ROCCAT Kone XTD Gaming Mouse [Review]

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I’ve mentioned this before, but if you plan on doing any PC gaming, you’re going to want to get yourself a good gaming mouse and keyboard combo, preferably a combo that can talk to each other seamless control. For instance, if you go with ROCCAT gaming devices, you’ll want to get their mouse and keyboard that work in conjunction with each other over ROCCAT Talk. ROCCAT Talk is their standard that lets specific ROCCAT compatible devices combine with one another and communicate with each other for greater control. I have the ROCCAT Isku FX which is ROCCAT Talk compatible, but did not have a compatible gaming mouse to try this function out with. I do now. ROCCAT was kind enough to send over their ROCCAT Kone XTD, their top of the line gaming mouse with full ROCCAT Talk and ROCCAT Talk FX compatibility.

Design and Build

Now let’s take a look at the Kone XTD and how it differs from the last ROCCAT mouse I looked at, the Savu. When compared to the Savu, the Kone XTD is slightly larger than the Savu. The Kone XTD is also a lot flashier looking than the Savu, sporting a huge ROCCAT logo on the bottom right side and two light strips that extend from the bottom to the top of the mouse. Although it’s a bit flashier, it is still not a wildly designed mouse. It’s very sleek and stealthy with its almost all matte body with surfaces being mostly curved and soft.

img_18869_5_796_400Let’s start with the finish on the Kone XTD. Most of the mouse is covered in a soft touch, rubber coating which gives it a smooth, comfortable feel. It does not feature the no-sweat side grips of the Savu. The only parts that are soft-touch coated are the areas where the LED lighting is, the area that surrounds the top scroll wheel and buttons, and the bottom of the mouse. Again, it has a much different feel than your average mouse and feels very comfortable in your hand.

Up top, you’ll see that there are quite a few extra buttons than you might be used to. There is the usual scroll wheel, except that this one not only allows for up and down scrolling, but also left and right. The scroll wheel, which ROCCAT calls the Titan Wheel, is built with what they say is the world’s strongest axis shaft and provides 24 steps per cycle. The scroll wheel on the mouse has a rubbery feel to it that helps with finger grip while scrolling and it also has a nice clicking feel with each step. This means you can be more accurate with your scrolls which can mean the difference between life and death in a multiplayer online match. Accompanying the scroll wheel are 3 programmable buttons, one on top and two below the wheel. You can program these buttons to do anything you want, but the default setting has the top button assigned to the Windows key and the two bottom buttons are used to cycle through the DPI settings.

img_18864_5_796_400On top, you’ll also find two light strips that consist of two LEDs each. You can have them all the same color or set each individual LED to its own unique color. You can even have them change color on their own and pulsate. It’s a very cool effect and looks great when the lights are off.

On the left side of the mouse where your thumbs would rest, the Kone XTD has two thumb buttons. This is similar to what I saw with Savu. These buttons also have the soft touch coating on them. I’d advise assigning one of the buttons Easy-Shift key and the other to possible open up the driver software or whatever else you want it to do. The Easy-Shift key allows you to assign a secondary function to each of the other buttons.

One of the main reasons to buy the Kone XTD however is because of the 8200 DPI Pro-Aim R3 laser sensor. It provides virtually zero lag with incredible precision and with the integrated Tracking and Distance Control Unit (TDCU), you can further improving tracking and minimizing pick-up-flight. Located on the bottom as well is a compartment which allows you to customize the weight of the Kone XTD by adding or removing four 5-gram.

Overall, the mouse is very smartly designed with all the right features and ergonomics you’d want in a gaming mouse. I love how super stealthy it looks covered in matte black with the only bit of color coming from the custom lighting. It gives it a real sinister appearance and will match up quite well if you also own a ROCCAT gaming keyboard.

Driver Software

Like all ROCCAT devices, the Kone XTD requires a driver installation in order to get the most out of your gaming mouse. The first thing you want to do before even plugging in the Kone XTD is to head on over to ROCCAT’s support website here and download the latest driver software. Then install it. After it is installed, you can go ahead and plug in your mouse. If you have a compatible ROCCAT Talk device other than the Kone XTD, you can also go ahead and install the optional ROCCAT Talk and Talk FX software here.

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If you’ve used other ROCCAT devices before, than the driver software for the Kone XTD will be quite familiar to you. Many features are the same so customizing your gaming mouse experience will be easy. The first page you’ll see is the Main Control tab. On here, you will adjust the mouse sensitivity and horizontal and vertical scroll wheel speed. Yes, with the Kone XTD, you can tab the scroll wheel left and right to scroll in those directions. On this tab, you can also adjust the DPI settings for each time you use the DPI Cycle function. You can set this to anything you want between 200-8200 DPI.

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The second tab is for Button Assignments. This is where most of the customizing of the buttons takes place and is where you will assign functions for each button press. There are 12 standard button presses you can assign along with 12 more by using the Easy+Shift key. There are a lot of preset functions you can assign but if you don’t like any of them, you can actually record your own macros here as well using the macro manager.

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The next tab up is the Advanced Control tab. Here you’ll find a bunch of settings you don’t normally see on regular mouse drivers. From here, you can adjust both the sensitivity of the X and Y axis independently of each other. You can also adjust the tracking control unit and the distance control unit which I’m assuming is how far you can lift your mouse up before it decides to stop functioning. Polling rate is also adjusted here and can be adjusted to either 125, 250, 500, or 1000 HZ. The windows pointer speed can also be set here as well.

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The next tab up is the Color Control tab and is where you can adjust the look of your Kone XTD. The Kone XTD features 4 LED light sources that can be adjusted independently of each other and in any of the preset colors. Because of the way the light strip is on the mouse, colors will blend with each other where they meet. It’s a very neat effect. For more visual flare, you can also apply a lighting effect to the Kone XTD, such as having them blink or pulsate like a heartbeat for instance. You can even apply a color flow effect where it will constantly change to a new set of colors.

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The R.A.D. tab is one we see in almost all ROCCAT devices. This tab is mainly for showing statistics of how you use your mouse and how many times you’ve performed certain actions over the lifetime of the mouse. It’s kind of neat seeing how many times you’ve scrolled the wheel up or how many times you’ve used the right mouse button. As an added bonus, this tab also displays 13 hidden trophy achievements you can obtain, though I know not what they are.

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Last but not least is the Update/Support tab which mainly just allows you to download the latest firmware and drivers as well as link you to the online support page.

Like with all ROCCAT driver softwares, the bottom of each of these tabs where more tabs for Game Profiles. There are 5 profiles you can assign at a time and each profile can have it’s own custom keys. Not only that, you can save profiles for later use and load them back up whenever you need to use them again. I highly suggest keeping 1 profile as a default Windows profile that can access all the basic features of Windows. Use the other 4 profiles for games or programs that you use a lot. Each profile can have it’s own custom lighting color so you can easily identify what is activated based on visual lighting cues.

ROCCAT Talk FX

What sets the Kone line apart from the other mice in ROCCAT’s lineup is the ability to utilize ROCCAT Talk software. This allows a compatible keyboard and mouse to function as if they were one device. With Talk FX, and actions that you set with your keyboard can also be applied to the mouse at the same time. That means that if you set up a macro that utilizes both the keyboard and mouse, a simple keystroke on the keyboard will automatically apply that to the mouse as well. Without it, you’d have to do this individually on both devices which can cost you valuable time. For instance, when you need precise marksmanship in sniper mode, just press and hold a single Isku key and Easy-Aim will instantly optimize the DPI setting on your Kone. That means you never have to take your fingers off the trigger in order to engage a macro. Your left hand on the keyboard will do this instead while your right hand can concentrate on the target.

Not only does it allow ROCCAT Talk let your devices talk to each other, it also allows for ROCCAT Talk FX which will automatically change the lighting color of your devices depending on what is going on in the game you’re playing.

Final Thoughts

For those who are own an entry level gaming mouse like ROCCAT’s own Savu for instance and are ready to trade up to something with more bite and more advanced tech, look into getting the Kone XTD. Not only is this a natural step up from the Savu and features similar ergonomics and comfort, it features many additions that you don’t get with the Savu. At first glance, it looks like all it has are a few extra buttons, extra lighting features, and a slightly more upscale finish, but on the inside, it features more precision with its 8200 DPI Pro-Aim R3 laser sensor, a 32-bit Turbo Core V2 processor, the ability to store macros and profiles thanks to 576KB of on-board memory,and the ability to change the weight and feel of the mouse. These features make the Kone XTD the ultimate full featured gaming mouse. Plus if you own the ROCCAT Isku FX gaming keyboard, the Kone XTD is the perfect compliment to it and will make full use of ROCCAT’s Talk platform.

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