Introducing the ROCCAT Kone XTD and Kone Pure

The "dirty" secret of PC peripherals is that the word "gaming" can often mean any combination of two things: robust quality and gaudy design. Most mechanical keyboards tend to be geared towards gamers, and likewise, most high quality mice tend to be pointed in the same direction. It's not unusual for digital illustrators to use one of the single-hand gaming keyboards for Photoshop shortcuts, and a good mechanical keyboard like the Corsair Vengeance K90 pretty much sells itself the instant a regular user feels the keys.

Yet sometimes these peripherals don't feel like they were actually designed with human hands in mind. I've tested a few gaming mice that were definitely reasonably comfortable, but still clung resolutely to my aging Logitech G500. ROCCAT sent me two gaming mice to test, though, and I walked away seriously impressed. With the Kone XTD and Kone Pure, ROCCAT has two mice that are surprisingly comfortable and incredibly full-featured. Have I finally found a reason to retire my G500, and should you be looking for these?

I know I'm not the only person who's picky about the peripherals they use. Once you know what quality feels like, it can be very difficult to just go back to a run of the mill keyboard or mouse (let alone monitor.) And sometimes, when you use one, it can just click in your mind: "this feels absolutely perfect for me." That was the moment I had with the Corsair Vengeance K90, and before that, the Logitech G500. It was the same confusing moment I had when I began to settle in with the Kone XTD and its little brother, the Kone Pure.

Neither of these are ambidextrous mice. I'm right-handed, but most of my good friends are southpaws, and I kind of feel for them in that they've had to adapt to a world that hates left-handed people. Still, one of them has been using a tired old basic Logitech mouse for some time now, and when I handed her the ROCCAT Kone Pure, she was pleasantly surprised.

The reason for that is because the grip of the Kone is designed to fit snugly in a broad range of hands, and importantly, ROCCAT dodges a big problem that I've found a lot of gaming mice have: poor texture. The soft touch plastic treatment that Razer and some other peripheral manufacturers tend to use doesn't breathe at all, and I've found their mice to cause my hand to sweat and perspire much worse than other mice. In comparison, the treatment on the surfaces of the Kone mice is more conservative. The glossy plastic that houses the LED stripes on the Kone XTD will undoubtedly be a sweat magnet, but the majority of the surface is quite comfortable.

Both mice are solidly built, though. They're comfortable in the hand, and the buttons are where you'd want them (with the exception of the button above the mouse wheel on the XTD, though I suspect that's very deliberately out of the way.)

While the XTD and Pure are clearly related, the Pure is the cut down version. Both feature a rainbow of configurable LED lighting (typically tied to the active mouse profile), along with DPI adjustment buttons below the wheel and back and forward buttons on the left side, beneath the thumb. They also both feature a laser sensor rated for 8200 dpi. Where they diverge is in the additions to the XTD: a button above the mouse wheel, left and right tilt on the mouse wheel, and customizable weight. Disappointingly, the door on the XTD for the weights is a little bit loose.

ROCCAT's Kone Software
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  • dishayu - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    Completely agree with the opening statement. My friends ask me why i keep buying "gaming" hardware even though i don't play games. I always have a hard time explaining that it's just a marketing gimmick for top quality peripherals. It has some truth to it, because the gaming usage scenario does require better feedback and precision which come with these high quality parts. My dad liked my deathadder so much that he decided to nick it for use in his office.
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  • nikolas04 - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    Hi very nice review , i would like to ask about linux compatibility , i have 2 computers , desktop & laptop with ubuntu and now that steam has one foot on linux i have started playing games from my library . I have a logitech g500 very nice with linux compatibility and i am very happy with it , what about roccat? can you change dpi with a button on the mouse? thanks in advance
  • tim_roccat - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    Check out the Roccat website. You will find a link to Linux drivers for almost every Roccat product
  • JeBarr - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    "...and I look forward to getting more of their hardware in for testing."

    Can't wait!

    I was looking at the Roccat surround headset recently but couldn't afford the gamble. Up to now I've been relying on the LTG Magnum with two pairs in the last six years. Was hoping to find something with a bit more punch and still haz muh Sauron eye on Roccat. The price is up there but if they're good quality I can overlook that.
  • Subyman - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    It's a hard sell when a g500 is $45 on amazon. I just retired an old Razer Diamondback after years of service for a G500. Great mouse for extremely cheap.
  • jigglywiggly - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    please test the sensors in these mice
    draw circles in paint
    get a turntable and measure the malfunction speed
    also test if they work on all mousepads

    try synthetics like aim400kg to see if you perform better on other mice vs different ones

    my friend buys one mice per sensor and he is very picky since he plays at 108cm/360

    we both get 73,600 on aim400kg

    although i use 28cm/360 ingame
  • lyeoh - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    I suppose Capsule Review means not a full Anandtech review?

    Might consider including some of the following in a full review:
    e.g. max polling rate
    surface compatibility - wood, glass, laminates, black glossy surface, black matte, etc. Also state surface used for the benchmarks/tests.
    -latency - button and movement latency
    -mouse malfunction speed.
    -reproducibility in X, Y and both axis - e.g. set the OS mouse config to no acceleration then repeatedly move the mouse physically from point A to B and back to A again, how far is the mouse pointer on screen. repeat test at higher speeds and higher iterations.
    -does 5 cm horizontally move the mouse pointer the same distance as 5 cm vertically? Do physical circles end up being circles on screen or ovals or worse?
    -maximum lift height before motion stops being detected.
    -max/average lift/place jitter (how much the mouse pointer moves when lifting the mouse straight up and then placing it straight down - can test by locking the mouse down and moving the surface instead).
    -audibility - clicks etc (dB)
  • jigglywiggly - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    there is no reason to use the g500
    the sensor isn't that good
    g400 is better

    optical mice are better in general, the deathadder 4g has the best sensor in any mice, even better than the old one which is surprising. works better on different surfaces too

    i use the g9x though, sensor is bad, built in mouseaccel, and it doesn't track that smoothly.
    noticibly worse than my abyssus, which i used before it

    however, the grip on the g9x is too good. (I don't use the shell) and for my 28cm/360 it's not bad.

    k1llsen also uses the g9x
  • cigar3tte - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    G400 does not have the wheel tilt, nor the braided USB cable. Some of us to find those to be deal breakers vs the G500.

    I'm currently holding onto my G9 (not G9x). Found it to be the best among the many I've tried (G400, G500, G600, G700, Naga, Naga Epic).

    One thing I still want on a mice but never find, is for the two thumb buttons to be vertically laid out instead of horizontal.

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