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Bruceleeon

Roccat Kone Aimo RGBA review

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Today we’re looking at Roccat’s latest and greatest mouse, the Kone AIMO RGBA. This mouse distinguishes itself with a colourful design, precise Owl-Eye optical sensor and deep game integration. Let’s put it to the test!

Specifications

  • Owl-Eye no-acceleration optical sensor (400 – 12,000 DPI)
  • Omron switches (up to 50 million clicks)
  • 1000Hz polling rate, 1ms response time
  • 50G acceleration, 250ips maximum speed
  • Adjustable angle snapping, lift-off distance
  • ARM Cortex-M0 50MHz + 512kB onboard memory
  • 1.8m braided USB cable

Design

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The Aimo has an asymmetric design designed for right-handed users, available in three colour schemes: black, grey and white.

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The Kone Aimo is what I’d class as a middle-weight mouse, tipping the scales at 130 grams. That’s about 50 grams heavier than some of the other mice we’ve tested, including the FinalMouse Scream, DM3 Mini and the Mionix Castor. You can certainly feel this weight when picking up the mouse or flicking it left and right, but the Aimo does include plenty of features to justify this added bulk.

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First of all, let’s talk about the buttons. On the top, you’ve got your standard left and right mouse buttons, which are quite clicky and pleasant to use. There’s also a slightly clicky scroll wheel with four-way movement. Below the scroll wheel, there are two small square buttons for adjusting the DPI, which are protected from accidental presses by a subtle ridge.

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On the right, there are two side buttons for your thumb at the top, labelled T1 and T2, and a wide button right at the bottom, labelled T3. This bottom button is called Easy-Shift[+]™ by Roccat, and it allows access to a second layer of button assignments. (This works similarly to the Ctrl button on a keyboard, which when held turns the letters C and V into the functions Copy and Paste.) For example, you might hold down the side button to turn your left mouse button from a single shot into a burst shot. 

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Two standard buttons, five scroll wheel actions (scroll up, scroll down, tilt left, tilt right, click), two DPI adjust buttons, two side buttons and one Easy-Shift[+]™ button makes for 12 buttons in all. If you consider the additional layer provided by the Easy-Shift[+]™ button, that’s up to 22 different functions — awesome!

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Of course, no modern gaming mouse is complete without lighting of some kind, and the Kone Aimo RGBA is well equipped in this department. As well as the light-up scroll wheel, there are two lighting zones on each side of the mouse as well: a long and thin line that runs from the middle to the tail, and a wider block that mirrors the placement of the side buttons. That makes for five lighting zones in total.

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You get six lightning modes to choose from: Aimo (‘reacts organically to your behaviour without […] configuration’), colour wave (a rainbow), snake (light moves progressively from zone to zone), fully lit (static), heartbeat 2.0 (a pulsing animation) and breathing 2.0 (light fades in and out).

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For each mode, you can choose the speed of the animation, the brightness of the LEDs and the colour theme employed (one of ten nice single colours or gradients). You can also choose lighting for each zone individually if you prefer. We’ll see this in more detail in the software section below.

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The bottom of the mouse contains the Owl-Eye sensor. This is a modified Pixart 3361 optical sensor that supports up to 12,000 DPI, although I’ll be using it at 400 DPI exclusively. The centred sensor is surrounded by five skates of varying shapes and sizes.

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Finally, the mouse connects to your computer using a fairly inflexible braided cable measuring just under two metres in length.

Software

The Kone Aimo is provided with Roccat’s Swarm software. This extraordinarily comprehensive package includes options for lightning, button assignments, profiles, macros, smartphone linkage, software and firmware updates and much more.

The first section is the most straight-forward, allowing the mouse itself to be configured in every way you could hope for: Settings, Button Assignments, Advanced Settings and Illumination. There are five profile slots to use as you see fit, and a fully-featured macro editor as well.

You can look through the screenshots by clicking through the slideshow below.

Click to view slideshow.

In the Swarm Connect section, you can use the Swarm app on your phone to see a reflection of your current ‘actions per minute’ count, your computer’s hardware and other information.

The third section is AIMO, which contains three toggle switches to enable the AIMO lighting system, Roccat Talk FX and Alien FX. Talk FX and Alien FX can be enabled simultaneously, but enabling Aimo will disable the two and vice versa.

TalkFX and Alien FX are essentially a platform for developers to control your mouse lighting based on in-game conditions. TalkFX appears to be Roccat’s creation, while Alien FX was made in cooperation with Alienware. These effects can reflect in-game conditions in League of LegendsWorld of TanksBattlefieldSmite, and other titles.

The software experience is certainly comprehensive, but Roccat could do a better in explaining what each of these final sections do — it’s not incredibly obvious from the software itself, and I had to research these separately online to get a good idea. The Aimo side of things is particularly mysterious, with no settings to mess with, a nebulous description and a strange ‘Aimo level’ that for me sits at 15%. Reportedly Roccat will raise my Aimo level as new features are developed, or when I plug in other Aimo peripherals, but it’s not clear what either of these might be.

Testing

In order to give this mouse a good shake, we used it for 10 full games of competitive Counter-Strike, plus a few one-off tests in other games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, OverwatchDivinity: Original Sin 2 and Bridge Constructor Portal.

Moving from one mouse to another is always difficult, particularly if you’re used to a mouse of a certain size or shape. The Kone Aimo is a little larger than the SteelSeries Sensei 310 I was using previously, and nearly 40 grams heavier. That made it a little harder to use the mouse at low sensitivities, where picking up and replacing the mouse on the pad is a more common procedure in order to achieve rapid changes of perspective.

The left side of the mouse also lacks any added texture for grip, which made the mouse slip slowly whenever I released my grip. However, the wider body of the mouse was more comfortable and allowed for three fingers to rest on top of the mouse, which can be quite useful if you want to use the left, middle and right mouse buttons simultaneously. For more sedate games like Civilization VI or Bridge Constructor Portal, a wide mouse is a sensible choice, particularly for those with wider palms.

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As mentioned earlier, the DPI adjustment buttons are placed behind a small ridge, preventing accidental changes in the middle of a firefight. This is really sensible, and I’d like to see this design reflected in other mice as well.

I can’t say anything bad about the optical sensor, which provided easy tracking of targets without the spectre of acceleration. The mouse tracked easily even when performing fast flicks in any direction, and the relatively large surface area of the mouse feet were able to glide without issue on the cloth mouse pad.

I was relatively unimpressed with the mouse’s game integration, which should allow for the mouse to glow in different colours depending on your chosen character, remaining ammunition, health, etc. This didn’t seem to work in Counter-Strike or Overwatch, two of the most common shooters, and the list of supported games includes largely older titles. By contrast, Razer’s similar offerings support a wide range of games, including Tomb Raider, CS:GO and Overwatch.

However, the lighting itself makes up for this somewhat. The semi-transparent, almost frosted glass look of the thicker lighting zones look lovely, and the animation is well designed. There are a good range of gradients provided, which make your mouse look quite interesting — even if it’s largely for the benefit of your spectators, rather than yourself.

Wrapping up

The Roccat Kone Aimo RGBA is a top-tier mouse, bristling with features. While some may find its loadout excessive, others will doubtless appreciate its incredible customisability, eye-catching RGB lighting and panoply of buttons. Less divisive is its optical sensor, which has proven to be extremely accurate and easy to use. All in all, the Kone Aimo RGBA is a worthy choice for anyone looking for a mid-weight, high-tech gaming mouse.

See Roccat Kone Aimo RGBA on Amazon

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