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The Roccat Vulcan II is the successor to Roccat’s highly praised Vulcan 120 series, which was launched in 2018. As far as specs go, this latest model is impressive.
It’s a full-size keyboard with a USB-A connection and a permanently attached 1.8m braided USB 2.0 cable. It operates with a 32-bit “ARM Cortex M0” processor and a polling rate of standard 1,000 hertz. Four profiles can be stored in the 4Mb onboard memory.
The keyboard is available in black or white and weighs 949g without the removable wrist rest and 1.14g with it. Its dimensions are 46.3 x 15.2 x 3.3 cm without and 46.3 x 23.6 x 3.3 cm with.
But can the gaming keyboard also convince in everyday use? Here’s our full review.
The Roccat Vulcan II boasts an impressive design. Its flat keycaps, screwless aluminium top plate and the diamond-milled edges look great.
But none of these things are new, and aside from a few small details, there are hardly any differences compared to its predecessors. We would have preferred Roccat to be a little more daring here – instead, it relies on the tried and tested.
As a result, there are still areas for improvement. Though the flat keycaps show off the RGB lighting to its best advantage, they are only made of conventional ABS plastic. This makes them feel a bit dull and uninspiring.
We would have preferred richer acoustics and tactile feel, as you’ll find on some competitors in the form of insulated keyboard housings and PBT keycaps.
The wrist rest isn’t great, either. Although completely removable, it’s only made of a simple piece of plastic and has no padding. Other manufacturers in this price range tend to do better.
As with its predecessors, the Vulcan II also offers a dedicated media control in the upper right corner to conveniently trigger basic multimedia functions. Volume control is via a rotary knob, which we always find particularly intuitive.
The RGB lighting on the keyboard, using Roccat’s ‘AIMO’ technology, is a nice feature and can look very attractive. But let’s face it, it’s more of a gimmick than of any real value.
AIMO offers individual illumination for each key with a claimed 16.8 million colours. It can be synchronised with other AIMO-compatible peripherals. You can’t do without RGB these days!
The Roccat Vulcan II is equipped with Roccat’s Easy-Shift technology, which unlocks a second function for most keys – provided you keep the (freely assignable) Easy-Shift button pressed. That sounds exciting, but is it really useful?
While it can be rather confusing for PC gamers who already have to master a multitude of key combinations, Easy-Shift can be great for everyday productivity. For example, making editing videos even quicker.
Additionally, the Vulcan II offers N-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting. Both are plus points for PC gamers who rely on fast and precise inputs. In our opinion, these are necessary features for gaming keyboards.
Elsewhere, the Vulcan II is the Roccat’s first keyboard to be equipped with the newly designed Titan II mechanical switches.
These come pre-lubricated from the factory and offer a smooth typing feel and an above-average service life of 80 million presses. But manufacturers such as Gateron and Cherry are already further ahead here, promising 100 million keystrokes.
The Titan II is available in two colour options – we’ve tested the one with Red switches. Here, each key has a linear switching travel with an actuation point at 1.4mm and total travel of 3.6mm. This makes it great for fast, repeated keypresses.
Additionally, the Titan II has a generic cross mount within the plunger, meaning it’s compatible with a variety of custom keycaps.
There’s also a brown version of the Titan II available, which triggers tactilely (i.e. with noticeable resistance) and only offers 1.8mm of key travel.
The Vulcan II shows its strengths in gaming. The Titan II Red switches react quickly and precisely, which can sometimes make the decisive difference in heated battles. The linear switching characteristic and the actuation point of only 1.4mm ensure a pleasant and responsive typing feel.
The second function level thanks to Easy-Shift can be particularly useful when you have to perform many different actions quickly in a game.
A small disadvantage: you need some space on your desk to set up the keyboard. You’ll need to still have enough room for a mouse, too.
The Roccat Vulcan II is a consistently solid gaming keyboard.
Its strengths lie in the responsive Titan II switches and multiple functions for each key, features which represent real advantages for serious gamers. Despite the familiar design, it also still looks very classy.
But we were hoping for some real innovation on a premium gaming keyboard in 2023. Many other manufacturers offer the likes of integrated noise insulation, hot-swap switches, higher polling rates and sometimes even extra macro keys.
In terms of haptics, the keys are also disappointing: although they trigger reliably and quickly, they feel (and sound) cheap overall.
So, if you can do without the striking design, you can find cheaper alternatives with a similar range of features. With a launch price of $149.99/£149.99, the Vulcan II certainly a premium product.
This article has been translated from an original posted on PC-Welt.