The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is Roccat’s first tenkeyless compact optical keyboard (with a mechanical feeling switch, of course), that released in October 2020.
The board has a bunch of new features that we haven’t seen yet within the gaming mechanical keyboard space.
This review will go over whether this board is worth purchasing, who it’s for, the unboxing, and all of the features of the board.
The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is an extremely smooth gaming mechanical keyboard with intense RGB lighting that is vibrant and programmable.
Roccat went all-out with this Vulcan line-up with their new stabilizer technology, their new Titan optical switches, tenkeyless design with volume knob, and easy-to-use software.
For anyone who loves their RGB lighting, this board is hard to miss. The low-profile keycaps, combined with the optical switches let you see all of the lights.
There are few downsides to this board, especially if you do a bunch of typing, because the keycaps take some time to get used to. However, once you do, the Vulcan TKL Pro makes for quite a smooth typing and gaming experience.
Keep in mind, that although the keyboard appears to be low-profile, it definitely is not. And they don’t advertise it as such either.
So expect the height of a regular board with a slim case design and thin keycaps to match.
If you’re interested in checking the product out, it’s available on Amazon. If you want to know more, keep reading.
In The Box
The box design itself is beautiful and eye-catching. What’s inside the box leaves you wanting a bit more.
Inside the box, you receive the following items:
- Keyboard – This is the star of the show, but it does come encased in a plastic covering to keep it dust-free.
- Quick installation guide – tells you technical specs as well as what’s on the secondary FN layer.
- Black braided USB-C cable – pretty basic, but durable and long-lasting, fairly long as well so you won’t have a problem routing it to your computer.
The Rocccat Vulcan TKL Pro is a well-built board with a brushed black aluminum top plate.
The Roccat Vulcan branding is on top of the arrow cluster, and it stands out in white on top of the black plate.
The rest of the case is made of plastic and allows the compact board to be more portable yet sturdy without adding a ton of extra weight.
On the back, there are 5 rubber feet that really prevent the board from sliding around.
There are two kickstands that you can use to raise up the angle of the board to make yourself more comfortable.
The board, with the kickstands down, is fairly flat. Rarely do I prefer a board with the kickstands up, but in this case, it’s necessary.
When the board is flat, typing on it feels strange, even while typing with wrists hovered.
The USB-C port is directly in the center of the back of the board. It’s slightly recessed, so before you buy a custom cable for it, check out the dimensions first.
Overall, the build quality is good. The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro won’t flex or creak when you try to bend it. And it looks like it’ll sustain a nice drop without breaking (don’t try it at home though).
Onto the good stuff.
The Volume Knob
The volume knob is on the top right corner with a dedicated mute button right next to it.
Both of these buttons cannot be reprogrammed into completing other functions.
The knob is made entirely of plastic with some tactility, although not audibly tactile.
Inscribed on the board is the direction to turn down/up the volume. Although this is pretty obvious, it’s definitely nice to have for a quick visual glance.
The mute button also has RGB glowing through it, and it’ll match whatever effects you have going on through the rest of the board.
It would be cool if the knob had a circular ring of RGB on it as well, so you can locate it at night.
Overall, having a dedicated volume knob is very convenient, but for a keyboard at this price, I would’ve liked to see it feel more premium.
The keycaps are extremely thin, looking as if they could be on a low-profile board such as the Keychron K1 or the Nutype F1 boards.
They are doubleshot and shine-through, which allows the RGB to shine through extremely brightly.
On top of that, the thin keycaps allow for a super floating keycap design with the entirety of the switches being visible except the top stem.
The legends are also very clean and legible. And there are no complaints of low-contrast or anything in dim light.
A small issue is that the symbols on the number row are located below the numbers in a small font, which makes them slightly difficult to see if you have bad vision. The same goes for all the sub-legends on the board.
The modifiers are visible. The shifts, caps lock, enter, and backspace all have symbols rather than letters.
No complaints here, but the Caps Lock is looking a bit strange.
The keycaps are ABS plastic, so over time, they will develop a shine. They have a matte feel to them with a smooth, yet slightly grippy, texture.
Initially, the keycaps seemed like they were too far apart, but this is easy to get used to. Had they been regular keycaps, the distance between them probably would look normal.
The keycaps are a very unique part of this board, but it’s also the part that makes me dislike it the most as well.
They are cross-shaped stems, so you can replace these keycaps with whatever you’d like.
They look and feel like nice keycaps, but the floating keycap design along with the low-profile keycaps just look a bit strange.
It’s almost as if there’s too much RGB and lights, but if that’s your thing, then you’ll love this board.
The switches on the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro are the Titan optical switches.
These are linear switches with a 1.4mm actuation point, which is significantly lower than the typical 2.0mm of Cherry MX Reds and similar linear switches.
They are very responsive and smooth. There is minimal spring ping when listening to the board at a regular distance, such as gaming or typing.
However, if you bring the switches to your ears, you can hear their spring noises.
The switches feel similar to HyperX Red linear switches in their smootheness, with no noticeable friction when using them.
The Titan optical switches are guaranteed to last 100 million keypresses, now that’s a LOT of keypresses.
As far as stock switches goes, these are amazing and really deserve some attention. Optical switches are becoming more popular with gaming keyboards because they have less latency and no debouncing.
The stabilizers on the Vulcan TKL Pro are newly designed, and the patent is still pending from Roccat.
They are buried within the plate itself, with a small housing sticking out with a stem in the middle.
The new stabilizers are all black, don’t seem to be removable, and aren’t lubed. But do they need to be?
Who knows? Because the design is new after all. However, the noise that comes from the stabilizers are barely noticeable.
Roccat definitely did a good job on these. All of the keys with stabilizers sound wonderful, smooth, and without any rattle. Good job, Roccat.
The Features and Software
The Vulcan TKL Pro has 1000Hz polling rate, which is comparable to other boards. It does pale in comparison to the newest Corsair flagship, the K100, with its 4000Hz polling rate.
However, this only takes off small fractions of a second when it comes to response times.
The software is called the Roccat Swarm software. When you install it, it will ask you to update the software to be compatible with this board.
The software allows you to turn on an audio feedback sound when typing. This ranges from a clicky sound, laser beam, sci-fi sounds, and more. It’s great for letting you hear if you actuated the switch, if you have a headset on.
The software also lets you remap the keys in regular mode or game mode as well as change lighting effects.
Game mode can be activated with FN and PgDn, the key will light up in white when it’s turned on. Very convenient, it also turns off the Windows key so you won’t accidentally open the menu while in-game.
The RGB effects can be changed directly on the board with its presets using FN and the arrow keys. You can turn off and on the lights with FN and CTRL.
It’s also possible to change the brightness settings (up to 5 levels) using FN and the up/down keys.
Pressing FN and End will switch the keys of FN and the Windows key.
At the top, from F9 to F12, are additional secondary media controls.
Caps lock will light up in another color when Caps Lock is on. Same with Home for Scroll Lock.
Overall, very nice features for a compact TKL layout, without having to sacrifice anything.
The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is one of the most unique gaming keyboards that have come out in 2020.
It is a tenkeyless layout with a dedicated volume knob and mute button as well as low-profile keycaps with new Titan optical switches with a 100 million keystroke lifespan.
The RGB lighting is amazing, with software that you can program a custom lighting effect as well as remap keys.
The stabilizers are really nice and smooth, especially coming from a large gaming company. It doesn’t need any mods and is great out of the box.
The switches are some of the smoothest that I’ve ever used, comparable to the HyperX Reds, without needing any modifications either.
Overall, I can see this board being perfect for gamers who love RGB and want smooth and responsive switches.
Another thing to note, if you don’t like the keycaps, these do fit regular keycaps, just toss them on. Because the stems are cross-shaped.
Amazing board, amazing features, but the price tag is a bit steep.
Actually, the price is pretty steep. This board rivals with many other boards at this price range such as the Steelseries Apex Pro TKL, HyperX Alloy Origins Core, and Razer Huntsman TE.
However, between all those boards, this one has the best all-around solid typing and gaming experience. With no complaints on the stabilizers, the switches, or the build-quality.
If you’re interested in checking the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro out, you can find it here on Amazon.