With its new Leadr, Roccat is launching its attack on the wireless sector. To aid it in that cause, it has been armed with the brand new Owl-Eye sensor that sports a whopping 12.000 DPI resolution as well as a lift-off sensor. The Hamburg based company is entering the 2,4 GHz game pretty late and thus has to compete with products like the Razer Mamba and the Logitech G900. But they have some aces up their sleeve in the form of Shark-Fins and X-Celerator-throttles. The Roccat Leadr in its first hands-on review. By Benjamin Kratsch.
Design wise, the Roccat Leadr borrows from the Tyon and brings with it all of the Tyons strengths: Good ergonomics, decent size, and a whole load of features. It offers an impressive 14 buttons, among which is the iconic shark fin, the “Hamburger, the X-Celerator thumb switch, and the thumb button named “Easyshift-Plus”. Roccat are staying true to their “more is more” philosophy with this one and keep including lots of buttons and controls on their mice whereas Logitech, for example, stripped down their G900 to only six buttons.
We were not able to have too many sessions with the Leadr but we found that Battlefield 4 fans will almost certainly be excited about the return of the X-Celerator as an alternative method for flying planes and helicopters. This feature is also available for controlling gun on tanks in Battlefield 1 while driving. It can also be used for switching between ducking and crawling without having to play finger-twister on your keyboard. If you want to make reloading feel more tactile and want to be less reliant on your keyboard you can also assign that task to the X-Celerator switch. You have to be careful though because if you simply let the switch snap back to the middle position it is likely the also trigger whichever command you assigned to the other direction.
Also present on the Leadr is the Easy-Shift+ button which allows you to assign two functions to all the buttons. This will especially come in handy for Minecraft and WoW players and even fans of Total War and Dawn of War 3 won’t complain about the added functionality. The two extra buttons on both the right and left sides of the mouse are within easy reach and pretty big. This makes the Leadr look a lot more “brutal” than its streamlined competitors by Logitech or Razer which is also emphasized further by the comparatively loud and deep click on all of its buttons. Clearly, the Leadr wants to be a real gamer with edges and less of a luxurious product for your desktop like the G900.
Sharp Like the Eye of an Owl: The Owl-Eye Sensor Pixart 3361
Roccat say that for their newest optical sensor they have been inspired by nature – owls in particular. These predators glide silently through the night, recognize their prey below them and swoop down in the same instant to catch their dinner. The actual sensor behind the Owl-Eye name is the Pixart 3361 that has been specially fine-tuned. According to Roccat’s PR-manager, the team spent the most of their time optimizing the the performance from 400 up to 3000 DPI which are the most popular resolutions among gamers. Be sure to comment if you’re one of the rare breed of 12.000 DPI gamers!
Here are the specs of the Owl-Eye-Sensor:
- Sensor: Pixart PMW3361
- Optical lens: 1: 1
- System clock: 70 MHz
- Frame rate: up to 12,000 fps
- Max. Speed: 250 ips
- Max. Acceleration: 50G
- Unrelenting pointer precision: 12,000 dpi
- Housing type 16-pin DIP housing with integrated IR-LED
Another important detail is the seperate Lift-Off sensor that has been carried over from their previous Tyon model. The sensitivity and threshold can be set with the included Swarm software. So if you want, you can configure the mouse to immediately lose contact if it even lifts off the surface for the tiniest bit. This especially comes in handy for fast shooters and gamers who like to throw their mouse around a lot.
Another part of Roccat’s 2017 lineup is the Kone Pure which is a stipped down mouse that has been reduced to its most necessary features. Gone are the LED-lines that traversed the body and its weight of only 88 grams is tailored towards ambitious E-sportsmen. A typical entry-level product that also sports the new Owl-Eye sensor.
The Wireless-Platform: Pretty Big But With 20 Hours of Battery Life
Roccat’s charging dock is not really an understatement. It is in fact pretty massive and could be compared to the dock that comes with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge albeit a little bit taller. What is interesting about it, is that once you’ve connected the mouse to the charging pins (which is totally effortless) it almost seems to be floating in mid-air. The only drawback is that you’ll need a fair bit of space. The Leadr is on the same level of quality as the Tyon and seems to be using the exact same components. That makes for a weight of 128 grams. While I myself like to have something solid in my hand with a mouse, this is of course a matter of preference. Roccat advertises a battery life of around 20 hours of gaming and even longer when performing lighter tasks. Sadly, given the short nature of our trade-show meeting, we can’t verify this just yet. With the release having been announced to happen mid-April however, we will almost certainly have a test model coming in next month.
An interesting detail on the side: The generous 1,8 m Mini-USB cable can be used for the docking station as well as for the mouse itself. That way you can transform your wireless mouse into a wired one if needed at your LAN-Party. Are any of you still going to LAN-Events?
The Roccat Leadr will be coming out in mid-April and, so the Hamburg based company states, “will cost less than most other wireless competitors”. Roccat fans can also look forward to two updated products that will not only be getting the Owl-Eye sensor but will also be losing a lot of weight:
The Kone EMP utilizes the body of the Kone XTD but will only weigh 116 grams. The Kone Pure 2017 will omit most buttons such as the X-Celerator, the Shark-Fins and other bells and whistles in order to bring the weight down to only 88 grams. Roccat want to make this one particularly attractive to its E-Sports fans.