Wired gadgets are in a weird spot these days: they don’t get much time in the spotlight, but they’re still the stuff most of us buy most often. To correct that dissonance between hype and reality, let me tell you about my favorite wired thing. It’s a thoroughly affordable, albeit obscure little mouse that has become indispensable to my desktop computing, and it’s called the Roccat Kone Pure.
Roccat is a German gaming peripherals maker that might be best known for a partnership it struck up for its gear to be bundled with Alienware PCs. I like the company’s keyboards, and I’d recommend them ahead of more popular brands like SteelSeries and Corsair. But the thing I really appreciate about Roccat is the ergonomics of its mice, and specifically the Kone Pure that I’ve had for over two years now. It’s nominally a gaming mouse, but its understated design allows it to serve double duty for both gaming and work.
Measuring 115mm (4.5 inches) in length and weighing less than 100 grams, this can almost be confused for one of those compromised portable laptop mice you see sold in dubious airport stores. It’s a stumpy and extremely maneuverable little thing, which happens to be just perfectly designed for my style of grip and use. There’s a deep groove for my thumb — obviously, this isn’t an ambidextrous design; sorry, left-handers — and then my clicking fingers rest comfortably at almost the tip of the mouse. This differs from the majority of other mice, which tend to have an elongated front section that leads to an entirely different clicking action. With the Kone Pure, a click is less of a downward motion and more of a squeeze.
The Kone Pure is asymmetric, with the right mouse button extending farther to accommodate the longer middle finger. It sounds banal to say something like that, but it’s shocking how rarely a basic and universal feature of the human anatomy is disregarded by companies supposedly producing ergonomic products. I’ve lost count of the highly advanced, RGB-backlit, super-specced mice that I’ve tried and developed repetitive strain injury with. This unassuming mouse from Roccat has dispatched all of those woes. I forget I’m using it, which, for a functional device of this kind, is as good as you can hope to get.
Beside its sterling ergonomics, the Kone Pure is also built out of extremely hard-wearing materials. I got my so-called Naval Storm edition of the mouse back in 2015, and the only wear it’s showing today is a slightly glossier surface on the mouse buttons. It has held up wonderfully, and even its bottom pads don’t gather dirt like most other mice do. The braided wire hasn’t frayed, and the scroll wheel and all the buttons feel as tactile and responsive as when the mouse was new.
Inside the Kone Pure is a 50,000dpi optical sensor, which, sure, sounds like total overkill. But it works fantastically well. As with the shape, lightness, and handling of this mouse, its tracking of my movements is so natural and accurate that I never think about it. Roccat’s newer revisions of the Kone Pure have actually scaled down the resolution number, and there’s also a laser version available, but having tried them briefly, I can say I’m confident the changes haven’t the degraded the mouse’s performance.
That’s really all it boils down to with me and this mouse: confidence. After years of intensive use — which has included plenty of marathon Dota 2 and Civilization VI sessions — I just feel entirely at ease with the Roccat Kone Pure. If and when the day comes that I wear this one out, I’m extremely likely to just go and get another. (And maybe they’ll be wireless by then!) With online prices as low as $49.99, there’s very little reason why you shouldn’t buy this mouse.
Photography by Vlad Savov / The Verge
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