The brand new addition to the Vulcan line, the Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional, doesn’t precisely go full compact, just like the host of mini gaming keyboards which have lately hit the streets. This one simply sacrifices the numeric keypad, solely chopping a couple of inches off its authentic’s type issue in order that it matches small setups higher, with out utterly abandoning the required bits like arrow keys.
This technique isn’t precisely new. Gaming keyboards just like the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition and Corsair K63 Wireless have completed it years prior. Nevertheless, Roccat provides its personal spin to the Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional, giving it the floating keys design that’s an absolute stunner and people Titan optical switches which can be only a pleasure to make use of.
With a compact type issue, a beautiful design, and intensely satisfying tactile suggestions, the Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional already has so much to supply. However does it carry out adequate for the value?
At $159 (£149, AU$239), it isn’t precisely essentially the most reasonably priced gaming keyboard of the lot. Although that value can be on par with a few of the best gaming keyboards proper now, full-size and in any other case. It’s solely about $50/£40/AU$60 pricier than the Corsair K63 Wi-fi and $30/£20/AU$20 greater than the Razer Huntsman Event Version, and about simply barely cheaper than the full-sized gaming keyboards which have made it on the checklist.
The Roccat Vulkan TKL’s efficiency, design, and options ought to justify that value to critical players prepared to speculate cash on gear. On the identical time, it’ll flip off others.
For these people, there are extra reasonably priced choices, together with the Roccat Vulcan TKL, the mechanical model of the Professional that prices rather less at $129/£119/AU$209. It boasts principally the identical design and options, solely it has mechanical switches as an alternative of optical – with a deeper actuation of 1.8mm (versus the optical’s 1.4mm). If we’re being sincere, nevertheless, it doesn’t really feel any higher or worse in relation to efficiency – or at the very least not sufficient that most individuals will discover.
The one obvious variations are the suggestions and the noise stage. Whereas each are comfy and wonderful to kind on, the Professional has a bit extra resistance and feels bouncier – not an excessive amount of that it impacts your general typing expertise, however sufficient to be noticeable. It’s additionally so much quieter. Each of those could possibly be good or unhealthy, relying in your private choice.
We admire the Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional’s quiet operation, and it additionally provides it a classier sort-of really feel over the Vulcan TKL. Although we now have to say that its general design just about has that coated all by itself. There’s no arguing that that is among the many most interesting and elegant-looking gaming keyboards we’ve ever examined.
These easy and skinny floating keys actually permit the keyboard’s customizable RGB lighting to take middle stage in order that it actually lights up even within the daytime. People who really feel like that brushed gunmetal end has been overused may really feel in a different way after they see it on the Vulcan TKL Professional, as Roccat has completed such a fabulous job. The dimensions of the keyboard helps as nicely. At 13.3 x 36.0 x 3.4 cm, it helps make your setup look cleaner and extra minimal.
Regardless of its dimension, there’s additionally numerous heft right here. Roccat says that it’s bolstered by a layer of aircraft-grade aluminum to make it stronger and extra sturdy. Including to the are the optical switches themselves, that are sometimes longer-lasting than mechanical switches.
Roccat’s Titan optical switches are rated at 100 million keystrokes. That signifies that should you’re averaging at 8,000 keystrokes per hour and in your laptop for 8 hours a day, this keyboard in principle ought to final you somewhat over 4 years – however that’s once you’re doing a complete lot of gaming and typing.
Design extras embrace a media management part within the high proper nook of the keyboard. There’s not a lot right here – solely a dial and a button that controls the amount and set it to mute respectively. Nevertheless, they’re loads helpful as having fast entry to quantity like that makes issues handy.
Being a compact gaming keyboard, the Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional comes with a number of shortcuts. You’ll end up utilizing that FN button so much, for higher or worse, whether or not it’s for media controls, toggling settings, or adjusting RGB lighting. Some players may discover this a bit disruptive, but it surely does permit the Vulcan TKL Professional to nonetheless have full-sized keyboard capabilities. And it’s one thing that you just’ll get used to very quickly, particularly should you do numerous remapping and program numerous macros for gaming.
Talking of which, you are able to do so on this keyboard through the Roccat Swarm software program. It’s a decently in depth one, touting three tabs that group customizations to Common Options (for the keyboard’s basic settings), Key Task (for remapping and macros), and Key Illumination (for RGB lighting).
On it, there’s so much you are able to do to actually personalize the keyboard and make it your individual, from setting keypress sound suggestions to per-key and pre-set zone RGB lighting customizations. Although these aren’t as concerned because the Key Task part the place you’ll be able to set remaps and program macros to your coronary heart’s content material – or at the very least a complete bunch of macros to fill 5 onboard profiles. In the event you’re feeling somewhat lazy, you may also postpone creating macros to a later time, and use Roccat’s catalog of 27 pre-set recreation macros.
The Swarm shouldn’t be essentially the most in depth customization software program on the market, however there’s undoubtedly so much you are able to do right here to maximise the Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional. Our solely criticism is that it’s a little finicky. We have now discovered ourselves needing to make use of the Get better Software because it refused to save lots of any of the macros we set onto the keyboard at one level.
The Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional’s efficiency is impeccable. It’s straightforward for brand new customers to mistake that feeling of additional resistance as an indication that these keys require more durable and deeper urgent. However, with a 1.4mm actuation, there’s definitely no want for such finger exercises. The keyboard is responsive and speedy sufficient to register any mild intentional presses.
For a gaming keyboard this expensive, some may anticipate a bit extra than simply the usual 1,000Hz polling charge. In spite of everything, there are some compact keyboards on the market with increased polling charges – particularly, Corsair’s K65 RGB Mini, which delivers a speedier 4,000Hz. Nevertheless, most players gained’t discover a distinction in efficiency.
Testing the Roccat Vulkan TKL on video games like Sayonara Wild Hearts and Rocket League the place you’re anticipated to react rapidly and precisely, it has confirmed itself a dream to make use of. Players with mild fingers will admire the truth that they don’t need to press all the way in which down for the keys to register.
Come to consider it, all players will. It reduces the drive your fingers have to exert, minimizing fatigue, and it helps be certain that each secret is registered in essentially the most intense moments. Button mashers needn’t fear both, because it’s additionally constructed to final.
The Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional’s efficiency is superbly constant as nicely. Regardless of whether or not we’re enjoying one thing extra laidback like Firewatch or one thing extra intense like Doom: Everlasting and Cyberpunk 2077, response instances are quick and correct with no missed presses or evident latency.
And, whereas it is a gaming keyboard, typing up paperwork and emails on it’s also an awesome expertise, due to that additional little bit of bounce and quiet operation.
Purchase it if…
You need one of the best
Among the many top-notch gaming keyboards on the market, compact or in any other case, the Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional is without doubt one of the finest. It’s simply as spectacular as its full-sized model, besides in a cute little package deal.
You need one thing compact, however not too compact
There are compact keyboards on the market and there are COMPACT keyboards. The Roccat Vulcan straddles that line between a full-sized keyboard and the super-compact, providing you one of the best of each worlds and never a lot of the worst.
You like the texture of optical switches
Bouncier, sooner, and extra sturdy, optical switches have earned their place among the many greats. And, they’re superbly utilized on this gaming keyboard, which performs and feels simply as nice because it appears.
Don’t purchase it if…
You’re in search of one thing extra reasonably priced
At $159 (£149, AU$239), it’s not a price ticket that most individuals can admire (or afford). The Roccat Vulcan TKL Professional could also be among the best, but it surely’s additionally not the one one. Belief us; there are extra reasonably priced choices on the market which can be simply as succesful.
You like the clicky really feel of mechanical keyboards
If the press and clacking of mechanical keyboards is one thing you can not commerce, you won’t like this optical model. Strive its mechanical model, the Roccat Vulcan TKL, as an alternative. It’s a tad cheaper too.
You want the numeric keypad
The concept right here to supply a most minimalist setup or slot in small setups. Nevertheless, if it’s crucial that you’ve got a numeric keypad at your disposal, this won’t be very best. Its full-sized model, the Roccat Vulcan Professional, may be a greater match – though it’s a little pricier.