ROCCAT’s designers have definitely gone to city on their newest keyboard providing; the uncovered switches, low-profile keycaps, brushed aluminum backplate and, on the Vulcan 120 AIMO that I’ve been testing for the previous few weeks, we get per-key RGB lighting that basically brings out the great thing about ROCCAT’s AIMO system. All that mixes to supply a keyboard that at the beginning look has introduced forth many compliments from actually each customer that has seen it in motion. However a gaming keyboard needs to be a lot extra than simply seems to be alone and to provide their clients an edge ROCCAT have engineered their very own TITAN mechanical switches that they are saying reply 20% quicker than the competitors because of their debouncing mechanics mixed with targeted consideration to the keyboard’s firmware.
Let’s have a look into why this keyboard invokes such a constructive response at first look, however first, the specs as seen on the Vulcan homepage…
ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO Specs & Options
Common Specs (shared with all Vulcan Keyboards)
|actuation level (tactile, silent)||1.8mm|
|change journey distance||three.6mm|
|built-in macro & settings reminiscence||512kb|
|All keys remappable|
|ROCCAT® Straightforward-Shift[+]™ know-how|
|32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 based mostly processor|
|ROCCAT® Swarm software program suite|
Additional Specs (particular to the Vulcan 120 AIMO)
|RGB per-key illumination with 16.8m colours|
|Detachable ergonomic palm relaxation|
|462mm x 235mm x 32mm dimensions|
ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO Nearer Look
The field design is fairly constant throughout ROCCAT’s vary of peripherals. The entrance contains a outstanding photograph of the keyboard on a black background however apart from the branding and product identify, there’s not so much else.
Across the again of the field, we get a few totally different photographs of the Vulcan 120, in addition to an exploded picture of the brand new ROCCAT Titan mechanical change. There’s additionally lots to learn albeit repeated in a number of languages so lower than at first look. The field itself is fitted with cardboard safety moderately than plastic or foam.
With the contents laid out, we will see that there’s not all that a lot when it comes to bonus loot. ROCCAT have included some stickers as standard and the suitable paperwork although. With our first take a look at the Vulcan 120 keyboard, we will see that it comes with a wrist relaxation which attaches by means of a magnetic strip.
The Vulcan 120 is the full-sized, full-featured model of this new vary and with it plugged in we will see that there’s a considerable quantity of sunshine bleeding by way of the switches, even underneath the studio lights. Not everybody goes to understand this nevertheless it actually does exhibit the AIMO clever lighting.
The backplate of the Vulcan 120 is uncovered, brushed aluminum and the Titan switches are hooked up on prime somewhat than the standard technique of burying them under it. A part of the rationale for the quantity of sunshine bleed is the best way the switches have been put in, nevertheless right here we will see these light-weight, low profile keycaps which additionally do nothing to defend your eyes from extra mild.
The again of the keyboard is fairly sparse relating to options. The braided cable is firmly hooked up quite than being replaceable and there’s no cable routing or USB passthrough. What we do get although is a gigantic quantity of rubber padding on each the keyboard and the wrist relaxation to make sure that neither goes to slide and slide throughout frantic gameplay.
With the ft prolonged we will see that there are additionally pretty lengthy rubber pads added right here as properly to provide as a lot stability as attainable.
Alongside Perform row we additionally get issues like profile choice, media, and multimedia keys. The FX key permits you to tune the keyboard’s lighting along side the quantity dial should you select to not use AIMO. No less than that’s what’s purported to occur, however each time I examined this function it might shortly crash ROCCAT’s Swarm software program, so, for now, I might persist with simply utilizing the software program itself to fine-tune your lighting or simply depart it on AIMO.
One thing new to ROCCAT’s keyboard lineup is the introduction of their Straightforward-Shift[+] know-how that was beforehand discovered on their mice. Straightforward-Shift[+] replaces the performance of the Caps Lock key when the Vulcan 120 is about to Recreation Mode and lets you add much more macros, shortcuts and remapping to the 20 keys between 1-5-B-Z. Consider it as you’d the CTRL key when utilizing copy and paste in Phrase and also you’ll get the thought. This additional performance is on prime of the power to remap and set macros and shortcuts to virtually each key to make use of in Recreation Mode (with regular performance retained in regular use), altering the keyboard from 104 keys to someplace within the area of 220 with out the keyboard growing in measurement.
Looking on the seen elements of the change and the keycaps we will see that they function the identical Cherry-compatible connector which could recommend that the keycaps might be swapped out. Sadly, that isn’t the case right here, you need to use the keycaps themselves on a unique keyboard, however commonplace measurement alternative caps gained’t match on the Vulcan vary. Virtually all the bigger keys function stabilizer struts, the one exceptions are Tab and Caps Lock And the distinction between these with and people with out could be very noticeable if you sort.
The ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO Software program
The software program that ROCCAT provide for establishing and tweaking the options of the Vulcan 120 is ROCCAT Swarm which I’ve written about quite a few occasions in previous critiques because the similar software program is used throughout ROCCATs peripherals. With the Vulcan 120 added to the PC it was shortly detected by Swarm and after a brief replace, it was prepared to make use of.
The very first thing I did was take a look at what built-in lighting profiles have been out there and examine the customizability. As you may anticipate with per-key lighting, there’s lots you are able to do whether or not it’s tweaking the prevailing profiles or creating your personal lighting from scratch. The one factor you can’t tweak in any respect is AIMO, and though I’m an enormous fan of this know-how I might nonetheless like to have the ability to dim the lighting within the night, particularly contemplating simply how a lot bleed there’s on the Vulcan. Perhaps that is one thing that can be added sooner or later…
Shifting backward we’ve the Key Task tab which is the place you possibly can assign totally different performance or remapping inside the Recreation Mode setting and in addition for the 20 Straightforward-Shift[+] keys. Remapping is so simple as choosing which key you want to activate instead of the usual one, and macros and shortcuts can both be written your self within the Macro Supervisor or chosen from any of the 45 preset information for video games such because the Battlefield collection, World of Tanks / Warplanes / Warcraft, Skyrim, SW: TOR and lots of others.
Final on this temporary software program tour is the Basic Options tab which admittedly is fairly skinny when it comes to options. That is the place you possibly can modify the repeat fee of keys, activate audio for each keypress (useful when you’ve got noise-canceling headphones however nonetheless need to warmth a ‘click on’). You’ll additionally have the ability to reset the keyboard again to its unique settings on this tab.
The ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO Evaluation: The Verdict
Utilizing the Vulcan 120 for the previous few weeks have definitely been fascinating. The low-profile design is perhaps acquainted to a few of you, however with full-sized switches positioned on prime of the backplate it’s extra the phantasm of being low profile with the keys being at roughly the traditional peak for a mechanical keyboard. That stated, the wrist relaxation definitely is low-profile and in consequence, I discovered that it brought about me to have to boost my arms rather more than I used to be used to, which shortly brought on fatigue in my wrists. It took greater than a few weeks to get used to the brand new typing posture to the purpose that lengthy gaming or typing periods not made my wrists ache.
The brand new Titan switches which ROCCAT developed to make use of on this keyboard are superb for workplace use although they’re designed for gaming. Structurally there’s a slight wobble however not more than many different boards I’ve used and I used to be happy to see the steadiness of bigger keys because of using additional struts. I’m not a touch-typist or aggressive gamer and so I didn’t discover the velocity advantages that ROCCAT declare goes hand in hand with these new switches; that stated, they’re noticeably much less punishing, particularly in case you are typing an essay (or evaluate) or gaming for a few hours. Whether or not that’s due to the lighter keycaps or the switches themselves I can’t say, however it might make sense for it to be a mixture of things. I did discover that getting used to the keyboard when it comes to accuracy additionally took a few weeks and I frequently obtained double-strikes, most noticeably when urgent the Area Bar. This was in all probability due to the totally different posture since they went away in time.
It’s in gaming that the Vulcan 120 actually comes alive. Utilizing the Recreation Mode I used to be capable of flip off particular person keys that I are likely to press by chance when gaming and the added bonus of Straightforward-Shift meant that instructions in MMOs that are usually unfold throughout the entire keyboard have been simply in attain of my left-hand which means I might activate them quicker and nonetheless hold my proper hand on the mouse to regulate motion, concentrating on and the digital camera. I’ve used Straightforward-Shift on the Kone AIMO mouse however as a result of the Straightforward-Shift is pressed by your thumb you can’t set off the opposite 2 aspect buttons as a combo. There’s no such drawback on the Vulcan although because the furthest you could unfold your fingers is between the Caps Lock key and B.
Ever since I first noticed ROCCAT’s AIMO system I’ve been anticipating the discharge of a suitable keyboard with per-key lighting. It was certainly one of my essential complaints concerning the Horde keyboard with its lamentable 12-zones, and the Khan headset with four LED sections however just one lighting zone. I used to be not dissatisfied with the Vulcan 120 on this respect, and being a fan of RGB I’m actually not postpone by the quantity of floodlighting that’s concerned with this keyboard. I nonetheless assume that there’s room for enchancment, and permitting brightness management moderately than an all or nothing strategy can be one other essential step ahead, particularly for many who are maybe not such followers of RGB goodness however nonetheless need to expertise the great thing about AIMO.
Lastly a word on the packaging… With increasingly concentrate on the issues of microplastic, it’s good to see that some corporations are utilizing efficient, biodegradable options, though it ought to be famous that ROCCAT has by no means used a lot plastic of their keyboard packaging. There’s nonetheless extra that could possibly be accomplished, comparable to utilizing a paper sleeve to carry the paperwork and forgoing the plastic bag that shields the keyboard from that single spec of mud which may seem earlier than it makes its means into the field. All in all, I’d give this a four/5 for eco-friendliness.
- Beautiful design and an abundance of high quality RGB-ness
- Snug typing expertise after you get used to the low wrist relaxation
- Very helpful gaming options
- Some customers might be sad with the quantity of light-bleed
- Low-profile wrist relaxation might show to be uncomfortable firstly
Priced at round £140 within the UK ($200 on Newegg) the ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO just isn’t what you can name low cost, however contemplating the gaming options which might be on supply, the standard of the brand new Titan switches and the general aesthetic, it’s not an excessive amount of to pay. In case you are on a price range and need a dependable mechanical keyboard it can save you a whole lot of money with different keyboards, however if you need the advantages of Recreation Mode, Straightforward-Change and an abundance of RGB wrapped up in a really trendy product then run to the closest net browser shouting ‘Shut Up and Take My Cash!’.
The Vulcan 120 will get our Design Award not just for its general attractiveness but in addition for the very snug Titan switches engineered in-house. I’ve struggled to seek out something that’s not proper with this keyboard; it’s a recreation changer in gaming in comparison with any variety of keyboards that merely depend on profiles or macro keys, it seems to be superb, it’s snug to make use of (after a burn-in interval), the construct high quality is nice and the asking worth isn’t too excessive. And so, this providing from ROCCAT additionally will get our coveted Platinum Award.
Because of ROCCAT for sending a pattern of the Vulcan 120 in for evaluate.