ROCCAT Leadr Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Subjective Performance Tests

After installing and properly configuring the ROCCAT Leadr to my liking using the software, I put the ROCCAT Leadr through our series of standard tracking performance tests. This includes normal office usage in the Windows environment, as well as gaming within first person shooter games such as Counter-Strike: Source. Graphics work is done in addition to the regular office usage with Adobe Photoshop CS6. Mousing surfaces used includes the Func F-Series 10 L and XTracPads Ripper XXL. Please note these are subjective tests, but we attempt to make it as objective as possible with our cross-reference testing methods.

Personally, when I use my mouse, I prefer to establish a palm grip rather than a claw grip. What this means is that I prefer to cover the whole mouse with the palms of my hands, therefore a comfortable ergonomic fit is a priority preference. The ROCCAT Leadr, being designed mainly for users like me in mind, is perfect for the occasion. For those who like claw grips or a semi-claw-palm-hybrid grip, the Leadr will also accommodate you if you have larger hands. Furthermore, its lightweight design makes it excellent for first person shooter games, especially for those who commonly engage swift, quick actions. This, in conjunction with its wide sensitivity sensor -- 100 DPI to 12000 DPI in 100 CPI increments -- caters perfectly to all the different scenarios and game play strategies FPS gamers will encounter in the real world. The fact is, dipping as low as 100 DPI is definitely not something you will see every day, nor is the epic 12,000 DPI maxima in 100 DPI increments. I am not entirely sure why anyone would need something that nauseatingly sensitive, but hey, it is there for those who want it.

During usage, I have never accidentally pressed any buttons I did not intend to click. However, as I have mentioned on the previous page, you may click a few of them by accident when you initially reach for the mouse. For me, it was mainly the Easy-Shift[+] button and mid-knuckle dorsal fin switch, but accidentally actuating those are inconsequential by default assignments. There are quite a number of buttons on the ROCCAT Leadr, so this is good news, as this means the buttons are generally well-placed and uncluttered by design. The ROCCAT Leadr is marketed as a MOBA mouse as well, and while it does not have an arsenal of buttons around your thumb like the SteelSeries Rival 500, it only has one less than with everything accounted for. I am also a fan of the soft touch paint and molded rubber grip. The ROCCAT Leadr generally grips well in my hand, even if my hands are average sized. That said, I personally find the Rival 700 more comfortable mainly due to the slimmer profile and sharper front angle of the mouse, but this is mainly my preference.

The primary purpose of ROCCAT's Leadr is intended for the performance enthusiast crowd. It is designed for gaming, but this does not exclude graphic professionals and office users demanding the edge in tracking precision. Unlike some gaming oriented products, I found the ROCCAT Leadr to be excellent for both everyday office work in addition to performance demanding applications. The Owl Eye sensor, also known as the PixArt PMW3361 based on the PMW3360, is considered to be one of the best, if not the best, sensors in the market today, and you can definitely see why with this mouse. The sense of control and the smoothness of its glide over all tested tracking surfaces was excellent, and the pointer goes exactly where I want it to go combined with the precision I want. I noticed no tracking problems with the ROCCAT Leadr on all surfaces I have tested it on.

At 1000Hz polling rate with the optical sensor, the Leadr is an incredibly precise and quick responding mouse, just as we would expect from a performance gaming product. Its lightweight build and excellent grip only enhances the capability of the electronics. No input lag was noticed; response time was consistently excellent from the lowest sensitivity setting all the way up to 12,000 DPI. At maximum resolution, I feel like there might be a very slight reduction in response time. Although sensitivity range is not a direct indicator of performance, similar to how resolution is not a direct indicator of digital camera performance, its incredible precision was sustained across the entire sensitivity range. I noticed no real jitter even at the highest resolution. The ROCCAT Leadr is highly customizable for users desiring wide tracking resolution, maximum responsiveness, lag free performance, and razor sharp handling characteristics. It glides very smoothly thanks to its PTFE feet too. This is everything you can expect from a gaming product.

The ROCCAT Leadr has a nominal rated battery life of 20 hours according to the manufacturer. This is better than the SteelSeries Sensei Wireless, and from my experience, this sounds about right. I do have a couple of complaints though. The auto-off timer is not user-configurable. I like to have the standby timer set to 15 minutes, but the Leadr defaults to 30. The mouse also does not turn off immediately after I turn off my PC, so either you will have to turn it off manually, or wait for the standby timer. These are minor issues that should be fixed in software and/or firmware.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests
4. Conclusion