ROCCAT Kone AIMO Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

One thing I do like about all of ROCCAT's mice is the fact they all have a familiar design language. As such, the ROCCAT Kone AIMO reminds me of another ROCCAT Kone we have looked at, the Kone EMP a few years back. With a similar size and lighting placement, the Kone AIMO follows in its footsteps. As such, the whole mouse is black in color, with some highlights of white around. This includes an outlined cat at the back to show the ROCCAT branding, as well as the product name "Kone AIMO" near the left side of the mouse. The one notable difference is the indented, translucent stripes down each of the sides. Following the AIMO branding, this mouse offers some pretty RGB effects, as we will see later on in the review. In addition, the scroll wheel has translucent sides to glow some pretty colors. The whole shell is a slightly matte finish, but it picks up oily marks and prints easily. The shell is pretty slippery too and I would personally prefer if we had some rubber grips to make the mouse easier to hold. This is offset by a deep thumb indent on the left side so you can get a better grip on the mouse, but I still think the surface change would be more beneficial. As you can tell by the shape, the whole mouse is oriented to right-handed users with the one-sided thumb groove and button placement.

Taking out our measuring tape, the ROCCAT Kone AIMO measures in at 127mm in length, 83mm in width, and 43mm in height at maximum measurements. The maximum height occurs in the middle, though the curve drops off more quickly at the back of the Kone AIMO, while the front has a more gradual curve. When it comes to the scales, the ROCCAT Kone AIMO is a hefty 130g. Considering this mouse is targeted at medium to larger hands, all of the aforementioned dimensions make sense. The weight is slightly leaning more towards the front of the mouse, which is not aligned with the placement of the sensor. This could adversely affect performance when lifting up and placing down the mouse, but we will see later on in our performance tests. At the center of the top of the mouse, we have a black braided cable that leads out, measuring 180cm in length. I found the braided cable to be quite stiff and inflexible, which is disappointing. This can cause the mouse to catch on the edge of your table, so be sure to allow for some extra slack when using the Kone AIMO. At the end of the cable is a non-plated USB connector to connect the mouse and the computer.

From this angle, you can see the deep left groove to place your thumb. In addition, you can see all of the buttons on the ROCCAT Kone AIMO at this side. As this is a right-handed mouse, all of the buttons are closer to the left side. At the front, we have our standard left and right buttons surrounding a scroll wheel. The buttons are slightly concave to make resting your fingers here feel natural. Underneath these main switches, we have what ROCCAT calls their "exclusive" switches. These are Omron switches rated at 50 million clicks. They offer a good tactile response and weight in each press. The scroll wheel is a notched wheel that allows for both horizontal and vertical scrolling. I know some people do not care much for horizontal scrolling, but I certainly like it. The wheel is stable and does not rattle about. Underneath the scroll wheel, we have two buttons marked '+' and '-'. By default, these increase and decrease between five DPI values. However, these values can be altered in the software. Finally, on the left side of the mouse we have three buttons near the thumb rest area. They all offer a decent amount of travel, though I did find the button actuation to be a bit mushy. Even so, I like the placement of the buttons, as they are out of the way of accidental presses, but within reach for intentional ones.

Flipping the ROCCAT Kone AIMO over, we have whole array of polytetrafluoroethylene, commonly known as Teflon, feet to help with keeping a smooth glide. In the middle of the mouse is the opening for the sensor. The sensor in question is the ROCCAT Owl-Eye optical sensor. We have seen this in other ROCCAT mice, including the aforementioned Kone EMP, the Leadr, and Kone Pure Owl Eye. In PixArt terms, this sensor is a variant of the PMW3361. This sensor is specified to offer from 50 to 12000 DPI in sensitivity. While we do not have any datasheets particularly for this variant, the PMW3360 is said to track at high speeds of 250 IPS with acceleration up to 50g, though it is not enabled by default. Polling rate is set to a minimum 1ms, or as a maximum frequency of 1000Hz. The sensor is firmly attached to the body of the mouse and exhibits zero sensor rattle.

From ROCCAT's website, you can download their SWARM software. The bundled application is a pretty big 199MB to download, but this is understandable considering SWARM can be used for multiple ROCCAT devices. It is nice to see a single application for multiple devices, especially as we can get into synchronized lighting with their AIMO solution. Otherwise, the software also has a firmware updater for your connected devices.

In terms of navigation, ROCCAT has five pages dedicated to the Kone AIMO. The first is a thumbtack, where you can pin your most used settings to the front tab. Next is Settings, where many sliders can be found to adjust scrolling, tilt, double-click, and pointer speed. You can also change the DPI levels, and a maximum of five settings can be saved to the mouse at any time. Under Button Management you can change the functionalities of all of the buttons. You can also enable Easy-Shift, which acts as a second set of mouse functions. This means you will have to set one of your standard buttons to be the Easy-Shift activator though. Under Advanced Settings, you can change the polling rate, calibrate lift off distance, enable angle snapping, and add sound feedback. Finally, the Illumination tab is where you can change the lighting and effects. As you may have already guessed, the two strips down the side of the mouse and the scroll wheel lights up in 16.7M available colors. You can pick from several different effects and even customize each of the LEDs found under the strips. Finally, there is the AIMO mode that reacts to different actions like mouse movements and clicks. You can also synchronize this with other AIMO products to get effects for keyboard events too. I honestly think the lighting on the Kone AIMO looks nice, but there are not as many effects as I would have liked compared to competitors like SteelSeries.

Internally, ROCCAT has provided 512KB of onboard memory to store all of the saved profiles. There are a maximum of five profile slots available to be saved. ROCCAT has also one of the better Macro Managers, as they allow you to pick not just from keyboard shortcuts, but can directly link to a whole set of actions from their list of games. This includes common games like Dota 2, League of Legends, or CS:GO. You can also record your own shortcuts if you do not see your game here, and therefore set one of your mouse keys to execute these macros.

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