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Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Final Thoughts

In my time with the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO, I grew to appreciate many things and made quite a few observations that surprised me a little.

  • Keys feel like – dare I say – better Cherry MX Browns?  Perhaps a little stiffer in feel, although the specs woudl say otherwise…either way, it feels close enough to be related. Typing on the Vulcan’s Titan switches reminds me of a cross between Cherry MX Browns, Cherry MX Blacks (stiffness) and Romer-Gs (for the enhanced crispness/tactile feel/earlier actuation).
  • It’s absolutely beautiful. Just…attracts the eye like no other. It’s like having a jewel-encrusted keyboard that doesn’t actually look bejeweled. It’s almost sophisticated. The acrylic bases of the Titan keys are gorgeous, the lighting is vibrant and the AIMO effect really comes into its own on a keyboard. I don’t think I could bring this keyboard to work, I’d have to answer questions about it all day long…
  • It may have been just me, but the Vulcan seemed to concentrate just a tiny bit too much on form over function. Personally, I’m okay with that – it’s a worthwhile centerpiece to a build and certainly worth showing off. It’s wonderful to type on; general productivity and most genres of games don’t suffer for that at all. There were only a few occurrences that made me reach for a different keyboard
  • AIMO was built for this board. If you thought it was a gimmick, you need to at least consider seeing it in action on the Vulcan. If it took more cues from the on-screen color palette, I’d never switch to another RGB effect. I may never switch keyboards if that were integrated, actually…

Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO Conclusion

I’ll try and summarize my experience with the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO in terms of Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value categories, but as always I feel like I should add a disclaimer. You must understand that my own preferences and uses for gaming peripherals differ from most; while I try to view each keyboard as objectively as I can, I probably can’t avoid my own bias from affecting my conclusion in some manner. I implore you to think in depth of your OWN uses and preferences, and use my reviews as a guide or simply as another perspective.

I didn’t find any issues with the performance of the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO. From gaming to typing, it remained responsive, accurate and exactly what one would expect from a high-end mechanical gaming keyboard. The 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 based processor and 512kb of on-board memory ensure RGB animations are smooth and powerful macros execute as intended.

Speaking of RGB animations…is there anything more I need to say about the appearance of the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO?  I had gone on record as saying the Logitech G513 was the best-looking mechanical keyboard on the market at the the time…I think we have a new winner. The aluminum plate, chamfered edges, crystal clear key switch housings, slim keycaps and unique Titan switch design all combine to create something that truly stands out in the market. The Vulcan 120 AIMO deserves every design accolade it receives, in my opinion. It’s simply beautiful.

Similarly, the design extends a little to the construction of the Vulcan. That aluminum top plate and custom Titan switches both serve to lend a premium, solid feel to the whole thing. It’s a little lighter than I expected, but in that “Apple thin & light = premium” sort of way. It feels like a high-tech keyboard should feel. The overly flat design can take some getting used to, and lends to some sharper edges that could become uncomfortable in certain applications, but it’s worth the end result – just look at it!

The volume/multimedia knob is a welcome addition, although it doesn’t seem to contain the full functionality of the rotating dial on Roccat’s Horde AIMO keyboard. Still, all of the other usual Roccat accoutrements make an appearance – Easy-Shift[+], the macro editor, on-board memory, programmable keys, multiple profiles…all present and accounted for. Besides, the design is the real function of the Vulcan…

The Vulcan 120 AIMO is a BestBuy exclusive in the US, and retails for $159.99 (Best Buy Exclusive). That’s on the higher end for keyboards in this category, but understandable for a product with full RGB functionality and brand-new-to-this-market Titan switches (along with some unique Roccat-specific technologies like the AIMO intelligent lighting system). I’d recommend trying one out in person before committing at that price, and I feel most users would be happy with what they receive for that amount. One thing’s for sure – you’ll never get tired of looking at it on your desk.

It’s for that last reason I feel the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO ultimately earns a Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award. Yes, it has all the high-end mechanical keyboard features and functions – it’s equipped to serve most users quite well. The Titan switches are unique and worth checking out, as is AIMO, but it’s not just those qualities that help the Vulcan stand out. It’s the fact that it’ll bring you a little bit of glimmery joy every time you see it on your desk.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award Logo (Small)

+ Absolutely beautiful
+ Solid construction
+ Roccat tech/on-board memory/driver that doesn’t require a login
+ AIMO was built for this board
+ Responsive, well-designed switches a standout option in a crowded market
+ Attracts a lot of (well-deserved) attention

Cons:

– Attracts a lot of attention…I suppose the lights DO turn off (…but why would you??)
– Overly flat profile can take some getting used to
– Questionable QA?

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.00
  • Appearance: 11.00 (Yes. 11 out of 10. It’s beautiful.)
  • Construction: 8.50
  • Functionality: 8.75
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 9.05 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

NewEgg.com

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