The Roccat Kone has been around for a long while now in one guise or another. It was nearly flawless upon first release and so Roccat have been able to merely refine the formula rather than scrap they design work and have to try again.
The first Kone had a 3200DPI sensor and some light customisation options. That was followed up with the Kone[+], which boosted the sensor sensitivity significantly to 6000DPI, as well as introducing the EasyShift button, which doubles the amount of functions you can assign. The third variant was the XTD, a monster Pro Aim R3 8200DPI sensor was bundled with the ability to adjust the weight of the mouse with some optional extra weights.
This continual honing of an already winning formula has allowed the Kone to maintain its position amongst the very finest gaming mice on Earth. Today we're reviewing the Kone Pure, which is available in three versions. There is the standard Pure equipped with the 8200DPI Pro Aim R3 sensor, the Pure Optical which has a 4000DPI Optical R3 sensor for those who prefer an optical rather than laser offering, and the model we're testing today the Pure Color, which is the 8200DPI laser Pure but in some very tasty colours.
When you compare the Pure Color with the XTD there is a hell of a lot that remains the same, despite the Pure name implying a stripped down affair. The biggest change isn't something that you'll see in a specifications table, but rather on the next page as the Pure has been reduced in size by 10%. Otherwise it has a bevy of high-end features with an extremely powerful sensor at the heart of it.
The standard Pure is available in black, with the limited edition Pure Color models in Phantom White, Inferno Orange, Hellfire Red and Polar Blue. The blue and orange models have the colour on the bottom half, with the white being completely white and the red, the one we have today, having a red top.
As always the Roccat packaging is a blend of features and the product itself, all in easy to read sections. The front of the box is starting to get a little busier than we like, but a magnetic flap reveals the mouse itself to curious shoppers.
The full-size Kone versions are nicely proportioned, but the reduction in size of the Roccat Pure makes it even prettier. It borders on squat. The red top is much more vibrant than it seems in pictures, and yet it isn't retina burningly bright at the same time. Behind the scroll wheel are the DPI change buttons, which, like everything else on the Kone Pure, can be customised to your own preference.
As a right handed rodent the Pure has a sizeable groove for your thumb on the left hand side. It's not the extreme banana shape we've seen from some, but rather it's just enough to be comfortable. The whole mouse is covered in the soft-touch plastic that we adore so much. It makes a nice change when compared to some mice that have multiple textures.
The heart of the Kone Pure is that Pro Aim R3 sensor, positioned centrally and surrounded by low-friction feet. As always with Roccat products the cable is coated with a soft, tightly-woven braid and the USB plug itself has the product printed upon it. It might seem a small thing, but anyone who has had to change their installed USBs and has found themselves confronted with 8 identical black USB plugs will appreciate knowing which is which.
Before we get on to the lighting of the Roccat logo, this is the first time we've ever seen a warning label quite like this.
By default the Kone Pure has the logo in the company ice blue colouration. Within the software though you can set it to any colour you like, in keeping with the 'maximum customisation' ethos of Roccat.
Purple and turquoise.
Red and green. The red really is deep and rich and beautifully balances the red of the Pure Color's coating.
It is a testament to the excellence of the Roccat Kone's design that it's barely changed since it first appeared four years ago. Whilst other manufacturers have been adjusting their ergonomics and feature sets on a regular basis, the Kone has only had two sensor upgrades and the addition of the Easy-Shift since its inception.
With the Kone Pure you have all of the benefits of the full-fat, top line Kone XTD, but in a smaller package. That 10% size reduction has really made a difference with the mouse not only feeling nimbler to use, but obviously it fits better in the palm of those with a more average size hand.
That smaller size doesn't mean a reduction in features though. You still get 6 customisable buttons which, when combined with the Easy Shift and plenty of profiles, gives you enough possibilities to ensure you're never having to make hard decisions about what you'd prefer to have near to hand and what you'll have to place elsewhere. The software is the regular Roccat combination of functionality and ease of use. Macros are well catered for with an array of options and if you own a Roccat keyboard then they two will combine into a harmonious whole.
The lighting is capable of running the full gamut of colours and. although obviously the difference between FFFFFF and FFFFFE is too much to realistically ask, you can be certain of getting a the colour of your choice. The logo supports the breathing option too, or if you prefer a stealthier approach you can just turn it off. The coating is soft and tactile, providing a nice feel beneath your fingertips whilst giving good control and grip. It's that fabulous blend of grippy without being sticky, which is hard to achieve.
The heart of the Kone Pure is what will really sell it though, with the same 8200DPI laser sensor that is in their XTD. There is an option with the Pure to have an optical sensor, if you prefer the more responsive, lower DPI that they provide. Equally if you want a plain black one the regular Pure will suffice, and if you want red, white, blue or orange then the Pure Color is the one. Although the Pure Color is only available with the 8200DPI R3 laser sensor.
We love the Kone, and always have. In Pure guise it's perfect. We can't think of anything we don't like about it. The sensor is amazing, it's really comfortable, hugely customisable with the excellent software and, at around £50, perfectly priced. Unhesitatingly a Gold Award winner.
Thanks to Roccat for supplying the Pure Color for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.