ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air 65% Gaming Keyboard Review

ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air 65% Gaming Keyboard Review

ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air 65% Gaming Keyboard: Get ready, keyboard enthusiasts! Roccat has unveiled another gem from their collection: the Vulcan II Mini Air. And no, this isn’t the Vulcan 2 Mini you remember from last year. This is a brand-new avatar, and I’ve spent a few days with it.

In 2022, Roccat introduced its first 65% gaming keyboard, a mini version of its popular Vulcan. This model impressed many, carrying the features of its bigger siblings while embracing a size that players increasingly love.

Now, Roccat has launched another big debut: the Roccat Vulcan II Mini Air. This new keyboard is a wireless take on their compact design. While the brand’s official price tag is $179.99.

Roccat aims to challenge competitors with this release, targeting rivals like, the Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed, and the ASUS ROG Falchion. These are three other compact, wireless keyboards that have been in the market for some time.

Pros and Cons

PROSCONS
65% effective gaming keyboardNo macOS software support
Wireless capability adds convenienceSlippery ABS keycaps
Dual wireless connectionNo wrist rest
Efficient optical switches
Incredible battery life
Vivid, bright RGB lighting

Specification

ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air
BrandROCCAT
Released‎June 20, 2023
Type65% layout
Dimensions325 x 124 x 33 mm
Weight576g (20.3 oz)
ConnectivityWireless 2.4GHz dongle, 3x Bluetooth 5.2
CableDetachable 1.8m braided USB-C to USB-A 2.0
SwitchesTitan II Optical linear / tactile
Switch LifecycleUpto 150 million
Polling Rate1000 Hz
On-board Memory4MB
Profiles on-board5
RGB LightingRGB per-key illumination + 29 smart keys
Keyboard RolloverFull Key (NKRO) with 100% Anti-Ghosting
Processor32-bit ARM Cortex M3
SoftwareROCCAT SWARM (Windows only)
Battery LifeUp to 240 hours with RGB off,
Up to 31 hours with RGB on
Charge Time6 hours
Wireless Range10 meters (30 feet)

Key Features

Customizable Key Functions

With compact keyboards, there’s often a trade-off in terms of key availability. Here, the function keys (F1 to F12) are integrated with the number keys. By simply pressing the ‘function’ button, you can switch between them. So, if you’re a programmer or just someone who often uses function keys, this keyboard has got your back!

Durability & Sound

This keyboard isn’t just about looks or size; it’s built to last. The Vulcan II Mini Air promises an impressive 150 million keystroke lifespan, surpassing many of its competitors. And while most mechanical keyboards can be rather noisy, this one is relatively quiet, ensuring you won’t be that annoying typer in a quiet room.

RELATED:  Corsair Gaming K65 RGB Mini vs Corsair K70 RGB TKL: Gaming Keyboard Comparision

Aesthetic & Feel

The Vulcan II Mini Air is visually appealing with its levitating keys, providing an almost ethereal typing experience. The LED lights underneath are vibrant and customizable, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. But the best part? Typing feels fantastic. Whether it’s the spacing or the switch mechanism, there’s a smooth flow that makes typing enjoyable.

Space Bar Stability

An often overlooked but critical component is the space bar. On the Vulcan II Mini Air, it’s stable, firm, and feels durable. No wobbles or uncertainties here.

Unboxing

The keyboard comes in a compact cardboard box that showcases its main features, details about its Titan II optical switches, and some pictures.

ROCCAT-Vulcan-II-Mini-Air-Box

Inside the box, you’ll find the Mini Air, a USB-C to USB-A cable for plugging in and charging, a USB-A dongle for 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity, and a user guide. However, they don’t include a USB-C to USB-A adapter to move the dongle nearer to the keyboard.

Design

The Wireless Wonder: The standout feature of the Vulcan II Mini Air is undoubtedly its wireless functionality. The keyboard sports a super-handy Wi-Fi dongle that snugly fits into a slot, ensuring you won’t lose it on your travels. With a simple on-off switch, it’s perfect for on-the-go usage.

The Wireless Wonder

And if you’re concerned about charging? Well, Roccat’s finally embraced USB-C over micro USB, a welcome upgrade. For those who don’t want to go wireless, you can plug it in and use it the old-fashioned way.

This keyboard stays compact with a 65% format, making it super discreet on a desk. Gamers will love this size because it gives more room to move the gaming mouse around.

This keyboard stays compact with a 65% format

If you’ve seen the Vulcan range before, this keyboard looks familiar. It keeps that signature airy look without borders around the keys. You can spot it’s a Roccat product right away. Those who love Roccat’s main models will feel right at home.

The keyboard has a thin plastic frame strengthened by an aluminum plate. Weighing in at 620 g, it’s pretty light but stands up to rough use. You can choose between black or white to match the rest of your gaming setup.

ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air Side switch

It also keeps the same keycaps from older Vulcan keyboards. These keycaps cover only the top part of the switches, making the RGB backlight shine through. But, these are ABS plastic keycaps, which means they might show fingerprints more and wear out a bit faster than PBT ones. Still, you can easily swap them out with other keycaps since the Roccat Titan II switches fit most market options.

RELATED:  Razer BlackWidow V4 Pro Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air 65% Gaming Keyboard RGB

Using the FN key, you can access missing actions and additional commands. You can change the volume, skip through music, check the keyboard’s battery, and even switch between 2.4 GHz or Bluetooth connections.

Looking at the back, you’ll notice a few changes from the wired version. They’ve moved the USB-C connector to the left side. And there’s enough space around it, so if you want to use a fancy custom cable, it’ll fit. Next to it, there’s a switch to turn the keyboard on or off.

Over on the right, there’s a handy slot to keep the USB-A dongle for the wireless connection. This is super useful, especially if you carry your keyboard around. You won’t lose the dongle!

Lastly, the bottom has two big rubber pads and adjustable feet to tilt the keyboard. But remember, unlike the bigger models, this mini version doesn’t come with a wrist rest.

Performance

The Vulcan II Mini Air has the same Titan II optical switches (TII Optical) that you can find on the wired version. You can choose between two types: linear (RED) or tactile (BROWN).

ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air 65 Gaming Keyboard Titan switch

Our keyboard uses the TII Optical RED switches. These have a full keypress length of 3.6 mm, they activate at 1.4 mm, and need a force of 45 g to press. When we tried the Vulcan II Mini, these switches felt very responsive and nice to use. The only thing to get used to is the unique shape of the keycaps.

ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air Switches

When gaming, the Vulcan II Mini Air works really well, and the wireless feature makes it even more comfortable. When using the 2.4 GHz connection, it performs just as well as the wired model.

But, even though this keyboard performs well, some other keyboards perform a bit better. For example, the Wooting 60HE and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini let you change how far you need to press the keys to activate them and how far they need to go back up. This can make movements in competitive FPS games feel smoother.

One cool thing about the keyboard is its “Hot-Swap” design. This means you can take out the switches to oil them or swap them out. But, Roccat doesn’t really talk about this feature, and they don’t seem to sell replacement switches. And remember, you can’t replace these optical switches with regular mechanical ones.

RELATED:  Keycap Profiles Comparison: SA vs DSA vs OEM vs Cherry vs XDA vs MDA

Versatility with Connectivity

Roccat is stepping up its game with wireless technology. They’re offering a 2.4 GHz connection using a USB dongle and a Bluetooth 5.2 connection. This means you can use it for both gaming and work. Plus, it easily connects to other devices like smartphones, tablets, and even TVs.

Versatility with Connectivity

Besides its Wi-Fi feature, the keyboard has 3 Bluetooth options. This flexibility lets you connect it to tablets, phones, and other Bluetooth devices. You can take it to a coffee shop, a friend’s place, or even on a trip abroad. And since it’s about 65% smaller than most keyboards, it’s the perfect travel companion that many might have been looking for.

Roccat Swarm Software

You can use the Roccat Swarm software with this keyboard. This software lets you set up different profiles and automatically switches between them based on the game or app you’re using.

But here’s a heads up: there seems to be a problem when you use the software with NZXT CAM. This issue might stop the Vulcan II Mini Air keyboard from updating. Roccat knows about this, so they might fix it with an update soon.

When you open the software, the first section labeled “General Features” has different options. You can see the battery life, check the strength of the wireless signal, and even change when the RGB lights and keyboard go to sleep.

Roccat Swarm Software

Next, in the “Key Assignment” section, you can change what each key does. The software gives you lots of choices, and you can even set up your own shortcuts. With the EasyShift[+] option, you can give keys a second job, which you can use with the FN key.

ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air Rog Software

Lastly, the “Key Illumination” section lets you play with the keyboard’s RGB lights. Roccat gives you some cool effects to choose from, or you can pick your own colors for each key. But compared to keyboards from Razer or Corsair, the choices are a bit limited.

Roccat Swarm Software

Battery life

Roccat says the keyboard can last up to 240 hours (without lights) in 2.4 GHz mode. But the actual battery life might change based on how you use it, especially if you use the RGB lighting.

Here’s a cool feature: if you don’t touch the keyboard for a while, a motion sensor dims the lights. It doesn’t turn them off completely, just makes them less bright. This saves energy! It’s a clever idea, and it’s the first time we’ve seen this feature on a wireless keyboard.

Conclusion: ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air

Roccat did a great job going wireless with their new Vulcan II Mini. This keyboard keeps all the good stuff from the wired version and adds the convenience of both 2.4 GHz wireless and Bluetooth connections.

It’s small but powerful, and works great for gaming. Plus, its stylish design will surely catch the eye of many fans.

But when you look at its price tag of $179.99, it faces tough competition. For example, the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless costs only $153.99 now and seems to offer a bit more when you compare their features.

And if you’re willing to spend a bit more, the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless often sells for less than $199.00. It even has fancy analog switches, which are a step up from the optical ones that Roccat uses.