Happy New Year everyone, rolling into 2020 I bring you a mouse review, a wireless mouse no-less. ROCCAT now owned by Turtle Beach, have been making gaming peripherals for a long time now, they know their stuff and have put out some very well regarded equipment over the years. On the desk today is their latest Wireless mouse offering in the form of the Kain 200 AIMO it’s time to see if this can give my daily driver wireless mouse a run for its money.
ROCCAT Kain 200 AIMO Wireless Mouse Specifications & Features
|ROCCAT® Owl-Eye optical sensor with 16000dpi
|Adjustable lift-off distance
|400ips maximum speed
|Mouse acceleration: no
|Angle snapping: on/off
|1000Hz polling rate
|8051 based MCU 36MHz
|1.8m micro USB to USB cable
|Wired/Wireless combo mouse
|2.4GHz wireless transmission
|1000mAh inbuilt Li-Ion rechargeable battery
|512kB onboard memory
|Incl. Omron® switches
|ROCCAT® Easy-Shift[+]™ technology
|ROCCAT® Swarm software suite
|AIMO illumination – RGB Backlighting and LED lighting effects
|USB 2.0 Port, Internet connection for driver installation
|Windows® 10, Windows® 7, Windows® 8
ROCCAT Kain 200 AIMO Wireless Mouse Closer Look
Supplied in a box similar to ROCCAT’s other mice, the box isn’t too large and features familiar branding. We get a large picture of the mouse on the front along with the name and the ‘German design and engineering since 2007’ logo. The box is sturdy enough to protect the contents during transit.
The back of the box features a side on image showing the cable disconnected some marketing descriptions which are then repeated lower down in different languages.
Removing the contents from the box we are greeted with more of that horrible plastic ROCCAT have been using for inner packaging along with plastic covers on just about everything. It’s too much and needs to be cut back, the USB connector cover on the cable is especially pointless as is the plastic envelope for the documentation. Contents are the mouse, a rather long cable, a wireless adapter and one of those extension blocks to bring the wireless adapter closer using the cable, although you would disconnect the wireless when plugging in the cable to charge the mouse. Another USB to microUSB cable would provide an easy solution though.
Here we take a closer look at the cable and adapters, nothing flashy just functional. The braided cable is of a good quality and should work well when the mouse is in cabled mode.
Taking a view from the top we have a right handed mouse with an ergonomic slope to help prevent things like carpal tunnel. The ROCCAT logo at the bottom is opaque and will show light through from the LED. The main buttons are detached from the shell but are long enough to handle both palm and claw grip styles. The plastic ‘looks like metal’ strip in the middle we have seen before on the Kain 120 along with the scroll wheel with ridges on the tyre rather than looking like a motorbike wheel, then we have the DPI button, again my favourite because it’s just like those buttons you find on a DJ controller. The shell itself is a lightly textured hard plastic which as with the Kain 120 shows up grease and marks pretty quickly with use.
On the left hand side of the mouse we just have a continuation of the shell rather than any grip pads, the shape brings the thumb in to grip under the buttons which are well placed and don’t accidentally get knocked by moving around.
Viewing the right hand side you can really see the slope of the shell down towards the right for an ergonomic grip, it does feel very comfortable, again no grip pads of buttons here.
Front view gives us a better visual of the scroll wheel and at the bottom there is a centre mounted cable connection which is recessed quite far back, now I am going to score against this mouse a little here because you can’t use an equivalent microUSB cable easily, which is disappointing should your included cable need replacing, this is not a problem with the Corsair mouse I currently have as my daily driver.
Underneath the Kain 200 we have four teflon gliders, one large at the rear, two at the front and another one surrounding the sensor. Aside from product information we have an on-off switch and a sync button. No Bluetooth support for this mouse unfortunately.
Plugged in and charging the mouse lights up and installs, it looks great and should go with just about any setup.
Speaking of setup, the ROCCAT Kain 200 AIMO uses the Swarm software suite.
Immediately upon downloading, installing and firing up the Swarm package there is a firmware update available. This is actually a very good firmware updater and there are no scary non-functioning moments where you don’t know what’s happening.
Once the software starts normally it goes to a pinned tab where you can actually scroll down through the settings rather than select each tab. I really do like how stable and user friendly the Swarm software suite is, there are some products out there that have an interface that is much harder to work with.
First tab up is Settings, here we have the DPI setup which is 5 settings per profile, more than enough, other mouse options such as scroll and click speed are featured here great for tweaking the mousing around part. At the bottom we have a Profile Manager of which there are 5 on board slots for the mouse, and a Macro Manager for setting those up when needed. Note the Calibrate button on the DPI switcher.
Calibrate brings up a separate window, this is a great tool which we have seen similar things from other manufacturers, this calibrates the sensor to the surface you are using to allow for more accurate tracking. Initially I thought these were a gimmick but I do see a difference once calibration has been done.
Button assignment is great for setting up custom functions, the Easy-Shift capability adds a whole second function for all buttons which could come in very hand especially if you set a few Macros you might like to trigger from the mouse.
The Illumination tab brings us to AIMO territory where ROCCAT components can sync the RGB settings, it can also be used as a visual aid to the status of your mouse such as battery indication.
The Advanced tab has lots of options so we will do this over two images, a handy battery status starts it off, Signal strength from the wireless dongle is also useful to help you position it for optimal pickup, Automatic Standby for power saving can be tweaked to taste. On the right we have Polling Rate and Angle Snapping which is seen on many competing mice too, Sound Feedback is a great addition to any visual cues for mouse function changing such as DPI. Then we have the Debounce setting which is for reducing or increasing the time in which a double click is registered, this one just turns on Zero Debounce so no variance there, with this switched on it would be much easier to accidentally double click.
Finally the bottom settings add more Energy Saving functions, we also have Distance Control Unit, usually known as lift-off distance this a a two setting option to help prevent tracking when the mouse is lifted from the surface. Finally we have a Reset Settings button to return the mouse to defaults.
The ROCCAT Kain 200 AIMO Wireless Mouse Review: The Verdict
Here we have a wireless mouse that is ergonomic and well built, the quality of the materials is good even if the shell does show marks and wear a little easily, the internals and buttons are fantastic. The Kain 200 has great battery life between charges up to 50 hours which is nearly four times that of it’s competitor from Corsair. The Swarm software is stable and user friendly even if some of the function naming differs ROCCAT are not alone in trying to do that.
- Excellent Sensor and Tracking
- Ergonomic Design
- Great battery life
- Shell shows marks easily
- MicroUSB cable not interchangeable
- No Bluetooth
For my comparisons I have put the ROCCAT Kain 200 AIMO up against the platinum scoring Corsair Ironclaw Wireless, at the time of writing I can only find the Kain 200 on ROCCAT’s website for £90 which is about £20 more than the Corsair which does feature Bluetooth and and ergonomic shape but has a much shorter battery life. The build quality of the Kain 200 is excellent although the shell material is a little disappointing showing up grease and usage marks within hours of use, grip is absolutely fine however even without the rubber pads used by the Ironclaw.
Day to day use with this wireless mouse is very pleasant, until this year I wasn’t really sold on the wireless technology and my desk still happily has a nice bouncy mouse bungee on it, but the freedom you get from wireless is addictive and I find it difficult to go back to a wired solution. The fantastic sensor on the mouse makes tracking in image editing a breeze especially with so many DPI options available at the touch of the best button on the mouse by far. Surfing the web and navigating apps is flawless.
Gaming is of course where the real test comes in. The Kain 200 is a fantastic gamer, accurate tracking, comfortable ergonomics and a decent size make it a joy to use. FPS games such as CS:GO are no problem at all, more detailed selections of units in an RTS style game such as CIV VI use the accuracy to ensure you only grab the units you want. This is a great gaming mouse.
I am sure more competitive pricing will be available once this mouse starts showing up in general retail in greater numbers, for now it’s a tad on the expensive side considering what it is up against. The excellent Swarm software shouldn’t be overlooked and if it wasn’t for the easily marked shell, excessive plastic packaging and my issue with the recessed cable connector limiting replacement options this mouse would easily have hit platinum. Instead I am going to give ROCCAT our Gold Award; if they fix those little issues in a new edition I would be happy to upgrade that mark. This is worth considering as a great sub £100 wireless option and as always if you can try before you buy that is highly recommended.
Thanks to ROCCAT for sending a sample of the Kain 200 AIMO Wireless Mouse in for review.