middle ground. The Kone XTD also comes with adjustable weights to make the mouse lighter or heavier, depending on your preferences.
On the top of the mouse are buttons to easily change the DPI setting -- from 200 to 8200. I usually play around the 6000 DPI setting, but depending on the game, I like to be able to change it on-the-fly. It's a pet peeve of mine when there's no dedicated button to adjust DPI. Luckily, this is one of the areas where the Kone XTD passes with flying colors. One of the things that Roccat boasts is its Titan 4-D Scroll Wheel. You're either going to love it or feel indifferent about it. To me, pressing it felt kind of unstable, like I didn't really have that much control. The scroll wheel not only scrolls but can be pressed down as another button, as well as pressed to the left or the right. It takes a lot of finesse and play time to get used to its action. Considering all of the other buttons have such great action right off the bat, the difference threw me off a bit. But when you're getting multiple button assignments from a scroll wheel, it's hard to complain too much. Flicking the wheel to the right or left to activate an ability or use an item removes another need from the keyboard, so it's a welcome adjustment.
To get the most out of the Kone XTD, you'll have to use the driver and software that comes with it. Some people want to just plug in a mouse and use it -- easy peasy lemon squeezy. The XTD begs you to use the software, and it's some of the best and easiest software you'll ever use. It's really easy to figure out exactly what needs adjusting to fit your playstyle. You can control things like sensitivity, scroll speed, double-click speed, and DPI to name a few. Whether you're adjusting the polling rate or the color of the LEDs on the surface of the mouse, there's enough customization here to appease most gamers.
This is also where you'll be controlling button assignments. The best part is that you can create separate profiles for your mouse settings; so if you want different settings for when you play League of Legends and Battlefield 3, you can change them pretty easily. There's also a nifty trophy system that gives you trophies when you reach a certain number of mouse button clicks or move your mouse a certain distance. Pointless, but neat!
If you also use a Roccat Isku keyboard, the Kone XTD will speak to it. With the Roccat Talk FX technology, you get even more lighting features, and also the cool Easy-Aim feature. By pressing a key on your Isku, Easy-Aim will optimize the DPI setting on your Kone XTD; this is especially handy for sniping in FPS games. It's not a reason to buy the mouse if you don't already own a Roccat keyboard, but it's a nice feature if you tend to buy all of your devices from the Roccat family.
It's hard to find anything bad about the Roccat Kone XTD. It's comfortable, visually stunning and offers deep customization, no matter what type of gamer you are. The Easy-shift feature might take a little while to get used to, and the scroll wheel definitely has an adjustment period, but these are two very small negatives that get drowned out in a sea of positives. For me, it's everything that I've looked for in a gaming mouse. It's not a cheap mouse, sitting in the $80 to $90 range, depending on the site you get it from, but you get what you pay for. And what you're getting might just end your search for the perfect gaming mouse.
- Dimensions: Max. length 13.5cm x approx. 7.8cm max. width. 4cm high
- Approx. weight 123g plus four optional weights in 5g, 10g, 15g or 20g
- 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 and Distance Control Unit
- 72MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit Arm based MCU
- 576kB onboard memory
- Zero angle snapping/prediction
- 1.8m braided USB cable