Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO review: To boldly throw
The Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO is a great keyboard for gaming and everyday use, albeit one that comes at a premium price. If you’re after something that’s responsive, accurate, and quiet, the Vulcan 120 is worth considering. At just under $300, though, it would’ve been great for a more fully-featured option to compete with better high-tier gaming keyboards.
Mechanical gaming keyboards are ubiquitous these days. Given the increasing average speed of Australian internet, it makes sense that those seeking a competitive edge online want to arm themselves with the best gaming keyboard.
But at just shy of $300RRP, many will understandably pause before splurging on a Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO. As it turns out, despite it legitimately being a quality gaming ’board, the Vulcan 120 has problems that justify the purchasing hesitation.
Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO Specs
|Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO||Specs|
|Switch type||Titan Switches|
|Switch performance||Tactile, silent|
|Key travel distance||3.6mm|
|Keystroke durability||50 million|
|RGB||16.8 million per-key illumination|
|Connectivity||1.8m USB 2.0 cable|
|Ergonomics||Removable palm rest|
|Internal memory||512kb integrated|
|Compatibility||Windows 7, 8, 10|
What’s in the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO box?
Unbox the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO to find a low-profile mechanical keyboard with a fixed 1.8-metre USB 2.0 cable and a detachable magnetic wrist rest. There are also included stickers and a manual. Installation is as simple as connecting it to an internet-connected PC, but you can (and should) download the Roccat Swarm software to tweak this highly configurable gaming keyboard.
What are the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO’s main selling points?
Titan Switches are quiet and responsive.
The big positive bullet point for the Vulcan 120 is its Roccat-developed Titan Switches: the first of its kind. These switches feel great for everyday use and intensive gaming session, mixing accuracy and responsiveness with quiet keystrokes.
Outside of the switches, the ‘AIMO’ part of the title refers to an epic level of lighting configuration, which starts with a range of 16.8 million colours and extends to individual personalisation. There’s a subtle ripple effect for every keystroke that’s easier to appreciate if you don’t know how to touch-type.
Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO size and feel
Low-profile with a solid build.
The Vulcan 120 is a full-sized keyboard with a smidge of an identity crisis. In terms of depth, it’s clearly meant for fans of low-profile keyboards. Roccat has kept the frame slim around the keys, but that size blows out with the detachable hard-plastic wrist rest, which is functional if not comfortable (especially during extended use). The raised dust-resistant switches are a nice touch, but it’s easy to snag headset cables on them.
Meanwhile, the aluminium plate adds a solid feel and the right amount of weight to keep it still during use. Still, the quality feel of that aluminium plate is at ends with the plastic wrist rest. Additionally, while the Vulcan 120 has partial media controls – mute and a volume dial – it doesn’t have dedicated play or skip buttons, even though there’s space for them.
Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO sound
Tactile and silent.
The sound that switches make during keystrokes is an important consideration when it comes to mechanical keyboards. For a breakdown, check out our gaming keyboard buying guide. The Titan Switches are both tactile and silent, which means you’ll feel a slight bump before a keystroke registers, albeit minus the louder sound that tactile switches tend to have. This makes the Vulcan 120 an office-friendly keyboard as much as a low-noise gaming companion.
Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO software
Multiple profiles and intuitive UI.
Roccat Swarm is the companion software for the Vulcan 120. It automatically stays up to date and has support for multiple profiles, as well as easy access to at-a-glance tweaks that are separated into meaningful categories so you can find what you need fast.
By default, the control knob in the top right of the Vulcan 120 is used to control either volume (up and down) or illumination (brighter or darker). This functionality can be tweaked in the Roccat Swarm software, plus every key can be remapped. It’s also where you can fully reprogram keys, add macros, or stop Game Mode – a handy function for eliminating accidental presses of the Windows key – from rendering the within-reach and incredibly handy caps lock as unusable.
Is the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO worth the price?
Great low-profile choice that doesn’t top the Razer Huntsman Elite.
If you’re after a low-profile full-sized mechanical keyboard with versatile switches, the Vulcan 120 is a great choice.
That said, there’s no USB or audio pass-through and no dedicated macro keys.
While those features are also absent from the similarly priced Razer Huntsman Elite, the top-tier Razer keyboard is still my pick of a better purchase at this price point because it has dedicated media controls, a shorter actuation distance, and an infinitely more comfortable padded wrist rest.