Roccat Kova Mouse
Starting with the Roccat Kova mouse. Roccat state that the Kova is designed as a stripped-down, focused, gaming mouse. It certainly is, more of which later. But if the mouse itself is stripped down, the packaging is reaching new heights.
The front of the box comes in a nicely sheened, very stiff black cardboard, with the usual Roccat colour scheme of light blue and black. The main features of the mouse are listed in a clear manner, and the box is dominated with a nice clear view of the mouse itself. Of special interest is the cutaway that displays the mouse, which perfectly follows the cutaway in the Sota pad, which you will see later. A very nice touch by Roccat and demonstrating how much consideration has been put into all aspects of their SDMS range.
The back of the box provides more detailed information about the highlights of the mouse, including handy pointers to each part, and a nice shot that accentuates the angular nature of the mouse.
Moving back round to the front we find the Pièce de résistance of the packaging. Hiding under the embossed glossy Roccat logo on the right hand side of the packaging is a magnet that allows you to open the front of the box to get a proper look and feel of the mouse. Too often we find mice that look really comfortable but don't suit our hand size, or the way we grip. By vacuum packing the mouse and allowing the customer to get a hold of it before purchase, Roccat are bound to ensure way more satisfied customers.
Finally we see the side that demonstrates what parts of the mouse light up and the various colour options available. Much more on the colours later, but for now it's fair to say that Roccat have pretty much taken mouse packaging as far as it's possible to go, without including live lighting or a small test space to see how it feels in action.
Roccat Sota Gaming Mousepad
Naturally being a mousepad the packaging is much simpler. However it doesn't mean that Roccat haven't come up with some nice touches, and one incredibly infuriating one.
Firstly as this is a semi-hard mouse mat it's great to see it comes packaged in a flat piece of plastic, rather than rolled up. Experience shows that rolling a mouse mat never quite flattens it out as much as one would desire, especially when we're all gagging to play with our new toy. However this comes at a steep price. Or at least a steep price in the eyes of this reviewer. If there is one thing guaranteed to make me swear harder than a sailor on shore-leave it's the use of that exceptionally stiff plastic that is stuck together with heat and only removable with a seriously sturdy pair of scissors or perhaps a chainsaw. With so little wiggle room between the seal and the mat itself, extracting it is a job for the sturdy of heart and steady of finger. Please, manufacturers, use plastic that can be prised apart.
The front also contains a superb touch that more manufacturers should take note of. Two separate pieces of the mats material have been inserted into the package and left for us to get a feel for the gaming surface itself and the grippy nature of the rear.
Finally the back, as with most backs, lists a more complete specification and a nice exploded view of the mat including the metal foil insert.
Enough of the externals. Move on to page three and we'll take a good look at what's in the box.