Roccat Kova+ ReviewManufacturer: Roccat
UK price (as reviewed): £38.87 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed):
The Roccat Kova+ is the latest version of the company’s ambidextrous Kova mouse
, which we saw back in 2009. It had a comfortable shape, and it glided smoothly, but its lack of customisation options meant that it lost out to its more flexible competition. As such, it's good to see that there's little to distinguish the two mice physically; most of the improvements that the Kova+ boasts come courtesy of the new driver software.
The one major change to the body of the Kova+ is immediately noticeable, however, as the entire mouse is finished in a Soft Touch coating, which has a velvety feel to it. This is in sharp contrast to the shiny plastic of the original Kova. Thankfully, the smooth glide and angular shape of the original remain, though, and again give the mouse a high quality feel, despite its lightweight construction.
The ambidextrous design also gives the mouse a pleasing symmetry, although you’ll need a very nimble little finger to use the two offside buttons properly. As the shape of the Kova+ is largely unchanged, the mouse still fills your hand comfortably, although its small size remains a concern. Those with larger digits will find the heel of their hand dragging on the desk.
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Meanwhile, the seven tactile buttons dotted around the Kova+’s chassis all feel responsive, with enough resistance to prevent accidental clicking. There's also a handy extra-wide mouse wheel, which is easy to find in a firefight. However, the mouse wheel button is also a little too difficult to click, so we don't recommend assigning it to a function in games.
Of course, the party piece of the Kova+ is its new software, which grants access to a wide range of new features, including the ability to ‘double’ the number of hotkey buttons on the mouse by pressing the ‘Easy-shift[+]’ button. Placed near the base of your thumb by default, this button gives you the ability to program an alternative key configuration for the mouse, giving you an almost ridiculous amount of customisation.
You can also program the buttons with specific macros, either from the software's existing library of 28 different application-specific micros (including the ever popular World of Warcraft and Photoshop), or you can record your own using the very simple and intuitive Macro Manager.
You can also bind the mouse’s sensitivity and DPI setting (either 400, 800, 1600 or 3200) to the buttons, enabling on-the-fly fine tuning in games. There's even an option for the mouse to emit an audible warning when any of the DPI settings are changed, although we quickly turned this off as it proved to be incredibly distracting while gaming.
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The bundled software can also store up to five unique layout profiles, each with different key bindings, sensitivity settings and light colours. These profiles can be bound to three specific EXE files and will automatically be selected when the application loads, once again with an audible warning if you haven’t disabled that option. If you don’t like this idea, you can alternatively bind a profile change to one of the buttons.
The Kova+ improves on the original Kova in a number of ways - its new Soft Touch finish is pleasant, and its customisation software is powerful and intuitive to use. Unfortunately, however, it also inherits the flaws of its predecessor, with its small size meaning it’s not going to be suitable for those with larger mitts.
As a result, the Kova+ is only going to be a consideration for left-handed gamers as they don’t have the luxury (as right-handed gamers do) of being able to turn to other, more consistently excellent, mice such as the CM Storm Inferno
or Mionix Naos 3200