ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Review

BluePanda - 2013-08-03 21:24:23 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: October 30, 2013
Price: $69.99

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Introduction:

ROCCAT was first introduced here on OCC in review form back in October of 2011, and as it turns out, it was one of my reviews as well: the ROCCAT Kulo 7.1 USB Headset [+]. At the time, I had never heard of this German-based company even though it had already been around for four previous years! I think back on all the products I have reviewed from ROCCAT and get a bit of deja vu as I look at the ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse. In May of this year, I took a look at the ROCCAT Kone Pure, the laser version of this mouse. The mouse has the same body shape, so at first touch I'm having familiar feelings on this mouse already.

The ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical is similar in design to the well liked Kone Pure. The addition to this version is the ultra-precise, true 4000 DPI Pro-Optic (R3) optical sensor. It's been a full five years since the original Kone series was born and as a "hat tip to community feedback" the Kone Pure Optical was birthed. Of course, the now well-known Easy-Shift[+], Talk, and Talk FX features are rolled into this new addition to the lineup. With a sleek two-tone body color and pre-approved light-up logo, the Pure Optical comes to us today for further scrutiny. Let's see whether this mouse, nearly five years in the making, is the purest Kone?

 

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Closer Look:

ROCCAT, at least from my personal time with its products, has come to be known for its fancy packaging. The boxes are almost always in full color with an image of the product right on the front of the box. You tend to know more information about the product before ever opening the box – let alone before ever taking it to the checkout line. Though I generally despise this over-done style of boxing and applaud the very plain Janes, I do see how this could be extremely useful if I were actually buying it in-store.

The ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical doesn't stray from this style one bit. The front shows off the mouse along with some of its dominating features: 4000 DPI, EASY-SHIFT[+], Multi-Color, and the newer ROCCAT Titan Wheel. The back of the box goes to show off a bit more of the mouse with a near isometric view. More key features of Kone Pure Optical jut off from the image; a braided cable, soft-touch surface, and 32-bit Turbo Core V2 Processor are just a few of such items. The text below rattles off more details and is followed up by nine boxes of translated text. The side reads off more detail of the mouse itself along with supporting images. The optical sensor is glorified among the color lighting options, software achievements, and ROCCAT Talk features (which is really neat if you have other ROCCAT products). The other side of the box is cut inward for a flap, which has a blue arrow and word "OPEN" pointing to it. I think I should listen to such commands.

 

 

 

Opening up the flap reveals not only the mouse in a formed plastic shell, but again more images and key points of the mouse. You can actually fit your hand on the mouse to get an almost "real-feel" for the mouse before ever opening the box itself. If nothing else, you at least get an idea of size. The images detail the 7+2 EASY-SHIFT[+] feature, as well as plausible examples for both media use and the ever popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. The box reads "Fearless Design: Sleek, clean and muscular. A joy to hold and behold." It's a nice little tag to go with the mouse – but I will have to argue the "muscular" claim even before I pull it from the box, as this mouse is a baby in size! However, you could argue that it has a lot of muscle internally – I guess we will see. Without weights or any extra items to include, the out-of-box shot is quite simple: a mouse and its install guide. Keep reading to see more!

 

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Closer Look:

Starting off with the top down perspective of the ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical, it is clearly the same body as the Kone Pure. There are some obvious changes, including the two tone coloring and written out "PURE OPTICAL" on the silver grey portion, but the mouse is otherwise the Kone Pure reborn. In case you don't know the Kone Pure (and are too lazy to read about it here), I'll provide a bit more. The scroll wheel has a rubber sleeve with notching to allow for full feel of the "click" as you swap between weapons or read through pages. The "+" and "-" cycle through the DPI settings while hearing the classic ROCCAT man voice read the current DPI. If you don't know what I'm talking about in regards to this "voice", there is a male voice that actually announces your DPI settings as you cycle through them – it's something funny I've found with most ROCCAT mice since the very beginning. Google it if you really want more on this nearly comical voice.

The bottom of the mouse exposes the sensor itself and its 4000 DPI rating. There are two big skates at the top and bottom edges of the mouse that provide smooth gliding on almost any surface (including those crappy mouse pads). It does track even on glass desks, though I would say only in emergency situations. You sure wouldn't want to game that way, but if you just needed some basic mousing, it is doable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The side profile shows a little more about the mouse. The seemingly large gap below the mouse button is actually the travel length of the right click button. It looks like a lot from the image, but in reality it's about the same as any standard mouse in click feel. You can also really see the soft-feel grip material in the black. This texture has been a favorite of mine since I got my first mouse with it. Your hands don't seem to sweat with it, and it just feels nice to hold. The upper portion in grey/silver is still more of a plastic material that almost feels the same, but just isn't quite the same. The left side of the mouse has the same black soft-grip material as the right and sports a mini ROCCAT logo along with the Kone Pure in all capital letters. You don't get a glimpse of the word "Optical" in that area, but rather up above the forward and back buttons, as shown below. Default settings for these forward and back buttons is forward and EASY-SHIFT[+], respectively, which can be changed to whatever you desire – however, one downfall seems to be the fact that the EASY-SHIFT[+] button, if you are to use it, must be assigned to one or the other of these buttons (forward/back) or you can't have the bonus EASY-SHIFT[+] buttons. This is something I feel ROCCAT mice have struggled with for some time now, and have yet to resolve. However, I will applaud that ROCCAT has removed the forced EASY-SHIFT button, so you don't HAVE to have it if you don't want the bonus buttons.

 

 

Here are a couple more images of the mouse from the very front and very back side of the mouse. The front sports the Titan Wheel while the back shows off the glowy ROCCAT logo, which has the full color spectrum with 0-255 for each RGB value, equivalent to 24-bit color. You won't struggle much to find your color match with a little tweaking.

The ROCCAT Titan Wheel motto is "Built to Last, Engineered to Own." But what is the Titan Wheel? The Titan Wheel is one of ROCCAT's standards in design – in this case the wheel has 24 steps per cycle and has the ability to be spun a full 720 degrees per second in both directions. The wheel itself has also been rated for a 3kg push force to "click" the wheel in every direction. So the Titan Wheel has a lot behind it and at first touch, it rolls smoothly up and down while maintaining a well appreciated click feel. I'm excited to see how it performs, as often times the scroll wheel can make or break a "favorite" mouse for me.

 

 

A little isometric style view gives you a little more feel for the mouse. It's a smaller, narrower mouse compared to most on the market and fits the smaller hand quite well. I will admit, as I switch between different mice for review, I always find a distaste for each and every mouse as I first begin to use them. One thing usually tends to stand out between changes. In the case of the ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical, it was the thumb placement feeling off. That being said, a lot comes from what mouse I’m transferring from. A big mouse to something small is always odd. I will add that this mouse is quite enjoyable even after just a few hours of breaking it in.

The USB connector is the nearly standard gold plated connection on the market now. The bit of difference you can see is in the molding of the plug itself; the ROCCAT logo and USB symbol are engraved into the uniquely shaped plug, bringing the nice braided cable to your ports on your motherboard, front of your case, or USB hub.

 

 

Overall, the ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical is in every bit the same embodiment of its former ROCCAT Kone Pure; however, I liked that mouse quite a bit, so I'm happy to see it again. The two-tone body gives it a different look and brings a little more to a rebuild of the mouse with a new/different sensor. Though I'm not a fan of remakes of the same mice again and again with something a little different, and that's something that has irked me from ROCCAT over the years. I don't really understand the stepping up of the same style of mouse again and again with the same external body and slightly different internals. However, it has worked for ROCCAT and if the end user really is approving of this, who am I to talk? In the end, I ultimately approve of the mouse itself, though I can't say I'd be looking to upgrade to it if I still had the ROOCAT Kone Pure in hand.

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Closer Look:

The ROOCAT software is something you'll actually want to spend the time to download and install from the website. Beyond getting access to changing settings on the mouse, there are also critical firmware updates for the mouse's onboard hardware. Ok, they aren't so critical that the mouse will explode without them, but they will ultimately improve your use.

The first tab of the software as it opens is the "Main Control" page. It allows you to control sensitivity, scroll wheel speed, and if you assign some buttons for tilt (since the wheel doesn't tilt), you can even control speed for that. The standard DPI settings can be controlled on the right, allowing you to cycle through a total of five settings (default 400-4000). The standard Windows double-click speed can be adjusted here as well. The bottom shows off the five different profiles you can manage for each tab as needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second tab is "Button Assignment" and if you couldn't guess what this tab was for, well that's pretty sad. Here you can assign your buttons as you see fit. If you are opting in to give up either your forward or backward buttons, then you can even set up your EASY-SHIFT[+] buttons, which allow you double the functionality for nearly every button on the mouse. Clicking "MACRO MANAGER" brings up a separate window that allows you to record, save, and upload your favorite macros. You can then apply them to whatever button you see fit.

 

The "Advanced Control" tab allows you to change up a few different things. The first I noticed is the ability to turn off that silly DPI voice that plays over your system when you change DPI settings. Apparently there are even sounds for switching profiles, sensitivity changes, volume up/down, and trophies. All these can be toggled on/off depending on your preference. You can even increase the standard volume of such sounds to annoy everyone around you as well.

This section also contains your color options. As mentioned before, you have full control over the color in the entire 24-bit color range. You can pick a standard defined color or customize your color option with 0-255 on each RGB channel. Not all color options translate perfectly from screen to mouse and they do take the typical ROCCAT length of time to apply (approximately 15 seconds) – so getting the exact color you want, though likely possible, will require a bit of patience. On this same tab, you can also change polling rate, your Windows pointer speed (with acceleration and pointer trails), and completely reset the mouse to factory defaults. Plenty to play with.

 

The "ROCCAT R.A.D." page shows off your statistics of mouse usage, giving you bragging rights to total button clicks, scroll steps, EASY-SHIFT[+] uses, and total distance traveled. The hidden trophy achievements only appear as you get them, so finding out what they are is always a surprise. Though I find this all gimmicky and don't really care for it, a good friend of mine who I gave a couple ROCCAT items to enjoys every moment of these achievements. The little hidden goals he reaches provide him the silliest of bragging rights – yet provide great conversation. He's a bit competitive, so I get the usual, "Guess how many clicks I have?" on a regular basis now. But I'm glad he likes it. This, if nothing else, adds a little fun to using a mouse I suppose.

 

The final tab is the "Update/Support" tab, and as you can guess, it allows you to update and get support! You can actually download the latest drivers by jumping straight to the drivers page or get general online support by jumping to the technical support page as well. Both require you to have working Internet at the time of use (obviously), but the tab itself at least shows you what driver and firmware you are currently running in case you need to directly acquire assistance from a ROCCAT representative.

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Specifications:

Sensor Type:
Pro-Optic Sensor R3 with up to 4000 DPI
Polling Rate:
1000 Hz
Response Time:
1 ms
Acceleration:
30 G
Onboard Memory:
576 kB
Onboard Chip:
72 MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit Arm based MCU
Cable Length:
1.8m Braided USB

 

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Features:

 

 

Information courtesy of: http://www.roccat.org/Products/Gaming-Mice/ROCCAT-Kone-Pure-Opt-/

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Testing:

The ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse was put through over a week of use and testing. During this time, it was used it in everyday use, surfing the Internet, Photoshopping, and of course some gaming. As a mouse is personal to each and every individual, how it responds in these various tasks is important in different ways to everyone. This rather subjective review is best to provide you the feedback from use rather than assigning made up numbers trying to compare one mouse to another. It's pretty easy to distinguish the likes and dislikes of a mouse through words rather than leaving it to you to decide what a 7 or 8 really means. No guessing game – here's what I liked, and here's what I hated.

Testing Setup:

 

 

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Results:

Everyday Use:

Everyday use is always hard to argue negatively in a mouse review. Usually everyday use consists of Internet surfing, reading some email, and occasional Flash games. The idea is that it is something your mother or grandmother could use without complaining about it (other than perhaps why it looks that way). This mouse lacks anything to complain about in everyday use. It is rather comfortable for my smaller hands, has a nice smooth grip for sweaty hands, and is color customizable (BLUE!!!). The buttons can be set to my usual forward/backward setup and makes surfing the net super easy. Navigating Explorer applies the same for Windows users and I can't leave out the wonderful scroll wheel. The scroll wheel is literally tight. It doesn't wobble around in its housing and clicks smoothly through the discrete 24 clicks per full roll. In general, it feels like a solid build that will last every day, for many days to come.

 

Working:

Working takes on a little more effort than good scrolling and web page clicking. Using Photoshop for example requires a bit of precision and good tolerances on clicking. The scroll plays a big roll (no pun intended) for me. I use the scroll-to-zoom feature, as a preference, and hate when I can't feel the click or the wheel is too loose to get just one more pixel closer. That's not a problem here; the really tight scroll wheel plays perfect to zooming in or out with complete confidence in exactly how many clicks I want. The tracking seems to be fairly accurate as well – I wish I had a more precise measurement for precision rather than "I thought it was good" but that's the best I can do. Overall, control of the mouse felt great and lead to very clean work and comfort over long hours of use.

 

Gaming:

Gaming is what most of you care about. Will it help you achieve headshots in your favorite FPS, improve playability in your favorite MMO, etc.? Really. I'm no fan of most MMOs or using too many macros (especially on a mouse), but I did find it rather easy, software-wise, to set up silly macros, change button bindings, and adjust DPI/sensitivity to what I needed for different games. Having five profiles made it nice, as so many games play differently with your in Windows mouse settings. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I could kill more enemies or perform a whole lot better in a game, but I did feel like I had a little better control of my mouse pointer. Whether it be a gun, cross-hair for walking or talking to NPCs or picking up goodies, I just felt like I was pointing at what I wanted without as much effort. I really attribute this to the various available settings to really narrow down how the mouse flows. It comes down to individual preferences, and when you can control most variables of likeness, it ends well.

ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Conclusion:

Honestly, I think this might be a first for me – a ROCCAT BluePanda Gold award. It's often easy to find flaws in a product from ROCCAT. There's usually something that stands out and tends to drive me into the ground as I try to finalize writing a review about it. Something you'd almost take to the grave in anger. The only real problem I could find with this mouse was the notorious slow-to-apply software bug that has seemed to be with ROCCAT from the first product I ever reviewed. It takes a little over 15 seconds to apply a color change, a DPI change, or sensitivity, or ANY setting from the software. It's not the end of the world, as thus why I didn't knock it down to a Silver; honestly, once you do have things set the way you want them, it's good.

The smaller body was nice for my smaller hands (many of you might not like this as much) and just grew to my liking with each use. The tight scroll wheel is still one of my favorites and makes every other mouse feel sloppy in that aspect. The customizable coloring allows me to change the mood of the office or match up with my other hardware. It's really just an added feature; no real function other than "fun." Ultimately I wanted to find something really wrong with this mouse, as my general tone for ROCCAT is always "ugh, another one to review"; but, in this case it has earned its place. The ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical is a great mouse! If you feel it's a little high in cost, it's definitely worth the wait for a Newegg coupon or a good sale at your retailer; it really is worth it!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: