ROCCAT Kone Pure Owl-Eye Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

If you think ROCCAT would make two mice with the same name but different shapes, you would be wrong. As we saw from the Kone EMP, ROCCAT's design of the mouse is quite similar. From a bird's eye view, you can tell the mouse is not symmetrical at all. Both the buttons and the overall shape of the Kone Pure Owl-Eye favor right-handed users, so southpaw users will have to look elsewhere. The entire mouse is made with a hard shell plastic and finished in a smooth feel. You might think this would make the mouse hard to pick up, but the deep indentation on the mouse means your fingers should easily grip the mouse without any slippage. Contrary to my initial thoughts, the surface is actually quite grippy. Unfortunately, this finish does not hide fingerprints very well, which was even more evident when trying to take photos of it after using it. Looking at the shape, the ROCCAT Kone Pure Owl-Eye is pretty flat, with gradual curves at the front and the back. The peak of the hump is slightly more towards the back side of the mouse. Otherwise, the name of the mouse can be found on the left side of the mouse in a subtle silver-gray finish, with a single word "Pure" near the side buttons. A translucent ROCCAT logo can also be found on the back towards the right edge. This area illuminates in bright colors, but we will talk about this more later.

In terms of dimensions, the ROCCAT Kone Pure Owl-Eye measures in at a very dwarf size of 119mm in length, 70mm in width, and 37mm in height. It should be noted all of these numbers are at their maximum points. Comparing with the Kone EMP, this is definitely smaller in all dimensions. According to ROCCAT, this mouse is "91% the size of its bigger brother". As mentioned previously, the mouse humps at maximum height slightly more towards the back. The slope towards the back is thus a bit steeper than compared to the front. For my own hands, I have enough space on the entire mouse to rest my thumb on the left side, and my ring and pinky fingers on the right side. This is specific to my hand size, so your mileage may vary, and I would recommend trying out the mouse before buying it. When it comes to the scales, the ROCCAT Kone Pure Owl-Eye is once again a small mouse, weighing a featherweight 88 grams without the cable. The weight is balanced evenly between the front and back, with the center of mass located in the same line as the sensor of the mouse. Unfortunately, there are no extra weights to add to the Kone Pure Owl-Eye should you so desire. At the top center of the mouse is a black braided cable, measuring at a length of approximately 180cm. Braided cables are generally preferred for a better look, though their durability is not necessarily better or worse than the rubber alternative. I will say though the cable on the Kone Pure Owl-Eye is flexible and light, which is not true of most braided cables. At the end of this cable is a non-plated USB connector, which should perform as well as any gold-plated connector.

From the left side, you can see all of the buttons on the ROCCAT Kone Pure Owl-Eye. At the front, you have your standard left and right buttons with a scroll wheel in the middle. Underneath the two main buttons are Omron switches rated at not ten or twenty million clicks, but a whopping fifty million presses each. They feel great to press and offers a nice tactile response as expected from Omron. I will say I found these buttons to be slightly lighter to press. I think this was something I just had to adjust to, especially coming from my previous mice. The scroll wheel is advertised as ROCCAT's "2D Titan Wheel". In real life, the notched wheel is easy to scroll without being too easy. The wheel is very stable and overall feels great to use. Underneath the scroll wheel, we have two rectangular buttons. By default, they will cycle up and down through the DPI settings. These rectangular buttons are directly under the wheel, and thus are quite hard to accidentally press. Finally, on the left side of the Kone Pure Owl-Eye, we have two side buttons set to Forward and Back. The secondary keys do not feel as crisp in actuation compared to the primary keys, but at least they are located well within the reach of my thumb.

Flipping the ROCCAT Kone Pure Owl-Eye over, we have two 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. In PixArt terms, this is actually a modified PixArt 3361, which is a variation of the 3360. According to ROCCAT, this sensor is specified to offer from 100 to 12000 DPI in sensitivity. While we do not have any datasheets particularly for the PMW3361, the PMW3360 is said to track at high speeds of 250 IPS with acceleration up to 50g, though it is not enabled by default. While report rate can be adjusted in the software, the Kone Pure Owl-Eye reports at a maximum 1000Hz. The sensor is also firmly attached to the body of the mouse, as there is no sensor rattle.

From ROCCAT's website, you can download their SWARM software. I personally required a firmware and driver update once downloading it, and at the end the software took up about 119MB. This may sound big, but I should note this is not a huge deal if you have other ROCCAT devices, since they can be configured through the SWARM as well. Other software suite such as the ones offered from Corsair and SteelSeries are also just as large, if not larger. Otherwise, these updates were pretty smooth, and using the software was overall an excellent experience. There were several times where the application would stop responding, but it was not a daily occurrence, and the error probably was more on a user end rather than in the software.

In terms of navigation, ROCCAT has four pages dedicated to the Kone Pure Owl-Eye. 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, lift off distance, sound feedback, and illumination colors and effects. As you may have already guessed, the ROCCAT logo lights up in one of the 16.7M available colors. There are several effects here too, including static, blinking, breathing, and heartbeat. There is a color flow effect, which allows the light to cycle through the rainbow of colors, but the gradient of transition is quite choppy.

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. This is one of the better macro implementations I have seen, which is great from a company deeply invested in the gaming industry.

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