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Written by Joey Peng   
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Roccat Kova[+] Optical USB Gaming Mouse
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Roccat KOVA[ ]
Roccat KOVA[ ] Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Gaming Mouse Final Thoughts

For the price, the Roccat Kova[+] delivers functionality like no other. Under its slick design, The Kova[+] is light, efficient and packed with features. For most gaming mice out there, I deem most auxiliary buttons useless. Not only does it hinder performance as you reach for buttons, but also because macros on the keyboard are much easier. As of today there really isn't a game that requires the use of both keyboard and mouse macros.

However this applies less to the Roccat Kova[+]. The goal for mouse macros isn't to replace keyboard functionality, but to solve new scenarios that have not yet been covered by existing products. The tight integration with current lineup of games, and features such as the 1-button timer, meet gamers' needs in ways that other products simply have not accounted for. In this respect, the programmable buttons become a real usable feature and not just a paper-feature used for marketing.

Roccat_Kova_Mouse_Side_Left.jpg

Roccat KOVA[+] Conclusion

The Roccat Kova[+] is a great light-weight mouse packed full of functionality. In terms of comfort and tactile feedback, it may not be the best in the price range, but it certainly holds up its end of the bargain in terms of performance. While optical sensors may be inferior to laser in certain conditions and surfaces, in general a 3200DPI optical sensor is accurate enough to work on most surfaces and performance is the equivalent of a laser mouse. However I strongly encourage a mouse pad to be paired with the Kova[+] as glass and other surfaces may cause skipping, or the tracking may simply not work.

Roccat is a company that uses lighting extensively, and they put a lot of thought into their designs. Inspired by the Lamborghini Reventon, the Kova[+] has a slick outer shell lighting system. They pay great attention to details too, designing an eye-catching mouse from head to toe (even the USB cable features a similar design). The only company that can compare is Razer, as both go for the extravagant eye-candy design.

Partially because of its light weight, the Roccat Kova[+] at times feels a little cheap. The construction is solid, though I do wish they designed the Teflon feet better. Over 3 weeks of testing, it has accumulated a lot of dust and is difficult to clean. The rubberized surfaces, which span about 50% of the surface area, help define the value and power of the Kova[+]. Overall the buttons have solid feedback and resistance and there are no noticeable flaws.

In terms of functionality, the Roccat Kova[+] really shines. The Kova[+] driver features one of the most comprehensive customization and button programming UI. One of my favorite features is the "Timer button" where in 1 click you can trigger a timer that will give you voice cues as it comes to an end. This is perfect for games like League of Legends where certain creeps have spawn times based on when they were last killed. Now all of this can be accurately tracked. In addition to the "timer feature", the Kova[+] has a full macro-key manager for creating and editing advanced macro combinations, including time-based inputs. This can replace the need for having a programmable keyboard. Even without customization, the Roccat Kova[+] delivers a large amount of integration and input profiles based on 2 dozen games and about a dozen applications including Skype and Xfire. Functionality is definitely a strength of the Roccat Kova[+], as it really did pack everything a gamer would need.

At $59.99 (Amazon), the Roccat Kova[+] really does stand out. It delivers a great set of features under a well-designed exterior. Competing products typically will have similar hardware specs, so it all boils down to usability, comfort, design, and customization, and the Roccat Kova[+] does superb in all of those areas.

The Roccat Kova[+] may not be the best travel mouse, but for gamers with a mouse pad the Kova[+] offers great return on your money. There are quite a good number of competing products at this price level from popular companies like Razer and SteelSeries, but in terms of functionality I would find it hard for Roccat to lose.

Pros:

Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ 3200DPI optical sensor more than enough for most gamers
+ EasyShift[+] allows up to 16 macro keys and customization
+ Almost every aspect is customizable, from lighting to scroll speed, all done in one place
+ Slick modern design
+ Integration with numerous games
+ Awesome and highly usable proprietary functionalities like built-in timer and EasyShift[+]
+ Ergonomic, for both left or right-handed people
+ Voice feedback for many features, including timer.

Cons:

- Configurations takes over 40 seconds to apply
- Unable to customize weight
- Hard to clean dust off and keeps finger smudges
- Auxiliary buttons are not shaped ideally and offers too much resistance for critical macros

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.75
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.75
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# Universally GenericSun Down 2011-11-30 03:26
Like the title said, it's getting too generic. I don't doubt that this mouse is good for gaming and designing, but there's nothing much of it the stands out of the crowd. Sure it's designed based on a Reventon, but somehow it doesn't stand out much. For example, Razer DeathAdder: organic predator. Cyborg Rat 3: complex mechanics. SteelSeries Kinzu: minimalistic design. Logitech and Microsoft already fills the 'generic' look gap IMO. This mouse, tries to fit everything, but it's just not strong enough. It won't have much appeal, but I'd still give it a consideration.
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# RE: Universally GenericWhyNotV2 2011-12-08 03:38
Your statement is probably why I've yet bought a newer generation "gaming" mouse prefering to stick with Logitech...nothing really sets anything apart as the must have. I have an original G5 that I've been wanting to replace for a couple of years now and I'm still waiting for that true game changer in the realm of the mouse before I make the switch/upgrade. Until then...
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# Hard Click ButtonsMergatroid 2011-12-08 17:54
"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"

I have found that the death knell for any mouse I have used, especially light easy to move mice, is hard to press buttons. Often when a fine movement is required just pressing the button can cause the mouse to move slightly, enough to make the system not register a double-click for instance. I really like the look, and the optical sensor is interesting (almost enough for me to buy it just to try it). I really like the software and the timer function too. I prefer a fairly heavy mouse myself, but I can get used to a really good light mouse too. Pity about the buttons.
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# RE: Roccat Kova[+] Optical USB Gaming MouseSun Down 2011-12-09 02:00
I have a lot of qualms with these ''gaming'' mouse. I mean, why can't the 'adjustable weight' system be finger/front and palm/rear oriented like a car? Why can't we set how sensitive the click is? Why can't they just put an almost full teflon feet for the mouse instead of 3 huge ones?
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# Roccatnuclear 2011-12-23 03:32
@Sun Down:
Because three feet will never wiggle, thats statics. A huge single feet could differ in attrition and start getting round or by glueing it on the plastic surface its not plane, or its just more expensive.
Well and an adjustable weight system for front and rear, who really needs that? I would say nobody.

But Roccat really needs to fix their quality. I bought the kova[+] half year ago. But already at start it was totally inaccurate, the arrow was jumping.... And that on all surfaces I tried (mousepad,wood,plast ic).
After that I bought Deathadder....
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# RE: RoccatSun Down 2011-12-27 08:30
You underestimate how much of a change weight distribution can make. My weight transfer idea comes from cars. My preferred weight distribution is palm heavy with light fingers. To be honest, saying 'nobody uses the weights' is a bold statement.
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# Roccatnuclear 2011-12-27 09:29
I don't say that nobody uses weights. Adjustable weight can make a mouse more comfortable (well I don't need it, but I agree that it can be an advantage because you don't need to get used to some other weight).
I just say that changing the weight balance between front/rear is more or less senseless. In the car the optimum is 50/50, same like in mouses, they just should put the weight in the center of your hand on the mouse. Regularly thats, like you described the tail (well not the side where the cable is, maybe a bit confusing where the tail is^^).

In a car other weight constellations can make sense, because you need more grip at the drive.
Other reasons are, that for more easy handling a understeer is prefferred, or for fun cars oversteer. But these are all effects you don't have in a mouse xD.

Well and don't forget the cable of your mouse. If I look at mine, the cable stiffness is a much bigger force, than the inertia of the front.

Well, but thats just my opinion, if someone thinks, he needs such a variable mouse I don't complain^^,. I think for companys it wouldn't be attractive. It's a small marked and cost-perfomance ratio is bad.
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# RE: RoccatSun Down 2011-12-27 15:45
''these are all effects you don't have in a mouse''. You're only looking at the mouse moving forward. On FPS games the mouse moves left and right a lot, assuming the mouse is wireless (R.A.T. 9/Mamba), difference in weight distribution can affect the comfort of the gamer where each has it's own tastes. Sure the mouse isn't moving forward, but that's not what I was referring to in a mouse, it's the movement towards left and right. Not everybody prefers a 50/50 distribution you know, just like how I prefer racing with a front-engine car rather than a mid-engine car. YMMV.
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# Depends on grip and hand sizeMergatroid 2011-12-28 16:10
Where you want the centre of gravity on a mouse depends on how you grip it and how large your hand is. If you have a smaller hand and use the "claw" grip you may want extra weight at the back so the mouse doesn't lean forward when you pick it up. If you use a palm grip and have a larger hand you may want more weight at the front.

Where the center of gravity should be depends on how you pick the mouse up, not on inertia. If you never picked the mouse up then it wouldn't make any difference where the centre of gravity is.

When I'm in the midst of a game and I pick my mouse up to move it over and put it back down without the pointer (or whatever) moving then I don't want the front or back weighing more, but again that depends on where you grip the mouse.

Saying the balance weight system doesn't make sense is just not true.
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# RE: Roccat Kova[+] Optical USB Gaming Mousenuclear 2011-12-28 02:56
a weight outside of the center would lead to, that your hand has to do an additional torque to hold the mouse straight. Desirable? And like you described, you prefer it in the center, like I think everyone.

Weightbalance in cars is like I already said something completely different, there are pros and cons in breaking, steering and safety (e.g. mid-engine car is hard to controle but fastest).
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# Sensor JUMPStransce 2012-02-18 21:50
Roccat Kova+ sensor JUMPS "google for mouse jumping". It is a manufacturing defect, there are good and bad batches. Buy at your own risk.

Mouse jumping is so bad that even the $10 mouse you grab from a bookstore can perform better.

Read more for more evidence: ##overclock.net/t/1022422/roccat-kova-good-mouse/10
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