Rumor has it that the ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard is “the most beautiful keyboard in the world”. Okay, ROCCAT is spreading the rumor, but they are 100% correct. The original Vulcan Pro has been my absolute favorite keyboard to date, so much so that I moved it out of my office and into 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 included.
East. Keyboard. Is beautiful. It comes in black or white, mine being the white version. I usually can’t stand white peripherals – I love pure black with bright color contrast on my devices. The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard has swayed my tastes towards the lighter side with its white keys and silver aluminum top plate. I find that the key colors look completely different against the light background. Maybe not as stark, but the dazzling brightness more than makes up for it against a sharp black desk pad.
The only thing I don’t totally adore about the Vulcan II Max’s design actually lies in the translucent palm rest. For starters, I don’t think it would go well with the black version of the device, as it’s still a white color. Other than that, it’s a rubber-like material that doesn’t shine on its own. It actually inserts into slots in the base of the keyboard that transfer light. One point in its favor, however, is that the RGB lighting in each of these slots can be individually customized just like each of the Vulcan II Max’s keys.
Although you can swap it out for a wrist rest of your choosing, those light holes will remain. The material is also not forgiving if you have pets: it is a magnet for pet hair that is not easily removed from its surface. Another thing that I have doubts is the massive cable coming out of it. It’s twice as thick as 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 just about perfect. Not only is it beautiful, but it still has the same perfect click that I loved with the Vulcan Pro due to its TITAN II optical switches that last up to 100 million clicks. The LEDs under each key are under a transparent base, allowing you to really appreciate the colors of an RGB keyboard.
However, a major achievement for ROCCAT is the world’s first dual LED Vulcan II Max (and Vulcan II Mini) smart keys. At first, this didn’t seem like much to me, just another flashy feature. However, in practice it’s not only great, it’s actually quite functional.
“The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard on its own is just about perfect.”
When you activate one of the 24 secondary functions, the key will light up, but will also retain its original color. So you don’t lose your original layout, but you can still see what’s active. Normal keys can change key color when using an alternate function, but the Vulcan II line of keyboards can freely display both colors at once due to the unique transparent key design.
Among these secondary functions are four different lighting presets that you can switch between without diving into the ROCCAT Swarm software (which you can open with another FN+F5 shortcut). There are also shortcuts to mute your microphone, check your ROCCAT mouse or ROCCAT headset battery, answer voice or video calls from Discord, or start streaming with Twitch Studio. While many of these seem useful, if you’re not just using ROCCAT or Discord and Twitch devices, these features are limiting.
Fortunately, setting up macros with the Vulcan II Max keyboard is pretty simple in Swarm software, so you can assign these buttons to something else. The image of the secondary function will remain on the key, but you can always make it do something else if its function isn’t useful to you. There’s also a handy volume knob and buttons to control your media. These are a must have in keyboards for me now so I’m happy to see they still have a home.
The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard costs $229.99, but it’s pretty much 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 multi-function keys. For an out of this world gaming keyboard at a competitive price, the ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard is the best.
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