Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Gaming Keyboard Review, Test, and Buying Guide
The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is a compact version of the Vulcan 120 unveiled in 2018. By skipping the numeric keypad, it adapts more easily to purely gaming-oriented use. This Pro version is also distinguished by the integration of new Roccat Titan Optical switches, even more, responsive and durable. During the review of Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Gaming Keybaord, we discover some visuals of the Vulcan TKL as well as its main characteristics.
Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Price and Availability
Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is offered at a manufacturer price of $140 US. A non “Pro” version is also available, it uses an identical design but incorporates traditional mechanical switches. Count $129 US.
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After a convincing Roccat Vulcan, the German manufacturer finally unveils a TKL version of its flagship keyboard. Two models are presented, with the Roccat Vulcan TKL on one side carrying mechanical switches at 129€ and on the other a Pro version at 159 €, opting for new optical switches.
Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Gaming Mouse Review
This switch to the TKL format mainly targets competitive players, those who do not necessarily need a numeric keypad when gaming but rather additional space to move their mice. For the rest, the design and general conception of this Vulcan TKL take again the basis of what we had already discovered with the original model. We, therefore, remain on a well-defined style, with low-profile chassis and switches giving pride of place to the backlighting.
Design & Ergonomics
As explained in the introduction, this new Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro broadly resumes the design of its big brother. The rather atypical style of the full version seems to have been a hit with gamers and this Ten Key Less version should probably catch the eye of many gamers.
Before going into a little more detail on the design of the keyboard itself, a point concerning its new dimensions. If the Vulcan was rather large on a desk, this move to TKL brings a much more compact format.
With a length of 36 cm and a width of 13.3 cm, the keyboard is much more discreet when placed on its desk. The borders around the keyboard are thinner and this TKL version does not include the wrist rest that came with the Vulcan 120.
The Vulcan TKL Pro saves space
Thanks to this reduced format, you gain space for moving your mouse and this is particularly interesting if you are used to playing with low sensitivity. The Vulcan TKL Pro is also much easier to transport, especially since it now has a removable USB-C cable.
On the finish side, the keyboard frame is made of plastic but the upper part is accompanied by an aluminum plate reinforcing its structure. The set withstands our various tortures well and does not bend under pressure. No complaints.
On the rear part, there are two retractable feet to manage the inclination of the keyboard. Unlike some competitors, including the Logitech G915 TKL, only one height is available. Several rubber inserts make it possible to stabilize the whole once placed on its desk or an XXL mouse pad.
Two feet allow you to manage the inclination of the gaming keyboard
As for the keys, there are no differences compared to the Vulcan 120. There are transparent switches that perfectly highlight the different RGB lighting effects. The keycaps cover only the top of the switches and have a slightly curved shape that is supposed to better fit the fingertips.
The RGB lighting of the keyboard stands out!
Note that these are ABS keycaps and not PBT. A bit of a shame not to benefit from a better finish on this Pro version compared to the classic TKL. In use, however, this format requires a little adaptation time and during the first uses it is sometimes a little more difficult to actually slide your fingers from one key to another. You get used to it fairly quickly.
Zoom on the keycaps of the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro
On the right of the keyboard, there is a wheel to manage the sound volume as well as an additional button to mute the sound. Other additional commands are available as shortcuts with the Fn button.
In particular, you can manage your music using the F9 to F12 keys or adjust the effects and lighting intensity using the directional arrows. By combining Fn + Del, it is possible to lock Fn mode to have direct access to these shortcuts. You can also replace the Windows key with the Fn key or activate Game Mode directly from the keyboard.
Roccat Swarm software
Like most of the brand’s peripherals, the Vulcan TKL Pro is compatible with Roccat Swarm software. You can create up to 5 configuration profiles and load them automatically according to your games or applications.
The first tab “General characteristics” allows you to manage the delay and speed of key repetitions or to obtain audio feedback on each keystroke. Nothing very interesting here unless you want to hear a laser noise with each activation …
The “Key Assignment” tab can be used to modify the mapping of each of the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro keys. You can create your own macros or select actions proposed by Roccat. It is also possible to assign a secondary action via EasyShift mode [+]. This second mapping is accessible via the Caps Lock key when Game Mode is activated.
Several RGB lighting modes are available
Finally, the last tab “Key lighting” allows you to adjust the various RGB effects of the keyboard. Here we find the usual options of the brand and in particular the AIMO lighting that can be synchronized with other Roccat peripherals. For the rest, it is a little less complete than what Razer or Roccat offers for example.
Performance and Optical Switches
Now it’s time for the performance of this Vulcan TKL Pro and its new Roccat Titan optical switches. Unlike conventional switches, activation is carried out here when the switch passes through a light beam and no longer by mechanical contact.
A design that is found on more and more keyboards, including the Huntsman range on the side of Razer or on the recent Corsair K100 RGB. In practice, this eliminates the rebound delay after each activation but also improves the durability of the switches. For its Titan, Roccat announces up to 100 million pressure.
Gaming keyboard with optical switch
Currently, Titan Optical is only offered in a linear version. They have a total stroke of 2.8 mm, for activation at 1.4 mm. The activation force is not specified by Roccat, but according to our research, it would be 45 g.
In use, the keystrokes benefit from a particularly pleasant activation. The optical switches are very “fluid” and the keyboard does as well during daily tasks as in gaming. It is responsive and precise and each key benefits from a very correct stabilization. A good job from Roccat.
Regarding the noise of these linear optical switches, you can find a demonstration in our presentation video. The activation itself is not particularly loud, but the keyboard frame can tend to resonate with the keys, especially when the keyboard is tilted slightly on its feet.
By taking the basics of the Vulcan 120, this review of the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Gaming mouse should once again convince many players. Its atypical but successful design allows it to stand out from the competition and its new optical switches respond perfectly to the slightest strike. Its compact size is better suited to purely gaming use, with much smaller dimensions than the original version.
Now there is the question of price because, at nearly € 159, this Pro model is clearly not cheap. The classic TKL version is for its part offered at a price of 129 € and seems to us to display a better quality/price ratio for the majority of users.