DESIGN & BUILD
The Kone XTD is a big and not particularly good-looking mouse, but its design makes more sense once you get it nestled in your (right) hand. The mouse's finish is very soft and the feet ensure a smooth, airy kind of glide. Out of the box, the Kone XT weighs 90 g but this can be increased to up to 110 g by adding the 5 g weights supplied to the compartment on the underside of the mouse.
The Kone XT has a total of 12 buttons, 11 of which can be accessed quickly, which is handy for gamers. The twelfth button, just next to the scroll wheel, is a little more difficult to access. It's therefore advisable to assign this button a function that you don't need to use too often, or that you won't need to use quickly in the heat of the action.
Otherwise, sensitivity can be adjusted on the fly using the "+" and "-" buttons next to the scroll wheel (there are five levels that can be configured in the driver). Plus, there are two thumb buttons, one of which is permanently assigned to the EasyShift [+] function (see inset).
The buttons on the Kone XTD are firmer than those on the Kone [+]. Roccat claims that this should make them more durable, but seeing as we haven't been using this mouse for very long, we can't really comment on that.
Otherwise, it's a bit of a shame to see that the scroll wheel can't be set to notch-free scrolling, like in some Logitech mice. That's something we were already moaning about with the previous-generation model as it would be really handy for surfing the web or word processing.
The driver can be downloaded from Roccat's website and offers loads of custom settings. You can change the colour of the decorative LEDs, assign functions and macros to the various buttons and adjust things like the polling rate and sensitivity. You can create up to five settings profiles for the Kone XTD to use with your various games and programs, each of which has a correspondingly coloured LED so you won't forget which one you're using.
The Kone XTD has the same handy Tracking Control Unit (TCU) function we saw in the original Kone mouse. This allows the laser to adapt its power in relation to the surface the mouse is being used on. In other words, the TCU makes sure this mouse behaves in the same way no matter what kind of surface you use it on (a shiny table-top, a matte desk, etc.).
With a maximum polling rate of 1000 Hz, the Kone XTD is suitable for day-to-day users doing things like office computing and web browsing, as well as for those needing greater precision, such as gamers or graphic designers.
A gaming mouse needs a sensor that can track movements of at least 3 metres per second.
That's no problem at all for the Kone XTD, which can track up to 5 metres per second!
This mouse reports its position to the computer once every millisecond. However, you'll need a computer that's powerful enough to handle the additional CPU use this inevitably requires (between 20% and 45% depending on the type of movements you're making). When using a computer with limited processing power (like a netbook or a model with a low-power-use CPU) you may want to switch down to 500 Hz in the driver to keep things running smoothly.