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ROCCAT SOVA Review -- The Perfect XIM Peripheral for Couch Gaming  (Read 12895 times)

Offline FirstRespond3r

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There were a few things that led me to the purchase of the Sova. With the upcoming release of both the PS4 Pro and Scorpio, and currently owning an Xbox One S that can upscale games to 4k, utilize HDR, and functions as a 4k blu ray player, it seems almost nonsensical to continue gaming on a 27" 1080p monitor. Furthermore, the 4k monitor market is a little iffy when it comes to functioning properly with, at the vey least, an Xbox One S. There are reports of many popular 4k monitors not working properly with the Xbox One S. And when I tested the Xbox One S on my 55" 4k TV, not only was the input lag compared to the monitor barely noticeable, it was significantly better looking. At that point, it seemed almost stupid not to make the switch.

In the past, couch gaming with a mouse+keyboard was a challenge. There were a few products offered, but none were very appealing, and there were some home-made solutions, which wouldn't satisfy those who prefered a clean look. The appeal of couch gaming certainly came with some sacrifices, until now...

This is the Roccat Sova


The price for the Sova is $150 for the version with the membrane keyboard, and $200 for the version with the mechanical keyboard. To my knowledge, the keyboard isn't replaceable. For the extra $50, I opted to go with the mechanical version. Neither versions come with a mouse, which really isn't too big of a deal as I would probably have tossed it to the side and stuck with my G502 anyway.



Inside you'll find the Sova itself, a clip-on mouse bungee, and a 4m cable that is used to connect the Sova to the PC/XIM. Size-wise, it's smaller than it looks like in pictures. It's about 24" wide.. pretty good size.



The lapboard itself feels very sturdy. It's not too light, not too heavy, and it doesn't feel like it's crushing your legs thanks to the four cushions on the bottom. I've used it with many different sitting positions, with prolonged gaming periods (played Battlefield 1 last night for 5 hours), and remained comfortable the entire time. For couch gaming with a mouse+keyboard, comfort is a very big factor, and I feel like the Sova excels in comfort.

The mousepad can pop off and is replaceable.  I tested it for a bit and it's actually a pretty good mousepad, very smooth and responsive. Personally, I prefer cloth mousepads, so I just stuck my QcK on top, which was luckily a perfect fit. The mouse bungee does its job well. One of the biggest problems with lapboards is if you decide to use a wired mouse, you'll have to deal with the cord dragging, making for an unpleasant and inconsistent experience. Thankfully, Roccat was thoughtful enough to include the mouse bungee.

The mechanical keyboard is good, but it's not great. It uses TTC switches instead of Cherry. But it is still responsive, and I really can't complain. Having used a Razer Black Widow Tournament for a long time, I welcome how quiet the key presses are. The wrist rest is comfortable and allows for long gaming sessions.



One of my favorite things about this lapboard, and what ultimately convinced me to get this, is what is going on in front. I like a clean look. Clutter really bugs me, and a mess of wires everywhere will drive me insane. The Sova handles this problem well. There's a groove that runs along the entire length of the lapboard that functions as a cable management system for your mouse. As seen in the above image, the only visible mouse cord is what is being used.. 90-95% of the mouse cord is hidden in the groove.



Underneath is a USB power hub, containing 2x USB ports. In the picture, you see the main cord in the middle, which is what we're going to attach to our PC/XIM, and I have the Xbox controller connected to the left, and the mouse connected to the right port. As I said, I love a clean look, and it makes me happy that there is only one cord that goes from the lapboard to the PC/XIM.



That's right. One cord. And that is my favorite thing about this lapboard........



I initially had two cords running from me to the XIM -- the lapboard cable that connected both the keyboard and the mouse to the XIM, and I had the controller individually connected to the XIM. I decided to connect the controller to the lapboard's USB hub, just to see if it would work, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it worked perfectly. And that is the icing on the cake that pushes the Sova to be the perfect peripheral for XIM couch gaming.

+ Comfort
+ Good-sized mouse area
+ Mouse bungee
+ Cable management
+ Very clean look
+ Everything is connected to the USB hub, allowing only a single cable to be connected to the PC/XIM
- TTC instead of Cherry MX

It's the perfect couch gaming solution, whether for your PC or the XIM. For XIM users who are looking for a couch gaming solution, this is a must-buy.

« Last Edit: 11:17 AM - 10/25/16 by FirstRespond3r »
My Roccat Sova review:
http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=49911.0

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Offline zambalex

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Thanks for the review. I just ordered the XIM, this Lapboard / keyboard and a Logitech G Pro mouse, should all arrive tomorrow.

I hope i'll see my KD ratio improve in BF1 and other shooters :)

Offline FirstRespond3r

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It definitely will. Let me know if you have any questions setting it up. Setting it up was a breeze. Just make sure you set it up first on your computer to update firmware and change lighting options (default for lighting is the breathing effect, and very bright, which can get distracting at night). The lapboard also comes with a Y cable, meaning the USB cable has two ends.. only plug in one of them to the XIM.
My Roccat Sova review:
http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=49911.0

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Offline zambalex

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Cool, thanks for the tips. Can the keyboard config be done on a Mac as i dont have a windows PC at home ?

I'll need to learn then how to setup a BF1 ST and use Xim in general :)

Offline FirstRespond3r

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I dont believe so. I connected it to the XIM when I first got it so you'll be fine without setting it up.. you would just have to contend with the default lighting. The most important thing to set up would be your mouse.
My Roccat Sova review:
http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=49911.0

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Offline zambalex

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ah, the mouse, what needs to be done there ?

also, would the Titan 1 work with this setup as well ?

I guess i'll start first by using the whole setup with keyboard and mouse before investing more money in another peripheral. What interests me most about the Titan is the anti-recoil stuff. Been on there forums most of the afternoon and it looks a bit complicated tbh...

Offline FirstRespond3r

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There are other users here who use Titan One, it's best to start a new thread about that. For the mouse you just want to make sure that it's set to on-board memory, max dpi, zero acceleration (if there is a setting), 500 or 1000 poll rate. Also, many mice have dpi stages where you can cycle through different dpi stages using buttons on the mouse... I usually get rid of those and have only one stage at max DPI.
My Roccat Sova review:
http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=49911.0

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Offline Vumpler

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I just bought the xim4 along with the lap board and mouse. Is there a step by step stupid guide from box to playing? I hope there isn't bad TV lag or I'll have to return it.

Offline FirstRespond3r

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I just bought the xim4 along with the lap board and mouse. Is there a step by step stupid guide from box to playing? I hope there isn't bad TV lag or I'll have to return it.

Yeah there's a small guide but really you don't need one. If you know how to plug a keyboard in, then you're set. And all you do is plug your mouse into the lapboard.

The device itself adds no input lag. TV input lag depends on the TV itself. Some displays can have input lag well over 100ms, and some can have input lag as low as 20ms. Just remember to set game mode on to get the lowest possible input lag for your TV.
My Roccat Sova review:
http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=49911.0

Wi-fi speeds

Offline Vumpler

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I just bought the xim4 along with the lap board and mouse. Is there a step by step stupid guide from box to playing? I hope there isn't bad TV lag or I'll have to return it.

Yeah there's a small guide but really you don't need one. If you know how to plug a keyboard in, then you're set. And all you do is plug your mouse into the lapboard.

The device itself adds no input lag. TV input lag depends on the TV itself. Some displays can have input lag well over 100ms, and some can have input lag as low as 20ms. Just remember to set game mode on to get the lowest possible input lag for your TV.

I looked up my panasonic plasma and it says 40m which is onot the cusp of noticeable I guess. Hopefully it's fine and I don't have to worry about returning it.

I guess from the guide perspective I wanted you to read my mind haha
 The 2 games I play are overwatch and cod4remastered.

If I want to go back and forth do I have to enable a different profile eacheck time? Does it take seconds to start a new profile or minutes? Also I see so many talking about their settings it makes it sound like a ton to configure. So after plugging things in I guess that's the tutorial I was looking for.

Hook the lap board up to turn the led brightness down then install configs??

Offline zambalex

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Setup is simple, although i had issues at first with my USB cable from my controller as it wasn't supplying power, so nothing worked.

then everything works fine :)

Its super comfortable to sit on your lap for hours and makes gaming with a mouse great.

Now, i still suck as BF1 as I have lag issues, and no matter how good your aim is, if your bullets ain't registering...

Offline FirstRespond3r

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I just bought the xim4 along with the lap board and mouse. Is there a step by step stupid guide from box to playing? I hope there isn't bad TV lag or I'll have to return it.

Yeah there's a small guide but really you don't need one. If you know how to plug a keyboard in, then you're set. And all you do is plug your mouse into the lapboard.

The device itself adds no input lag. TV input lag depends on the TV itself. Some displays can have input lag well over 100ms, and some can have input lag as low as 20ms. Just remember to set game mode on to get the lowest possible input lag for your TV.

I looked up my panasonic plasma and it says 40m which is onot the cusp of noticeable I guess. Hopefully it's fine and I don't have to worry about returning it.

I guess from the guide perspective I wanted you to read my mind haha
 The 2 games I play are overwatch and cod4remastered.

If I want to go back and forth do I have to enable a different profile eacheck time? Does it take seconds to start a new profile or minutes? Also I see so many talking about their settings it makes it sound like a ton to configure. So after plugging things in I guess that's the tutorial I was looking for.

Hook the lap board up to turn the led brightness down then install configs??

Oh, you mean configuring the XIM itself? In that case I'd recommend watching the tutorial vids.

http://xim4.com/about/instructional-videos

Difficulty on the initial setup depends on personal technical expertise.

As far as people talking about their settings, that's something more advanced and not really required. Personally, I don't go into that. Setting up a game profile is simple and easy.. you just set what you want which button to do what, and your sensitivity settings. And you can have multiple game profiles and you can switch profiles with the press of a button.
My Roccat Sova review:
http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=49911.0

Wi-fi speeds

Offline Vumpler

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I just bought the xim4 along with the lap board and mouse. Is there a step by step stupid guide from box to playing? I hope there isn't bad TV lag or I'll have to return it.

Yeah there's a small guide but really you don't need one. If you know how to plug a keyboard in, then you're set. And all you do is plug your mouse into the lapboard.

The device itself adds no input lag. TV input lag depends on the TV itself. Some displays can have input lag well over 100ms, and some can have input lag as low as 20ms. Just remember to set game mode on to get the lowest possible input lag for your TV.

I looked up my panasonic plasma and it says 40m which is onot the cusp of noticeable I guess. Hopefully it's fine and I don't have to worry about returning it.

I guess from the guide perspective I wanted you to read my mind haha
 The 2 games I play are overwatch and cod4remastered.

If I want to go back and forth do I have to enable a different profile eacheck time? Does it take seconds to start a new profile or minutes? Also I see so many talking about their settings it makes it sound like a ton to configure. So after plugging things in I guess that's the tutorial I was looking for.

Hook the lap board up to turn the led brightness down then install configs??

Oh, you mean configuring the XIM itself? In that case I'd recommend watching the tutorial vids.

http://xim4.com/about/instructional-videos

Difficulty on the initial setup depends on personal technical expertise.

As far as people talking about their settings, that's something more advanced and not really required. Personally, I don't go into that. Setting up a game profile is simple and easy.. you just set what you want which button to do what, and your sensitivity settings. And you can have multiple game profiles and you can switch profiles with the press of a button.

Love it! What have you set your buttons to on the keyboard? I use to do shift crouch and space jump. The only thing that will confuse me I think is the buttons on screen not being what they are on the keyboard of course. Same as when I used a controller on PC back in the day before they made that update.

Can we remove keys from this keyboard? Meaning pop the letters off so its easy to jump to and from only buttons that are mapped? I got the mechanical one so i assumed we could but not sure if that's worth it or not.


Offline FirstRespond3r

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I'm not quite understanding your question, can you explain some more?

As far as screen prompts not being the same as keyboars, the most amount of screen prompts would be at the menu. But you get used to what button does what that you will start to, for example, relate the "A" button to space bar.

My key bindings differ a little bit from game to game. But i like to do the standard A to jump, left ctrl to crouch, Q to change weapons, R to reload, etc. Universally, the home button acts as the xbox guide button, escape is the pause/menu button, and tab for back/options button. But I'd recommend whatever you're comfortable with.
My Roccat Sova review:
http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=49911.0

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Offline Vumpler

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Example:

Say you want to be able to hit the keys quickly and blindly without accidentally hitting an unbound key. Can you pop the keys off easy?