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Roccat Leadr review: A multi-button wireless gaming mouse

Christopher Minasians
17 Jan 2018
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
122
Inc VAT

Great performance and loads of features for the money, although it takes a while to get used to the ergonomics and buttons

Pros 
Excellent optical sensor
Lots of customisable buttons
Good battery life
Cons 
Chunky mouse
Buttons can feel fiddly
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The Roccat Leadr is another all-out, bells and whistles, kitchen sink of a mouse, including a mass of buttons and a fancy charging dock. Perhaps crucially, though, it’s priced that bit lower than the other similarly specced-up models, making it the stand-out bargain.

Roccat Leadr review: Build quality and design

The most prominent feature you notice on this mouse is its dock. Not only is it enormous, measuring 184 x 122 x 120mm, but it also stands vertically, giving the impression that your mouse is a hanging piece of artwork as it sits there charging. It’s also adorned with five LEDs that indicate the charging status, and an illuminated Roccat logo – it isn’t subtle, but it does look good.

Then there’s the mouse itself, which is similarly bold in its design and is also festooned with buttons. Alongside the usual complement of buttons, there are four more of them flanking the left and right buttons, and a left/right tilt switch that sits behind the scroll wheel. In addition, there’s also a solitary button that sits on a projection below where your thumb rests, and above the thumb, you’ll find an analogue thumb paddle.

The result is a mouse that looks, and at first feels, like it would be impossible to use without constantly accidentally knocking those extra buttons. However, it isn’t that bad in use, and generally held up well in our gaming sessions with a little tweaking.

Nonetheless, with its default configuration, in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, we found the analogue paddle would get knocked and switch weapons. You could disable this paddle, of course, or any of the buttons for in-game use, but it’s a bit of a pain to have to do so.

Otherwise, the overall ergonomics of the mouse are decent, thanks to sensibly scalloped sections for the thumb and little/ring fingers, and a rear that’s sizeable enough to get some purchase for palm-grip users, while not being so big that it constricts movement for fingertip-grip users. However, the lack of rubber on the sides means it’s not quite as grippy as some mice, so you have to hold on a little tighter, which can get tiring over longer periods.

Roccat Leadr review: Performance

As for overall performance, the PixArt Owl-Eye optical 12,000dpi sensor works wonders, providing perfectly accurate and responsive movement. Likewise, the wireless signal is excellent. We only experienced a couple of dropouts, and that was when the battery was running low.

Speaking of the battery, Roccat’s 20-hour claim was largely borne out in use, with it easily lasting a day but struggling to last two full days in a row – a performance characteristic shared by other wireless mice. Also, like the other mice, you can just plug in a micro-USB cable to carry on using the Leader even when the battery has run out.

What’s more, the provided cable has a locking system so that the cable can’t be pulled out accidentally. Meanwhile, Roccat’s accompanying Swarm software is comprehensive, providing a mass of options for customising the mouse’s actions and performance. It verges on the side of being a little bloated, but it’s largely a pleasure to use.

Roccat Leadr review: Verdict

The Roccat Leadr is a great wireless mouse for gamers seeking a good balance of performance, features and price. Its mass of buttons and proper charging dock means it has more features than most, and it costs a fair bit less than the feature-rich competition too.

However, ergonomically, its lack of rubber sides and overload of buttons means it takes a while to get used to the Leadr. VERDICTGreat performance and loads of features for the money, although it takes a while to get used to the Leadr’s ergonomics and mass of buttons.