LOS ANGELES – German peripheral manufacturer Roccat has made some good keyboards in the past few years, but their looks rarely matched their specs. Enter the Roccat Vulcan: a mechanical keyboard with a new type of key switch, but more importantly, a completely overhauled design. The slim, sleek Vulcan uses elevated keycaps and an aluminum chassis to look like something out of a sci-fi movie. But luckily, it’s more comfortable than it appears.
I got to try out the Vulcan for myself at E3 2018, but unfortunately, I was limited to standard typing tests; the device wasn’t hooked up to a gaming rig. Still, I didn’t need to venture in-game to feel that the keys were extremely comfortable, and sprang back up rapidly after I pressed them down. The design seems similar to a Cherry MX Brown: tactile and responsive, and relatively quiet. Because they keys are elevated by design, the small, square keycaps are extremely light and easy to remove, giving the Vulcan a pleasant, lightweight feel.
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The device will launch later this year, and come in three varieties: the Vulcan 120 AIMO ($160), which comes with a wrist rest; the Vulcan 100 AIMO ($150), which excludes the wrist rest; and the Vulcan 80 ($130), which has a bulker chassis and lacks RGB lighting.
Personally, based on what I’ve seen so far, the 100 and 120 appear to be worth the extra cost. The aluminum chassis is extremely thin, and the magnetic wrist rest is both comfortable and easy to transport. (My philosophy is also that if you’re going to spend $150 on a keyboard, you can probably afford to spend $160, but it depends on how much desk space you possess.)
The keyboards also run on the Roccat Swarm software, which will let players reprogram keys, set up lighting options and sync the Vulcan with other Roccat gear. Beyond that, it seems like a traditional Roccat mechanical keyboard: unpretentious, effective and a just a little on the expensive side.
Tom’s Guide will get a full review of the Vulcan soon. Until then, take a look at the pictures in this piece and gauge whether or not your gaming nook is ready for the future.