The folks at ROCCAT are always hard at work trying to bring new refinements into their peripheral devices for the PC. The Kone series of mice, in particular, are known for their precision and build quality. Recently, ROCCAT celebrated the 5th anniversary of its aforementioned series and with that it has further strengthened its lineup with some brand new additions, which includes the Kone Pure, the Kone Pure color, and the Kone Pure Optical. The vanilla version of Kone Pure comes with a laser sensor, while the Kone Pure Color offers the same mouse in a range of different colors. Specifically for this review, we’ve been sent the Optical variant of the Kone Pure. So without further ado, let’s put it through the paces.
- Optical Sensor: Pro Optical Sensor (R3)
- DPI: 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 2000, 3200, 4000
- Polling Rate: 1000Hz
- Response Time: 1ms
- Acceleration: 20g
- Maximum Speed: 60 ips (1.5m/s)
- Data Channel: 16-bit
- Processor: 72MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit ARM-based MCU
- On-board Memory: 576KB
- Cable Length: 1.8m braided USB cable
- System Requirements: Win XP, Vista, 7, and 8 (32/64-bit)
Packaging & Accessories
The Kone Pure Optical comes packed in a rather attractive looking box, with a bevy of features clearly stated at the rear in multiple languages. At the front, we’ve got an image of the mouse next to some feature highlights, namely the 4000 DPI, Pro-Optic Sensor R3, Easy-Shift[+], customizable multi-color lighting, and the 72MHz Turbo Core V2 ARM processor. The mouse wheel is prominently advertised as sturdy and long-lasting. Some of the features are also stated on the side of the box, with imagery to go with each individual highlight.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the packaging is the fact that the front panel of the box opens up to showcase the look and feel of the Kone Pure Optical. While the mouse itself is covered in plastic, the packaging gives you the opportunity to evaluate the size and aesthetics on the basis of your own subjective measures.
As far as accessories as concerned, the Kone Pure Optical comes with a quick installation guide that can be found neatly tucked inside the plastic shell surrounding the mouse.
Design & Build Quality
Compared to ROCCAT’s flagship Kone XTD, the Kone Pure Optical offers a 9% reduction in size. This is definitely for the better in our opinion, as the curvature and proportions are perfect for those who are accustomed to the ‘claw’ style of grip and maneuvering. It boasts a sleek dual-shade color scheme, with a majority of the exterior being metallic grey while the sides are in black. In terms of utility, the Pure Optical is specifically tailored for right-handed users. The material on the exterior is given a soft-touch feel, adding to the overall feel and comfort.
In terms of button placement, two thumb buttons are positioned on the left side of the mouse, with one being dedicated to the Easy-Shift[+] functionality. The top section of the mouse carries a rubberized scroll wheel and two rubberized buttons beneath it for the purpose of DPI adjustment. Sure enough, the Titan wheel feels as sturdy as advertized, making a rather satisfying click at every scroll step. The wheel button is also easy to to use with a relatively gentle tap. The most prominent aesthetic feature is undoubtedly the translucent ROCCAT logo that lights up when the mouse is hooked up via USB. The color can be adjusted to light up in any of the 16.8 million colors in the gamut, giving plenty of flexibility to the user.
Beneath the mouse are two rubberized feet placed around the optical sensor. To ROCCAT’s credit, once plugged in, the sensor doesn’t let out the unwanted red glow that is all too common with most optical mice of today. The mouse cable is fairly lengthy and well braided, and ends with a durable USB connector.
The drivers for the Kone Pure Optical can be obtained via ROCCAT’s official website. The mouse’s on-board memory of 576kB is large enough to store 5 individual profiles. The user interface for the software is robust and easy to navigate. There are a total of 5 tabs available i.e. Main Control, Button Assignment, Advanced Control, R.A.D., Update/Support, with each offering various control and customization features.
On the ‘Main Control’ page are a number of sliders for fine-tune tracking and scroll sensitivities. The 5 DPI levels can also be toggled from within this menu. The Pure Optical sports a DPI range of 400 to 4000 at intervals of 400. The ‘Button Assignment’ page is where you will find the option to map and customize input keys to the Kone Pure Optical. The important feature to note here is EasyShift[+], which is basically a Function key that can be assigned to either of the two side buttons. With the Easy-Shift[+] button held down, you will be able to map an additional set of functions to the other buttons. In this manner, you can have a total of 22 commands at your disposal in with the ease of a simple button click. The idea is not to clutter the mouse with an overwhelming number of buttons, and instead maintain an elegant and less cumbersome design without compromising on the number of mappable commands.
The ‘Advanced Control’ page allows adjustments to color effects, sound feedback, and mouse acceleration. A total of 16 color presets are available for selection, along with the option to further customize to one of the 16.8 million colors in the RGB gamut.The ‘R.A.D.’ page is specifically for the purpose of giving you detailed statistics on your usage as well as the list of achievements that you’ve earned. Statistics include the number of clicks, scrolls, and distance tracked. Achievements are unlocked after a certain criteria has been met, based on the statistics. While not really a requirement, it’s a novel feature that lets you keep tabs on your usage patterns without any drawbacks.
Last but not the least, the ‘Update/Support’ page provides online/email support as well as links to driver updates. Driver updates don’t take place within the application, however, and you are instead redirected to the official website on your browser instead.
The Kone Pure Optical performed very well in the general run of gameplay at our office. We took the mouse for a spin in Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 and came away impressed. Being a twitch shooter, Call of Duty: Ghosts requires nothing but the utmost precision and the Kone Pure Optical did not disappoint in that regard, even improving the K/D ratio of our staff members over a series of multiplayer sessions. The responsive and tactile buttons on the Kone Pure Optical played a great role in adding to the experience. The soft-touch material makes gripping the mouse comfortable over extended periods of use. Fine-tuning sensitivity can take some time however, as the DPI interval of 400 is somewhat larger than usual.
The Pure Optical also supports ROCCAT Talk FX, which basically alters lighting on the ROCCAT logo whenever certain in-game prerequisites are met, such as when your character takes damage or is low on health.
All in all, the Kone Pure Optical is a high-quality product that is worthy of its $69.99 price tag. It’s a fantastic gaming mouse that goes toe-to-toe with the very best in the market today. The customizable LED logo makes for an attractive selling proposition, while the feel and comfort is great all around. Coupled with a feature-rich and robust software, the ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical becomes easy for us to recommend to everyone looking to enhance their gaming experience.