Where the Roccat Kova could be considered a beginner's gaming mouse, the Kone is a full-fledged hardcore gaming mouse with a complete feature set and supporting software. This was the first gaming mouse produced by Roccat and has since garnered several awards from overseas review sites. The unit itself is solid black with smooth rubber covering the top and sides, while the rest is covered in a shiny black plastic material that accents the rubber nicely.
The Kone is an 8-button mouse comprising the usual right and left mouse click buttons, a clickable scroll wheel that also tilts left and right, a button above the scroll wheel and two more below it. The two buttons below the scroll wheel are used to adjust the DPI on the fly but can also be remapped to your liking. The mouse is designed for right handed users.
Like the Kova, the Kone features a fully programmable LED lighting system. The lights on the Kone are pretty subtle, as opposed to the blinding bright of some gaming mice out there. Additional features include the adjustable weight system that can be changed by pressing a single button. The bottom of the mouse under the weight system has contact points used to communicate with the software to detect which size weight is currently installed.
Four weights are included, from 5g to 20g in 5g increments. This system works well for the most part. However, if you choose to use no weight at all you are left with an opening on the bottom of the mouse with no way to cover it.
The setup process on a Windows 7 machine didn't go without a hiccup, as I was greeted with a text box telling me the driver install was unsuccessful after plugging the mouse in. Once I restarted my system everything was working perfectly, but in order to fully utilize all the features you'll need to install the latest software which is available on Roccat's website.
The Kone software may look a bit daunting at first but it's really laid out well and is easy to use. Roccat certainly spent a lot of time designing it. You can fine tune every little detail of the mouse, including sensitivity, button assignment, DPI switching, scroll speed, double click speed and color layout, just to name a few. You can also create and store up to five different profiles with this mouse, making it perfect for different games or even different users.
One feature I really like is Roccat's Tracking Control Unit, or TCU. This innovative feature allows you to calibrate the mouse on any gaming surface for optimum laser sensitivity and tracking.
The Kone is a bit larger than the Kova but it's still very comfortable. I thought it might be a bit too big for my average size hand at first glance but that isn't the case. As for actual use, this mouse excels in every aspect. I enjoyed every minute of it during gaming and in the Windows environment. The mouse slides around easily thanks to the large Teflon feet. My only gripes are with the Kone's clickable scroll wheel, which is too stiff for my liking, and the rather cheesy looking cat logo.
For their first gaming mouse Roccat has done a remarkable job with the Kone. Priced at $89.99 on Performance-PCs.com, it's just $15 more expensive than the Kova and it patches all those areas where the latter left us wanting more -- including build quality. The Kone falls in the middle-upper class price bracket of our round up and seems well worth the money for serious gamers considering its features, comfort and outstanding software suite.