For power users, gamers, and those seeking a highly functional mouse, more buttons is beneficial. Roccat wants to appeal to such people with its upcoming Kone XP, which has 15 buttons that can serve as 29 different inputs after programming via software.
Roccat’s announcement of the Kone XP today described the peripheral is “ideal” for MMOs and strategy games. But high programmability makes the Kone XP potentially appealing for advanced general use, too.
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 near the left-click button, four side buttons, and a thumb button near the mouse’s base.
Downloading Roccat’s software gives each button a secondary function when pressed alongside a designated button. The designated button could be on the mouse or a Roccat keyboard simultaneously. That Easy-Shift[+] feature means you could program 29 different inputs with the mouse’s 15 buttons. Why not 30? Because one of the buttons will have to be the Easy-Shift[+] button.
That’s a lot of functionality, but the Kone XP will have to compete with mice in its price range specifically geared for MMO games. Those button-laden rivals include the 20-button Logitech G600 MMO ($35 MSRP as of writing) and the 16-button Razer Naga X ($80 MSRP). The latter device has Razer’s HyperShift feature that works like Roccat’s Easy-Shift[+].
So much flash
I said the Kone XP primarily targets gamers, but you could probably already discern that from its appearance. The mouse has 22 RGB LEDs in total. With the help of eight light guides, the LEDs blast color through the mouse’s clear chassis and scroll wheel, which has what Roccat describes as a “smoky transparent design” meant to diffuse the lighting.
The mouse doesn’t try to lure gamers on its colors and button layout alone. It also has a sensor based off the PixArt PAW3370, called the Roccat Owl-Eye, with extreme specs, including 50-19,000 DPI (dots per inch). That’s a lesser max DPI than some other gaming mice, like the 25,000 CPI Logitech G303 Shroud Edition, offer. But for most, that DPI range is ample.
Meanwhile, the left- and right-click buttons use the Turtle Beach sub-brand’s homegrown Titan Optical Switches. In the Roccat Kone Pro mouse I’ve tested, I found the switches easier to actuate with a softer noise than many standard mechanical mouse switches. But the Pro’s clicks also felt less sharp. Time will tell if the Kone XP’s clicks differ.
And in a last nod at gamers, Roccat’s Kone XP will also work with Nvidia’s Reflex latency analyzer.
The mouse officially comes out on March 29 but is currently available for preorder.