ROCCAT Kone Pro Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

ROCCAT describes this mouse as an "ergonomic performance gaming mouse". Maybe this is a German-style understatement, because the Kone Pro is quite a bit more than that. The Kone Pro is an asymmetrical mouse for right-handed users. This means the shape of the shell is higher on the left than the right plus a thumb grip. Meanwhile, its shell surface material is composed of a thin, smooth, black plastic. Note the Kone Pro is also available in white. ROCCAT's logo and Kone 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 have LEDs underneath it that shines through as a translucent surface. The sides are slightly textured with parallel lines running from the front to the back, which provides some visual contrast. I found the textured sides to be reasonably grippy during use.

The ROCCAT Kone Pro is pretty standard when it comes to physical dimensions, measuring in at 125.6mm deep, 72mm wide, and 40mm 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 Kone Pro 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 66g weight of ROCCAT's pointing device is not adjustable, so you will need to deal with whatever the company think is the best for you if this ends up on your desk. 66g is really light, which makes a lot of sense for what this mouse is designed for -- first person shooter and multiplayer online battle arena games -- especially if you want something for quick, swift movements. It is heavier than the <60g Cooler Master MM711, but 9g lighter than its wireless counterpart, the ROCCAT Kone Pro Air. It is also 2g lighter than the Burst Pro. The Kone Pro's center of gravity is near the middle, which almost lines up with the sensor at the bottom.

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 in my opinion, since it is lighter, but the PhantomFlex braided cable is pretty decent. The Kone Pro 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 Kone Pro.

The ROCCAT Kone Pro 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. All of them are well-placed, so they are within easy reach, but are unlikely to be accidentally pressed. The ROCCAT Kone Pro's scroll wheel has a special name to it. It is called the Titan Wheel Pro, which is a thin three-spoke wheel milled from a solid piece of aluminum for minimal weight. The wheel is cool to touch at first, but the temperature changes quickly to match your fingers thanks to the material properties of aluminum. The Titan Wheel Pro feels great to use with low unsprung weight, smooth scrolling, and distinct notches.

Beneath the buttons, the ROCCAT Kone Pro features Titan Switch Optical switches that have a rated lifetime of 100 million clicks. These are the same switches found in the Burst Pro, and of course, the Kone Pro Air. 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 audible tone is a little lower in pitch than the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless. In the end, the feel of the two is pretty comparable, but I will give the SteelSeries a slight edge since it feels a little more substantial, if only by a small margin.

The ROCCAT Kone Pro features a two-zone RGB illumination system. The zones are one LED each under the left and right mouse buttons. 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 Kone Pro 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 Kone Pro 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. The PAW3370 is designed for power efficiency, which is great for wireless models, but the Kone Pro is not subject to the same power constraints as the Kone Pro Air. That said, this is most likely done to reduce develop cost. The sensor cannot increment at 1 DPI steps 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.

The Kone Pro works along with the latest version of ROCCAT Swarm, which is a 160MB 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.

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. Under Settings, you can customize the mouse's vertical scroll speed, horizontal tilt 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, lighting off, fully lit, blinking, heartbeat, breathing, and blinking. Our screenshot above shows Advanced Settings, where you can adjust the Kone Pro's polling rate, angle snapping, and lift-off distance.

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. A Swarm replacement is on the way, but until then, this is what we have.


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