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May 16, 2017

Roccat looks to be ‘leader’ in PC gaming devices with Leadr wireless mouse

by John_A

Why it matters to you

PC gamers who want to cut the cord to their mouse now have a new option from Roccat with the release of Leadr, which packs an Owl-Eye optical sensor.

On Monday, May 15, PC gaming peripheral maker Roccat announced the launch of a new wireless mouse, the Leadr. It features a polling rate of 1,000Hz, meaning the device updates the computer with input information once every millisecond. By comparison, the average wired desktop mouse updates the processor every eight milliseconds or so, thus Roccat is pushing an extremely high refresh rate on a wireless device because in a game, every millisecond counts.

Backing the 1,000Hz polling rate is a custom Pixart 3361 optical sensor Roccat dubs the Owl-Eye. According to the specs, this sensor has a sensitivity up to 12,000 dots per inch, a maximum acceleration of 50G, a maximum tracking speed of 250 inches per second, and a framerate of up to 12,000 frames per second. The sensor comes packed with an IR LED inside a 16-pin molded lead-free DIP package.

However, Roccat says the custom Owl-Eye sensor is optimized for the “golden range” between 400 and 3,000 DPI. Thus, PC gamers may not experience high precision tracking when going beyond that 3,000 DPI threshold.

“9 out of 10 professional gamers choose a DPI under 2,000 due to the undesirable smoothing that occurs at DPIs above that — in every sensor. Our own Roccat pros do the same,” the company says. “When developing Owl-Eye, we focused on accuracy and responsiveness within the golden range.”

Here are the hardware specs provided on the product page:

Wireless transmission:
2.4GHz band
Polling rate:
Battery duration:
20 hours
Button count:
14 ergonomic + 2D Titan Wheel
16.8 million colors
Separate color zones:
Mouse Wheel
32-bit ARM Cortex-MO chip @ 72MHz
On-board memory:
Maximum DPI:
Acceleration speed:
Maximum speed:
250 inches per second
Lift-off distance:
Cable length:
71 inches
Cable type:
Micro USB to USB
Size (inches):
3.18 x 1.81 x 5.07
Weight (pounds):

According to Roccat, all 14 buttons are fully programmable through the free Swarm software. These buttons are joined by the X-Celerator single-axis analog thumb paddle mounted on the left side, meaning this mouse wasn’t designed for left-handed PC gamers. There’s also a mid-knuckle dorsal Fin Switch “for rapid and instinctive control.”

Packed with the new Leadr mouse is a premium charging dock stand for juicing up the included 20-hour battery. It connects directly to the PC to send and receive wireless signals from the mouse. But if the peripheral has a low battery and the user still needs to game on, the “top-up” cable can be detached from the dock and plugged straight into the mouse.

Finally, in addition to programming the buttons, Leadr owners can customize the two lighting zones as well with the Swarm software for Windows, Android, and iOS. Here users can store their settings in the cloud, share their profiles and macros, and even manage the device through their smartphone and/or tablet. Swarm serves as the hub for all connected Roccat devices, and even supports the AlienFX lighting systems on Alienware desktops and laptops.

Roccat’s new wireless Leadr mouse for PC gaming is available to pre-order now for $140 on Roccat’s website. The peripheral isn’t slated to ship until May 31, 2017.

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