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Review: ROCCAT Kone XTD

by Tarinder Sandhu on 4 January 2013, 09:00 4.0

Tags: Roccat

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German peripheral manufacturer ROCCAT recently upgraded its gaming mouse line-up with the release of the Kone XTD. Based entirely on Kone [+] from an ergonomic viewpoint, but now touting an upgraded sensor, beefed-up processor and better-built buttons, the £75 XTD is designed to appeal to the well-heeled gamer.

Look and Feel

The Kone XTD is a reasonably plain-looking mouse whose soft-touch, rubberised shell provides more tactile response than ordinary plastic. Two darker-coloured strips run down each side and, as you may just be able to discern, contain thinner (four-zone) LED lighting strips that can be user-defined to hundreds of different colours.

Measuring 13.5cm long and 7.8cm wide, the bulbous mouse feels large in small hands, though it remains comfortable after prolonged use, with particular attention paid to a recessed section that's a perfect fit for a right-hand thumb. Three buttons surround the robust scroll wheel, which can be moved laterally as well as the usual forward-and-back rotation. The button closest to the front edge of the XTD can be troublesome to get to for those with short fingers, so we'd suggest assigning it a rarely-used function; you certainly don't want to stretch to it in the heat of battle.

A couple of side-mounted buttons aren't replicated on the far side, meaning this is clearly a right-handed mouse. The rear-facing button is dubbed the Easy-Shift [+] and, configured through an intuitive user interface that's available as a download from ROCCAT's site, once pressed, enables all other buttons to have a second function. The location of the Easy-Shift [+] button, which is quite far back, requires the XTD to be held in a palm-style rather than the claw-type favoured by some gamers.

As shipped, the Kone XTD weighs in at 126g, disregarding the 1.8m cable, and feels just about right for our personal liking. However, with customisation a selling point, ROCCAT supplies a quartet of 5g weights that can be placed at the back. Though, on our sample, when empty, the locking mechanism isn't quite as good as it should be; the circular plastic section is a little loose and makes a perceivable noise when the mouse is vigorously shaken from side to side.

Software

The software is amongst the tidiest we've seen and lays out all the options in an easy-to-understand manner. Lighting is versatile though of no obvious utilitarian value. Seven genuine buttons and five-way scrolling lead to ROCCAT labelling this as a 12-position mouse. Factor in the EasyShift [+] and a total of 22 actions are available from the 11 dual-function buttons that are powered by Omron microswitches. There's plenty of onboard memory for storing user-defined macros and, given that ROCCAT has had significant time to polish up the user interface, this one is as robust as any.

Performance and Conclusion

Now equipped with an upgraded Pro-Aim Laser R3 sensor that increases sensitivity from 6,000DPI to an even more improbable, mostly-unusable 8,200DPI, we put the Kone XTD on top of ROCCAT's own Hiro mousepad and had a play in our favourite games, making sure that Windows' enhanced mouse acceleration was turned off, and polling rate was set to the maximum 1,000Hz.

Building on the solid foundations laid down by previous ROCCAT Kone mice, the new XTD improvements - higher DPI, beefier processor and sturdier buttons - arrive with a £15 premium over the impressive Kone [+].

The combination of three Teflon pads on the underside of the mouse - which are absolutely level, very quiet, and buttery-smooth - and the quality of the mat provide the basis for super-accurate positioning and excellent panning, even at high speeds. We saw very few erroneous mouse-to-pointer movement notifications when violently shaking the mouse in Mouse Movement Recorder tracking software. ROCCAT claims a usable movement speed of 3.8m/s (150ips), which is speedy enough for die-hard gamers and near the top-end of what's available.

We do have a minor gripe that's perhaps more subjective than objective. The recessed thumb section is a little too defined for our liking. The top edge cuts a sharp profile that, on occasion, makes it difficult to discern where the two side-mounted buttons actually are; they sit flush with upper edge.

Building on the solid foundations laid down by previous ROCCAT Kone mice, the new XTD improvements - higher DPI, beefier processor and sturdier buttons - arrive with a £15 premium over the impressive Kone [+]. We believe the introduction of this mouse has more to do with keeping up with the outlandish specifications on competing products than a radical overhaul for its top-line offering, because for 99 per cent of gamers the Kone XTD looks, feels and handles just like the slightly cheaper Kone [+].

The Good

Excellent software
Cool lighting effects
Super-accurate sensing
Top-class gliding

The Bad

Hard-to-reach button below scroll wheel
Minor improvements over Kone [+] for most users
Feels a little too big in small/medium-sized hands

HEXUS Rating

4/5
ROCCAT Kone XTD

HEXUS Awards

HEXUS Performance
ROCCAT Kone XTD

HEXUS Where2Buy

The Roccat Kone XTD is available to purchase from Overclockers UK.

HEXUS Right2Reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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May look into getting one as I loved the Kone, just hope they have fixed the scroll wheel issues as I had to send it back and return to my old trusty G9.
Looks like ergonomically they've copied the mx518/g400 with the deep side recess etc. That can only be a good thing :)
The Kone + was the most comfortable mouse ive had, sadly I also fell foul of the scroll wheel. Im going to wait for a bit to see if theyve fixed it before I consider getting another one
Ludicrous price.
I'm after a new mouse, Razar & Roccat are the 2 very best known brands out there, rightly so for their quality products. I'm really tempted by this, But I have my eyes set on the Razar Deathadder 2013 the latest mouse from Razar, as its side buttoms are both bigger and at a slightly better location compared to this mouse.