Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro review: An atypical and successful opto-mechanical keyboard

If you regularly read our keyboard reviews, you’ll know that TKL keyboards (no numpad) take up less space on a desk, offer better ergonomics, and leave the mouse free for large hand movements—very useful for competitive gamers in particular; this in exchange for versatility in office use.

The Vulcan TKL Pro has overall dimensions of 36 x 13.3 cm and despite an advertised “low profile” design, its height is still considerable (3.4 cm). While a palm rest comes with the Vulcan Pro version, the TKL does not.

You can clearly see the transparent switches.

You can clearly see the transparent switches.

These are actually the keys (the keys in English parlance) that are particularly thin, but not the switches located below, which ultimately gives a fairly classic key height. This gives the keyboard a very special aesthetic since the switches and their LEDs are visible. Everyone will appreciate this design or not, but the finishes are in any case impeccable, although the keys are made of classic ABS and not PBT, but more resistant and more “pro”. Everything rests on a brushed aluminum plate that gives the keyboard good rigidity and a premium look. Be careful though, this design with keys that don’t wrap around the switches protects them less. They also paid the price during our test, with a nice keyboard shower on the key…

The bottom of the chassis is also made of plastic, adorned with six non-slip rubber pads. Two legs can be pulled out to raise the keyboard if needed. Finally, the braided USB-C cable that connects the keyboard to a PC plugs into the back. It is removable, a good point in case of a connection problem or wear due to the passage of time.



The USB-C cable in the back.


under the keyboard.

Apart from the F9 to F12 keys that integrate the multimedia shortcuts, the other “F” functions remain blank and can be assigned shortcuts in the Roccat Swarm software. We note the presence at the top right of a very practical daily use wheel that allows you to adjust the volume of the PC and a small button that is simply used to mute the sound. Shortcuts located at the level of the arrow keys allow you to manage the brightness of the backlight in 5 levels or turn it off completely by pressing “Fn + CTRL”.

Multimedia keys and functions F.

Multimedia keys and functions F.

As on many Roccat keyboards, some keys are Easy-Shift compatible[+] and offers a second function by activating the Game Mode in the upper right part of the keyboard and holding down the corresponding key (Caps Lock). Not easy to understand at first, this tool allows you to go much further in customizing shortcuts and macros, which may be interesting for some players. All of this, of course, is configurable in the Roccat Swarm software.

Roccat Swarm software.

Roccat Swarm software.

The latter also offers to manage all the customization of the RGB backlight, modifiable key by key in this model. You can also apply a solid color for greater sobriety or a whole range of light effects.

In this Pro model, Roccat has chosen to install internal optical switches called Titan, which are even faster than the mechanical ones. The process is different as the key is activated when a switch element passes in front of a beam of light, whereas conventional mechanical switches are activated when two physical elements come into contact.

The red optical switches on the keyboard.

The red optical switches on the keyboard.

The optical versions are not only faster, but also have the advantage of not needing to be soldered to the keyboard’s circuit board and of being much more durable: the switches here are guaranteed for 100 million activations, up from 50 million. usual. Its actuation stroke is 3.5mm, with an actuation point of 1.4mm and a force of 45g, which is slightly faster than the mechanical version of the “normal” red switches (2mm for 45g ).

Typing is precise and responsive.

Typing is precise and responsive.

In any case, typing is very fast and precise, especially thanks to the curved shape of the keys that adapt perfectly to the fingers. So it is obviously suitable for use gaming, and is less noisy than many mechanical models. On the other hand, the aluminum plate causes a rather marked chassis resonance, as is often the case with this type of keyboard.

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