The Roccat Kone XP Air gaming mouse is best described as a peripheral peacock. Don’t get me wrong, the reliable rodent has impressive specs within its sleek, ergonomic shell, but its unique take on RGB is what helps it stand out among competitors like Logitech and Razer. If you’re looking for a palm-sized light show, the XP Air might be the perfect clicker for you, even if it does come with a premium price tag attached.
Flashy RGB will undoubtedly help the Roccat Kone XP Air grab your attention, especially if you’re looking for something that’s not just standard multicoloured strips. Yet, robust remapping abilities could also help the clicky companion rank among the best gaming mouse options available today, as it boasts a whopping 29 programmable buttons. Mapping abilities aren’t necessarily the Kone XP Air’s biggest selling point, but it’s certainly a boon that helps soften its lofty MSRP.
|Unique RGB illumination||Premium price|
|Rapid charging dock||Backlighting could be brighter|
|1,000Hz polling||Temperamental software|
As you may have guessed by the name, the Kone XP Air is a wireless gaming mouse, meaning it’s susceptible to all the usually cord-cutting caveats. Thankfully, Roccat’s on the ball when it comes to wireless woes, and additional features like an RGB rapid charging dock help protect the peripheral’s $169.99 USD / £149.99 GBP asking price from scrutiny.
Before we delve into aesthetics and performance, let’s go over what you actually get inside the Roccat Kone XP Air box. Providing it hasn’t transformed into a real rodent and chewed its way out the packaging, you should find the mouse, a matching charging throne, a “Phantomflex” USB-C charging cable, and a dinky wireless dongle.
|Roccat Kone XP Air specs|
|Connectivity||2.4Ghz, Bluetooth, USB-C|
|Price||$169.99 USD / £149.99 GBP|
The Kone XP Air also wields Bluetooth connectivity, and we’ll get to why that’s handy soon. However, I’m a bit disappointed at the fact the package only comes with one USB-C cable, especially since you’ll need it to connect to the rapid charge dock.
Sure, the lack of an extra cable isn’t a dealbreaker, especially if you mostly dwell at your gaming desk. Nevertheless, it means if you fancy transforming the mouse into a wireless clicker, you’ll have to disconnect the wire from the dock, and that feels a bit like an unfortunate faff.
Roccat Kone XP Air design
Of course, moaning about wired connectivity on a wireless gaming mouse is a bit of an Alanis Morissette move, as my cable gripes are laced with irony. The Kone XP Air’s cordless configuration actually helped me forget that tethers are a thing, as the dock’s front port means you can connect it and the dongle to your gaming PC using a single USB.
Roccat’s streamlined approach to connectivity makes all the difference, especially since it adds a degree of setup versatility, and it certainly contributes to my longstanding conquest to properly manage cables. Trust me, if you’ve got your own, personal spaghetti monster harassing your feet while you play, you’ll get why this matters.
To the touch, the Roccat Kone XP Air feels lightweight, but it’s far from being the lightest gaming mouse on the market. Weighing in at 99g, it’s actually a bit of a chonker compared to the feathery SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless. That’s not to say some heft is a bad thing if – like me – you’re used to metal-clad classics like the Corsair Vengence M65, as you won’t accidentally launch it from your desk while playing Cyberpunk 2077 for the first time.
It’s worth noting that while the Kone XP Air isn’t the lightest mouse, it’ll still glide across a gaming mouse pad like an arcade hockey puck. Heat-treated PTFE pads on the bottom help every hand twitch and swipe feel smooth, and it helps mast the fact it almost weighs 100g.
Slidey pads aren’t the Kone XP Air’s only ergonomic boon, as its contoured shape tackles natural comfort. Its thumb ledge bears resemblance to the flared base of the Logitech G502 Lightspeed, but Roccat’s clicker is distinct enough to avoid design déjà vu, Since the lip houses the mouse’s nifty easyshift button, it’s far easier to reach for smaller hands.
Speaking of which, the Kone XP Air is equipped with 29 programmable buttons. What’s that? You can only see 15 on the mouse? Well, that’s where the easyshift toggle comes in. A click of the default thumb button provides each press with a secondary mapped function, which effectively doubles the number of actions you can perform with one hand.
Admittedly, I’m not a best MMORPG devotee, but I’m pretty sure having 29 mapped mouse buttons would kick ass in Final Fantasy XIV. Even still, if you prefer the smell of gunpowder in the morning, you can remap the easyshift key itself and make it a deadly thumb grenade launcher. That’ll reduce the number of available functions back to 15, but the sensation of wielding explosive chaos with a muscle twitch is arguably worth it.
Alright, let’s chat about the Kone XP Air’s dazzling lights, as its RGB ribs look like futuristic biotech. Featuring five customisable zones and an array of different patterns, light show lovers are going to have a ball playing around with this mouse. There are bound to be players out there that straight up hate Roccat’s artsy 3D illumination, but if you’re looking for a showstopper to take to LAN, this is it.
That’s not to say Roccat’s lighting is aggressive, as it’s relatively diffused thanks to the device’s frosted, semi-translucent shell. Believe it or not, it’s actually fairly understated compared to the wired Kone XP, even if it does look like Godzilla charging up an atomic heat beam. Personally, I think its LEDs are in need of a brightness bump, as it’s hard to appreciate ribbed, RGB shinanigans when sitting near a window during the day.
Roccat Kone XP Air software
Roccat’s accompanying software provides access to a whole bunch of performance and aesthetic settings, but it’s, unfortunately, a little rough around the edges. Design-wise, the tool kit’s layout is a little overwhelming, and locating specific settings doesn’t always feel intuitive.
That said, once you know where everything is, you’ll have an easier time tweaking things. My real concern with Swarm is its sync temperament, as applying settings will occasionally do nothing at all. It isn’t a consistent hiccup, but it did happen a few times during testing, and it’s irritating enough to mention.
ROCCAT KONE XP AIR PERFORMANCE
Using a mouse with a decent DPI and speedy 1,000Hz polling rate can help your FPS game abilities flourish, and the Kone XP Air is no exception. Out of the box, the mouse feels precise and natural, but you can really dial things in to please your palm using the Roccat Swarm customisation suite.
The Kone XP Air’s specs are matched with pleasingly clicky optical switches, and Roccat says they’ll apparently withstand 100 million clicks. That’s a lot of shots fired, spells cast, or whatever else you get up to on your gaming PC, so it’ll potentially last well into the future. It might take a while before knowing whether they’ll truly live up to those claims, but the switches certainly feel accurate and robust.
Naturally, pretty lights and gaming PC performance require power, and the Kone XP Air has an RGB rapid charge dock by its side. Cradles aren’t always a great extra, especially if you’ve not got time to let your gaming mouse kick back, but Roccat’s little mount can provide five hours of charge in just ten minutes.
Try as I might, I found it hard to engineer a natural ‘out of battery’ scenario while testing the Kone XP Air. This is largely thanks to the dock’s speedy charging abilities and the battery’s chonky capacity, with the latter making up for my ADHD-adjacent tendencies.
Put it this way, I actively avoid battery-powered peripherals because I rarely remember to charge them, but this setup means if I can manage to dock the Kone XP Air, even just once a day, I’ll still have enough juice to get by. The fact its base flutters with pleasing RGB helps remind you it’s there too, and the mouse slides onto the cradle’s dual pins with minimal effort.
It’s easy to forget the Roccat Kone XP Air features Bluetooth connectivity, but its inclusion means you can switch between secondary devices like the Steam Deck and a gaming PC equipped with the 2.4Ghz dongle. Again, having to disconnect and reconnect USB cables is a pet peeve of mine, so being able to use the mouse on Valve handheld by flicking a switch is remarkably handy.
The gaming mouse scene is a crowded cage with numerous reliable rodents dwelling within, and the Roccat Kone XP Air earns its keep. If you aren’t really fussed about RGB, you could probably pick up something like the Razer Viper Ultimate Hyperspeed for less, but you’ll also miss out on speedy charging and a marvellous button mapping setup.
Simply put, if you’re looking for an accessory with a unique RGB twist, check out the Kone XP Air. If you’d rather invest in a wireless gaming mouse with a high-spec kick, Roccat’s clicker might also check a few boxes, but upcoming competitors like the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro will ultimately provide more of a performance punch.
A great premium gaming mouse that offers respectable specs and a unique sense of RGB razzle dazzle.