ROCCAT is a mainstay of PC gaming accessories with a long and storied history. Sadly I hadn't had too much experience with the company's products until recently, where I got to try out the ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121 keyboard from the firm, now part of the Turtle Beach family.
The ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121 keyboard is immediately pleasing to look at, with striking translucent key housings and a brushed aluminum chassis. Is this keyboard more than just a pretty face, though?
$150Bottom line: The ROCCAT Vulcan Aimo 121 keyboard isn't just a looker. The design makes it easy to clean, with excellent tactile keyboard action, great software, and tons of useful features.
- Stunning design
- Great software and features
- Wrist rest could be better
What you'll love about the ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121
The first point to make about the ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121 is how it looks. A stunning anodized brushed aluminum surface with translucent, exposed switch housing is a design that I'd genuinely love to see more of. The gap between the keycap stems, and the housing is so minuscule that the likelihood of dust getting inside is slim to none. All of the metal components, such as springs and contacts, are cleverly hidden away inside the key housings, flooded with RGB lights.
|1.8m braided USB cable
|462mm x 160mm x 32mm
The fact that the keys sit raised from the base of the keyboard without any sort of channels or valleys makes cleaning incredibly easy, complimented further by the relatively short key stems, which makes for easy removal and replacement of each key. I cannot praise ROCCAT enough for the design they've used here.
The transparency on the switch housing gives ROCCAT's lighting platform some additional flair that other RGB keyboards simply haven't reached. The ROCCAT Swarm software also gives you a large range of customizability with the lights, adding all the sorts of waves, gradients, and other effects you might expect.
The ROCCAT Swarm software, in general, is outstanding, letting you customize the keyboard to your heart's content, creating profiles, macros, individual "Game Mode" keybindings, and more.
The keycaps themselves have a mildly concave design, which feels ergonomic beneath your fingertips. I'm someone who types 100 words per minute on average, and I found the relatively light accentuation on the ROCCAT Titan keys and moderate travel to boost my typing speed a tad in typing tests. It genuinely feels excellent to work with, and I didn't appreciate previously how key spacing and shape could enhance overall accuracy.
The ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121 also comes with a 1.8m braided USB cable, which should prove robust even in the bitiest pet and child prevalent homes, along with a range of media controls for easy consumption. The keyboard also has a dial on it for volume and lightning, which is a nice touch you sadly don't see all that often.
No product is perfect, though, and I do have a couple of minor bones to pick with the Vulcan AIMO 121.
What you might like less about the ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121
I'm quite particular about wrist rests, as someone who writes and games for a living. The ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121 does come with a wrist rest included, but it only fits into a specific channel in the middle of the base. Depending on the angle you type at, sometimes it's nice being able to shift your wrist rest to the left or the right, depending on your set up.
I found my left arm resting on the edge of the wrist rest when it was centered, which is ironically quite sharp and not very comfortable at all. I much prefer Razer's magnetic options here, which give you a better degree of customizability.
Additionally, while the AIMO lighting array is nice, it doesn't carry anywhere near as many integrations as Razer's more mature Chroma system does. Razer integrates with various games, other products like smart lights and Amazon Echo, and even Xbox in some cases, which gives you a broader degree of possibilities. This isn't necessarily AIMO's fault or a design flaw, but it's something worth being aware of if you're into these sorts of integrations.
Should you buy the ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121?
Honestly, yes. The ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121 is a genuinely great keyboard that captures and nails every ergonomic consideration with panache and confidence. The keycaps feel great to work with, the accentuation on the switches are some of the best and most responsive I've experienced, and the array of features in the software suite is certainly no slouch.
I'd love to see ROCCAT develop their wrist rests a little bit more in future designs, but it's a minor thing and probably won't bother most people. If you're in the market for a new keyboard, for gaming, or really anything, this is a truly great option worth your time and consideration.
More than a pretty face.
The ROCCAT Vulcan AIMO 121 keyboard is a stunning piece of kit with a broad range of features, great action, with an easy-to-clean design.
Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!