Roccat KONE [+] Review
For testing the Roccat Kone [+] was used as the main mouse for a week doing everything from Photoshop to browsing, Starcraft 2 to Battlefield Bad Company 2.
The primary two things that really make or break a rodent as a high quality useful input device are of course the quality of the sensor, and then the comfort.
On both counts the Kone [+] shines as brightly as any other Roccat product. The sensor is extremely responsive and accurate regardless of the setting. Sometimes these high-DPI lasers can be so highly tuned that the more precise settings aren't so impressive. The Kone [+] works perfectly at everything from the very bottom of the scale all the way up the the hyper-responsive 6000DPI.
Changing between these settings is also a joy with the DPI adjustment buttons being in a very ergonomic position but never hit by accident.
If there is one thing the Kone [+] definitely has it's prodigious levels of comfort. It's not too large or small even for my generously proportioned hands. The coating works well at providing grip without stickyness and isn't compromised no matter how intense and heated the action becomes. Even the right-handed nature of it isn't so extreme as to force you to hold it in a particular manner and if you can cope with opposite side buttons it would be suitable for a southpaw too. Adjustable weighting helps to keep everything where you want it to be even if you're a ham-fisted brute or a delicate flower.
Customisation is where the difference between good and great can be made and the Roccat has it in spades. The software is as comprehensive as you could ever wish to find giving you seemingly infinite control over button assignments, colour combinations and macros.
Actually the customisation gives us the only thing we can find to dislike about the Kone [+]. So many mice utilise two side buttons for back and forward that it's almost as much a default expected setting as the left and right buttons themselves. Of course we're not adverse to reinventing the wheel if it is an improvement but even after a week we never quite got used to having to press the back button and the left mouse button to go back on our browser/explorer. Unfortunately there is nowhere else to put the EasyShift [+] button as it's either on the side or nowhere.
The final slight quirk is that the button in front of the scroll wheel is just not at all within reach. You either have to have your hand in a postion that will guarantee RSI and makes scrolling hard, or just ignore that button entirely.
Those two things do limit some of the incredible personalisation you can perform and whilst you might get used to using a two-button combo to go back, you can't reposition the front button somewhere easier to reach. It's definitely not something we want to see moved to the thumb position where you're going to catch it every two minutes but relocating the EasyShift[+] button to either the front right corner of the mouse or as part of a three-button side suite would be a great improvement upon an otherwise flawless product.
Don't let that dissuade you though. This is a seriously high quality mouse from a company that has rapidly become one of the finest around. Sure a £65 price-tag is up there with the very highest priced mice, but it's one of the very highest quality and best performing ones.
Just because of slight button placement/use issues and that rather steep price-tag when compared to previous Roccat models, the Roccat Kone [+] is awarded our Silver Award for being exceptional, if slightly flawed.
If you can get used to the EasyShift[+] system and don't mind one of the buttons not being the easiest to reach, it's a Gold Winner. But for us that's just enough at this premium price point to drop an otherwise phenomenal product down to a Silver.