The Roccat Lua Tri-Button Gaming Mouse is a simple, stripped down mouse, presenting something of an oddity in a category where gamers can tweak everything from button height to weight and center of gravity, not to mention customizing any of 10 to 20 different macro buttons. The Lua plays it cool, sticking to the basic three-button design (though it actually has four) and coming in at a much lower price than even other simple gaming mice, like the Razer Taipan or the Steel Series Kinzu. Combine this affordability with a clean design and solid performance, and the Roccat Lua is our Editors’ Choice for budget gaming mice.
Design and Features
The Lua has an ambidextrous design, making it a great choice for lefties, but it doesn’t feel like an ambidextrous design; rather, it felt like it was made for whichever hand you favor. The curves of the Lua are such that it felt nearly as comfortable as the right-handed Roccat Savu, making it one of the more comfortable basic gaming mice we’ve reviewed. Like the Roccat Savu, it has textured side panels for extra grip, but it’s a textured matte-finish plastic instead of the gritty sandpaper texturing used on the Savu.
Though it’s called a “Tri-Button” mouse, the Lua actually has four buttons total: right and left mouse buttons, a clickable scroll wheel, and a sensitivity adjustment button, which cycles through seven preset sensitivity settings. Like the SteelSeries Kinzu or the Razer TaiPan, the Lua is much more basic than the many-buttoned MMORPG mice seen in recent years, which cram as many buttons and features into one mouse as possible. Instead of endlessly adjustable height, weight, and a myriad of programmable macro commands, the Lua is a fairly traditional take on the three-button mouse. The mouse measures 1.4 by 2.5 by 4.6 inches (HWD), and weighs only 3.5 ounces (counting the cable).
The low-profile design is light and comfortable, and the mouse itself is plug and play with either Windows or Mac systems. For a bit of customization, however, you will want to download Roccat’s driver package, which includes a dashboard for adjusting settings, like cursor and scroll speed. The management software is Windows-only (Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win8). Roccat also covers the Lua with a one-year warranty.
While the design of the Lua is basic, but it’s definitely not plain. A glowing blue logo on the palmrest has what Roccat calls a “breathing effect,” pulsing slowly to let you know that the mouse is plugged in and powered on. The combination of textured black plastic side grips and soft-touch finish on the palm rest make for a comfortable feel in the hand. A six-foot USB cable provides connectivity and power, but it would have been nice to see the cable use the same type of tangle-resistant braided sheathing used on the Roccat Savu. Instead, it uses regular plastic on the cable.
Low-friction PTFE feet on the bottom let the mouse glide smoothly on nearly any surface, while Roccat’s R2 Pro Optic sensor delivers up to 2,000 DPI tracking. A button just behind the scroll wheel lets you switch from one sensitivity setting to another, and the customization software will manage this further, letting you cycle between you most frequently used settings. The ratcheting scroll wheel is also good for scrolling through a list one item at a time, as when cycling between weapons in an FPS.
When tested in real gaming (some Portal and a few rounds of Team Fortress 2), the Roccat Lua was perfectly adequate, exactly what you expect with a fairly basic mouse. Cursor control was smooth and responsive, and even when scrolling through my arsenal or switching between high- and low sensitivity settings, it performed without a hiccup. In contrast the competing Razer Taipan had some misplaced buttons irritating the insides of my fingers. Some users may find the lower height to be less comfortable, but I had no problem with it.
While you can’t compare the Roccat Lua to a feature-laden gaming mouse, like our Editors’ Choice Gigabyte M8000Xtreme, the Lua is probably the best among its immediate peers, the simple budget gaming mouse. With none of the irritating side buttons of the Razer Taipan, and selling for less than the very similar SteelSeries Kinzu, the Roccat Lua is a solid mouse at a price that any gamer can afford. As a result, it’s our Editors’ Choice for budget gaming mice.
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Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc