Review unit supplied on loan by Roccat.
Roccat have slowly but surely building their reputation over the years having put out a number of mice and keyboards which have gotten critical and consumer acclaim, the most notable probably being their Kone line-up of mice. Thus far I’ve not reviewed anything from the company, so today marks a first.
The first thing that struck me in the old brain when clutching the Kone Aimo is that it’s a chunky beast, the overall width, length and height putting it firmly into the category of larger mice for the larger person who has hands capable of choking lions. Now, this isn’t to say it’s somehow useless for us smaller handed folk, though, as I still found it to be reasonably comfortable overall.
With the extra size comes extra weight and a rugged feeling build quality. This isn’t the lightest mouse, but given its size it’s not overly heavy either, I feel. There are no rubber grips added for comfort or to help stop your hand sliding about, but the solid plastic shell and overall shape do a good job of giving you something to hold on to. Give it a squeeze and there’s no give in the shell, and when you shake it there’s only a very slight rattle around the sensor, something that’s very common among mice. It feels like something you could throw at a wall in anger, then have to rebuild the wall.
RGB LED lighting is all the rage these days it seems, so Roccat have jumped on the band-wagon with enthusiasm when it comes to the Aimo. There are two sizable stripes of lighting running down the mouse that are fully customizable, along with thick stripes around the edges of the scroll wheel. Where the stripes on the top are placed they’re still visible even when holding the mouse, so all that RGB goodness doesn’t get hidden away.
The only other visual flair is the prominent silver Roccat logo adorning the back of the mouse. With this and bright RGB lighting the Roccat Kone Aimo clearly wants to be noticed by everyone in the room. It’s not a mouse for anyone looking for a more subtle setup, but I quite like its looks. Despite the RGB LED lighting and giant logo it doesn’t look overly gaudy. Mind you, I’m the guy that has blue LED lighting everywhere, so maybe I’m not the best judge of guady, yeah?
On the left is where all the action is. There’s a rounded indent for your thumb to cuddle into but for me personally, the outer edge of it pressed against the inside of my thumb a tad. For those with bigger hands it shouldn’t be an issue, though. The two thumb buttons sit just above where your digit tends to rest but are still easily reachable. Both require very little pressure to activate and have a satisfying click. There’s also a third button hiding underneath your thumb, activated by simply sliding your thumb downwards, an action which feels so natural that I’m surprised more mice don’t have a button there.
This button is by default is mapped to active a special mode named Easy-Shift[+] which gives every other button a secondary use while its held down. Out of the box the secondary actions are mostly media keys with the scroll wheel controlling the volume. To change this and the RGB lighting you use Roccat’s own Swarm software, a rather busy looking suite of options that initially seems awkward, but is nevertheless pretty easy to use once you get the hang of the layout. You could, for example, hold down the Shift-Easy button and then use the left click to open a specific program, and the right one as a macro, or even have the scroll wheel shut the whole computer down. I’ve reviewed a mouse with a similar concept, and just like then I have to say that personally I don’t find this feature hugely useful, but I can imagine for a lot of people it could be quite handy.
Via the Swarm software you can fiddle to your heart’s content with the RGB lighting. There are a few basic things like breathing or cycling effects as well as speed and brightness adjustment, and of course you can alter the colors, including a nice fade. The options aren’t extensive, but there’s enough of them to keep most people happy, and the genuinely good point about the lighting is that it’s bright and strong for the most part. Even yellow and white looked quite reasonable, two colors that are often struggled with. Blue looks a bit too close to being purple and I couldn’t get it as strong and punchy as I would have liked, though. Still, I’d say this is the strongest RGB implementation I’ve seen on a mouse yet. It catches the eye due to its positioning, the colors are vibrant and deep, and the customisation is solid.
Performance options are fairly standard across the board with the ability to alter the polling rate, dropping from the standard 1000hz to 500Hz 250Hz and even 125Hz. There isn’t a lot of reason to drop below the standard 1000Hz polling rate, but there are a few games that have issues with the highest setting so it’s always nice to have the option to drop it down. There is even options to turn off mouse acceleration which is strangely on by default, and to alter the Windows mouse speed which is a wonderful little addition overlooked by most other companies. Finally, there’s an area for calibrating the lift-off distance.
The Swarm software can also be used to setup profiles that load automatically when you fire up a game, and it works great. With other mice I’ve had issues with profiles not loading when launching the chosen program, but the Swarm software always got it right. The only disappointment is that for some insane reason you can only store five profiles at a time which is far, far less than it should be. To be fair each profile can have multiple programs assigned to it, thus you could have a basic FPS setup that gets loaded whenever you start Battlefield, Battlefront 2, CoD: WWII etc.
As for the other buttons on the Aimo they feel great. The left and right clicks have a tactile feel due to the Roccat designed mechanical switches hiding underneath them, and they produce a satisfying sound. My only gripe here is that they aren’t separated from the rest of the mouse’s body, rather it’s all a single piece which means toward the rear of the buttons there’s an awkward, mushy area. However, this is far enough back that even when using claw-grip you shouldn’t have a problem with it.
The 4D Titan scroll is chunky and sports a rubber grip. When using it there’s are distinct notches that make it great for doing things like swapping weapons. Of course, this means for web-browsing it’s not a smooth experience and there’s no adjustability, but it isn’t bad by any means. The wheel can also be clicked in, left and right as well. Sadly despite it being billed as “4D” it seems to be entirely incabable of travelling through time. That’s just false advertising, right there.
Sitting just behind the wheel we have two buttons for swapping the DPI up and down, with a total of five levels available that you can adjust via the software. Sadly there is no indicator LED on the mouse itself to tell you which level you’re currently on or ability to use the RGB LED lighting, but that’s a small issue. You can, however, opt to turn on audio alerts which causes a loud voice to boom over your speakers that you’ve changed the DPI.
Under the hood Roccat have installed their own Owl-Eye optical sensor capable of reaching an insane 12,000 DPI, a number that you’ll never come close to using unless you have an absurdly big screen running at a massive resolution. In use, it’s simply faultless with absolutely zero moments where it failed to track my movements precisely or when I could detect any sort of jitter. When it came to zoomed in sniping during first-person shooters I also found it to be extremely good at tracking pixel by pixel when needed. In short, the performance is nothing short of superb which is to be expected these days in a gaming mouse.
This is the first Roccat product I’ve ever reviewed and I have to say I’m impressed. From the solid build quality to the striking RGB LED lighting and the stellar performance there is very little to dislike about the Aimo. For my own personal tastes it’s a little heavy and large, and it doesn’t have some features that a few of its competitors boast such as an adjustable scroll-wheel resistance, but none of those are major issues and don’t detract from the overall quality of the Aimo. It’s simply a damn good mouse at a reasonable price, and thus it completely eanrs the recommended rating. You’ve impressed me with the Kone Aimo Roccat, you’ve impressed me.