Roccat Kone XP Air Review

The new Roccat Kone XP Air Wireless gaming mouse is an answered prayer. I owned its cheaper, wired sibling – the Roccat Kone XP which is the most RGB on any mouse ever and I absolutely loved it. Even with the ridiculous 19-zone 3D RGB lighting, the beautiful design, great ergonomics and absurd levels of customisation offered by 29 programmable buttons, it quickly became my favorite gaming mouse. The only thing I thought that couild make it better would be going wireless and that is exactly what the Kone XP Air did.

Cutting the cord does come at a cost, $270 — over $100 more than the wired Kone XP. What you get though is dual connectivity Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz wireless with easy switch between them. You still get the 29-possible functions and 3D RGB lighting though sadly, you lose a number of LED’s for a much more muted experience. That couldn’t be helped as the XP Air needed the room for radios and battery that will last you up to 100 hours. And you do get a funky new charging dock, also complete with customisable RGB.

So while $100 is a huge increment, for those who absolutely can’t stand wires and use your mouse with multiple devices, then the Kone XP Air might just be the best wireless gaming mouse around.

Roccat Kone XP Air Review

The Air is pretty identical to the Kone XP and thats a good thing. It’s definitely a tool for right-handed slayers with excellent curves that provide excellent comfort and grip especially claw and fingertip grip styles. At 99g, it’s really not that heavy considering there’s a slew of wireless radios and a battery inside it. More impressively, it’s actually lighter than the wired Kone XP by 5 grams. Nice. The smooth, back shell which is semi-transparent arches just right to cradle in your palm. The thumb-well is practically perfect and the placement of the EasyShift paddle allows your thumb to rest comfortably but more on that awesome paddle later.

The original Kone XP had an insane 22 LED’s that created the most mesmerizing and over-the-top 3D RGB effect. These have been radically reduced on the XP Air — in fact, unlike the Kone XP whose lighting went across the lenght of the mouse, the Air’s lights are reserved to just the back half. And with less zones, you don’t get the same impact with the lighting which kinda sucks to be honest. I also have the white XP Air whose shell seems to dull the lighting effect more than the black shell.

Moving on, the Air still has the same 15 programmable buttons with four thumb buttons, two DPI buttons embedded into the left mouse button, a 4D scrollwheel and another button behind it. All of these can be customised using the Roccat Swarm software and that’s where things get super wild.

Remember the EasyShift paddle I mentioned earlier? Well this wonderful little button that sits under your thumb works as a Shift key and effectively doubles the number of functions you can have on the mouse. As you can imagine, the possibilities are plentiful and you can have up to 29 different functions. That’s not even including the ability to save custom profiles for different use cases.

For example, you can have a work profile where you assign a basic set of functions for your normal Windows use and then another set of functions for Adobe Premier that you activate by pressing the EasyShift paddle. It essentially makes the Kone XP Air a serious competitor to productivity mice like the Logitech MX Masters. And then, hit the profile switch and change the entire mouse into a custom Diablo 3 mouse with all your controls(and I do mean all) assigned to every button for quick access. Sheesh!

And thanks to a 19K Roccat Owl-Eye 19K optical sensor, you can be sure that you won’t be missing any shots in Apex Legends. Nobody really needs a 19K sensor though but that’s a rant for another day. Again, you can dial in your DPI settings in the Swarm software to your hearts content. The Titan Optical switches are as crisp and responsive as ever with the guarantee of 100 million clicks. They are still with no wobble but really, it’s hard to complain about the switches on any gaming mouse in 2022.

All that matters little though if you have a laggy response time which you won’t thanks to the speedy Stellar Wireless. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between wired and wireless mode which is great. But if you have any fears, the Air works perfectly fine with the bundled PhantomFlex USB-C cable. The mouse is wonderfully smooth thanks to those heat-treated PTFE glides. I haven’t used a mouse pad in months for reasons, but the Air just glides across my Ikea desktop with ease. Roccat is kind enough to include some extra glides in the box too.

Likewise, the Bluetooth connection was responsive and easy to set up. Thanks to a toggle underneath the mouse, you can easily switch between modes. Ideally with these sort of mice, you want to use Bluetooth for most things in order to save battery and then switch to 2.4Ghz for gaming. Not that battery is a problem. The Air lasts about 100 hours on a charge, depending on your usage of course.

But because it comes with that handy charging puck, I was never caught with a dead battery as you can just leave it charging whenever you aren’t using it. The Air also supports quick charge so 10 mins of charge will sort you 5 hours of use which is nice to have.

Verdict

The Roccat Kone XP Air is the logical follow up to one of the best wired gaming mice around. It takes everything that made that mouse great and improves it with the best wireless tech Roccat has, a great battery life and that gorgeous charging puck to really floss. The wealth of buttons and customisation is great too and can transform this mouse into a productivity powerhouse for day and game hack for night.

I am not enamoured with the RGB lighting which is a big step down from the Kone XP — something that was critical to its appeal. And while I love a wireless mouse, I’m not sure I can recommend spending $100 more for the privilege. The Kone XP Air isn’t a better mouse than the Kone XP — so it’s really just a decision of whether you want wired or wireless and if the price difference is worth it to you.

Roccat Kone XP Air Review
LIKES
Excellent feel in-hand
Beautiful design
Great customisation with EasyShift
Dual wireless connectivity
Very good battery
Bundled charging puck with RGB
DISLIKES
RGB isn't as good as wired version
Huge premium over wired version
9
The best mouse they've ever made

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Kizito Katawonga
Kizito Katawongahttp://www.medium.com/@katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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