Roccat Kone Aimo
The Roccat Kone Aimo is a $79.99 (£69.99, $AU119) wired gaming mouse. There’s a lot of competition in the category, including the SteelSeries Rival 700 and Razer Mamba.
Like most of the models from bigger names at this price, the Roccat Kone Aimo is a great mouse. No doubt about that.
It’ll only be a perfect fit if you don’t have small hands and aren’t after a NUM pad on the side. But it sure can put on a light show.
The Roccat Kone Aimo is defined by two key characteristics. First, it is a larger mouse. It’s out to fill your hand, and is not the kind of mouse you grip lightly with your fingers, palm hovering above.
Then there are its RGB lights. The Roccat Kone Aimo has some of the most prominent lighting of any gaming mouse. It’s bright and the LED diffuser strips are thick, not just skinny lines that ring around the scroll wheel.
Its look is less low-key than something like the Logitech G703 too. The large Roccat insignia and those bright lights won’t appeal to everyone.
We like the Roccat Kone Aimo’s shape, but mostly because the prescriptive contours fit our hand well. There’s a great thumb grip that feels like home within minutes.
The plastic parts you touch in use are textured for an almost soft finish. Its look may be aggressive, but the Roccat Kone Aimo feel is smooth.
Unlike a simpler, less button-packed design, you do need to follow the Roccat Kone Aimo’s lines, though. If you don’t you liable to accidentally press one of the additional buttons. As such, it’s only suitable for right-handed use. There’s no lefty version.
Stick to the curves and the extra buttons aren’t intrusive. You can use this as a day-to-day work mouse, no problem. We have.
If you want to use the Roccat Kone Aimo to its full potential, you need to get to grips with its “easy shift” button. This sits just under the thumb groove and acts as a way to access programmed secondary functions for every button on the mouse, including the standard left/right buttons.
The Roccat Kone Aimo has 10 programmable buttons or gestures in additions to the standard left and right buttons. For example, the scroll wheel doesn’t just depress, it leans to the left and right too. There’s a solid click to each movement.
All of these features are programmed using the Roccat Swarm app, available for Windows but not OS X.
The default roles for these buttons are sensible. Two little buttons behind the scroll wheel let you alter dpi sensitivity on the fly, handy if you want to use different settings between the desktop and a game. A pair of buttons above the thumb groove are used for back/forward in the browser.
Using the Swarm software you can go as deep as you like, though. You can manually programme-in macros, use some pre-defined commands for existing (if ageing) games, launch applications and even hibernate or shut down your PC.
We’d like to see more pre-made functions for recent games. Included single-player titles are pretty old but online favourites like Overwatch and League of Legends are here.
The Roccat Kone Aimo has four profile 'slots' for different selections. They’re different personalities for the mouse, if you like. Use all four and you’re committing to some pretty serious muscle memory work.
However, setting up these profiles is quite intuitive, and the Swarm app is easy to use once you get your head around which button is which.
Meanwhile, the Roccat Kone Aimo’s lighting system has five custom zones, but go to town on its LEDs and you can make it appear as though there are eleven. How?
There’s one zone under the scroll wheel, a fat zone to either side of the mouse and then a thin strip that outlines the Roccat Kone Aimo’s three plastic sections. These strips can display four-color gradients, letting you pack 11 different colors onto the Aimo if you like.
Why would you want to? If that leaves you stumped, the Roccat Kone Aimo may not be the mouse for you as light is a big part of the appeal.
There’s also a “living light” preset that reacts to your inputs. It cycles through colors, and you’ll see little sparks in the thinner LED strip as you press buttons.
You get full control over the level of all these lights, which is handy as it’d probably prove distracting if you game in a dimly lit room.
To add to this proprietary mode and the highly customisable static one, which we’d probably pick, there are a few classic modes too. These include “snake”, where a single light chases around the Aimo’s zones, heartbeat and breathing, both of which pulse the lights.
The Roccat Kone Aimo’s LED system gives it the potential to be brash, but the level of control means it doesn’t have to be.
The Swarm app also gives you comprehensive control over some of the Roccat Kone Aimo’s hardware features. You can change the polling rate between 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz and 1000Hz. Most won’t have any reason to switch from the standard 1000Hz, though.
DPI (dots per inch) sensitivity can be tweaked too. The standard range of the presets accessed using the on-mouse buttons only uses less than half of the Aimo’s max sensitivity, which is 12000dpi.
That Roccat makes you dive into the app to actually use this sensitivity tells you it’s only really there because the PixArt 3361 optical sensor is capable of it. Roccat recommends sticking to a “400 – 3000dpi range” for your presets. And judging by our experience, we tend to agree.
However, having the scope there for those who like to tinker is welcome.
The Roccat Kone Aimo's bright lights and large size make it initially seem like quite a hardcore gaming mouse. Flashy stuff aside, the breezy ergonomics of its buttons have a real appeal.
No, it doesn’t have the macro power of a Razer Naga Chroma or Corsair Scimitar Pro, which have tiny mini-keyboards on their sides. However, the Easy Shift system and larger buttons used here don’t demand as much finger fidelity.
Given the blend of ease of use and depth, it’s a shame there aren’t more up-to-date pre-programmed macros for games. We’re sure some people are still playing Mass Effect 2, but most of us have moved onto newer titles. That said, if you tend to play online competitive games, most of the biggies are represented here.
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