More buttons are useful for power users, gamers and those looking for a highly functional mouse. Roccat aims to appeal to such people with its forthcoming Kone XP, which features 15 buttons that can serve as 29 different inputs after software programming.
Roccat’s announcement of the Kone XP today described the peripherals as “ideal” for MMOs and strategy games. But its high programmability also makes the Kone XP potentially attractive for advanced general purpose use.
The programmable buttons are: left and right click, the scroll wheel (5 inputs: up, down, left, right and in), the button south of the scroll wheel, two buttons at the left click button, four buttons and a thumb button at the base of the mouse.
By downloading Roccat’s software, each button takes on a secondary function when pressed next to a designated button. The designated button can be on the mouse or on a Roccat keyboard at the same time. That Easy Shift[+] function means you can program 29 different inputs with the 15 mouse buttons. Why not 30? Because one of the buttons must be the Easy-Shift[+] knob.
That’s a lot of functionality, but the Kone XP will have to compete with mice in its price range specifically tailored for MMO games. Those button-laden rivals include the 20-button Logitech G600 MMO ($35 MSRP at the time of writing) and the 16-button Razer Naga X ($80 MSRP). The last device has Razer’s HyperShift feature that works like Roccat’s Easy-Shift[+]†
so much flash
I said the Kone XP is primarily aimed at gamers, but you could probably tell by the looks. The mouse has a total of 22 RGB LEDs. Using eight light guides, the LEDs blast color through the mouse’s clear chassis and scroll wheel, which features what Roccat describes as a “smoky transparent design” intended to diffuse the illumination.
The mouse isn’t just trying to entice gamers on its colors and button layout. It also has a sensor based on the PixArt PAW3370 called the Roccat Owl-Eye, with extreme specs including 50-19,000 DPI (dots per inch). That’s a lower maximum DPI than some other gaming mice, such as the 25,000 CPI Logitech G303 Shroud Edition, offer. But for most, that DPI range is enough.
Meanwhile, the left and right click buttons use the Turtle Beach sub-brand’s native Titan Optical Switches. In the Roccat Kone Pro mouse I tested, I found the switches easier to operate with a softer sound than many standard mechanical mouse switches. But the Pro’s clicks also felt less sharp. Time will tell if the Kone XP’s clicks are different.
And as a final nod to gamers, Roccat’s Kone XP will also work with Nvidia’s Reflex latency analyzer.
The mouse will officially release on March 29, but is currently available for pre-order.
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