ROCCAT Kone Pure Right-handed Gaming Mouse Review

I first got my hands on the ROCCAT Kone Pure when I borrowed it during the ACL Open Bracket StarCraft 2 Tournament in which I got completely wrecked because I wasn’t fully prepared for the event because I neglected to bring my own gaming gear. I wasn’t expecting to compete however, I was there with my fellow Sydney Collegiate StarCraft friends to watch the matches that were being played live. It was an exciting event, too bad I couldn’t win because I’ve lost my edge from not practicing and I kept tripping up on keyboards that I wasn’t used to using. After all that, I won the mouse in the raffle and Infurneaux handed it to me. Sadly, I don’t have the box and the other contents that came with the mouse to do an un-boxing.

Well anyway, without any further delay I shall give you my thoughts on it.

Comfort and Feel

The mouse itself is around 7cm in width, 12cm in length and around 90g in weight. The entire mouse is coated in a soft-touch matte or rubberized plastic which feels great in the hands, and doesn’t get too grimy very easily making it a suitable for long gaming sessions. There isn’t any jagged edges that will press against you causing discomfort when you grip the mouse since the mouse is curvy and rounded. There’s an indent on the left side of the mouse where your thumb can rest, with the two thumb buttons just above it so you won’t accidentally press them. The tactile feedback on the mouse is decent as the clicks feel solid, and you can feel the bumps in the scroll wheel which itself isn’t too loose or too stiff.

My hands are around 17cm in length from wrist to the tip of my middle finger, around 10cm in width at the knuckle. So if your hands are around my size this mouse should fit you like a glove. Whether you’re a palm grip, claw grip or fingertip grip user, this mouse is very comfortable to use.

Driver Suite

The Driver Suite is downloadable via the ROCCAT website,  and it’s full featured. You have all the options you need, and a few options that are nice to have but are not essential such as sensor calibration, lift-off distance, and easy-aim just to name a few. The driver itself feels a bit cluttered  however it does get the job done. You have 16 language options  for the driver suite other than English which is available by clicking the button on lower left corner of the window. You can have a total of 5 profiles which are stored on the mouse itself.

Kone 1

Fueled up and ready to go.

The driver suite also keeps track of your mouse usage stats and rewards you with trophies for when certain requirements are met. While mouse usage  stats may be useful to some gamers, I find it quite unusual that there are achievements just for using the mouse. Another unusual feature would be whenever you switch between profiles, DPI settings, sensitivity settings, volume and whenever you earn a trophy for your mouse achievements, a somewhat creepy voice announces it to notify you. This can be disabled if you find it annoying.

There’s also easy access to update and support and updates and the driver suite automatically updates the firmware on the mouse.

Speed and Precision

The laser sensor itself can sense from 200DPI to 8200DPI which is very excessive for a gaming mouse and you can switch between 5 DPI settings per profile. The sensor is precise at all DPI settings which no noticeable shaking of the cursor which using it and given it is a laser mouse, it can  sense on a variety of surfaces however, I still recommend using a mouse pad when gaming just so the sensor itself doesn’t pick up any unwanted interference. If you find that you need more precision from the mouse, there is an option to calibrate the mouse for optimal performance with your gaming surface.

You can also adjust the sensitivity of the sensor and the cursor speed which is a bit redundant considering you can just adjust the DPI instead however if you like having vertical and horizontal cursor speeds at different speeds, you can adjust the X-Y sensitivity. Other speed settings include Vertical Scroll, Horizontal Tilt, and double clicking speed if you have set a double clicking button.

Commands and Macros

The mouse has the standard, left click, right-click, and the scroll wheel which also acts as the middle click and accompanying them are 2 thumb buttons on the left side, and 2 DPI switching buttons below the scroll wheel. You can remap all of the buttons to your liking including the DPI switching buttons if you don’t need to switch DPI settings on the fly. There’s also the Easy-shift[+] feature which acts as a shift key on your mouse and changes up the commands when you press and hold it.

Kone 1

I could aim but with this thing, I don’t have to.

You have your left-click,  right-click, middle-click, scroll-up and scroll-down as your standard 5 commands on the mouse, and 4 extra commands bringing a total of up to 9 commands without Easy-Shift[+]. If you’re using Easy-Shift[+], you get an additional 8 commands to play while holding the button which you’ve assigned as the shift button, bringing a whopping total of 16 commands on a 6 button + Scroll wheel right-handed gaming mouse. This is an excellent feature from ROCCAT which you can use for browsing on the computer, multimedia or if you like extra buttons on a mouse for gaming, you will find that this feature will be a great alternative to keypad mice.

Macros are easy to set up for a select number of games which makes it easy to set up most, if not all of your macros for gaming without having to refer to the in-game macro settings. It’s nice to see that ROCCAT has taken the initiative to go that extra mile to make our lives as gamers easier, so good job to the team who came up with this really cool feature. Not all games have their macros are included in the driver suite however, you can still set up custom macros so there’s no worries there.

Here is the list of games and software which the macros are included with the driver suite.

Games

  • Age Of Conan
  • Battle for Middle Earth
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • Bioshock 2
  • Command and Conquer 3
  • Counter Strike 1.6
  • Counter Strike Source
  • Crysis/Crysis Warhead
  • Dragon Age
  • Guild Wars
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Lineage 2
  • Lord of the Rings Online5
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Sacred 2
  • Sims 3
  • StarCraft 2 (Hell yeah!)
  • Warhammer Online
  • World of Warcraft

Software

  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Office
  • Photoshop
  • Safari
  • Skype
  • Team Speak 2
  • Team Speak 3
  • Windows Functions
  • Xfire

Lighting

The logo can be adjusted to different colours which looks nice by itself however it will be quite useless when gaming since that your hand will be covering it up entirely and not that you need to look at the mouse anyway. You can have the light on, pulsing or  turn it off completely however I have found a use for having the light pulsing as I can use it to determine whether if there’s a problem with it.

  • If the light stays on all the time without pulsing when the setting is set to pulsing, then there’s something keeping the mouse from doing its job.
  • If the light stays off, then the mouse isn’t getting switched on for some odd reason.
  • If the light pulses as normal the mouse should be working normally, unless of course there are obvious problems that arise.

The light also helps me find the mouse in complete darkness during those late night gaming sessions.

Kone 1

Colour me happy.

Driver Installation Issues

I had trouble installing the drivers on different computers. I plugged it in, and it worked perfectly without installing the downloadable driver on the first computer I tried however, when I tried using it on other computers it failed.  When I got home the mouse worked perfectly when I plugged it in, and then I installed the driver from the ROCCAT website. Then problems arose when I restarted the computer and the mouse would work for a short while and then become unresponsive. If I unplugged it and re-inserted in, it would not turn on.

After I’ve spent an hour trying to fix it up, and I had to uninstall the other mouse drivers I had on my computer before re-installing the driver suite, and then plugging in the mouse again. It finally worked swimmingly after that with no problems at all. The problem seems to be that it’s either the other drivers are conflicting with he Kone Pure drivers, or that I didn’t install the driver suite before plugging in the mouse. So when installing the drivers, make sure you download the driver suite from the ROCCAT website first before you plug in the mouse. If you experience any problems, uninstall all the mouse drivers before re-installing the driver suite and plugging in the mouse.

Conclusion

The ROCCAT Kone Pure is comfortable gaming mouse that delivers very little nonsense in terms of performance and customization. At AU$75 for the standard black version, and $79 for coloured versions the mouse is on the expensive side. If you really do like the laser sensor and how the mouse fits your hand then by all means, get one, it’s awesome however I do have to point out that there are cheaper alternatives to this mouse that lose some of the non-essential features.

The Razer Deathadder 2013 Edition costs $52 which feels slightly larger in the hand and doesn’t have the DPI switching buttons which doesn’t actually matter much since most of the time the DPI and sensitivity are set and forget. If you prefer a similar feel to the Kone Pure, and have little use for a laser sensor then the ROCCAT Savu which costs $55 will serve you well. Like the Deathadder, the Savu doesn’t have the DPI switching buttons however it also has the Easy-Shift[+] feature like the Kone Pure.

The Easy-Shift[+] feature on the Kone Pure is an intriguing inclusion as it does allow the mouse to compete with the keypad mice offerings such as the Razer Naga series with its 2014 edition slightly more expensive at $85. If you find it hard to become accustomed to keypad mice in roughly the same price range or higher, then the Kone Pure is a great alternative. If you really do like the Kone Pure however you want to use optical, then at $79 the Kone Pure Optical will be your best option.

The DPI switching buttons that can be assigned to different commands is a very thoughtful decision as these buttons can be quite useless if you don’t use them. Just by giving us the option to change what these buttons do adds a whole new purpose for these buttons other than strictly DPI switching like on many other mice.

NOTE – All prices are in Australian Dollars and are taken from PC Case Gear and Mwave, and are correct at time of posting. Prices may be subject to change. So please be mindful to check the prices yourself.

All in all, the Kone Pure is a great mouse that can be used for MMOs, FPS and RTS gaming and is a very comfortable right-handed gaming mouse to use for long periods of time. Other than the problem I had with installing the drivers, I quite like this mouse and I would recommend it to anyone with medium sized hands looking for a gaming mouse jam-packed full of features more than you could possibly use.

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It’s not rocket science to see why this mouse is great. It’s ROCCAT science. /shot

Special thanks to ROCCAT for supporting eSports and Sydney Collegiate Starcraft, you guys are awesome! That’s all I have for now.

Good Luck, Have Fun!

-Haiji Onii-san

3 Unnecessary Features that should not be implemented in a Gaming Laptop

A gaming  laptop allows you to play games on the go, and also to go to BYO computer LAN parties without having to take your home desktop computer with you. With laptops being significantly weaker in terms of performance than their desktop counterparts in the same price range, it is critical for manufacturers to keep costs down and maximize gaming performance as their one and only focus. However, many gaming laptops are being made with Gaming as “one of the priorities”, and a load of features a gamer would never use are being added to these laptops.

Here are the unnecessary features that should not be implemented in a gaming laptop.

3. Touchscreen

As a gamer, a mouse is a mandatory peripheral, and you should be gaming with it anyway so there’s no reason not to use it outside of gaming. There are touchscreen games, however you’re most likely going to play them on your tablet or smartphone instead which renders the touchscreen on a gaming laptop completely useless since you’re not going to use it for anything other than navigation. Even if you use it for navigation, that job is already taken up by the mouse, so there’s little reason to include a touchscreen.

razer-blade-touch-screen[1]

Let’s be honest, the touchscreen is a gimmick.

Another factor you need to take into account is that touchscreens are very glossy, which means that it can easily reflect light making for poorer visibility when the screen acts more like a mirror than a monitor. Not to mention you’ll need to buy a matte screen protector to stop the glare, and the countless fingerprints on the screen which are a pain to wipe off every now and again. With all that said, there’s nothing a Touchscreen can do to enhance the laptop’s ability to run games.

2. Blu-ray Drives

Blu-ray is great for movies for when you’re at home, however there’s no point of carrying the discs with you anyway because of all the excess bulk you really don’t want to carry. You’d much rather watch those Blu-ray movies at home and taking the discs with you makes little sense. Even if you have a physical copy of a movie, it’s better to rip it and place it  in storage space available on the laptop’s storage drives, or USB storage.

PR-ASUS-ROG-G750-side-and-top-views[1]

How often do you use the Blu-ray drive for gaming purposes exactly? Never.

Even if optical media is still being used to install games, publishers always burn their installers onto a DVD to install the game part-way and download the rest of the game and the updates online. Plus, optical drives are not mandatory as high bandwidth internet made physical media obsolete as you can just download all your software, games and movies online without having to go to a store and buy an actual copy. There’s literally no need for the optical drive if any on the gaming laptop to be capable of reading Blu-ray and it doesn’t enhance the gaming performance at all.

1. High Resolution Screen

Any resolution between 720p to 1440p should do you just fine for gaming depending on the performance of the discrete GPU inside the laptop. A weaker discrete GPU would require lower resolutions to perform smoothly at a decent framerate, and faster GPUs can make do with higher resolutions. There are higher resolution screens being put into the market often called 3K or 4k screens which require enormous amounts of graphics processing power even by desktop standards.

msi-gt60-angle[1]

Does your GPU even lift?

Not even the most powerful desktop graphics cards currently on the market are capable of running games at 3K or 4K resolutions on high quality settings at an acceptable frame rate so it makes no sense whatsoever to include it on a gaming laptop since that like I said before, laptops are significantly weaker than their desktop counterparts in the same price range. Placing such a high resolution screen and running it on a laptop drags down the frame rate since it makes the GPU work even harder.

Sure, you might want to watch movies on your gaming laptop however even then 1080p is completely acceptable and any resolution higher than that has diminishing returns, and it becomes harder to tell the difference from 3k and onwards on a 13-17 inch display. Most movies nowadays are most likely to be 1080p anyway, so no matter how much higher you can go with the resolution, there’s no way to improve the viewing quality of your movies.

Scaling everything is a pain in the ass to do as well and some things don’t look quite right when you scale the resolution of the screen. Things will get quite blurry, and some games don’t run properly on 3K or 4K resolutions and many require at most 1440p or less. So rather than increasing gaming performance, a higher than necessary resolution screen is detrimental to the gaming experience on a laptop with very little gain.

Conclusion

The features described here if included put a lot of unnecessary price mark-up on the already expensive gaming laptop without enhancing its ability to run games. Most of the gaming laptops in the current market are actually more suitable as workstations used for digital art and design instead of gaming. Instead of spending more on adding extra features, manufacturers should minimize the number the number of extra functions a gamer isn’t necessarily going to use. Manufacturers should either bring the price down or increase the performance whilst maintaining the price. This will open up more gamers to portable PC gaming, make gaming laptops more affordable and make games run a whole lot smoother.

With all that said, hopefully we’ll see proper gaming laptops from here on out.

Good Luck, Have Fun!

-Haiji Onii-san

Building my first Minecraft Chunk House with a Modern Flair

A chunk house is basically a house built inside a Minecraft chunk, and one Minecraft chunk is exactly a 16*16 blocks in area. When building a chunk house, it can be as tall and go into the ground deep as you like however it must not step step outside the chunk you’re building in. With this simple restriction it gives you enough creativity to design  and build something inside  a chunk. I’ve never built one before, and I also  never used modern styling on any of my houses in Minecraft so it was time to change that.

I installed Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable shaders and Dokucraft: The Saga Continues Light resource pack and here’s what I came up with.

The Design of the House

Working with a 16*16 area is easy, there’s literally so much space I could use. I knew I wanted a modern looking house so I had a look at a few photos from google, and I tried different building materials. I was aiming for a house that felt open, close to nature, simplistic, has adequate lighting and easy to build. When I finally started, I laid out the foundations using stone brick with the house 12*12 in size in  the center of the chunk.

I didn’t want to use wool for the walls because it would be boring, and so I decided to use nether  quartz, however placing it purely vertically horizontal is too generic so I decided to make it a criss-cross pattern. This gave the walls a nice feel to it and the wall textures weren’t too plain at all thanks to the alternating vertical and horizontal lines.

For the edges, I tried using just pure oak wood at first, however it looked a bit strange, so I decided to switch to dyed clay which I ultimately scrapped in favour of oak wood for pillars and oak planks for horizontal edges which looked quite nice so I kept it. The wood and planks gave the house a bit of natural feel and it fit in with the modern styling.

The lower balcony is made of spruce slabs, while the inside flooring used acacia wood to imitate a varnished look, there’s also a a cobble stone path surrounding the rest of the house. The upper balcony uses dark oak wood for flooring. The use of different woods is an easy way to make a house look stunning without having to change to a different type of material.

For the lighting, I had to somehow integrate glowstone and since this was a modern house, I wanted to avoid using torches entirely. I broke holes in the wall, and filled it in with glowstone to light up the outside as well as the interior. I also broke holes in the roof and floor and also filled these with glowstone so I could light up the ceilings, floors and the top of the entire house.

With loads of glass, I used glass panes for small windows on the  lower floor and on the second floor I used  them for big windows and fences and there’s dyed blue glass for the balcony roof as well. Glass is mostly transparent so it gives an illusion of a  wide open space if used correctly. Speaking of wide open spaces, A high ceiling in the in the living/dining room gives the house a nice open feeling to it.

For decorations, I didn’t want to go overboard, I placed a few paintings, used book shelves, a couple of pot plants, sugar cane, and instead of a chandelier, I used leaves since I had no where to put them and I wanted  to use leaves somewhere. I added vines to the leaves just to add a bit of extra detail. With all those indoor plants, it gives off a nature vibe without too much clutter, and clutter always ruins the openness. I placed just enough  plants to give a good sense of nature without impeding on the openness of the house.

Finally there has to be a water feature somewhere, and so under the glass flooring I placed a pool of water which doubles as lighting. It has mossy cobblestone and it’s like a watery closed terrarium. On top of this is a glass flooring which supports tables made of fences and  stone pressure places, and chairs made of birch stairs.

I hope you like my modern style chunk house! Until next time.

Good  Luck, Have Fun!

-Haiji Onii-san