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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ROCCAT KONE XTD Gaming Mouse
Closer Look: ROCCAT KONE XTD
ROCCAT KONE XTD Detailed Features
ROCCAT Hiro 3D Gaming Surface
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

ROCCAT KONE XTD Detailed Features

Now that we have had a look at the KONE XTD mouse it's time to look at what drives it. In this section we look at the KONE XTD utility to see what level of customization and adjustment we have available.

ROCCAT_Kone_XTD_User_Interface_1.jpg

Opening the ROCCAT KONE XTD mouse settings utility can be done in one of two ways, either by clicking on the KONE XTD icon in the windows notification area or by holding EasyShift[+] and pressing the Ξ button. The first screen you will see deals with the sensitivity options, wheel speed, DPI stages and double click speed. Adjusting the various options doesn't require explanation and sliders make changing settings super easy. The contrast of blue on black neatly matches the color theme of the company.

The KONE XTD can have up to five different profiles set to activate when a certain game or application is launched. You can also set one of these profiles as windows profile (by clicking the WP button on any of the five profiles), as soon as you exit any application or game that has a profile assigned to it, the settings utility will automatically switch back to your defined windows profile so you don't need to worry about (or check) which profile is active.

ROCCAT_Kone_XTD_User_Interface_2.jpg

Next is the button assignment tab, pretty much self explanatory I think you'll agree. Settings on the left are the default functions and settings on the right are the functions executed when each button is used in conjunction with the EasyShift[+] key. By default the EasyShift[+] key is assigned to button 5 as seen above, and can only be assigned to buttons 4 or 5 unless you have a ROCCAT Talk compatible gaming keyboard which can also have a key assigned as the EasyShift modifier for the KONE XTD.

Creating a macro should be simple but unfortunately it isn't, at the same time it isn't a difficult task it's just more long winded than anything. Fist you must select or create a macro set before you can create a macro, and then of course record the macro. Macro's can also be created within existing sets. From here it is quite simple but the steps up to here were unnecessary in my eyes.

ROCCAT_Kone_XTD_User_Interface_3.jpg

Next up are the advanced options and here we have a couple of options unique to ROCCAT, known as the Tracking and Distance Control Units. These two features really take the KONE XTD to a new level when used in conjunction and give you great control of the mouse. Lift off has long been an issue with some well known brands and ROCCAT's distance control unit goes a long way to alleviating this problem. Tracking on a wide range of surfaces can also be a big issue for some laser mice and the tracking control unit allows the KONE XTD to adapt the laser sensor to track at its best on nearly any flat surface. It is recommended that the surface should be one uniform color for the most optimal results. The DCU (Distance Control Unit) set to extra low really had an impact on cursor movement during mouse lift-off, keeping it very low indeed. I'm not sure who would want cursor movement during lift-off but leaving the setting to default (off) or on normal will see some movement for sure.

You can have a sound (voice) play when you change various options as shown above in the top right corner, this is really helpful when you are in game to get aural feedback rather than visual feedback as the latter will definitely distract you more. The voice also has variable tone which is a nice touch but the voice is a novelty and a bit too much for me. I have gone down the silent route as I prefer it that way.

ROCCAT_Kone_XTD_User_Interface_4.jpg

Next up is color control, from here you have a plethora of color choices guaranteed to suit any preference. There are four points of illumination on the KONE XTD mouse and 33 colors to choose from, which gives you lots of different color combinations. There are also quite a few possibilities with light effects when mixed with flow effects. When you start playing with the light effects, and mix them with the flow effects, the color selection is disregarded and the KONE XTD will cycle through all of the colors available. Better still, you could have the lights stay on (no color flow) or turn it all off altogether.

ROCCAT_Kone_XTD_LED_Strips_Illuminated.jpg

The lighting effects on the ROCCAT KONE XTD are impressive but not all colors are accurately reproduced. Most colors will come out as intended but there are just some colors that the RGB LED's inside the KONE XTD won't do.

ROCCAT_Kone_XTD_User_Interface_5.jpg

A new addition to the ROCCAT KONE utility is the above screen grab of the R.A.D tab, which stands for ROCCAT Achievements Display. Pretty much self explanatory this one, the utility tracks your usage and awards you with gold virtual achievement trophies and also gives some stats on your usage. It's a bit of a gimmick but interesting all the same.

As was the case with the ROCCAT KONE[+] which I reviewed last year, after applying any changed settings there is a ~28 seconds wait from clicking apply to the changes actually taking place on the mouse. While 28 seconds might not seem like a long time, imagine you are experimenting with color combinations and these 28 seconds each time can soon mount up. Changing settings, configuring buttons or trying different color combinations can become a time consuming and laborious task.

Note from ROCCAT regarding malware/antivirus scanners

This issue (above) has to do with the malware scanner/software on the particular PC. The software scans the driver and that's what makes it slow. If users contact ROCCAT support with this issue, they are given this answer:

When the driver is taking very long to open or to accept changes then please make sure to create an exception rule for it in your anti-virus program. In case you use Microsoft Forefront please also follow this process:

  1. Settings -> Excluded files and locations
  2. Write into locations: C:\Program Files\ROCCAT
  3. Click on "add"
  4. Save changes



 

Comments 

 
# Serious review?Michael 2012-11-29 06:38
In the beginning you write "We were impressed with the KONE[+] so let's see if the KONE XTD is a worthy replacement.".. Really? How on Earth could you be impressed with the KONE[+] mouse?? The tracking of that mouse was sooo bad I threw it away after 1 day. I find it hard to take your review serious if that is the standard you think so highly about!,
Makes me wonder if you are paid off by the manufacturer :-/
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# RE: Serious review?Aaron 2012-11-29 10:33
It must be a fault with your particular product.
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# RE: RE: Serious review?Michael 2012-11-29 15:01
Eh no.. Sorry! Just Google the internet and see plenty of threads that shows exactly the mouse jitter I'm takling about..
Try "roccat kone sensor problem"..
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# RE: Serious review?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-12-01 08:26
No one at Benchmark Reviews gets paid off by any manufacturer, I'm sorry you feel that way.

If I had the issue you speak about with the KONE[+] I would most certainly have reported it. It would not have impressed me and it would not have got a high rating.

Needless to say the KONE XTD and the KONE Pure do not suffer this issue.
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# roccat build good quality fact.stevenicks 2012-12-07 08:07
not saying this is your problem but try using an powered USB hub that will make sure there will be enuff volts to power these type of devices, many people load up the computer with usb devices and dont think that maybe just maybe the device is not getting the power it needs thus a powered usb hub has solved alot of problems with a few device's that require power. worked with and solved problems with usb wirless headset and tracking problem with R.A.T 7 MMO i had .. just a thought.
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# RE: ROCCAT KONE XTD Gaming MouseArgos 2012-12-19 00:02
After having earlier Kone's break down on me (mouse wheel construction is/was prone to breaking) I would be afraid to buy a Roccat mouse ever again.
I loved everything about the Kone. I never perceived tracking problems and I love the design, but a gaming mouse has to be sturdy and be able to take punishment in the heat of the moment.
So I went back to Logitech. I have been using a G700 for a long time now. Great, versatile and strong mouse.
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