Last time a Leetgion product ran across my desk for testing, I took a look at the Leetgion Hellion mouse. While oddly shaped for my personal taste, it was very functional and offered many features that I thought should bring buyers to Leetgion, specifically those who play a lot of StarCraft II. It sports an Avago ADNS 9500 laser sensor, has full RGB color options for the LED lighting, comes equipped with Omron switches inside, and was the first mouse to offer a Cherry MX Blue mechanical switch on the side for the "attack" key command. The downfall of this mouse for me was the large profile switch under the mouse that made you have to flip the mouse over to select said profiles, but at least Leetgion was trying to innovate and incorporate new ideas, and with the latest submission, I can see innovation is something that Leetgion is sticking with again.
As with the Hellion, this newest mouse I am testing also adds a bit of innovation, and definitely stays in the unique category of designs and overall aesthetics. Leetgion is smart though, and kept things that made the Hellion a success. The Avago sensor is kept, the Omron switches are kept, and they deliver very simple to use software with it. Since this mouse isn't designed for StarCraft II players, but rather those out there that can't get enough of Diablo III, the design this time is more of feel towards a very short sword with a gold shield on either flank. The "shields" aren't just there to be pretty either, with this latest submission, there are quite a few programmable buttons that are designed into them to give the users plenty of control all within reach of the fingers of your right hand.
If you haven't figured it out by the title, today we are going to be taking a look at the El'Druin from Leetgion. As I said, this mouse has quite a few, 12 in fact, programmable buttons on the mouse, it offers four profiles, and will allow for any Macro you can think to program as well. Considering they use top of the line components with the sensor and switches, there should be no issues with tracking, and the longevity of this mouse should offer users reliable and accurate usage to a long time to come.
I say we pull out this "sword of justice", swing it around a bit, and see what Leetgion really has to offer with the El'Druin laser mouse.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
With one of the best specifications charts for any mouse I have yet to see, the El'Druin is explained pretty well of its features and dimensions. The left side of the chart shows that this mouse comes shipped with the Avago ADNS 9500 laser sensor that offers users a DPI range from 100 DPI on up to 5000 DPI. It then discusses the use of the pair of Omron switches under the left and right click buttons. Moving on it covers the Omni Tuner on the right side of the mouse that can be used for various things like DPI and profile management, while the other side offers a five direction SPAD controller, which under normal terms would be referred to as a D-PAD. All told, there are 12 total buttons that are fully programmable, four custom profiles, and an LED cue system that lets the user know which profile they are in at that current moment.
On top of the unique outer design, the El'Druin offers users the ability to comfort fit the mouse to the palm of your hand with one of four optional palm plates. There are two separate styles of these plates, and two different materials for each. One set is made with the same colored plastic that matches the rest of the El'Druin, while the other set offers a rubberized non-skid coating to allow users whichever option feels best. There is a larger set called the Heaven Plates. These are a bit longer, slightly wider, and a millimeter taller than the Inferno plates that are also offered here. Off to the right side of the chart you can see that there are two sets of measurements as well, one set of dimensions with the Heaven Plates installed, and another set for the Inferno plates. One thing that does stay the same is the light weight of this mouse that weighs in at only 120 grams with any of the plates installed.
Since I have seen reviews of this mouse as early as this past January, I would have assumed it to be much easier to locate this mouse to buy one. In the beginning I was seeing that the MSRP was set to $89.95, but in my searching I wasn't able to find it at that price point. After looking at all the usual haunts, even changing Google to UK and Taiwan I came up empty. So one last try was made searching places like Newegg and Amazon, and low and behold, Amazon does in fact have them for sale. What I found was that since Amazon is the only place carrying them, they are asking a bit more currently with a price point set at $99.95, but it does offer free shipping.
As time goes by, I do hope more e-tailers pick up the El'Druin, because competition lowers the pricing, and for nearly $100, most users will pass just looking at that price. That isn't to say that $10 will make or break a sale, but getting too close to that $100 mark will indeed scare off customers.
The front of the packaging shows off the Leetgion name and Anvil logo just above the naming of this RPG mouse. You also get a very large image of the El'Druin near the bottom as it breaks up the light blue on black background.
Both side of the box have cardboard angled across the clear plastic inner cover that keeps the mouse inside very well protected. It is a bit tough to see like this, but since the inside is clear, you can get a bit of a sneak-peek at the mouse inside of the packaging.
In three languages, the back of the packaging starts with listing the features of this mouse on the left side. In the middle is a bit of a story about Leetgion, and to the right you are offered information on OS support, package contents, and the Facebook and company web addresses.
Even the top of the box has some good information on it for those who just want to glance at it for information instead of reading the fine print on the back. Here you have five icons around the word abilities to show potential buyers the five hottest features that should want to make you purchase this mouse.
To get to the mouse you have to slide off the outer sleeve of cardboard, and once that is done, the inner cardboard will unfold to allow you access to lift off the clear plastic inner layer. As for the paperwork and added goodies, they are shipped in two containers placed under the El'Druin, and contained under the clear plastic as well.
Leetgion El'Druin "Optimized for Diablo" Mouse
Fresh out of the box, the El'Druin looks like this. Starting with the basics you have a black bottom to the mouse with the top being multi-levels of a silver-grey painted plastic top. On this side you have what I refer to as a shield, but in the middle of this one is a SPAD controller that gives you four way control plus a click in to give you five actions total with it.
The El'Druin comes out of the box with the painted Heaven plate installed on it. As you can tell there is a high line in the middle near the bottom, but as it curves over the top, this like is blended into the shape and goes away for comfort reasons while holding it.
On the right side the "shield" is a little different. There are notches in the gold ring to allow you to roll it forward and back for profiles and DPI adjustments. The center is still a button, but it only pushes in to select the various profiles, or by holding it in for three seconds, you can reset to the default profile.
If you stretch the imagination a bit, you can see a broad sword shape to the front where the right and left click buttons come to a point in the middle of the front. As for the rubber scroll wheel in the middle, it is not as segmented as most mice are, and makes scrolling multiple lines or weapons very easy.
Looking at the top of the El'Druin you can see there is a complete lack of any buttons or lighting. With this design, everything has been moved to the sides of the mouse, and even the lighting has been hidden next to the SPAD controller and inside the gap around the scroll wheel.
Under the mouse the laser sensor is centrally located and this mouse also offers three PTFE feet that come with a plastic liner on them to give you perfect feet to use right out of the box with no scratches or gauges in them.
To power the mouse you need to plug in the gold plated USB 2.0 connector to the rear I/O, and its shape makes it obvious which is which when you need to unplug it from all the other USB cables. The cable itself is wrapped with a cloth braid and measures two meters in length, but is currently bundled with the Velcro wrap that makes travelling with it much nicer.
Accessories and Documentation
In the boxes under the mouse in the internal packaging you will find all of these bits of the accessory kit. You get a twist open quick start guide, the user's manual, a glow in the dark Anvil logo sticker, and an extra set of feet for when you do wear the originals down.
I went ahead and twisted open the quick start guide to show a bit of what is in it. You get sections on setting the profiles, how to set the DPI, how to work the Omni Tuner, default button layout, and three pages showing the 12 programmable buttons as they appear on each side of the mouse.
You also get three additional palm plates. Along with the Heaven plate that comes on the mouse, there is a grey version of the Inferno plate followed, but the black rubberized version of it. Since the grey one comes on the mouse when it is shipped, there is the rubberized Heaven plate on the right to choose as well.
They do require a bit of force when popping the plates off the mouse, but aside from the three support columns, there are just two clips that keep the plates secured to the mouse body.
This is the stock El'Druin palm plate, or the plastic version of the Heaven plate.
Here we have the rubberized Heaven plate installed.
Now you can see the grey Inferno plate. These plates sit a bit lower at the top than the heaven plates as well as offering a bit of a wing at the lower edge to give you a bit of a grip against the weight of your arm so you don't slide off the back of the El'Druin.
That leaves the rubberized version of the Inferno plate that we have shown here.
Inside the El'Druin
After removing four screws from the underside of the El'Druin, the top middle section can be removed to have a peek inside. The sides of the mouse are held on with separate screws, and you have thin ribbon cables to tend to there as well. Also note the steel weight in the heel of this mouse.
Removing two tiny screws and carefully removing the ribbon cables I was able to remove the sides. I did want to show the switches used here, but the PCB did not want to come off the back with normal pressure, and I did not want to risk breaking them, so I stopped.
As the USB cable sneaks by between it and the scroll wheel, the left click button is backed with an Omron D2F-F switch to give you roughly ten million clicks worth of a life span.
The right click button is also the same Omron switch, but for the scroll wheel click button, there is a lower grade switch used since this button gets used much less.
As I have already mentioned to track all of your movements, and to offer up to 5000 DPI, Leetgion again uses the Avago ADNS 9500 laser sensor seen here for that job.
The HOLTEK H82A525R MCU is used for the USB 2.0 cross talk of the mouse and PC. With a 12MHz oscillator, this 16-bit processor is more than capable of doing its job and offers onboard flash memory to store the profiles and settings available via the software.
The default profile is this light blue color that also shows on the side of the mouse. This LED will never change, it is always light blue.
The light hidden behind the scroll wheel will reflect the profile currently in use. Here we are on the default, or light blue, but there is purple, yellow, and blue selections offered as well for the three other profile choices.
This is just a glamour shot of the Leetgion El'Druin so that you can absorb the whole mouse with its lighting features on.
There is no driver disc, so you do need to venture over to Leetgion.com to find the software or the El'Druin Configurator. The default page it opens to is for the button assignments. The first thing you want to do is select one of the profiles you want to adjust, then it is pretty simple. Click on one of the 12 buttons to the right side and a list of option for presets or Macros becomes available to select for each button on the mouse. At the bottom, near the middle, you have a small box to adjust the default DPI for each profile, but it is fully adjustable with the Omni Tuner once in use.
If you want a look at all of it at once, you move over to the profile management page you see here. You can name profiles on the left to use on each of the colors for a personalized touch. They will then show in the profile list to add or remove them, and on the left side there is an "R" to reset the profile, and the "X" to allow you to delete you added profiles if you no longer need them.
With the Macro management window open now, you can see setting up one should be fairly easy. You can select which profile it applies to, you can name it, and it then is added to the Macro List. Once there, you can drop to the lower section, hit the record button, and start programming the Macro. There are time delay features, mouse clicks, and even the option for looping said Macro so you can spam commands in certain games. Of course during all of this, you must also chose a button on the mouse to apply this Marco to in the desired profile.
The last window you have it to adjust the performance of the El'Druin. Here you have the options for polling rate, scroll speed, pointer speed, and the double click speed of the mouse. The gold bar is where you test the double click speed, and it will turn green if the mouse clicks are fast enough for the setting applied.
Out of the box I found the El'Druin a bit different to look at aesthetically, but to be honest, I was a bit surprised to feel that it seems so natural under your hand. With the drop off in front of the mid-section before you reach the left and right click buttons, I thought it would feel a bit funky, but it really doesn't. Where I did find a bit of personal discomfort was in the palm plates. The Heaven plate is much closer to the height of the mid-section of the mouse and makes for a very comfortable feel, whether you use the painted one or the rubberized one, both suit this mouse very well. The Inferno plates on the other hand, while they are a bit differently shaped, the drop from the mid-section of the mouse just made this feel "funny" to me. Not in a make me laugh sort of way, but it just didn't feel normal with a high mid-section and nothing near it to help support your hand there. While the rubberized versions of both plates do help keep the mouse in the palm of your hand, even if things get a bit heated, I tended to use the painted plastic version long term with mine.
During the use of the El'Druin, there was nothing out of the ordinary that pops right into my mind. In all honesty, even playing around with the profiles, setting up personal profiles and Macros were simple and the software being very intuitive really helps there. The one thing that is a bit odd about it is when you do apply the settings, the mouse becomes inactive for about ten seconds, as the software sets the mouse. While not detrimental, I have seen much faster in many other mice. Even as far as the DPI is concerned, I found the 2800 DPI that Leetgion set the mouse to as the default is truly the sweet spot for this mouse. While every user varies in their needs here, I found it to be the most productive setting as I wasn't overshooting the small drop down menus and various controls while I edit photos. Unless I was in a game like BF3 where DPI on the fly is very handy, I didn't really see a need to move it at all, no matter the title I was playing.
Getting used to 12 uniquely arranged buttons is something that even after two weeks I still have to peek at the twist open guide to remember what does what, it just takes a bit of time to fully get used to this arrangement. Lastly, while I like that there is a profile button on the side of the mouse, and while typically it doesn't need swapped out in game, that button on the right is awkward to use with a pinky finger, and usually takes me lifting the mouse and using two hands to adjust it. While it is much better than a dial under the mouse like in the Hellion, it is still almost as if it was a secondary addition and not thought out that well.
You do get quite a bit for the money. I am stating this based on the MSRP of $89.95. There is very good software, the mouse does feel good in your hand and is relatively light, making it easy to move around. Functionally, once you have this personalized, I found my time with it productive at the desktop level and accurate with plenty of buttons within reach of my thumb and first three fingers. There were times I overshot weapons selections with the less tactile scroll wheel, but then again this isn't made with FPS games in mind either. I really do think that if Leetgion were to look harder at the way they engineer the profile selection systems on their mouse, there would be no reason to even pick on these designs, but it is there, and was sort of a pain to use.
Would I pay the near $100 price that Amazon is asking? No, I would not. I am hoping that there is some competition soon that sends pricing at least down to the MSRP, and maybe even a bit below. When or if that happens I strongly suggest that you seriously consider the El'Druin laser mouse, but as it sits currently, there are a couple things that need addressed for even the most hardened Diablo III players to really consider this mouse as a "must have".
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