ROCCAT Burst Pro Air Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

ROCCAT describes this mouse as an "extreme lightweight optical pro wireless gaming mouse". I think this is a good description of the intention of this mouse, so we are here to examine the validity of this claim in this review. Like the Burst Pro, The Burst Pro Air is a symmetrical mouse, although after so many years, I have yet to see anyone use a mouse with the left hand regardless of which one is dominant. It is also important to point out it is still made for right-handed users by the way the buttons are placed. Meanwhile, its shell surface material is composed of a thin, smooth, black plastic. Note the Burst Pro Air is also available in white. ROCCAT's logo and Burst branding is printed in silver in the middle of the shell. Beneath the shell, which the company brands as the Bionic Shell, is a honeycomb structure that makes the mouse so lightweight. Because the plastic shell is so thin, the mouse buttons and shell have LEDs underneath it that shines through as a translucent surface. The sides are slightly textured with a honeycomb-style matrix, which provides additional visual flare. I found the textured sides to be reasonably grippy during use.

The ROCCAT Burst Pro Air is pretty standard when it comes to physical dimensions, measuring in at 120mm deep, 58mm wide, and 38mm tall. You can see the mouse is built for small to average-sized hands based on these numbers. I am a palm grip type user myself, and the ROCCAT Burst Pro Air fits quite well. Just for fun, I gave it a claw type grip and it is not bad to use it at all. My hand size is pretty average, so this is good news for majority of the users.

The Burst Pro Air is made to be an ultralight mouse, so it makes sense the 81g weight is not adjustable. Ultralight mice are desirable for first person shooter and multiplayer online battle arena games, especially if you want something for quick, swift movements. The mouse's center of gravity is near the middle, which almost lines up with the sensor at the bottom. However, 81g is a bit heavier than what I expected, considering the wired Burst Pro is only 68g, making the weight difference a rather considerable 13g. The Kone Pro Air is only 75g, with a weight difference of only 9g compared to its wired counterpart, the Kone Pro. I use the Kone Pro Air as my daily driver, and the difference in weight compared to the Burst Pro Air is immediately apparent. I think this mouse should be closer to 77g, or at least about 5% lighter than what it currently is.

A 1.8m PhantomFlex braided cable leads out from the front of the mouse via a short cable guide. A paracord cable would have been better, but you probably will not need the cable much thanks to the 100-hour rated battery life. The mouse connects via a USB Type-C plug; props to ROCCAT for being caught up with the times. The cable is used for charging, and when connected, the Burst Pro Air becomes a wired mouse. The Burst Pro Air connects to your computer via a non-gold-plated USB connector. When we bring about the question of whether gold plated connectors are actually useful or not, let us just say if it was the actual pins, then possibly, since gold offers better conductivity than other metals. This theoretically establishes a better connection with your computer, but on a digital signal level, we must understand it is a discrete one or zero. If anyone tells you they can tell the difference, you can defeat their theory with a double blinded test. Additionally, if you are referring to the gold part of the connector you see on the plug, I would like to point out it is used for ground and does not make any physical contact electrically with your computer. In other words, it is nice to have, and it is pretty to look at, but it is not anything significant on a practical level. The lack of a gold-plated USB connector will not have any performance impact on the Burst Pro Air even in wired mode.

The ROCCAT Burst Pro Air does not come with a whole lot of buttons, but it does come with more than what most people will use every day. Combined with the previous image, you can see besides the standard left click, right click, and clickable scroll wheel, there is a forward and back button on the left, which is arguably standard nowadays. There is also a sensitivity cycle switch on top. The mouse allows five sensitivity settings to be saved per profile, so pressing this button will cycle through the configured sensitivity steps in ascending order. I would much prefer a separate increase and decrease button, but there is only so much you can ask for in an MSRP $100 mouse that has most of the budget allocated for the hardware inside. All of them are well-placed, so they are within easy reach, but are unlikely to be accidentally pressed.

Beneath the buttons, the ROCCAT Burst Pro Air features Titan Switch Optical switches that have a rated lifetime of 100 million clicks. These are the same switches found in the Burst Pro, Kone Pro Air, and Kone Pro. The aim of these switches is tactile, reliable, and quick response. Obviously, these wordings are paraphrased from ROCCAT's website, the real question is, are they any good in real life? In my opinion, they are excellent. The clicks are reasonably quiet, yet audible, giving a substantial feel to it. I did not notice any gaps with the switches. The Titan Switch Optical's response is distinct and can be considered to be very clean.

The ROCCAT Burst Pro Air features a four-zone RGB LED illumination system. The zones are one LED each under the left and right mouse buttons, scroll wheel, and shell. The color of the LEDs can be configured to virtually anything in software by a custom color palette; more on this later. Different lighting effects, speed, and brightness can be set for different profiles in ROCCAT's Swarm software.

A shot at the bottom of the ROCCAT Burst Pro Air optical mouse. Keeping the plastic base gliding above your mousing surface are two heat-treated pure PTFE feet; also known as Teflon to the common person. In organic chemistry, ethylene/ethene indicates a carbon-carbon bond with two carbons and a double bond (C2H4). Tetrafluoro replaces four hydrogen atoms with fluorine atoms, making it C2F4. In non-scientific terms, poly just means a bunch of them linked together.

The ROCCAT Burst Pro Air is powered by a ROCCAT Owl-Eye optical sensor based off the PixArt PAW3370 capable of sensing up to a jaw-dropping 19,000 DPI sensitivity, but can drop as low as 50 DPI at 50 DPI increments for those who want it. It is not 1 DPI increments seen in many high-performance models, but I doubt anyone need that level of precision adjustment. It promises 400 inches per second tracking and acceleration of up to 50g. 1000Hz polling rate is standard, but can be lowered to 500Hz, 250Hz, or 125Hz. No sensor rattle is noticed.

The mouse allows five profiles to be stored on board, so pressing the profile switch at the bottom of the mouse will cycle through them. Profile switching can also be done in software. A small USB wireless transceiver is included, as shown in our photo above. It can be stored underneath the mouse for convenience. Although the ROCCAT Burst Pro Air is Bluetooth compatible, the transceiver provides support for the company's proprietary Stellar Wireless technology. According to ROCCAT, it is a reliable low latency protocol for improved gaming performance. This is especially important for a wireless mouse. A slider switch at the bottom lets you switch between Stellar Wireless, Bluetooth, or turn the mouse off.

ROCCAT promises a 100+ hours of battery life on a single charge and 10 minutes of charging adds 5 hours of play time. Turning on the RGB LEDs will drop the battery life. I have been using it using standard lighting over Stellar Wireless, and given how long the battery life is, I never really ran out of battery before plugging it again.

The Burst Pro Air works along with the latest version of ROCCAT Swarm, which is a 180MB download from ROCCAT's website at press time. This program unifies all your ROCCAT peripherals into one application. After installing the corresponding hardware module, you will be prompted to update the mouse firmware. Updating the firmware was a quick and painless process, but it will require the mouse to be plugged in. This is no different than other wireless products I have used.

After selecting the ROCCAT peripheral you want to configure at the top, the graphical user interface is basically separated into four separate tabs: Settings, Button Assignment, and Illumination, and Advanced Settings. You can see I have the Kone Pro Air connected to this computer as well. Under Settings, you can customize the mouse's vertical scroll speed, double click speed, Windows pointer speed, and five preset sensitivity settings. Button Assignment, as its name suggests, allow you to assign functions to different buttons. These include macro, hotkey, timer, basic functions such as left click, advanced functions such as increase sensitivity, internet, multimedia, open, exclusive ROCCAT functions such as Easy-Aim, operating system functions such as shutdown, or disabled. Note not all functions are available for every button. The macro manager allows you to directly link to actions from a preset list of games such as Minecraft and Overwatch.

With regards to the lighting effects in the Illumination screen, there are seven options. These are AIMO intelligent lighting system, wave, fully lit, blinking, heartbeat, breathing, blinking, and battery status. I found the battery status illumination to be completely useless, as it is completely not customizable, and I have no idea how it works or what it actually is trying to say. A better way of doing it is allowing the user to customize the RGB LED color and effects based on battery level. Our screenshot above shows Advanced Settings, where you can adjust the Burst Pro Air's polling rate, angle snapping, and lift-off distance. The battery status and signal strength can be checked here as well.

Overall, I found ROCCAT Swarm to be mostly straightforward and easy to use. Unfortunately, it seems like the software has stayed the same since forever, which makes it feel outdated compared to Corsair iCUE and SteelSeries GG.


Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests
4. Conclusion