ROCCAT Vulcan II Max Keyboard Review

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ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard
Company: ROCCAT
Type: Keyboard
MSRP: $229.99
CGM Editors Choice

There is a rumour going around that the ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard is “the world’s most beautiful keyboard”. Okay, ROCCAT is spreading the rumour, but they are 100% correct. The original Vulcan Pro has been my absolute favourite keyboard to date, so much so that I took it out of my office and brought it to my work and gaming station at home, so I could use it more. Well, the Vulcan Pro is out, and the Vulcan II Max keyboard has been tagged in.

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This. Keyboard. Is. Gorgeous. It comes in black or white, with mine being the white version. Usually I can’t stand white peripherals—I love stark black with a bright colour contrast on my devices. The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard has swayed my tastes to the lighter side with its white keys and silver aluminum top plate. I find the key colours to look completely different against the light background. Perhaps not as stark, but the stunning glow more than makes up for it against a sharp black desk pad.

The one thing that I don’t completely adore in the Vulcan II Max’s design actually lies in the translucent palm rest. To start, I don’t think it matches well with the black version of the device at all since it’s still a white-ish colour. That aside, it is a rubber-like material that doesn’t glow on its own. It is actually inserted into slots in the base of the keyboard that transfer light through. One point in its favour is that the RGB lighting in each of these slots is individually customizable like each of the Vulcan II Max’s keys though.

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Though you can swap it out for a wrist rest of your choice, those holes of light will still remain. The material is also unforgiving if you have pets—it is a magnet for pet hair that is not easily removed from its surface. Another thing I’m iffy about is the massive cable coming out of it. It is double the thickness of the Vulcan Pro and will take up two USB-A ports, and those are pretty valuable to me!

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard on its own is damn near flawless. Not only is it beautiful, but it still has that same perfect clickiness I loved with the Vulcan Pro because of its TITAN II Optical Switches which last up to 100 million clicks. The LEDs under each key are under a clear base, allowing you to really appreciate the colours of an RGB keyboard. 

A big achievement for ROCCAT though is the Vulcan II Max (and Vulcan II Mini) world’s first Dual LED Smart Keys. At first, this didn’t sound like much to me, just another flashy feature. However, in practice it’s not only just cool, it’s actually pretty functional. 

“The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard on its own is damn near flawless.”

When you activate one of the 24 secondary features, the key will light up, but also still retain its original colour. So you don’t lose out on your original design, but can still see what is active. Normal keycaps may change the colour of the key when an alternate function is in use, but the Vulcan II line of keyboards can freely display both colours at once due to the unique clear key design.

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Among these secondary functions are four different lighting presets you can switch between without diving into the ROCCAT Swarm software (which you can open with another shortcut FN+F5). There are also shortcuts to mute your microphone, check your ROCCAT mouse or ROCCAT headset battery, answer voice/video calls from Discord, or begin streaming using Twitch Studio. Though many of these seem handy, if you don’t use only ROCCAT devices or Discord and Twitch, these functions are limiting.

Luckily, setting up macros with the Vulcan II Max keyboard is pretty simple in the Swarm software, so you can map these buttons to something else. The secondary function’s image will remain on the key, but you can always make it do something else if its function isn’t useful to you. There is also a handy volume knob and buttons to control your media. These are a must-have on keyboards for me now, so I’m happy to see that they still have a home.

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard rings up at $229.99, but is pretty in line with its competitors like the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro for $249.99 or the SteelSeries Apex Pro for $199.99. There are absolutely cheaper keyboard options out there like the XPG Summoner for $109.99, but ROCCAT has upped the ante with its Dual LEDs and multifunctional keys. For a competitively priced out of this world gaming keyboard, the ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard is the one to beat.

Final Thoughts

REVIEW SCORE

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