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Roccat's Vulcan 120 Aimo gaming keyboard reviewed

Titan's realm

Roccat's Leadr gaming mouse recently became my daily driver after reviewing it along with Roccat's Sova lapboard. Since then, my Leadr has spent most of its time alongside Roccat's Vulcan 120 Aimo gaming keyboard. Now that I've spent considerable time with the Vulcan 120, I'm back to report my findings.

The Vulcan's chassis is composed of black plastic topped by an anodized aluminum plate. The top plate on this particular model is a silver-ish color, but the cheaper Vulcan 80 comes with a black top plate. Regardless of color, the top right of the aluminum plate is decorated with a fairly subtle Roccat logo. Of course, the Vulcan 120 wouldn't be a gaming keyboard without the obligatory RGB LEDs embedded into the switches and accompanied by key caps with shine-through legends. All of these elements are put together into a pretty sturdy package. The board doesn't bend or creak when picked up or used. The center of the board will flex inward slightly if you put significant pressure on it, but this behavior doesn't arise during normal use.

Three rubber buttons sit below the Roccat logo. The first of these is a mute button. The other two buttons modify the function of the adjacent knob protruding from the board. The knob can be used to adjust LED brightness or system volume. The knob has a well-weighted feel punctuated by detents that correspond to individual changes in volume or brightness. This knob provides the tactile feedback that recent smooth-scrolling Corsair volume wheels lack.

If I can draw your attention away from the knob, I'd like to direct it toward the scroll lock key. You can put the keyboard into Game Mode by pressing the function and scroll lock keys simultaneously. As you might suspect, Game Mode deactivates the Windows key, but it can also be customized in Roccat's Swarm software to change the function of keys of your choosing. This means you can set up macros that are active only when Game Mode is active. Roccat has put numbered macro labels on the six keys underneath scroll lock to encourage people to these keys for custom macros. More on that later.

The F1-F12 keys have alternate functions that can be accessed by pressing them in conjunction with the function key.  The first four keys switch the keyboard between four configurable profiles. The F5-F8 keys open This PC in File Explorer, a new webpage, the system mail app, and the system calculator app in that order. The final four act as media keys. Roccat may have the superior volume knob, but Corsair keyboards still have dedicated media keys going for them.

The Vulcan 120 comes with a wrist rest that attaches to the keyboard magnetically. Thick rubber pads running along the bottom of the wrist rest also help hold it in place. Besides the rubber pads and the magnets, the rest is made of sturdy black plastic. The top isn't padded, but the plastic is smooth and feels nice to the touch. I've found it to be quite comfortable, even over extended sessions at my desk. However, if you don't think you'll use the wrist rest, you can save $10 by getting the otherwise identical Vulcan 100.

The bottom of the keyboard, like the wrist rest, has long, beefy rubber pads to hold it in place. Even the flip-up stands have rubber pads. The stands smoothly flip up and down and reliably prop up the keyboard. This board isn't going anywhere during use.

A single braided cable terminated with the obligatory USB connector comes out the back of the Vulcan. It's just flexible enough to be bent into and retain whatever shape is needed for cable management. Unfortunately, the cable is not detachable.