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The aptly named ROCCAT Leadr wireless mouse is something special. I don’t want to give things away too early in the review but I will say this mouse has changed how I view all mice in general. It can be overwhelming when you see the amount of additional buttons on this piece of tech, but after just a couple of days you are going to be at home. Each feature is intelligently designed and placed. I generally shy away from wireless tech, but I’m becoming a believer. Before we get to the review proper, lets look at the spec sheet and pretend I buried the lead.
- ROCCAT® Owl-Eye optical sensor with 12000dpi
- Wired/Wireless combo mouse
- 1000mAh inbuilt Li-Ion rechargeable battery
- 2.4GHz wireless transmission
- 1000Hz polling rate
- 50G acceleration
- 250ips maximum speed
- Mouse acceleration: no
- Angle snapping: no
- 72MHz ARM Cortex-M0 (both mouse & stand)
- Adjustable lift-off distance
- 32-Bit Processor for rapid macro execution
- 1.8m micro USB to USB cable
Pretend You Don’t Know How I Feel About The ROCCAT Leadr
Here’s the thing about tech reviews. Sometimes something is so aesthetically pleasing you are hard pressed to be objective. Essentially, that is what happened for the first 24 hours the Leadr was on my desk. It replaced a solid Logitech mouse, and I expected to go back to that after a little time on this review. Then, I set the mouse up on the stand to charge.
There is something very pleasing about a mouse standing up on a wall to charge. That is more or less what you get with the Leadr. A standing glowing piece of magic that lets your mouse charge vertically. It really captured my eye and I’ll admit it added a lot to how I felt about the mouse before I even put my hands on it.
After letting the Leadr charge for a few hours I felt like it was time to dive in and start pushing all the keys like a monkey writing Shakespeare. I didn’t know what I was doing, but it would work out. There are a lot of buttons on the mouse and wouldn’t you know it – all but one required no research. That just made sense.
All Those Buttons
The one button I didn’t understand at first, was a small one at the base of the mouse under my thumb. I was listening to some Abbey Road on the Elite Atlas Pro when my finger slipped while I was scrolling through a page and all of a sudden the audio changed volume. I thought it was the keyboard or I bumped the volume on the headset, but it was this button.
The button in question is part of ROCCAT’s Easy-Shift[+] suite. By holding down the button it acts as a shift toggle. Little guy plus mouse scroll controls volume. You get to do what you want, through the ROCCAT software, with that key and it changes everything.
On top of that there is a forward and back key and a scroll toggle which are all within thumbs reach. You have a mouse wheel, which unfortunately does not featured Logitech’s infinite scroll. The difference is you can scroll a good distance, but Logitech mice will include a lock that let you spin the mouse wheel like you are on the Price is Right trying to get that dollar bonus. It is a minor complaint but worth noting.
You also have your DPi up and down buttons, profile switchers, and a toggle that leans left and right. You decide how much of this stuff works. The Swarm Software makes it extremely easy to customize, so figure out what you would like it to do and go to town.
Oh, It Isn’t Just Wireless
As I updated the ROCCAT Leadr it asked me to insert the USB. I looked around the mouse for a moment and found that there is a slot in the front where you plug in and update the mouse. Then I learned that this turns the mouse into a wired mouse. So, if you forget to charge, or like the wire, you have that option. I haven’t had an issue with battery life and I quiet enjoy the wireless aspect, but it is a nice extra option.
The stand itself, which I gushed about earlier, is the charging station and requires no extra steps during setup. When I shut down or put my PC to sleep at night, I just toss the mouse onto the vertical stand and let it do it’s thing overnight. It looks sharp and makes me feel like I have the most cutting edge tech out there. The small RGB lighting at the bottom of the stand shows it is charging and reminds you it is made by ROCCAT.
Take a Load of Annie, and Put the Weight on Me
The issue I always had with wireless mice in the past was the weight. They always felt so light and never had any heft. Wired mice weighed about the same but they added the additional tension of the cord. The ROCCAT Leadr has the right amount of weight to feel premium, secure, and comfortable. Since your thumb rests above the Easy-Shift button, you can easily move around your mouse pad without issue.
It is also an extremely accurate mouse. I’m able to accurately select the most minute areas without issue and I do so quickly as the weight adds the right amount of control without making me feel like I’m working out. The mouse also automatically shuts down after a period of no use. Wake it up with a simple click and you are back to work.
This is easily my favorite mouse of all time, and I’ve been using all types since the 80’s. This one just has all the right things in the right places. I do wish that the AIMO illumination system was supported, but the mouse only has minimal RGB lighting as is. Still, I’ll happily upgrade to a similar release with AIMO illumination.
Ultimately, the ROCCAT Leadr offers more than you need. I had a mouse in the past that had the 10-key in the thumb area and I loved it and thought that would always be my favorite, but this has replaced it. Everything fits my hands perfectly and my wife, with significantly smaller hands, says it feels comfortable as well. No matter what the asking price is at the time you read this, it is likely worth every penny. Leadr is the top of the line mouse currently on the market.
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