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Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro vs Roccat Vulcan Pro: Gaming Keyboard

Roccat, a manufacturer of gaming peripherals for several years, presents the ultimate version of the keyboards produced by the brand. It is with this Roccat Vulcan Pro that the manufacturer intends to stand out. The keyboard has an original design that completely changes from what can be found elsewhere, as often with Roccat.

It also adopts a fragile design with the keys that could not be more floating! Here, we can oppose the keyboard to the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro; even though this Roccat Vulcan Pro is wired, the aesthetic care taken is similar.

Pros and Cons

Roccat Vulcan TKL ProRoccat Vulcan Pro
Gorgeous designExcellent build quality
Stunning RGB lightingUltra-responsive
Fast and accurate performanceCompact form factor
Noisy keysRoccat Swarm software is finicky

Specification

Roccat Vulcan TKL ProRoccat Vulcan Pro
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
Keyboard typeGaming Gaming
Processor32-bit ARM Cortex-M032-bit ARM Cortex-M0
Polling rate1000 Hz1000 Hz
Weight23.28 oz2.54 lbs
ColorClassic BlackClassic Black
SwitchesRoccat Titan SwitchRoccat Titan Switch
ConnectivityUSB Type-CWired – Detachable Type-C
MechanicalNoYes
RGB16.8 million colors16.8 million colors
BluetoothNoNo
NumpadYesYes
SoftwareRoccat SwarmRoccat Swarm
CompatibilityWindowsWindows

Design

When it comes to creating a TKL edition of a classic keyboard, many brands decide to mute the numeric keypad without giving it much thought, but decidedly, Roccat doesn’t like to do things like the others.

The TKL Pro is always visually associable with the Vulcan range, with its keys floating on a plate so thin that one comes to wonder where the PCB is, but, for all that, this keyboard effectively differentiates itself from the others. Where Roccat, until now, has been content to use the same lines for these different Vulcans, here we find a keyboard with very different shapes from the other models in the range.

Roccat decided to go straight to the point and deleted every part that was not useful from the keyboard. Instead of having an original polygonal shape, we certainly end up with a rather banal rectangle, but it is a necessary loss to achieve the most compact form factor possible. Some original keys make this keyboard stand out from the others, including a small shiny black line that goes around the keyboard, a design element that is certainly simple but which is not for all that less effective.

Even in branding, the brand has opted for simplicity, only putting the logo, written, above the arrow keys once. We would have preferred no logo or something more discreet than white, but it’s already a lot of effort coming from Roccat. The minimalism also continues in the keycaps, which sport a thin, simple font, perfectly complimenting the keyboard aesthetic.

Thus, the word that we remember the most when it comes to the design of this Roccat Vulcan is simplicity, something that is welcome when it comes to making a compact product. Roccat isn’t particularly known for its straightforward designs, so the TKL Pro offers a refreshing twist in its product line.

The Roccat Vulcan Pro arrives in its box with neat packaging, surrounded by protective plastic with its palm rest. Everything is very well finished, and we can really see that Roccat has taken great care in this keyboard, which is not to displease us.

One thing that can also notice is the imposing side of the keyboard on a desk. On the other hand, the palm rest is a bit shorter on the Vulcan Pro than on SteelSeries.

The qualitative side is there. However, we have two small things to reproach this keyboard. If we find an aluminum surface very elegant, however, the problem is not there, a plastic shell, a little less elegant but not disturbing. The concern is on the two screws placed above the F1 and F4 keys in an ostentatious borderline manner. They are essential, of course, but perhaps they could have been better hidden.

The other point that is not very qualitative is the plastic used at the bottom of the keyboard. The latter is quite thick in its aesthetics wishes to give a changing appearance compared to aluminum, which is not bad. But the plastic used could have been the same as on the palm rest, for example.

We come to the palm rest precisely; the latter is magnetic, avoiding clips in the keyboard and retaining its successful aesthetic. The Vulcan Pro can be presented with and without a wrist rest; this will not change the design. The latter is, therefore, just as thin as the keyboard itself, in total continuity. We might have appreciated that it was a little higher, however.

We can also note an important point for its outfit; it has 6 large pads covering its entire length to fit perfectly on your desk and not slip. For its part, the keyboard is also supplied with three large pads on the part closest to you and also something to hold on the other side, whether on the keyboard or the adjustable feet.

There are buttons on the latter to adjust the sound, effects, mute the sound, or a dial to adjust the volume. Multimedia keys are also arranged on the F9 to F12 keys with the Function key to be activated in addition to that. Shortcuts are available on the F5 to F8 keys.

Typing Comfort

Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro- The Roccat TKL Pro is equipped with the new Roccat Titan Optical switches, an optical linear switch with an activation distance of 1.4mm. Unlike other optical switches, Roccat has chosen to keep the contact tab present on traditional mechanical switches. This part is technically unnecessary in an optical switch since the activation is done not by the contact of two physical parts but by the state of the ray of light.

The absence of this contact tab in an optical switch is what resolves one of the main problems of a mechanical switch: friction. Indeed, the contact between the tongue and the element present on the rod – the plastic part on which the key rests – generates friction. Thanks to the lubricant, the latter can be reduced to the point of no longer being felt but will always remain present no matter what. Roccat mechanical switches also have a lot of friction, surely by choice – we hope, given their intensity.

Therefore, the introduction of this contact tab only serves to reintroduce into the optical switch what is considered, by the majority in any case, as one of the main faults of a traditional mechanical switch. Thus, just like on classic Roccat switches, this optical switch presents a significant amount of friction. There are still people who appreciate this friction, just as there are some who have never noticed it and for whom this characteristic is not a problem.

Despite this friction, the switch remains very efficient. In the words of Roccat themselves, it is a switch with a mechanical feeling with the performance of the optics, and we could not be more true. Just like with any other switch with a short activation distance, it will take some getting used to before you no longer make typos, but the latter is worth it since your typing speed goes naturally. Increase, as will your in-game responsiveness.

Thus, the Roccat Titan Optical is an optical switch that presents, objectively, a major defect compared to the competition. However, many will not even notice it or will manage to forget it. In this case, we find ourselves in front of a powerful and solid switch, perfect for playing and writing.

Although the switches are not low profile, Roccat has chosen to use thin keys like all the other models in the Vulcan range. Please think of the Logitech membrane keyboards that can find in every office; it’s exactly that size. This choice changes the typing experience much more than we expected.

First of all, the keys, in addition to being shallower, are also less high and less wide. Therefore, even if the switches are at a traditional distance from each other, the gap between the two keys becomes larger. Thus, for those who are used to typing on the edges of the keys, especially at the ends of the keyboard, it will take some adaptation time before they no longer put their finger between two keys.

Plus, because the keys are smaller in all dimensions, the vibrations focus on a smaller area just under your finger. The feeling of the switch is, therefore, in a way, amplified. In the case of a linear switch, this is not very relevant, which is why we hope that Roccat one day offers its optical switch in tactile variation or even clicky.

As for the material, we are obviously in front of an ABS plastic, which is quite thin. Some brands are doing better these days, including Razer on their latest BlackWidow V3, but the Roccat TKL Pro keycaps are still fairly standard for a keyboard of this range in terms of build quality.

Roccat Vulcan Pro- When you come from a meca-membrane keyboard with fairly noisy blue switches, let’s admit it, switching to a relatively silent optomechanical keyboard is a real pleasure. However, we have red switches, so no tactile feedback, which allows us not to make too much noise already while offering a delightful feeling. Here we have Roccat Titan Switch, with a 1.4mm stroke.

The typing is pleasant and quite quiet, and the activation force of 45 grams, which is the standard on all red switches. They are the most practical to play, especially since they are quite specific. Indeed, they are optomechanical switches, which means that the key does not need to be pressed throughout its travel to be activated. It is a light beam here that creates the activation when the switch crosses it. This allows the keyboard to be quite quiet.

In addition, we can see that the activation stroke is 1.4 mm, which is quite a bit unlike what we see on the keyboard keys; we are closer to the 2 to 2.3 mm than 1.4. However, you only need to press the button on 1.4 mm to activate it, thanks to the optomechanical technology. This allows the keyboard in passing to offer a keyboard that can offer 100 million activations. However, this does not make it possible to do without the mechanical touching of the keys.

It is possible not to activate the keys throughout their travel, but it is quite complex to handle and not always useful. 

As a mechanical keyboard is also a keyboard intended for gamers, this Roccat Vulcan Pro is no exception to the rule. It is efficient to play with, and it is very responsive, thanks to the red switches.

There is a game mode, “Game Mode,” which can be activated using the Function key (FN) and the Scroll Lock key; this is the secondary function of this key. Like many keyboards, this feature blocks the Windows key, in particular, to avoid unpleasant surprises when you are first in the game. After trying it on several games like GTA 5, CS: GO, or Red Dead Redemption II.

The keyboard has not changed much to that, but we appreciate the rather weak activation force.

Backlight

As on all the brand’s products for a few years, the Roccat TKL Pro comes with the AIMO backlight system. This is a feature that automatically sets your backlight according to your use of the product. If you have more than one Roccat AIMO device, they interact with each other to create an immersive experience. As for the quality of the backlight, it is perfect. Colors are pretty crisp and animations smooth, even at the lowest speed.

The backlight is customizable via the Roccat Swarm software, just like many other features of this Roccat Vulcan Pro. The keyboard is really bright, and this light is harmonious on all the keys. However, we still have certain functions of some keys which are not very well backlit; this is the case of the F1 to F12 keys, and of all the keys with 2 or 3 functions; however, it is still very correct compared to what we can find elsewhere.

Conclusion!

The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is, therefore, the brand’s first truly compact keyboard. Despite its difference in format, the final product retains Roccat’s DNA well in its finishes and functions.

The Roccat Vulcan Pro is an excellent optomechanical gaming keyboard. If the switches are very well optimized for discreet typing, they also offer excellent durability. We also note really pleasant and powerful backlighting for this excellent gaming keyboard.

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