(Pocket-lint) – Roccat’s Kone mice have been iconic for many years, and are often highly thought of due to their precise German engineering and comfortable ergonomics.
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed recent versions of the Roccat Kone, including the wireless Roccat Kone Pro Air and wired Kone Pro. The Kone XP really kicks things up a notch, though. This mouse seemingly takes the foundations of the previous mice and adds in some impressive features, eye-catching RGB and a whole host of awesome specs.
We’ve been gaming and working with it to find out how it stacks up against the competition of the best gaming mice around.
Interesting specs for the money
- 19K DPI Owl-Eye optical sensor, 50g acceleration
- 1,000Hz polling rate
- Tactile & fast Titan Switch Optical
- 104g weight
The Roccat Kone XP is immediately interesting for a number of reasons. Obviously, the main draw looks-wise is the so-called 3D RGB lighting, but there’s much more going on with this mouse than just looks.
Under the hood, the Kone XP packs the usual superb hardware we’ve come to expect from Roccat mice. First, it uses Roccat’s Owl-Eye optical sensor, which is capable of up to 19,000 DPI and accurately tracks your mouse movements. It has an adjustable lift-off distance, too, and that’s also calibratable in Roccat’s Swarm software. The 1,000Hz polling rate and debounce time are other highlights here, as well.
Secondly, the Kone XP also uses optical mouse switches in the place of mechanical switches that you’d find on other, lesser mice. That means they’re guaranteed to last longer, to actuate more accurately and not to let you down. They give a satisfying response, too, though it’s nowhere near as superbly clicky as those on the SteelSeries Prime mice.
Another thing that we’ve always enjoyed about Roccat’s Kone mice is ergonomics, and that same holds true of the Kone XP. This is very much a right-handed mouse, but one that’s perfect for gamers with larger hands or those of us who just enjoy a good fit and plenty of comfort.
It has a slight slope to its shape on the side and offers a nice thumb rest, as well. The buttons are all well laid out and mostly all within easy reach, and, in fact, are one of the biggest highlights of using this gaming mouse, as we’ll explain below.
- 15 programmable buttons with 29 possible functions
- Krystal 4D mouse wheel
If you like buttons, then you’ll love the Kone XP. This mouse packs 15 buttons – all of which can be programmed within the software to as many as 29 functions, and all within easy access. The left side of the mouse has four thumb buttons where you’d usually only find two on the other Kone mice – like the Kone Pro, for example. There’s another one on the thumb rest, too, and it’s that button that hides the best feature of this mouse that’s not immediately apparent.
As standard, the button on the thumb rest (marked with a plus symbol) is the Easy-Shift button.
Easy-Shift[+]™ lets you double the functions on your mouse. What do you use it for? pic.twitter.com/mrBGayYQxx
— ROCCAT (@ROCCAT) May 22, 2018
This button is a push-to-toggle button that works similarly to an FN button on a gaming keyboard. Pressing it opens up a secondary layer of actions on the other mouse buttons. You can customise these extra actions in Roccat Swarm, but, as standard, they’re already set up usefully. Press it and roll the mouse wheel up, for example, and you’ll increase system volume. Roll it down and its volume down. You can set up macros, other button presses or actions and really open up a world of possibilities here.
On the front of the mouse, next to the main left button, you have DPI up and down buttons, and these can be reprogrammed, too. The large button behind the mouse wheel is a profile button. Press that and you can cycle between the five profiles that you can set up in the software. As you press this, the RGB lighting changes colour, so you can see at a glance which profile you’re using. This means that you can basically set a different profile for different uses (different games or different productivity uses).
Even the mouse wheel has options, as it’s ‘4D’, meaning you can push it in, roll it back and forth and tilt it side to side, as well. All this means there’s an insane amount of customisation options here. If you’re an MMO or RPG gamer, you’re bound to be pleased with all the possibilities.
The only complaint we have is with the main thumb buttons. We find the placement a tiny bit off. If you’re trying to use your thumb to both hold the Easy-Shift button and press the main thumb buttons, it’s a struggle, as they’re a bit high up. However, this is going to vary depending on the size and shape of your hand and your dexterity.
Glorious RGB lighting
- 3D RGB lighting with 22 LEDs
The most wonderful part of the Roccat Kone XP’s design is likely the 3D RGB lighting. Roccat seems to have a flair for crafting mice with intriguing RGB. Where other mice merely light up the company logo or small parts of the mouse, Roccat likes to do things differently. On the Kone Pro Air, that meant adding RGB to the main buttons but not the body of the mouse.
This time, Roccat has gone to town on the lighting with 22 LEDs packed into its transparent frame. This RGB is useful, not just pretty. We’ve already mentioned that it changes colour when you switch profiles. It also glows a different shade when you press and hold the Easy-Shift key.
There are various settings within Swarm that you can use to adjust it and several effects including things like fully lit, heartbeat, breathing, blinking and wave. AIMO is one of our favourite modes, but this mouse also has a mode called Photon FX which sends a glow up and down the various ridges that you can see internally on the body.
The RGB is some of the nicest we’ve seen on a mouse and gives a nice glow on your hand that is certainly eye-pleasing.
The Roccat Kone XP is a superb gaming mouse and one that’s both affordable and packed full of awesome features. For several reasons, it might our favourite gaming mouse of late – at least at this price point.
We only have a few minor gripes with this mouse and it’s great to game with, so what more could you want?
Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Conor Allison.