Roccat Kone Pro Air hands-on review: Gaming mouse with RGB lighting and click-sensitive mouse wheel
Intro - Wireless gamer
The Kone Pro Air is probably more aimed at gamers with its RGB lighting, but it is also suitable as a desktop mouse and can also score mobile points due to its low weight. After all, it can be connected via Bluetooth or USB wireless adapter.
The wireless mouse, unlike the Razer Orochi V2, is not powered by an external battery, but has an internal energy storage, which is supposed to allow over 100 hours of playtime (wireless) and make the Kone Pro Air fit for 5 hours of use after only 10 minutes of charging. The battery can be recharged via the included, very softly sheathed and therefore flexible USB-C cable ("PhantomFlex").
The bottom of the mouse is adorned with the heat-treated PTFE (Teflon) mouse feet, the 19-K DPI optical sensor, the slide switch for connection selection, a programmable button (profiles or DPI) that switches colors by default, and the slot for the USB wireless adapter.
The honeycomb upper shell is particularly light and helps the mouse to be lightweight. You can see the honeycomb-like structure shining through well in the area of the RGB lighting.
The pleasantly wide mouse wheel is made of aluminum. The front halves of both mouse buttons light up in alternating RGB colors (Aimo illumination, 16.8 million colors), which should also be able to synchronize with other Aimo-capable products; the corresponding settings can be made in the optional software.
We test the wireless version (with charging cable) for 129.99 Euros (~$158), whereas the wired version costs 79.99 Euros (~$97) at Roccat. The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty.
Design - Oriented on the ergonomic classic
There are two color variants of the Kone Pro series, namely white and black. The latter softens the dark design with the silver-colored "Roccat Kone" lettering on the palm rest and the RGB lighting on the click keys. On the underside, the Teflon feet are kept in white. Unlike on the Razer Orochi, the upper shell cannot be removed and customized, but that is more of a gimmick.
In terms of design, the Kone Pro is designed as a desktop replacement and is therefore larger and potentially more hand ergonomic than Razer's small, mobile Orochi V2. The design has clear similarities to the classic Logitech MX518, with a curved arch for the palm and a side insert for the thumb. Incidentally, this makes the mouse predominantly suitable for right-handers. The two thumb buttons are positioned quite far up, possibly a bit too far for my taste, so you have to lift your thumb considerably to reach the two buttons, especially since they are also tilted slightly upwards.
Operating comfort - Grip and RGB
Due to its good curvature and height, the mouse is also quite suitable for large hands, but shorter fingers should also find their way well on the long mouse buttons. Of course, the manufacturer emphasizes that the mouse shape is perfect for any hand position (palm, claw, fingertip grip).
Despite its larger dimensions compared to the Razer mouse, the Kone Pro is not really heavier. The Kone Pro is about as light as the Orochi V2, the Pro Air is slightly heavier due to the integrated battery, and the kitchen scales show 72 g (~2.5 oz, without the wireless adapter inserted) for the Air. The Razer Orochi, which is designed for mobile use and is considerably smaller, is only 4 to 5 g (~0.14 to 0.18 oz) lighter with an inserted AAA battery.
What the Kone Pro lacks compared to the Razer mouse is a DPI switch, but the switch on the bottom can be reprogrammed as such, but it is not as accessible as the button in front of the mouse wheel on the Orochi. The preset is a bit less sensitive than on the Orochi and overall well done. However, settings of this type can also be made via the Roccat software.
The left and right sides of the mouse are lightly ribbed for a better grip, all without additional grip tape.
This time, the illumination is "only" realized at the tips of the click buttons, here the mouse glows alternately in different colors, the transitions are realized via a smooth fading of the colors, so there is no annoying blinking.
Practical experience - Good with a small flaw
Since it is quite light, it glides effortlessly over the mouse pad, but due to its size it also does not wobble and does not feel quite as sensitive as the Orochi V2. However, the Kone Pro does not glide evenly on both feet, the rear end is clearly more mobile, while the front is more stable, so it reacts a bit less sensitively.
The optical switches work very well. They are controlled by a kind of light barrier, so that the release is very fast. The switches give a clear feedback and you have the feeling that you have to apply exactly the right amount of force to press them so that they do not come across too spongy and on the other hand trigger quickly.
The mouse wheel feels very comfortable due to its wide design, and scrolling works great for the most part. Clicks are acknowledged by the mouse wheel with a clear feedback, which feels correspondingly good. However, I noticed in the test that unintentional clicks were triggered by very fast and sudden turning of the mouse wheel during very fast scrolling, for example, when you want to quickly reach the end of a web page. That was quite annoying.
If you play fast games, you should definitely use the wireless (2.4GHz) connection. The particularly low latency of about 1 ms only applies here. However, the Bluetooth connection is sufficient for office use. We didn't have any problems in fast shooters in wireless mode.
Overall, the mouse feels very ergonomic, is easy to control and implements movements precisely.
Via the software called "Roccat Swarm" (download from Roccat's website), lighting, macros, DPI and more can be set, the mouse's small internal memory is well equipped for this. In addition, all buttons can be individualized in the 160 MB software, the mouse can be calibrated, the battery status can be displayed, etc. The range of functions is exemplary and the design is successful.
In addition to the software itself, you have to install the respective device module, in this case for the Kone Pro Air, within the software.
The respective settings can be saved as profiles, and the button on the bottom can be programmed to switch the profiles, but then you no longer have a DPI switch.
Verdict - Flexible mouse, quite high price
The Roccat Kone Pro Air turns out to be very versatile in the test. It serves as a desktop mouse, but is also reasonably mobile due to its relatively low weight, as long as the size does not deter you. The mouse is well manufactured, the connection is smooth and lag-free, and the software is exemplary in terms of functionality.
There is slight criticism for the lack of a DPI switch on the upper side, and you have to choose between DPI or profile switch on the button on the underside. Otherwise, the switching is done via software. It's also not so good that the actually high-quality and pleasantly wide metal mouse wheel tends to unintentionally trigger clicks when scrolling fast.
The software is worth installing, on the one hand because of the good range of functions, but on the other hand also because it can happen that the mouse suddenly stops working without warning because the battery is empty, there is no warning LED. The included USB-C flex cable is definitely nice to have, also because it can be used for other devices.
The Roccat Kone Pro Air is a successful, versatile and well-made gaming mouse with RGB lighting and extensive configuration options via the software.
Overall, the Kone Pro Air is a well-made, high-quality gaming mouse with a few extra features, which is mostly convincing in everyday use. The biggest point of criticism might be the price: 129.99 Euros (~$158) for a mouse is quite steep.