After the PixArt PMW 3360 optical sensor became the benchmark for gaming mouse sensors, it’s been a tough time for manufacturers of gaming peripherals. The fact is that it turned out to be nowhere further to improve the technical characteristics (within rational limits), which means that it will no longer be possible to attract a potential buyer with this. After all, if earlier there were better sensors for the highest class of manipulators, now they are found even in the middle price segment, and if you try, you can find them in a completely budget version. As a result, every self-respecting brand has tried to invent some zest that others do not have and embellish their products with it. In the case of the Roccat Kone AIMO mouse, the icing on the cake is AIMO’s «intelligent lighting system that instantly responds» to the player’s actions and self-learns. We, for our part, hoped that this was not the most important thing in this mouse, and decided to study it in more detail.
|Model||Roccat Kone AIMO|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor model||Owl-Eye (Pixart PMW 3361)|
|Permission, cpi||50 – 12 000|
|Number of buttons||8 buttons + scroll and tilt to the sides (left, middle, right, two resolution keys, three side buttons)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||50|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||1–3 mm|
|Maximum speed, m/s||6,35|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125 / 250 / 500 / 1000|
|Frame rate, fps||12 000|
|Internal memory, KB||512|
|Cord length, m||1,8|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||Nylon braid|
|Housing surface material||Plastic|
|Backlight||+ (RGB, 16.8M colors)|
|Illumination zones||Scroll wheel, two bars on top|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Software||+ (Roccat Swarm)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||133 x 84 x 43|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8 / 10|
|Additionally||Built-in 50MHz ARM Cortex-MO processor, AIMO intelligent backlight system|
|Average cost, $||100|
Contents of delivery
The corporate identity of the packaging — a beveled corner, remained in its place. On the front side there is a mouse, on the back there is a description of the marketing advantages of the mouse (in 10 languages including Russian). Specifications are indicated on the base, but the weight and dimensions of the device are not mentioned.
Inside the mouse is packed in a plastic blister with a transparent top cover, which reliably protects it from dust and a little less reliably from moisture.
The kit includes an instruction manual, a product disposal information sheet, and three stickers.
If Roccat wanted to impress the buyer, then they succeeded. The Kone AIMO looks like a spaceship from the new sci-fi movies, especially when it’s backlit. The outlines of the classic Kone series are very vaguely guessed in it. And all because the body of the manipulator does not seem to be solid, but folded from separate panels. So, for example, the top panel seems too narrow in the part where the palm rests on it, but in fact it is wide, as it is complemented by the protruding edges of the sidewalls. The color of these overlays can be black, gray or white, and it seems to me that it is in gray that the mouse looks the most beautiful. The top cover is integral with the main keypads and smoothly flows into them. LMB and RMB have slightly above-average actuation force, with a well-controlled and distinct, if not very loud, click. Claimed switch life to failure is 50 million clicks. There is no free play, the minimum play appears only if the panels are pulled up with force, which usually does not occur in real conditions of use. The coating is plastic, tenacious and pleasant to the touch. It is quite resistant to pollution. Two small keys with the symbols «+» and «-» are located behind the scroll wheel and are responsible by default for changing the resolution level. They work with a slight effort and are activated with a resounding click. Stylish LED strips are inserted on the side faces of the top panel. When turned off, they look like glossy plastic, but when activated, they shine with all the colors of the rainbow, giving the impression that there is a heat source inside the mouse body. Near the left insert is the name of the manipulator, in case the user suffers from amnesia.
The left side of the mouse is made from two types of plastic. A comfortable embossed thumb recess is literally «pressed» into the base of black matte plastic, which has the same coating as the top panel. The top two additional keys hang over this insert. It is convenient to press them both directly and by sliding your finger from the bottom up. They work with minimal effort and a loud click, have a small margin of free play. A third side key is built in at the bottom, it has an average hardness in pressing and is also quite noisy. By default, it is responsible for the Easy-Shift function.[+]which allows you to enable alternative mouse button assignments on the fly without activating a profile.
The panels of the main buttons in the front view are slightly tilted to the side, there are large gaps under them. The «titanium» scroll wheel is rubberized around the rim, rotates with soft clicks in both directions and has well-distinguished aurally and tactile fixation positions. The wheel tilts to the sides with little resistance, where it activates two more switches with a medium-loud actuation sound. The middle key is not tight and is activated with a soft click. The cable enters the mouse body in the middle, its kink protection is short and firm.
The signal cable, wrapped in nylon braid, has medium rigidity. It is able to maintain its shape, but generally does not interfere with mouse movement. After some time of use, it «works out» and becomes softer. The length of the cord is 1.8 m. There is no ferrite ring to eliminate interference, but there is a convenient Velcro for adjusting the length of the wire.
The right side of the mouse also has a layered structure of the main body and the patch panel. The panel has a curve at the back and a recess in the center, on which it is convenient to lay the little finger and ring finger.
All lines and segments of the body converge on the stern of the mouse, giving the visual impression that it consists of at least six parts. The side lines of the LED backlight stretch almost to the very base. And on the back of the top panel there is an outline symbol of the brand — an animal from the order of cats.
Roccat Kone AIMO has an original body shape that does not repeat the developments of models from other brands. Its slight asymmetry is thought out so that it fits perfectly in the right hand of a large and medium size. The device has a decent weight of 130 grams, but it is well distributed and balanced, so it does not cause strain in the hand or inconvenience. The best grip option is finger or palm. The claw is also implementable, but not very comfortable.
The base of the mouse has five thick Teflon feet, two on the front and three on the back. Optical sensor with infrared illumination Owl-Eye (modification Pixart PMW3361) is located in the middle of the axis of symmetry of the manipulator. There is also a sticker with the serial number.
The backlight of the mouse is bright and colorful in every sense of the word. The fact is that in addition to the scroll wheel, each of the two side zones has five separate LEDs. Four of them are successively built into a zigzag stripe, and the fifth one is built into a large side section. All are individually adjustable, and the mouse can simultaneously display 11 colors from an RGB palette of 16.8 million color combinations. With a variety of effects, modulations and transitions. Traditionally, the correctness of the transmission of white color suffers, all other colors look vivid and juicy.
Roccat Kone AIMO uses a versatile software called Roccat Swarm. In this case, its current version 1.9318 was used. The current mouse firmware is version 1.21. The main page of the software, which greets the user when downloading, contains the most commonly used settings. To bring the corresponding window to it, you need to click the blue icon in the form of a clerical hairpin in the upper right corner. At the top there is a list of available tabs, and at the bottom there are slots with five profiles that can be saved in the built-in memory of the manipulator.
In the «Settings» section, the basic parameters of the mouse are set. There is an adjustment of the cursor speed, vertical and horizontal speed of the scroll wheel, a delay setting for double-click recognition and a slider that duplicates the speed of moving the Windows cursor. You can enable mouse cursor acceleration or display a trace of its trajectory. Five levels of resolution are individually adjustable in the range from 50 to 12,000 CPI in 50-unit increments over the entire range of values. Extra permission levels can be turned off.
The «Button Assignment» defines the commands of all keys and the direction of the scroll wheel, a total of 12 commands. For each of the commands, you can assign a main and an alternative action, which is activated when the Easy-Shift technology is triggered. The choice of command options is very wide. In particular, each button can be disabled, or assigned to a macro, an individual combination of commands, or the launch of a voice timer. All basic and advanced mouse commands, Internet navigation and media commands, quick launch of applications or documents, system commands and Windows applications are available for remapping.
In the «Advanced settings» additional sensor parameters are adjusted. In particular, you can set the polling frequency within 125/250/500 or 1000 Hz. Voice accompaniment of certain commands is also available — changing resolution, profiles, sensitivity level or sound volume. It’s all possible to turn it on or off and adjust the notification volume. The distance control module tab is responsible for adjusting the height of separation (LOD). There you can set two basic values - low or very low. Or calibrate for user settings. All settings can be reset to default settings. In addition, there is a switch for the angular binding of the sensor.
In the backlight section, you can individually set any colors for eleven separate zones, if the full backlight mode is set. A variety of preset schemes are also available. Of the effects, there is AIMO mode, snake, color wave, blinking, breathing or pulsing. Plus, you can use a sequential enumeration of all the colors of the spectrum. The brightness and playback speed of the effects are controlled by separate sliders.
The Profile Manager stores all the profile options that the user has created for their mouse. Five profiles fit into the mouse’s memory, the rest can be stored for future use in the PC’s memory. It supports editing profiles, linking them to autorun along with individual applications and automatic switching.
The macro editor contains a huge library of ready-made macro commands for almost all the most popular modern games. But you can write your own version. It supports mouse and keyboard input and setting time delays. Recording the position of the mouse cursor is not supported.
Swarm Connect allows you to connect your mouse to a mobile device like a tablet or phone and control its settings remotely and wirelessly.
The AlienFX section will allow Alienware owners to sync their devices with Roccat products. And the Talk FX section is responsible for synchronizing individual Roccat devices with each other. AIMO in this case has its own switch.
There are three tabs in the program settings. General — here you can configure how automatic software updates work (on / off and silent installation or with notification). In addition, you can choose one of the 17 supported languages of the program.
The update center has a report on the current software and firmware versions of the product, as well as a recovery tool — rollback to the latest working version of the mouse firmware.
In the monitoring section, you can select the parameters that will be displayed on an additional screen when connected via Swarm Connect. In particular, this is information about the current state of the PC, the number of clicks per minute and erroneous clicks. Statistics can be reset if desired.
Through the help section, you can directly send a request to the support service, or read the most frequently asked questions about the product.
Ergonomics and testing
The Roccat Kone AIMO was tested on the Razer Goliathus WoT (Speed medium). The shape and size of this mouse fits well in the right hand of a large and medium size in a grip with fingers or a palm. The coating is pleasant to the touch and tenacious, resistant to dirt and easy to clean. The hand on the mouse does not fog up, but there is a subjective feeling that in the stern area, above the contour logo, the coating heats up. The location of the three side buttons is good. In combination with Easy-Shift dual-key technology, this manipulator can execute about 20 commands, and it takes a minimum of time to learn and memorize them. The main buttons are crisp and responsive, with the right pressure. The scroll wheel is also good. It’s tactile and doesn’t wobble much, despite the fact that it can tilt sideways to activate horizontal scrolling. In terms of sliding, the mouse can be called a little inertial, a decent weight affects this. The cable is relatively good in terms of flexibility and does not interfere with the movements of the manipulator. The backlight looks very nice, you can adjust it to your taste. When using it in AIMO mode, I could not find the algorithm by which it works. Built-in memory for five profiles allows you not to use the software at all, except for the initial setup.
The Pixart PMW 3361 Owl-Eye sensor performs well. It is undemanding to the quality of the surface, does not break, does not have parasitic moments in its work, there is no acceleration, if it is not forced on, the separation height is set to the minimum possible, depending on the type of surface. Tracking accuracy of 1:1 is achieved by the sensor in the range from 400 to 3000 dpi. Above this threshold, the level of smoothing increases and the accuracy sags slightly.
Roccat Kone AIMO is a «bright» mouse, in every sense of the word, which continues the glorious tradition of the beloved Kone series. It has a good shape, suitable for large palms, an interesting appearance, a pleasant coating, an excellent sensor, well-tuned switches and a scroll wheel. The manipulator is quite versatile, it can be equally easily adapted for both FPS and MMO games. The backlight looks great here, but it seems that even its creators themselves cannot explain why it is needed and how exactly the AIMO module functions.
No critical or obvious flaws were found in this device. However, even if they appear, the manufacturer provides a two-year warranty to solve any problems. Questions arise only regarding the pricing policy, at the start of sales, the mouse looks slightly overpriced in domestic retail.
Roccat Kone AIMO is for those who like big and heavy mice, with ergonomics designed for palm or finger grip.