Hey everyone, you will often see me lamenting the lack of support for left handed gamers with mice, well here we have something ambidextrous. ROCCAT are well established within the industry, supplying gamers with peripherals like today’s Kova AIMO, and an agreement by Turtle Beach to buy ROCCAT will bring fresh investment as well as other benefits to the company.
We cannot say exactly what the future will look like but ROCCAT continues to release new devices that they have designed and developed. The Kova AIMO gaming mouse is designed to be ambidextrous in an attempt to cater for as many gamers as possible. Let’s have a look at what it has to offer.
ROCCAT Kova AIMO Specifications & Features
|Pro-Optic Sensor R6 with up to 7000dpi
|1000Hz polling rate
|1ms response time
|12-bit data channel
|50MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit Arm based MCU
|512kB onboard memory
|USB 2.0 Port, Internet connection for driver installation
|Windows® 10, Windows® 7, Windows® 8
ROCCAT Kova AIMO Closer Look
Delivered in a pleasant looking box, the mouse is shown on the front with a photo and a nod to the German design and engineering that goes into ROCCAT’s products.
On the back we get some more information along with a side image showing off the RGB.
Losing some points here for unnecessary packaging, the Kova is encased in a loose plastic shell inside the box. We also get a bagged manual. A piece of card offers backing for the packaging which again isn’t really necessary.
The mouse itself looks quite good, the shell is all hard plastic and quite smooth, no rubbery material to help grip here. The buttons are arranged symmetrically with two extra buttons to the left and right of the main mouse buttons which form part of the main shell.
Examining the left hand side we can see that there are three buttons available, the standard forward and back buttons leading up to an extra button towards the front of the mouse. It would be nice to have a rubber grip pad below the buttons.
I could have flipped the previous image for the right hand view, its an exact opposite to the left hand side, although we can see the offset ROCCAT logo.
Featuring a centre fed cable, the front of the mouse offers another view of those extra buttons on each side. The main buttons as mentioned extend from the main body, a smooth scroll wheel and DPI selector button make up the centre.
There’s not an awful lot to talk about when we get to the rear of the mouse, there is a cutout that houses the RGB element and two indentations at the bottom.
Venturing underneath we have 5 glide pads which is quite generous. The product label surrounds the sensor which sits neatly in the middle.
The USB connector with the mouse is nothing special, it has branding on it which can be helpful but isn’t gold plated which does reduce the cost, if only a little. The supplied braided cable is nice and flexible and shouldn’t cause any issues.
Plugging in the ROCCAT Kova it instantly lights up, it definitely looks good. The overall shape of the back does however seem a little low for me as I prefer a little more height to a mouse.
Here we have a better shot of the rear lighting which isn’t too over the top.
Accompanying the mouse we have the ROCCAT Swarm software to download. As with many manufacturers ROCCAT simplify the process of multiple device management with one piece of software to control various peripheral modules. We are initially requested to download some updates.
A couple of updates later, we have updated the software and the mouse firmware, the application did lock up when doing the software update but it has remained stable after restarting the PC.
The main screen is interesting, it allows you to scroll down through the other menus all in one place, might be handy but some may think it needless duplication.
In the settings menu we have quite a few options, Scroll speed, Tilt speed for the Titan wheel, double click speed, DPI Switching between an impressive 5 settings per profile and Windows pointer speed.
A comprehensive button assignment screen allows for lots of customisation and there are plenty of buttons to choose from. There is also a separate selector for left and right handed modes to flip the assignments.
Advanced Settings hosts the polling rate selector along with sound feedback for selecting modes and volume control. A handy reset settings button for factory defaults resides here just in case the profiles get cluttered and confused.
AIMO is ROCCAT’s Intelligent RGB control software, this syncs with other ROCCAT products for deskwide reactive RGB goodness and can now be individually configured to adjust brightness, something my colleague will be happy with as he can now turn down the intensity of the ROCCAT Vulcan’s AIMO lightshow. Unfortunately, with just two lighting zones on this mouse which are independent of each other, the rear and the scroll wheel, you’re not going to get the same kind of display as with something like the Kone AIMO or indeed with one of ROCCAT’s compatible keyboards unless the Kova AIMO is paired with other peripherals.
As well as AIMO there are various other lighting effects that you can choose between and customise.
Five profile slots are available to save to the device with stored profiles imported on to the device. We also get some program assignment here to help keep track of which profile is for what purpose. It’s also possible to set up profiles to switch automatically when Swarm detects the relevant program is in use.
No self respecting gaming mouse would be without Macros. The Swarm software also neatly includes presets for well known games, some new some old.
The swarm software package is quite comprehensive.
ROCCAT Kova AIMO Review: The Verdict
The Kova AIMO features good looks and an ambidextrous design ticking some important boxes. The solid build may not have fancy grips but the smooth shell also won’t wear down like some do.
Functionality wise this mouse is feature rich with nine buttons and a scroll wheel to offer a multitude of configurations.
The RGB is pleasantly understated and is of course configurable with the ROCCAT Swarm software which also allows control over just about every aspect of mouse use.
- A feature rich ambidextrous mouse
- Quality build
- Plenty of buttons and good software
- Plastic smooth shell lacks grip
- Mouse profile quite low for ergonomic use
- Not the best sensor in this price range
- Unnecessary single-use plastic packaging
Having used the mouse on my main rig for a while I have found it mostly comfortable but would have enjoyed more height on the back of the shell. The build quality is otherwise excellent and there was no feeling of flimsy construction. The design is quite attractive and being ambidextrous is a point I often make about mice that have a right handed bias and not even a left handed option.
Using the mouse for day to day desktop tasks is pleasant with the many available DPI settings being much more than I actually need. I did find I had to add 100 or so DPI on top of my usual settings to get the feel about right, expect some tweaking needed when using this sensor. Editing photos was smooth and accurate some great engineering shown here.
Gaming with the mouse again required extra tweaking to get the DPI comfortable, but once done the mouse didn’t miss a beat, I found it easy to play CS:GO and other FPS games although the shape of the shell did feel a bit flat for my comfort levels. The extra buttons came in useful too configuring for grenade launching and healing taking some work away from the keyboard. Accuracy of the sensor is pretty good, once set up.
The ROCCAT Swarm software is very comprehensive and covers just about any feature you could need, multiple profiles with 5 onboard the mouse memory at any one time, 5 DPI settings per profile is very generous, with the usual macro, RGB and advanced setup, I couldn’t see anything missing, just get used to the sensor needing a bit of a different DPI to what you may be used to.
Overall I found this to be a great offering for anyone who wants or needs the best of both a right handed and left handed mouse. Available between £47 and £53 at the time of writing you pay more for the white version. It’s quite competitive at this point as I think the main competition for this is priced a little higher such as Steelseries or Corsair. The packaging could do with a bit of a rethink, manufacturers are losing points in my reviews with excess plastic, the extra shell inside this box and bag for the manual are unnecessary and more biodegradable cardboard would have been preferred.
I am happy to award the ROCCAT Kova AIMO our Gold Award as it provides a great option for those who need flexibility, a few tweaks to the shape, sensor and packaging would be where I would look for improvement.
Thanks to ROCCAT for sending a sample of the Kova AIMO in for review.