The mad scientists over at ROCCAT are always up to something it seems. Even with the fact that we just had a look at the Kone XTD just last month, it seems ROCCAT isn't even close to done with the Kone series of mice. As of late, they have introduced a full group of characters to add to the lineup. In this new group you have the vanilla Kone Pure with a laser sensor, the Kone Pure Optical we are about to look at for those with no need for laser sensors, and a series of Kone Pure Color mice, again with a laser sensor, but it comes in four color combinations. It seems ROCCAT is making sure they cover every need and want with this new design to me, and I can see this idea working well for them.
The whole idea behind all three players in this new group of mice is to limit the pomp and circumstance of the side LED strips, and decreasing the mice to 91% of the size of the Kone[+]. With this downsizing, there is the loss of one of the buttons that was offered on the Kone[+]. Other than that, all of these mice keep a similar feel and overall shape to the predecessors design, but on the inside they stay with the top tier components that we all expect in today's gaming mice offerings.
One of the most important things about these new mice that doesn't change is the awesome software package that comes with anything ROCCAT sells. This alone is one thing that no one else in the market has been able to recreate, and to me are the main reasons that people who do buy ROCCAT products end up making that decision. Combine that software with the simple idea of the EasyShift[+] button that doubles the mouse functionality and leaves you with endless possibilities in what a ROCCAT mouse can do to make your life on the PC as easy as possible.
For TweakTown and its readers to get familiar with this new idea, as I said, they sent along the Kone Pure in its Optical form. This is not to say that you are getting something better in the other two offerings in this series, because with the Color versions it is just that, the same mouse in a different suit and tie, and of course the Pure offers users both sides of the fence to choose from when looking at this new design, and covering all of your customers is just good business. On top of all of the ROCCAT goodness that I have liked since we were introduced, I really think that the pricing is on point, and yet another reason to get behind the Kone Pure Optical this early in my writing.
There just really isn't a way to camouflage the smile when I test their products. Join in on some of the excitement as we delve deeper into the Kone Pure and its counterparts as we continue to discuss this new release from ROCCAT.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Just because the idea was to get to the basic essence of what the Kone has to offer, don't let that slight your perspective. Simply looking down the list of features and specifications proves that this mouse is more than capable of handing out a whooping to someone in game, as any other solution out there today. In fact, even with the slight reduction in size, it is exactly the feature and products chosen that will make the Kone Pure a huge success.
In the features list ROCCAT cover the Pro-Optic (R3) Sensor which is their glorified naming of the Avago ADNS 3090. This sensor will allow for seven DPI settings ranging from 400 to 4000 DPI. ROCCAT Click Master technology refers to the use of Omron switches under the right and left click buttons, and they bring up the EasyShift[+] button that duplicates all of the buttons on this mouse except for itself. Condensing a few of the listings we can discuss the ST Microelectronics 32-bit ARM Cortex MCU, and the 576KB of memory that comes with it to store saved settings from the software directly on the mouse. This time there are only seven buttons found on the Kone Pure Optical, and at the heel of the mouse is a ROCCAT logo that is backlit with the option of 16.8 million colors. Along with a black on grey color scheme with this version, the sides of it are coated with rubber to give a better grip on the Kone Pure Optical when in the heat of a game.
If you want to look at the more technical aspects of what the Kone Pure Optical delivers in the sensor specifications, the data channel width, or what the software offers you, feel free to look at that bit of the chart as well, but I can save you the time and say that it is more than capable of doing its intended tasks and then some. What I really want to get to is the pricing of this whole series of mice. While availability is slightly slim inside of the States at this time, whether you want the Kone Pure, the Pure Optical, or the Color variant, all of them are priced right at $70, give or take a dollar here or there.
I already thought that ROCCAT provides customers with more than they pay for when getting a product from them, and I like that that trend as well as all the others that have made ROCCAT successful, and it looks like they have no plans to change that anytime soon.
ROCCAT stays with the black packaging to accent the features and artwork found on the front of the packaging. Around the image of the Kone Pure Optical mouse in the middle, there are mentions of the Titan Wheel, DPI maximum, EasyShift[+] button, multi-color LED and the processor used. At the very bottom you have even more features and iconography to see.
To the right, the angled section has the ROCCAT name and logo embossed, and in shiny text to play against the matte background. Other than the name of the mouse and where to go for more information, you can see you are supposed to open the side.
Inside of the front panel you are given information on what the EasyShift[+] is all about and how it works, along with the default settings for the standard and secondary commands. It then points out more internal features, talks of ROCCAT TALK and TALK FX, while the right side of this image shows the mouse under a layer of plastic, so that you can see what is inside prior to purchase.
Even the top panel gets into the mix offering an image of the mouse pointing out the Titan Wheel location and that the logo is LED backlit. Other than that you have similar iconography to what the front panel offered.
The back of the packaging has the image of the mouse at the top, again pointing out all the features that can be seen from this angle. Below that you will find a list of eight feature we already covered on page two, and multilingual charts of the specifications.
The last side panel of the packaging offers four images of interest. The first is of the sensor and what it is capable of. The second one shows off the LED back lit logo. The third one give you an idea of the software included, and the last image is hitting at the TALK feature where you can make this mouse do keyboard functions if you also have a ROCCAT branded keyboard on the desk.
The bottom of the box is also packed with things to look at. You are given the package contents and a tech specs chart in English. There is a quote for this product from Dr. Dale of the ROCCAT team, along with some basic product and company information.
Inside of the box you find the Kone Pure Optical is packed inside of two layers of plastic with very high side walls to keep the mouse inside from being damaged. Packed in behind the mouse is where to locate the provided literature.
ROCCAT Pure Optical Core Performance Gaming Mouse
As looking at this side of the Kone Pure Optical shows with the deeply set in thumb rest, this is a right hander's selection of mice. The entire section of black is a rubberized coating to give users a better grip on this mouse, and it has two buttons. The fist button is defaulted as the page forward button, the second one is the EasyShift[+] button by default.
The mouse is textured and appears to be a gunmetal grey color. Off slightly to the right is the cut away edging of the ROCCAT logo that will later illuminate, and gives you the option for any color you can think of to use here.
The right side of the mouse is also rubberized, but you can see the indent is much less obvious, and more just a "ledge" at the top to allow your fingers somewhere to be able to lift the mouse easily. Something else to notice is that there are no buttons on this side of the Kone Pure Optical.
The front of the mouse has the same slant to the leading edge that seems to use less material to produce, but still gives the right amount of length for the first and middle finger to use and not hang off the front of it.
On the top of the mouse, in a black stripe of plastic, you will find the rubberized Titan Wheel that moves forward, back, and will click down. Behind the wheel there are two more buttons set to raise and lower the DPI by default.
Under the Kone Pure Optical you will find this mouse glides on two PTFE feet that aren't that big at all. The front foot goes from side to side, but is skinny, as does the bottom foot. There is also some information on the sticker you may need, like the part and serial numbers.
At the end of 1.8 meters of braided cable you will find the easily defined ROCCAT connection. This way when reaching around the back of the PC to remove this to travel, it is easily distinguishable by sight and feel.
Accessories and Documentation
Behind the inner packaging there was a plastic envelope that came inside of the box. Inside of that is where you will find this quick installation guide. This is also the only bit of kit outside of the mouse that you will receive, that means no custom weighting set either.
After unfolding the guide, this side provides you with a congratulations for the purchase, moves into details about the sensor, EasyShift[+] button, and covers the 16.8 million color choices of the logo available. Things then end with specifications and tech specs at the bottom.
On the reverse is the information you may want to keep on your desk top the first few days, just to get used to the default functionality. The rest of the page covers the EasyShift[+] functionality along with optional things pre-set to use under the second layer of buttons.
Inside the ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Mouse
After removing the feet and four screws, I was able to separate the halves of the mouse. I did also have to disconnect a cable to allow me to take an image of the PCB that has the switches behind the scroll wheel, and above that is another layer for the DPI switches.
Pulling out the two screws in the last image, I was able to easily get to both PCBs at the top, this one for the page forward and EasyShift[+] key. These are backed with TTC switches and are a good secondary choice for lesser used switches.
The DPI buttons are backed with these much smaller black pad type switches. While I would like to see better switches used, at default you shouldn't use these much, but with the option to change everything about the layout, these could get used by certain users way more than they are intended for.
Then of course we have the lower section of the Kone Pure Optical. Besides the empty clip where I unplugged the top half from the base, there is also a layer of black tape laid over the optical sensor and its eye to keep the rear LED from interfering as well as keeping the optical sensor from bleeding through the cracks outside the mouse.
Under the left click button of this mouse, ROCCAT backs it up with a D2FC-F-7N Omron switch since this is the most used button on any mouse and deserves a better feel and much more longevity than other solutions.
The right side of the mouse also has the same Omron switch under the right click button. As for the scroll wheel center click functionality, that is up to the red TTC switch under the arm of the wheel.
In command of tracking where you hand is moving this mouse, ROCCAT has opted to fit in the Avago ADNS 3090 optical sensor, which is currently the top of the line when it comes to optical sensing in mice.
Communicating between the PC and the mouse, ROCCAT chose to install the 32-bit STM32 MCU. This ARM Cortex M3 processor operates at 72MHz, and uses an 8MHz oscillator chip.
This is a look at the LPC built, MXIC 25L40065 microcontroller is where they store the 576KB of onboard memory to allow you not to have to take software on the go, you can keep Macros and profiles right in the mouse.
With the Kone Pure Optical now all back in one piece, I went ahead and powered things up. What you notice is that the logo is now glowing red by default, and is also set in a breathing or pulsing mode. Remember, this can all be easily changed in the software to fit your needs.
The main control tab of the software allows users to adjust the sensitivity, scroll speed, tilt speed (if you assign buttons for it) and five levels of DPI settings. Along with being able to change the double click speed, there is the profiled and the creation section at the bottom of all tabs.
The button assignment tab delivers you at this moment, the stock setting for the mouse with and without the EasyShift[+] button. Keep in mind that with the five profiles and 17 programmable buttons on each profile, that is 85 things you can make this mouse do at any given point.
Of course, you can add any sort of command that you can think of, and in case you are brain dead when this mouse arrives, ROCCAT has put in so many things to choose from right away, even if you did have an idea of something to do, you can easily get lost in a sea of options already here.
At the bottom of the button assignment page there is a Macro Manager button, which will bring you to the above screen. Not only do ROCCAT again provide a full assortment of all the hottest moves in most major titles, you also can add any basic Macro from this screen, or if you need time delay options, click on the advanced editor eye icon to do that.
In the advanced control tab, you get to pick the effect of the LED light under the logo, choose its color, and the polling rate on the left. To the right you can add or remove the sound feedback through the PC when certain things are changed, the pointer speed, and they even have a section to factory reset the mouse.
The R.A.D tab is to keep a record of your usage with the Kone Pure Optical. As you use the mouse more and more, you get rewards for certain steps along the way. Not only can you enjoy a collection of these trophies, but there is also an option to share them on the ROCCAT forums for some good hearted competition between owners.
The update and support tab offers a place on the left that shows what firmware and software you are currently running under a button that will take you to the main support page where you pick your mouse and see if there is anything newer. The Online Support button takes you to the main support page where you may enquire for help or service, and there are email and forum links they offer as well.
ROCCAT Sense Meteor Blue 2mm Mouse pad
ROCCAT also sent along the Sense Meteor Blue 2mm mouse pad for use to test the Kone Pure Optical mouse with. These two sides of the packaging offers a fair bit of information on the front, while both panels are cut away to allow you a glimpse of the pad inside of this packaging.
Next to that plastic window, there is a pair of samples attached under the cardboard. This will allow users to feel both the top and bottom surfaces of this 2mm thick, cloth topped, rubber backed mouse pad.
This panel is just as long as the previous two were, but since it just repeats the information in various languages, I thought it better to get close enough to see what is being given. ROCCAT offers information on the minimized friction, that they asked pro gamers to test it, it offers the perfect area to use a mouse on, that it is rubber backed, and that it is 400mm by 280mm in size.
The top half of this panel offers you information about the pad under its image, but then takes off into what makes this the choice in pads. It also shows that this pad has been tested to allow perfect tracking up to 16,800 DPI.
The lower section gives a short list of the mice that have actually been tested and that ROCCAT approved for use with the Sense. It then concludes with a brief message from a pro gamer as to what he liked about the Sense mousepad.
If you didn't get it before, it should be plainly obvious why this Sense mouse pad is named the blue meteor. Along with a very large image of an icy meteor streaking across the pad, there is also the ROCCAT and product naming at the lower right corner.
Getting much closer to the pads top cloth surface, you see the very fine mesh weave of the top that offers effortless gliding ability, but the edges are straight cut, and eventually lift from cable wear along them.
On the back there is a layer of a silicone rubber that has been slightly textures with the chevron pattern put into it to allow this pad to grip on almost any surface it is set on.
With a base price of $19.99 for this pad, you see that there is a lot of room for your money. While I do own larger pads, I would in no way consider this medium sized. In fact, with the DPI any higher than 2000, I rarely if ever found a reason to lift the mouse.
Once again ROCCAT has not failed to impress, and if you have yet to try one, the Kone Pure Optical may very well be the right mouse for you to try out. Not only do you get a slightly reduced size of a mouse with these newer releases, but the shape, feel and comfort is not lost in any way. While I thought the reduction may have made it a bit too small, it actually fits my medium sized hand really well, and with the Sense mouse pad under it, it feels more like an air hockey puck on the desk than typical mice. I found no reason to hate on the color scheme outside, nor do I think I am going to miss the strips of LEDs down the sides of the top section. Simpler is better in this case, but only in the design of the mouse, because once you add this fully comprehensive software that almost performs miracles for you, and just a little bit of imagination, the ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical is almost unstoppable.
For those of you who might think this design is a bit plain, lack the color to go with your current PC theme, or you just can't see yourself opting out for anything other than a laser sensor based offering, ROCCAT has you all covered as well. While I can't hit on all of the points for all three mice, I think the Kone Pure Optical we saw here today is going to swing some heads as people stop to check it out. The real shame is for the buyers, as they have no way to try the fit, feel, and get even the slightest idea of what this software is capable of. At no time during my testing could I find any reason to complain about this mouse. It glides like it is on a cloud on most surfaces, it is lighter and easier to maneuver, and it is designed to fit the hand really well - it was simply a pleasure to use in all the games that I tried. Not once was I left looking for another button or a way to make it do what I needed - most of the things I use were already built right into the software.
The Kone Pure Optical is packed with all the latest and greatest technology inside, and will allow for hours upon hours of pampered use of your right hand. This is both at the desktop and gaming level, as with all the pre-sets and buttons available to me, I have one for office commands, one for Pandora, and it still leaves me with three profiles I can dedicate to games. The ability to take this all with you on the go stored within the mouse also means you get to take all of this awesome everywhere you go.
Priced at $70, the ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical is worth all of that and some. I also suggest that if you have a spare $20, you should pick up the Sense Blue Meteor mouse pad as well, it gave the "slickest" feel for this mouse than any other of the six I use to test with and offers plenty of room to get your game on.