|Roccat Kova[+] Optical USB Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Joey Peng|
|Tuesday, 29 November 2011|
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Testing & Results
This mouse was used as the primary mouse over a period of 3 weeks. In addition to producitivty software and everyday browsing, the mouse was tested in several games: Warcraft III - TFT, StarCraft 2, League of Legends, and Might & Magic VI.
Upon taking up the Roccat Kova[+], there were two things I instantly noticed: the Kova[+] was light and glides with minimal resistance. I have used a wide variety of gaming mice from Razer, Steelseries, Logitech and Microsoft. So if there was one thing I was good at, it would be getting used to a new mice. The Kova[+] felt a little small for my hand but the positioning of the buttons are great. They do not interfere with normal use at all, but on the flip side they take an effort to actually press. Game-critical macros do not work well on the Kova[+]. For MMORPGs the Razer Naga is a better bet. That's not to say the Kova[+]'s programmable buttons are inferior. Roccat gives user the ability to customize the functionalities of the auxiliary buttons down to every detail. The buttons can be assigned to change mouse setting, enhance browsing experience, integrate with numerous applications like Skype and Xfire, or activate built-in timers. These are use cases that go extremely well with the Kova[+], and is often lacking in other gaming mice.
On paper the Roccat Kova[+] supports up to 18 different mouse functionalities. In reality, only the thumb buttons (2) and standardized buttons (4, right/left click and scroll up/down) can be easily used in game, and if one of those are dedicated to be the EasyShift[+] button, then there are, realistically, 6 additional button functions, which is still impressive. Other 7-button mice have, at best, 5 additional button functionalities. While the button positioning is superb, the actual design of the auxiliary buttons were too centered around the look than functionality. The inward slope where the 2 buttons meet is exactly where the thumb ends up for clicking. The buttons also offer too much resistance. These two facts together is another reason why it doesn't make sense to assign game-critical macros on the Kova[+].
Polling rate is also an extremely important feature for gaming mice, it measures how fast the mouse will respond when moving. The Roccat Kova[+] has a 1000Hz polling rate, or equivalently 1ms response time. That is essentially the fastest response time available these days. Using the MouseRate program, we found that while the mouse is moving the polling rate reaches 1000Hz without problem, the average depends on how much movement is going on. Without a doubt the response time is suitable for gaming.
The Roccat Kova[+]'s drivers have been optimized for functionality and in return takes an extremely long time (>40 seconds) to apply setting changes. Other than the above three potential drawbacks (button design, weight, and software lag), there is very little to complain about the Kova[+] in terms of performance and functionality
The optical sensor tracks accurately and smoothly, however to perform well, a rough surface or good mouse pad is required. The scroll-wheel and click feedback is well tuned and hits a sweet spot. After getting used to the grip, the Kova[+] becomes quite comfortable to work with for long durations. For competitive games, once you get over the initial "why is this so light" phase, the Roccat Kova[+] delivers everything you possibly need in a gaming mouse.