It might be just me, but when I pay almost $100 for a mouse, I expect it to last.
It was the Logitech G7 that got me hooked to wireless mice. The freedom and convenience it offered versus wired mice was a revelation. After using it exclusively for 4-5 years (and changing 3 of them) I switched to Razer’s Deathadder, mostly based on hype (I admit) as no self respecting gamer used wireless mice at the time.
The Deathadder looked slick and performed well, but was as reliable as _____ (enter your Microsoft product). I have had four ‘adders of which three developed the dreaded double-click (easily the most annoying thing in the history of the human race), while the last one pulled an invisibility act – one day Windows simply stopped registering my mouse and no amount of driver reinstalling could bring it back.
At that point I started missing the convenience of wireless mice again, and Massdrop offered a nice discount on the Roccat LEADR at just the right moment.
Two years down the line and I can safely say this is the best mouse I have ever owned.
Enter Roccat LEADR
The LEADR is a 12,000 DPI Owl-eye optical sensor wireless gaming mouse with a 1000Hz polling rate and a 20h battery life. I won’t bother you with any more stats or features, except to mention that if has 14 adjustable buttons and a wheel and comes with a charging dock. It’s also on the heavier side among mice.
I have to start with the battery. After two years, the battery still lasts the full 18-20 hours, same as the day it arrived. The charging dock works its magic during the night and every morning I have a fully charged mouse.
For the 2-3 times I forgot to charge the mouse overnight, it still had enough battery life left to last me half the next day, after which I would just plug it directly to the cable which charges the dock and use it as a wired mouse. So no biggy if you forget to place the mouse on the dock.
I have a somewhat larger hands and the LEADR fits perfectly. I can use it in pretty much any grip technique. The Swarm software is easy to use and you can assign the extra buttons in the Micro Manager as you like. Though I have to mention I do find the Swarm software sometimes updating too frequently, yet it’s not as bad as Razer’s software.
The wireless connection works flawlessly. I am not a competitive gamer, but I did not notice any input lag or slow down, coming from the wired Deathadder. On the other hand, I did notice that I got slightly less accurate in Counter Strike: GO.
Slight tweaking in the Swarm did improve things, but I have to admit my aiming with the LEADR feels slightly less precise than with the Deathadder. I cannot be sure unless I get another Razer mouse and do direct comparison, so take this with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, I do not play FPS games competitively, so this honestly doesn’t bother me.
I mostly play RTS strategies, RPG and MOBA style games, and this mouse suits them perfectly. The LEADR glides smoothly on my extra thick SteelSeries mousepad, the Owl-Eye sensor is always spot-on and my hand has never felt fatigued even after long sessions.
Oh, and if the RGB illumination bothers you, you can turn it off.
Value and Conclusion
As I mentioned, the Roccat LEADR cost me $89.99 with free shipping from Massdrop. I know the retail price at the time was $130+ and now floats at around $120, so if you can grab it through Drop, it would be my recommended store.
The value at $89.99 is probably unbeatable if you are after a reliable wireless gaming mouse. I have spent more money in two years on Deathadders that kept breaking. Obviously at more than $120 the value suffers a bit, but you are still getting your money’s worth.
After two years of daily use the mouse still feels and works as the first day I got it. No double clicks, no driver problems or exchange of batteries, the Roccat LEADR gave this gamer what he sorely needed – some honest day in day out reliability from a gaming mouse. Highly recommended!
- great and consistent battery life
- flawless wireless function
- reliable even after 2 years if daily use
- MassDrop price
- Probably not for competitive FPS gamers