The Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO is one of the top competing premium gaming keyboards. Roccat managed to beautifully combine aesthetics and functionality in one product.
The keyboard goes for about $ 150.00 and justifies that price with striking features. It has a modern, slim design with elevated keys and top-notch build quality. Their Titan mechanical switches are great and deliver a decent performance.
Unfortunately, there are some minor setbacks, like the software and some design flaws that keep the keyboard from being at its best.
Upon first inspection the Vulcan 120 AIMO looks quite impressive. The brushed aluminum chassis is a very nice opposition to all the matte blacks we’re used to in gaming gear. Combined with the elevated keycaps hovering above the anodized aluminum body the keyboard definitely is definitely nothing to look by. The aluminum isn’t only looking really good, it’s also sturdy as hell. Even if you try to flex the massive build, there is no warping or bending whatsoever. Concerning the build, the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO is assembled with very high-quality materials exclusively. This keyboard will definitely last you for an incredibly long time, given you don’t rage-smash your buttons too much.
The switches themselves are only covered by very tiny keycaps. This makes the switches visible at all times and is a very nice aesthetic feature. Important to note here is that the open design doesn’t impair how robust the switches are.
All of the keys use individually configurable LEDs which can be assigned to display one of 16.8 million colors. Additionally, you can choose to light them up altogether or in various patterns. The keycaps being elevated and the Titan switches being transparent bring the lightning experience of the keyboard to the next level. The open design of the keys allows for a bold underglow shine below and around every key. Overall the RGB lighting is very solid and one of the strengths of the Vulcan 120 Aimo.
With a size of 18 x 6 inches (46cm x 15cm) without the wrist rest the Vulcan 120 AIMO is a big boy. Even though the keyboard only has 3 feature buttons and a small knob, the space isn’t used efficiently and there’s unused space on every side of it.
The media buttons are located on the top right and the indicator lights are moved down below the numpad. The added functionality of the feature buttons offer a mute button, a play/pause button and a fast forward/rewind button. The dial can be used to change the illumination settings, but this function is kinda clunky to use. Sadly enough the volume wheel doesn’t feature any sort of lightning whatsoever. The media buttons are made of white rubber, which is an odd choice and kinda breaks the else very modern design. To be honest, the whole media control panel is rather poorly designed and leaves a lot of space for improvement.
On the backside of the keyboard, you can find the braided power cord. However, the reason for the simplicity of the braided cable is the absence of any ports, meaning you don’t get a USB or audio passthrough directly on the keyboard.
The gaming keyboard comes with a magnetic wrist rest that flows together seamlessly with the rest of the keyboard. Unlike the aluminum chassis of the keyboard, the wrist rest is made out of hard plastic. The rest is absolutely easy to attach, but sadly enough doesn’t offer much comfort. You have to be one of a certain kind to find resting your arms on hard plastic an enjoyable thing. The wrist rest is also unpleasantly low which doesn’t really add to the fun of using it.
Roccat uses their very own ‘Titan Switch Tactile’ key switches. The switches have an actuation point of 1.8mm and a travel distance of 3.6mm. According to Roccat the firmware of the Titan switches allow them to be up to 20% faster than their competition’s. The switches mimic to be a mix of the Cherry MX Reds and the Cherry MX Browns. This means the switches are designed to be fast and tactile at the same time. At the end of the day, the switches aren’t really delivering that feeling though. They aren’t fast or silent enough for hardcore button smashers and they’re neither tactile nor clicky enough to please furious typers. You get to step your foot in both worlds but that’s about it.
Overall the switches always remained responsive and precise. Combined with the strong and stable build, the keyboard manages to still deliver a solid gaming experience for the most part. The majority of the keys use concave caps which actually feel great to use. For some reason, the bottom row of keys is convex though, which feels quite odd when you press those. While this might be to easily identify function buttons like the windows-key while playing, using them actually feels rather slippy and impractical.
The Vulcan 120 AIMO also doesn’t have any dedicated macro buttons, but rather gives double functionality to other keys by using an Fn button in conjunction with them. Depending on the genre you’re playing this is a bit of a letdown as macros give you usually the most use when easily accessible.
Roccat’s Swarm software isn’t ultimately optimized for easy installation, as the software restarts itself, might not configure probably, or might have you go through the process multiple times. Once you’ve got everything up and running it is very simple to use though. As mentioned earlier, every single key can be customized individually and you can also set color profiles for different programs and games. The software lets you program macros pretty easily, but that already covers pretty much the whole software functionality.
With its unique and modern design, the Vulcan 120 AIMO is competing with other top keyboards in the market. The Titan switches work well and even when they have a light muddy feel to them the overall typing and gaming experience feels good.
Unfortunately, the wrist rest doesn’t really add much to the comfort and the media buttons are not intuitive and look a bit out of place. There are no dedicated macro buttons and at this price point, you’d kinda wish for at least some of the features just mentioned.
Ultimately the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO is a decent keyboard though and will be an eye-catcher on any desk.