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Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo review: A stylish performer

Christopher Minasians
19 Jun 2019
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
120
incl VAT

Low-profile keys and low-profile key switches are a sight to behold

Pros 
Low-profile keycaps
Sturdy build quality
Dedicated media keys
Cons 
Hard plastic wristrest
No dedicated macro keys
Lacks USB pass-through
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Roccat is a German-based peripheral manufacturer better known for its former participation in major eSports tournaments, namely the League of Legends European Championship. Unfortunately, Team Roccat disbanded in late 2018, leaving many questioning where the company would go next. The developments of its eSports didn't stop Roccat producing high-quality gaming peripherals, however, and its new flagship gaming keyboard, the Vulcan 120 Aimo, is a little bit special.

READ NEXT: Our favourite PC gaming keyboards you can buy in the UK

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo review: What you need to know

This is a gaming keyboard unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Roccat’s Titan mechanical switches protrude from a brushed-aluminium plate; a stark contrast from conventional keyboards with switches that sit inside the frame. Aside from making it look great, this also makes it a lot easier to clean, as crumbs aren’t lost in the keyboard’s nether regions. It’s extremely sturdy, too, and exhibits zero flex when you twist it.

That’s not the only thing that catches the eye, though. The keyboard’s low-profile keys also help it stand out from the competition. The keycaps have been specifically designed to complement the keyboard’s design; they’re effectively a third of the size of regular Cherry MX keycaps, giving the keyboard a sense of minimalism. Aesthetically, it’s the best-looking keyboard I’ve seen.

They’re practical, too, as they feature a Cherry MX stem. You can replace the low-profile keycaps with the widely available regular-sized keys at any point, as sourcing Roccat’s original keys or Cherry MX low-profile keycaps can be a tough ask. It goes without saying that Roccat’s Titan switch also has a large role to play – it provides far greater flexibility than Logitech’s Romer-G or SteelSeries' QX2 switch.

Roccat’s Titan switches are tactile and silent, and a 1.8mm actuation point and 3.6mm travel make them among the fastest mechanical switches available – Cherry MX stand at 2mm and 4mm, respectively. To draw a comparison, it’s a bit like the Cherry Brown MX switch. The combination of low-profile keycaps, responsive switches and a sturdy frame all make for an excellent typing and gaming keyboard.

Each switch also houses an RGB LED that can be customised to your liking via the Swarm software suite. The desktop interface isn’t as polished as some of its competitors, but it provides plenty of customisation options and macro-recording capabilities. Another function enabled through the software is Aimo synchronisation, so you can match your RGB LEDs across different Aimo-certified devices, from mice to headsets.

Elsewhere, the full-sized QWERTY keyboard has dedicated media controls and a detachable plastic wristrest. The latter isn’t overly practical, as it provides very little padding for your wrists. Instead, I’d advise buying the Vulcan 100 Aimo and adding your own wristrest separately. It’s exactly the same keyboard otherwise.

I’m also slightly disappointed not to see a removable cable or an extra USB socket on the keyboard for connecting USB thumbdrives or other peripherals. There are no dedicated macro keys either, although it is possible to assign macro functions to the six-key document navigation cluster just above the cursor keys.

READ NEXT: HyperX Alloy Elite review: The best gaming keyboard under £100

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo review: Price and competition

The Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo is on the pricier side at £120. The identical-but-for-a-wristrest 100 Aimo is £110. If you don’t mind missing out on RGB lighting and media keys, the 80 Aimo is a little cheaper at £100.

Its biggest adversary is the £160 Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile, which doesn’t look exactly the same but has slimmer keycaps than a normal gaming keyboard. Scrap the low-profile design and there’s the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 at £110, the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB for £114 and the Logitech G513 RGB at £110. The latter doesn’t have dedicated media keys and uses Logitech’s own Romer-G switches, but it’s a great keyboard nonetheless.

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo review: Verdict

All of which makes the Vulcan 120 Aimo pretty decent value. It’s only £6 more than the regular-size HyperX keyboard and £25 cheaper than its main rival from Corsair and, for that money, you’re getting a keyboard that both performs well and looks fantastic.

All round, then, it’s a superb keyboard. Traditionalists might scoff at the low-profile keys and unusual looks, but there’s no denying that this is one of the best keyboards money can buy.

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