Evolved from the Kone Pure Optical – which we tested back in 2014 – the Kone Pure Owl-Eye (2017) is equipped with a new “Owl-Eye”optical sensor which was designed by Pixart and which can also be found on the Kone EMP and Leadr – products from the same manufacturer. Incorporating this new sensor allowed Roccat to improve the performance characteristics of its existing product without radically redesigning it.
Smaller than its EMP sibling, the Pure Owl-Eye has nevertheless grown a few millimeters in length compared to the previous Pure Optical mouse. However, this size increase has been minimal and the mouse’s dimensions remain very similar to those of the previous version: 118 x 69 x 39 mm, versus 115 x 70 x 35 mm.
This newcomer is nevertheless 5 grams lighter than its predecessor – with a total weight of 88 g – good news for users who enjoy the responsiveness of a lighter mouse. In any event, this mouse is much lighter than the Kone EMP which weighs in at 116 g. However, this mouse does not have any built-in system to add extra weight.
While this mouse is exclusively reserved for right-handed users, it is however suitable for most hand sizes due to its relative compactness. People who find the Kone EMP too imposing should be satisfied with this alternative model which allows for all possible ways of holding it.
From top to bottom and from left to right: mouse only; Palm grip; Claw grip; (Fingertip).
This mouse is easy to move around thanks to its two large PTFE pads. Its displacement is fluid and fairly silent, even on hard surfaces.
A few changes have also been made in terms of the materials used in the manufacturing of this mouse; the Kone Pure uses the same soft and smooth black plastic over the entirety of its surface. While it is pleasant to the touch, it can be somewhat slippery and we would have preferred that it be equipped with elastomer inserts on its sides in order to improve adherence and to make it easier to hold. Fortunately its sides have deep recesses which are able to accommodate the user’s fingers – allowing the mouse to be held securely and comfortably. There is however one more drawback to the particular plastic used in the construction of this mouse: it becomes covered with oily residues from a user’s finger tips after a certain amount of time, something that does not occur with the plastics used on other mice.
Despite this debatable choice of materials, the Kone Pure Owl-Eye has a proud look and refined finish. At the base of the mouse, the manufacturer’s logo is illuminated by an RGB LED which is able to display a variety of colors. Several lighting effects can be accessed via the mouse’s software.
The Kone Pure Owl-Eye still has 7 buttons. Other than the two main buttons – which rely on Omron switches guaranteed for 50 millions clicks – and the scroll-wheel, two buttons can be found on the left-hand side – associated by default with the “next page” and “previous page” functions for office use. These two buttons are intended to be accessible by the user’s thumb and are well separated one from the other in order to avoid errors in manipulation. Although they are positioned on top of the reinforcement reserved for the user’s thumb, as on the Kone EMP, they are more accessible than those found on the EMP since the Pure 2017 is more compact – less thumb movement is required to reach them. It may however have been possible to make them even easier to reach – without requiring any thumb movement at all.
Two other buttons can be found behind the scroll-wheel and can be accessed by the user’s index or middle finger – this does however require some finger gymnastics since they are placed rather high up on the mouse. By default, they are set to change the sensor’s sensitivity on the fly.
For its part, the scroll-wheel provides a comfortable and smooth scrolling experience. Nevertheless, it still has well defined increments – an important factor for gaming. It is incapable of horizontal scrolling, a feature which is however present on the Kone EMP.
For users who may require even more buttons, Roccat has incorporated a feature called Easy-Shift[+], which allows for a second command to be associated with each of the mouse’s buttons. By default, this feature is activated by pressing the furthest back of the side buttons: when this button is pressed, the secondary function of the other buttons is activated. This can be handy for gaming, but also for other sorts of computer tasks: it is possible to use the scroll-wheel to control volume for example.
Developed by Pixart on the basis of the famous PMW3360, the Owl-Eye sensor which equips this Kone Pure 2017 offers both precision and responsiveness. We were unable to fault it in any way, it is able to cope with the most demanding situations and to operate on a variety of different surface types. It only has trouble with glass surfaces and other highly reflective surfaces. At any rate we recommend that you use a good mouse pad in order enhance performance and avoid wear and tear on the anti-friction pads.
The reproduction of the mouse’s movements is impeccable due to the 1:1 optical ratio which ensures a precise and fluid rendering of the mouse’s displacement.
On the right, the optical sensor PMW3361 Owl-Eye, On the left, the Omron switch of the left click button.
In terms of sensitivity, this mouse’s 12 000 ppp resolution is more than adequate. Remember that professional gamers mainly use a sensitivity of between 400 and 1 000 ppp. Indeed, too high of a sensitivity setting will have a negative impact on precision since, at 12 000 ppp resolution for example, a movement of the mouse of less than one centimeter is enough to move the pointer across the entire width of an Ultra HD (3 840 x 2 160 px) display. Furthermore, the manufacturer specifies that the precision is maximal at a resolution setting of between 400 and 3 000 ppp. But, at the very least, this means that the Kone Pure Owl-Eye is ready for 8K definition displays or higher – if you have not bought a new mouse by then…
The Roccat Swarm configuration software
Roccat offers a single piece of software for its whole range of products. The Kone Pure 2017 is no exception; it can be controlled via Roccat’s simple and modern interface. Within the software it is possible to change all of the buttons’ functions, to create macros, to manage the mouse’s backlighting by choosing between several lighting effects as well as to change the parameters of the sensor. These parameters can be saved within the 5 user profiles (stored in the mouse’s internal memory).
- Excellent optical sensor – fast and precise.
- Comfortable to hold.
- Shape suited to most hand sizes (for right-handed users only).
- Smooth scroll-wheel.
- Good build-quality.
- Easy-Shift[+] function.
- Fluid movement.
- The plastic used is somewhat slippery and gets dirty easily.
- The scroll-wheel does not allow for horizontal scrolling.
- The side buttons could be more easily accessible.
Comfortable to hold, precise and responsive thanks to its Owl-Eye optical sensor, the Roccat Kone Pure Owl-Eye is a real success story. A better choice of materials would have made this mouse a contender for a five star rating.