Roccat, the Germany-based PC accessory company, has had a very strong showing since making the jump to North America just under two years ago. PC gamers need options with their primary peripherals, and those options need customization. Roccat understands this, building upon the products that have garnered top reviews already, primarily the award-winning Kone-series of gaming mice. The expansion continues with the latest release of the series called the XTD.
As always with our PC accessories, let's get to the technical specifications and break things down from there.
The number that jumps out the most is the 8200dpi laser sensor. The range itself goes all the way down to 200dpi with 41 settings total that a gamer can choose from in order to give as many choices as possible. Most will find their niche somewhere in between, but imagine having that maximum setting when playing your favorite FPS on your PC. That is a huge advantage to have on quick scanning a battlefield for the next target. Couple that with the 1000Hz polling rate and 1ms response time, and the mouse has one of the fastest combinations of movement and scrolling out there. Beyond the specifications, as with all of the Kone-series mice, the lighting system is a 4-LED setup that will allow a player to make their mouse unique with colors, which is setup by the gamer in the control center that can be downloaded via Roccat.org. Let's not forget the weighting system as well with the ability to clip in up to 20 grams of weights into the system to give it a heavier feel.
The Kone XTD doesn't feel very different from the original Kone[+] mouse, and that is not a bad thing at all. The mouse feels extremely comfortable and is definitely designed for those with larger hands, making it very ergonomic and not at all cumbersome. Gaming mice can be a wide range of sizes, but the Kone-series has always managed to get this right. Movement is smooth, whether it's on just a standard desk or a high-quality mouse pad (more on those later), and doesn't have any hang-ups with most any surface. The laser also reacts exceptionally well to any surface as I had no issues testing it out on different surfaces, mainly an oak desk and two different mouse pads, so don't be concerned if you can only afford the mouse and nothing else. The desk is going to suit the Kone XTD just fine.
There are 12 different buttons on the Kone XTD, all placed in spots that are not terribly difficult or uncomfortable to use. Two quick access buttons for the thumb are placed just right where the thumb barely has to be bent to hit them with the tip, but not to the point where it feels like the thumb is going to go out of socket. There is nothing worse than misplaced buttons on a gaming mouse. The DPI setting buttons, placed below the wheel, can quickly change the settings up or down with a voice to verify that the setting has changed. If there is a negative, it's hearing that voice for the first time if you have headphones on with the volume turned up. Either way, it will get your attention and be informative, all at the same time. The rest of the button placement comes from the wheel itself, which can be scrolled up or down, moved side to side, and pressed in, giving more functionality for not only simple commands, but macros as well. The onboard 576k memory will store plenty of commands, all of which can be controlled on the command panel.
Using the Kone XTD with the Hiro and Raivo Mousepads
Truth be told, it has been a long time since I've used a high quality mouse pad on a regular basis. I have generally settled for using my desk or a cheap pad that can be picked up for a couple of bucks. Mouse pads can definitely make a difference with the overall experience, especially when using a gaming mouse on a regular basis. Roccat has a couple of new options to choose from, based on personal choice between soft and hard pads. The Roccat Hiro is the soft option, made from vulcanized silicone. The underside of the mouse is guaranteed to be non-slip on any surface, and it lives up to these claims. The area size is massive at 350 x 250 x 2.5mm, making sure that even large movements from side to side will not take the mouse off the pad. The pad is definitely built to last and may make a difference for good gamers to reach that next level.
The other new option is a hard pad named the Roccat Raivo. Normally, hard mouse pads are difficult to adjust to and have been known to cause skips in laser mice, but this is not the case with the Raivo. The 350 x 270 x 2mm pad is a little larger than the Hiro, but may be a more optimum choice for those who want close to perfection when it comes to a smooth surface. Using a similar non-slip back to help the pad from moving during gameplay, there were no issues testing out this pad as well, though I will say that the Hiro's backing seemed to be just a tad better with the push test, though it did take quite a bit of force to move either one from it's position, meaning that it's not a problem at all either way, unless you are one violent gamer. In that case, you may want to seek some sort of counseling. All joking aside, though, both of these mouse pads are great pairings with the Kone XTD.
Final Thoughts and MSRP
The Kone XTD is just another winning gaming mouse from Roccat and should definitely be high on the list for a gamer this holiday season. The 8200dpi laser ensures a fantastic reaction no matter the game of choice and, when paired up with one of the two mouse pads in the form of the Hiro or Raivo, any PC gamer's experience is sure to be a good one.
The Kone XTD can be found at various outlets for an MSRP of $79.99, while the Hiro and Raivo mouse pads retail at $49.99 and $29.99 respectively. All can be found at Newegg.com and many retailers who carry PC gaming accessories.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I've been writing about games and entertainment since 2006 after starting out at Xbox Ohio. Since then, I have made the jump to Gaming Nexus and have enjoyed my time here. I am an avid gamer that has a solid old school game collection that includes the likes of Final Fantasy games, Earthbound, Gitaroo-Man, MvC2, and a whole slew of others. I have a primary focus on Xbox 360 games and PC peripherals and accessories. If you ever want to game against me, you can look me up on XBL with the gamertag GN Punk.