The phrase “German engineering” has always signified the absolute top in function and efficiency, and today we get to put that to the test. Hailing from the Rhineland, today we have a dual gaming mouse review! Roccat has sent us two models from their Kone line: the portable Kone Pure, and the full size XTD. This line of gaming mice are aimed at those for whom customization is king. As a matter of fact, the head line on the boxes reads “Max customization Gaming Mouse”. With all of this hubbub about options, features, and settings that can be changed and rewritten, Roccat is putting out quite the order: gaming mice with interchangeable bells and whistles, and at an affordable price; the Pure is around $70, while the XTD goes for $90. Can they fill this order, or do Roccat end up spreading it all too thin? Lets find out!
Lets start in the order that I received the mice in: Roccat Kone Pure first. The design of the mouse mimics the very successful Kone [+], and aesthetically it is very pleasing. The one thing that surprised me out of the box is just how small it is. My big hands ended clawing it, which was very unusual coming from a Deathadder. Clawing aside, the finish on the material of the half blue half black mouse is very well done, even though the bright blue detracts from the over all color scheme, but is a pleasure to hold nonetheless. The mouse buttons are crisp, and very responsive, especially the thumb buttons. The thumb-rest is deep and provides a good holding point for the mouse; but beware, the Mouse 4+5 buttons are located above, not seated in, the thumb rest. This may be a bit strange at first, but I found that it leads to less accidental clicks, simply due to the fact that it took active effort to reach for the buttons. While on the topic of strangely placed buttons, its worth mentioning the +/- placed behind the mouse wheel. These buttons are by default set to increase and decrease DPI, and are meant to be used on the fly, but without some incredible finger contortionism, reaching these buttons while in a normal mouse using hand position is nigh impossible. Buttons aside, the mouse wheel, as well as the Mouse 3 click are absolutely incredible; just how tactile the mouse wheel is, and how nice the response is ont he Mouse 3 click may as well be the selling point of the mouse; from second 1, the wheel has been nothing but a joy to use. On the lower right side of the mouse, we have the Roccat logo which, through the driver software can be set to glow and color imaginable.
Now let’s touch on the Roccat Kone XTD. The Pure’s big sister, also draws from the Kone [+] in terms of design and layout. The TXD is definitely the more customizable of the pair, as evidenced by the $20 increase in price between the two. The XTD is a good 25% bigger than the Pure, and comes with additional weights, up to 20g, which can make it much heavier than the Pure. Liking a heavy mouse, I have all four 5g inserts in. The mouse feels much bigger than her portable sister, even though the photographs may not show it. The hand rests comfortably on it, and I had not issues with hand placement, and did not have to claw the larger mouse. The Mouse 4 and 5 buttons are still above that thumb rest, and this time around, coming off the Pure, I was very used to this, and loved it as a feature. The mousewheel is just as fantastic on the XTD as it is on the Pure, but comes with added functionality, as the XTD features a 4-dimentional mouse wheel, allowing for a downward depression, as well as left and right clicks using the wheel. The +/- DPI buttons behind the mouse wheel suffer from the same problem as they did on the Pure; they are just in the wrong spot, and do add insult to injury, the buttons are larger, meaning you have to disconnect your middle finger to reach the -. The mouse finish features two strips of plastic which house the LEDs, and although they are more friction prone than the rest of the mouse, the sticky plastic finish resists being a fingerprint magnet, as a mouse should. Under the strips, in each of the four corners, there is an LED. Each LED is programmable through the driver to shine, much like the logo on the Pure, any imaginable color. But having four LEDs allows the driver to offer such options as color blending, as well as allowing for one LED color to dominate the entirety of the mouse. The former option gives way to some really interesting color combinations, while the latter allows for a uniform color to suit the LEDs of your rig. Just like on the Pure, the colors can be set to pulsate, or be a solid brightness the entire time.
That’s where the differences end, and now we can streamline the discussion. barring the external changed in shell shape and color, the mice are functionally identical. They both have the same maximum DIP of 8200, both boast 576kb of on board memory, both have a 1000gh poling rate. Both mice come in similar boxes, and both boxes share advertisement blurbs. Both mice connect via a labeled, braided cord, which is a nice thing to have when you’re fumbling behind your computer. Both mice come integrated into the Roccat Talk system, which allows Roccat devices to communicate. Sadly we weren’t able to test this feature, as the products have to be of a different class to talk to one another (two mice don’t count). However, the most important feature to talk about is the fact that both mice use the same driver software. The software is expansive and allows for a monstrous amount of customization, staying true to that original advertisement blurb: “Max Customization Gaming Mouse”. You can edit every little imaginable setting, from the X/Y sensitivity, to the DPI, to different macro functions that the mouse supports, and so on and so forth. One interesting thing to note about the software: it has a voice, which is unexpected. What’s even more unexpected, and outright strange, is the arbitrary “Achievement” system the comes with the mice; the mice have trophy like achievements that include clicking a certain amount of scrolling a certain number of pages. Now, where I’m going with this is the combination of the last two sentences: when you earn and achievement, the voice of the driver never forgets to tell you that you’ve done so. The fact the his raspy, grainy voice happens to be as loud as a jet engine is a bit un-nerving. Just imagine this situation: You’re having a bout of insomnia, and decide to read some articles on the internet, you’re scrolling through, when all of a sudden:
Terrifying, isn’t it? It’s made me jump out of my seat many a night. Before we conclude, I have one last caveat emptor. The mice come with a very interesting feature that you need to watch out for. The mouse 5 button is a macro key for the Easy Shift [+] system that cannot be remapped (or if it can, I haven’t been able to find the function to do so). Meaning that any function you had set to Mouse 5 previous has been moved to Mouse 4, and to access mouse 5 you now have to have a new macro key set. But this isn’t all bad, its just a jarring transition. Holding mouse 5 and triggering any of the other buttons gets you a macro function, and this function can be easily mapped from the driver. Once you get used to the fact that the Mouse 5 button is now six individual buttons, theres a lot of utility that can be gained from this. It was strange, and at first turned me off, but now I can’t say that it hasn’t become second nature.
- Both mice are very aesthetically pleasing, and go with any rig due to the color management
- Very responsive, with a high DPI ceiling sure to please most gamers
- Easy Shift [+] system allows for increased functionality while keeping the mouse size reasonable
- Easy Shift [+] system seems unintuitive at first
- The fact that it remaps your mapped functions is also un-appreciated
- Some buttons (+/- DPI) are inconveniently placed
So, in the end, both mice are great choices: One is lightweight, tiny, and portable, while the other is a full-size, heavy yet nimble behemoth. if you need a great portable gaming mouse, that wont break the bank and will keep the function of its siblings, the Pure is the way to go. Conversely, if customization is key for you, and you need to control everything from the mouse weight to the lights on its four LEDs, as well as have a lot of buttons to map and use, my recommendation goes to the XTD. Keep in mind that the transition from your native mouse to these might be a bit jarring, but in the end (depending on your preference) it could be ultimately rewarding.