Form and essence
All of the Kone mice have had the same basic form: a right-handed wired pointer with four buttons and a wheel on top, plus two more buttons on the side. The Kone Aimo breaks stride by adding a third button on the side that by default is dedicated to the Easy-Shift function. Aside from the extra button, though, the Kone Aimo is essentially a very slightly-massaged version of last year's Kone EMP—right down to the placement of the Roccat logo and the gently-curved RGB LED accents.
So up top, you've got your two main clickers. Mouse 1 and Mouse 2 on the Kone Aimo have an extremely short throw, so they feel very sharp and responsive, as good mouse buttons should. The third mouse button (that is, the mouse wheel click) also feels crisp, but the detents on the mouse wheel itself feel a little sloppy.
The feel of mouse-wheel detents are a matter of taste, of course. Some people prefer a free-spinning or gently-notched mousewheel, while I like one with as clear a click as possible. In any case, the Kone Aimo's wheel works fine scrolling both vertically and horizontally. Unlike some mice I've used, the wheel-tilt horizontal scrolling functions here have very little resistance and are easy to hit.
The two buttons behind the mousewheel are set up to control the DPI settings of the mouse by default. You can configure and toggle through up to five DPI settings per profile. This sort of feature is commonplace on gaming mice these days, and I'm glad to see it here. Ordinarily I don't really care for buttons that rest in the middle of the mouse behind the mousewheel, but the Kone Aimo's elongated shape actually makes these quite easy to use.
Over on the left side of the mouse we have the usual forward and back buttons above a thumb divot. At least for my hands, these clickers are comfortably placed. Like the rest of the buttons, they feel fantastic. Down on the bottom of the thumb divot, there's an extra button that's dedicated to Roccat's Easy-Shift function by default. Unlike the other side buttons, this one depresses downward. That makes it very easy to hold while using the other buttons, and that's a good thing given its intended purpose. I'll talk a bit more about Easy-Shift on the next page.
The picture above is from Roccat, and it is no part of an embellishment. As you'd expect from a product being marketed mainly on the strength of its lighting, the RGB LED illumination on the Kone Aimo is bright, vibrant, and tunable. As its name trumpets, the Aimo is the first to take advantage of Roccat's latest RGB LED syncing system, also called Aimo. The company has a lot to say in general but very little in the way of details about Aimo right now, but so far it can link up the Kone and a version of the Horde keyboard. We'll delve into a bit of what Roccat's software can do in a moment.
Keeping it on the real
Folks who read my articles and front-page comments will already know that I play a lot of games. Seriously, too many, probably. Lately I've been working my way through the glorious Arcane Dimensions map pack for the original Quake, and it has proven an excellent test for the Kone Aimo. I expected nothing less than a flawless mousing experience from the Kone Aimo, and it didn't disappoint.
I also used the Aimo to compete against my friends in some CS:GO. While none of us are pro-level FPS gamers, I certainly felt comfortable with the Kone Aimo in my hand. Its 4.6 oz (130 g) weight is light enough to make it slide around my makeshift mouse mat with ease, yet heavy enough to feel secure and solid under my palm. I feel like this is an area where 10 years of evolution has benefitted the Kone Aimo. It doesn't have the customizable weight of other mice, but it really doesn't need it, either.
I've also played some Phantasy Star Online 2, a bit of Titan Quest: Anniversary Edition, and a few other games with the Kone Aimo. In these other titles, the mouse itself performed well. However, some of the faults of its software came to light. Examined purely as an input device the Kone Aimo is almost flawless, but a piece of modern input hardware is only as good as its software. With that in mind, let's take a look at Roccat Swarm.