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New Roccat Kova Review (Kova 2016)

New Roccat Kova Review (Kova 2016)

Something which is pretty common in the peripherals market is refreshes. Where manufacturers take popular products and update their features and performance while keeping to the same, or very similar design. This month its the turn of Roccats Kova to get a refresh, updating the original model from 2010. Welcome to our New Roccat Kova Review (Kova 2016).

New Roccat Kova Review (Kova 2016) – The Kova 2016 Mouse

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The new Kova arrives in a fairly standard Roccat box, giving a clear view of the mouse and noting many of the key features. Inside the bundle is simple, just a set of product documentation. For the software we head over to the Roccat website and grab the latest version.

Looking to the mouse, we have an ambidextrous design with Roccat going for a fairly low profile body. The surface applied is matt with a decent amount of grip and the company logo as well as mouse name can be found on the palm area. The scroll wheel is clickable, though not tiltable and behind it is a DPI selector switch.

As far as dimensions go, the new Kova is 13×6.7x4cm and it weighs 100g.

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Looking down the left and right sides of the mouse we can see three extra buttons on each side. That takes the total clickable buttons to 10 and each of those, along with the scroll up/down can be re-mapped to alternate functions. This is also a mouse which supports EasyShift+, meaning we can double up the buttons by holding down the one assigned to EasyShift, firing off an alternate command (so 22 functions in total).

In the above images you can also see the led tracks on the scroll wheel as well as the darker area on the heel of the mouse which is also illuminated (16.8m colours).

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Extending from the front of the mouse, in the centre, is a braided cable. It is 1.8meters in length and ends in a branded USB connector.

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Flipping the mouse over reveals the five low friction feet which allow the Kova to glide smoothly and in the centre of the mouse is a 3500 dpi Pro-Optic R6 sensor. By pressing the DPI selector switch on the mouse we can enable an overdrive mode which doubles the DPI to 7000. This, like the other mouse features, is powered by a Turbo Core V2 32-bit ARM based processor. As far as other specifications go, we have 1000Hz polling/1ms response time, 20g acceleration and 512kB of onboard memory.

New Roccat Kova Review (Kova 2016) – Software

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As with Roccats other recent products the Kova 2016 supports their Swarm software. This control panel installs in just a few seconds and when launched checks for any updates to itself and our mouse firmware, installing the latest versions as required.

Once into the main interface the first thing we see is the option to configure our DPI and illumination as well as setting profiles for our favourite games/apps.

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Next we can move to button assignment, including the option to set secondary features on each button and then it is on to more detailed DPI/Performance options. The final screen, Advanced Settings, deals with options such as sound feedback (e.g. the software has recorded vocals which tell us the new DPI when we switch) and we can also move between left and right handed modes. It is also worth noting that if you have an Alienware system, the lighting for the mouse and system is compatible so both can be matched.

New Roccat Kova Review (Kova 2016) – User Experience and Conclusion

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Starting with the build quality and design of the new Kova we have a mouse which continues the trend of very cool looking mice from Roccat. This time being quite space age in appearance. The surface used on the mouse body feels great, just the right amount of grip, while remaining smooth to the touch. The surface is applied flawlessly and each of the buttons has a good, chunky click to it. If we had one minor niggle with the overall build it would be that the side buttons do a have a bit of a cheap look to them but that is being really picky. Otherwise everything shapes up well, braided cable, decent quality low friction feet, etc.

As far as the software goes, all is well. Swarm is responsive and intuitive with all the key options we would want from a mouse control panel. We like that it controls multiple devices and that it has integration with Alienware, all nice touches. It does tend to get flagged by our anti-virus on occasion though, not as a virus just as an unknown program which is blocked. So if you have trouble opening the panel, add it to your exclusions list.

On the performance front, no issues there either. The mouse was responsive and tracked accurately. At 3500dpi it was a tad slow for our liking but the overdrive feature sorts that right out. With this doubled DPI enabled the mouse retained its good performance and we noted no issues with lag or erroneous movements.

Summary:  A well built mouse which looks cool and is backed by decent software. The native DPI may not be for everyone but the enhanced mode adds more than enough performance to make this a competitive mouse in its target market.

Value Award

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
New Roccat Kova 2016
Author Rating
4

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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