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Roccat Kone[+] Mouse and ISKU Keyboard

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Posted August 9, 2012 by Jake in Peripherals

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Overview

Hardware:
 
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Price at time of Review: $80 Kone[+], $90 ISKU
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Sleek design styling, comfortable ergonomics, LED lighting effects, abundant features, extra features when used together
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Expensive, no removable wrist rest, lettering faint in bright light, low illumination levels on ISKU
 
BOTTOM LINE:
Sleek styling and extensive features offset by pricey non-mechanical keyboard design.
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by Jake
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Summary

Roccat has really been looking to make a push deeper into the North American market, and with an ever-expanding lineup, it looks like the company has done a fine job. The Kone[+] and ISKU are further evidence of that, as both products certainly have impressed us.

From an aesthetics standpoint, both the mouse and keyboard here are very sleek and look wonderful. The lighting effects are very well done, and unique on the Kone[+], with a wide range of colour options available. The blue lighting on the ISKU isn’t overdone, not too bright, and provide even illumination levels across the board that we don’t always see on keyboards.

From a features standpoint, the EasyShift[+] function is an innovative move forward, and it’s likely very handy to MMORPG players who would benefit from an extensive key and button series of presets. FPS players probably won’t benefit as much, but we do appreciate the versatility and customization regardless. Further, the macro keys and ability to assign keystokes is also a very handy feature when dealing with more involved spell combinations and so forth in tight quarters and hectic sequences.

There are a few detractions that must be mentioned though. While the Kone[+] is very comfortable and well laid out, the forward button above the wheel is a bit too far to reach easily, and is awkward. The thumb buttons might be just slightly too far apart to quickly roll across rather then move from button to button. That’s probably nitpicking though.

On the ISKU side of things, it suffers from a few more issues. The wrist rest isn’t removable, the key lettering is barely visible in reasonably bright ambient light, the various illumination levels aren’t terribly different, there are no audio/USB ports, and the membrane design prevents any sort of N-Key rollover that we find on mechanical keyboards. Whether you like the resulting mushy feel of the keys is a matter of personal preference, but there is no feedback to speak of, which can be a bit sobering if you’re a proficient touch typist.

That said, the overall package is very good. The Kone[+} is particularly impressive, though at a price of about $80 it’s a bit on the high side. However, you do get the EasyShift[+] capability of the Roccat Talk innovation. The ISKU retails for about $90, which is overpriced in our opinion when compared to some very capable and feature-rich mechanical keyboards on the market. Again, you get the EasyShift[+] capabilities here as well, so if you’re an MMORPG player then you may find that’s money well invested. FPS players may want to gravitate to a mechanical board or something a bit more robust that can take the heavy abuse of a board normally associated with getting pwned in hectic fragging sessions.

We love the innovation Roccat brings to market here, and while the ISKU left us just slightly underwhelmed in terms of details, the Kone[+] is an excellent mouse that, when combined with the ISKU as a pair, can present a formidable gaming package.

Roccat Kone[+] Mouse and ISKU Keyboard

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