There are a variety of features that should be kept in mind when opting for a gaming mouse. These features primarily depend on why you’re looking to upgrade. Other factors such as gaming style (mainstream or hardcore), lifestyle preferences (wanting to go cable-free), body type (big or small hands) and price (got some moolah to spare or not) affect one’s purchase as well. In this round-up, we’ll analyze three Roccat gaming mice in detail. These are the Kone Pro Air, Burst Pro Air and the Kone XP.
Kone Pro Air
Released in early 2021, the Kone Pro Air does extreme justice to its name by weighing only 75 grams. This extremely lightweight device hosts a sufficiently attractive smooth plastic body with ridges on the sides for enhanced grip. The chassis features multiple curves designed according to the shape of your palm when it rests on the mouse. The curves are deep, well-defined and provide an immense amount of comfort to your right hand.
The Kone Pro Air hosts six buttons in total. You get the standard right and left click-panels, a clickable scroll wheel, a pair of side-thumb buttons and a hidden switch on the underside of the device dedicated to switching between presets. The underside hosts another switch that toggles between a Wi-Fi option, power off and a Bluetooth option. One of my favorite features of the Kone Pro Air is the little socket on its base that Roccat has so graciously provided us with. The socket is meant to securely hold the USB dongle included in the package. Knowing myself, I would’ve lost that tiny dongle on day two of using the Kone Pro Air, and it’s such a relief knowing that Roccat has got me covered.
The Kone Pro Air comes through with great precision and sensitivity. There was no stutter or lag. The mouse features a DPI score of 19, 000 and an Owl-Eye sensor. The sensor is Roccat’s proprietary product. Most people believe the higher the DPI, the better the mouse’s performance is going to be. This is entirely false. A mouse’s DPI is more than sufficient as long as it aligns with its monitor’s horizontal screen resolution. Other than that, all the insanely high DPI scores you see on the advertising material of mice are mainly marketing gimmicks. That being said, 19, 000 is an extremely high DPI spec and may even become an issue during games that require immense precision. If you feel as if you don’t have much control over the cursor because of how sensitive the mouse is, tweak your in-game settings accordingly.
The Kone Pro Air makes use of pretty cute RGBA lighting on its click panels. Since I have small hands, the lighting was still able to shine from underneath my fingers but I can imagine it being a pretty pointless feature if you’re someone with big hands. Your fingers will cover it at all times when the mouse is in use. The 100+ hour battery life is the feature that amused me the most on the spec sheet. I didn’t have to worry about the Kone Pro Air’s battery at all. It charges within minutes and will run for days before you have to worry about being tethered to a cable again.
All in all, the Kone Pro Air is an excellent mouse considering it comes at a reasonable price of just $99. It’s light, ergonomically designed, features pretty cool honeycomb-themed lighting, incredibly long battery life and brilliant performance.
Burst Pro Air
The Burst Pro Air is an excellent choice for those who wish to add some pizzazz to their gaming setup. We were sent the mouse in Arctic White and we couldn’t stop obsessing over it. Featuring insanely cool honeycomb lighting, the Burst Pro Air’s entire body light up when it’s in use. This makes it more relevant for people with big hands or those who are looking for a really cool mouse to complete their RGB gaming setup. The mouse hosts a dedicated DPI button apart from the six buttons that the Kone Pro Air features. It is a little heavier than the latter though (81 grams) and admittedly feels a little heavier too.
In terms of ergonomics, the Burst Pro Air could’ve taken inspiration from the Kone Pro Air. It has a pretty stiff and rigid chassis that doesn’t feature any curves or humps tailored according to one’s hand. As a result, you’d find yourself holding onto the mouse instead of comfortably resting your palm on it. The underside of the Burst Pro Air also features the much-appreciated socket for its USB dongle.
Performance-wise, the mouse’s 19, 000 DPI Owl-Eye sensor performs extremely well. I did find the mouse to be a bit too sensitive, especially during an intense game of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare where I need to make sure my cursor is steady. Thanks to the DPI button, I tweaked that with ease. The wireless connection was stable and smooth offering zero delays. The option to opt for a wired connection made things even easier for when it ran out of juice. To cater to such situations, Roccat offers a 1.8m Phantom Flex cable that exudes extreme sophistication and class.
The Kone XP is for those who don’t find cables pesky. This $89 wired gaming mouse offers 19 LEDs and eight light guides. It’s bright, sleek and gorgeous. It hosts a generous supply of 15 buttons that can perform 29 functions. Its shape is very similar to the Kone Pro Air, except its hump is even more defined. The Kone XP comes with an extra set of heat-treated PTFE glides that just adds to the smooth experience that the mouse offers all thanks to its elegant and efficient Phantom Flex cable.
The click panels feature Titan optical switches that can be found in both the Kone Pro Air and the Burst Pro Air as well. Titan is undoubtedly the biggest name for switches and, for gaming, I’d prefer optical over laser switches any day. The latter does tend to be much more sensitive but that can also backfire sometimes and result in a bit of jitter. The only con of optical switches is that they cannot be used on a reflective surface. Make sure you have a non-reflective mouse pad, and you’ll be fine.
The Kone XP, like the Burst Pro Air and the Kone Pro Air, features a 19, 000 DPI Owl-Eye sensor along with a 100 million click life cycle. The mouse is fairly sensitive, very responsive and glides extremely smoothly. You can easily switch between presets and assign hotkeys to its buttons using the Roccat Swarm app which is compatible with the other two mice as well. The app has come a long way and is a pretty impressive software for handling all the bells and whistles of the Kone XP.
The Kone XP, Kone Pro Air and Burst Pro Air are all designed for right-handed people. If you’re left-handed or ambidextrous, you might want to look elsewhere. Apart from this blemish, all three mice are incredibly reasonably-priced and offer a cornucopia of functions.
Is It Hardcore?
Without a doubt!
The Kone Pro Air, Burst Pro Air and Kone XP are all pretty great mice to be considered if you’re looking for a reasonable upgrade. They have their share of pros and cons, though. Just be sure of what your priorities are and make an informed decision.