(Pocket-lint) – Roccat has come up with some interesting and visually appealing keyboards of late.
The Roccat Vulcan II Mini is one of the newer additions to the lineup, joining the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro and others in the company’s range of compact keyboards.
However, does the Vulcan II Mini continue Roccat’s trend of making awesome keyboards? We played with it to find out.
The Roccat Vulcan II Mini is another great keyboard from Roccat. It’s well laid out and despite its size, it’s also feature rich. It looks great with awesome RGB and more. We’re big fans of the game mode and easy-shift, but also just the overall typing and gaming experience.
If you want a small form factor keyboard with a lot on offer, this might be it. Our only complaint is the loudness of the typing experience.
- Compact form factor
- logical structure
- Extra keys in a clever place
- Excellent RGB lighting
- Pleasant typing experience
Compact 65% form factor but with smarts
- 65% form factor
- 1,000 Hz polling rate
- Detachable USB-C cable
As you might guess from the name, the Roccat Vulcan II Mini is a compact keyboard with a 65% form factor. This usually means sacrificing various buttons in favor of a smaller design. However, Roccat has put some thought into it and it’s the little things that make the difference here.
We always have trouble getting by with 65% keyboards. Losing arrow keys or the delete key or other keys buried in a row of functions can make them tedious to work with, even if they’re a pleasure to play with. That’s not the case here, though, as the DEL key stays up there next to the backspace key, and you still have directional arrows as well.
With a function key press, you can access other things like the print screen and media controls with relative ease. You can adjust the RGB lighting, switch profiles and also activate the game mode. Which in itself already opens up Easy-Shift, but more on that later.
So our first impression was actually very good. The Vulcan II Mini kept us happy while we were working and didn’t lead to frustrations during everyday typing, which is an important part of any keyboard design.
The other thing about the design that immediately catches your eye is the raised switch design along with the thin keycaps.
This is beneficial because it lets the RGB lighting shine beautifully, but it also means that keeping this keyboard clean will be a lot easier over time. All you need is some compressed air and food, hair or dust is simply blown out.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the large gap between the keycaps might cause some typing issues, but we actually found that we adapted to the design very quickly, even after only hearing about the full-size Corsair K1000 Air with an ultra-flat profile.
Dual LED key switch design
- Dual LED setup
- TITAN II optical red switches
- Smooth linear feel, 1.4mm actuation point, 3.6mm travel
- Full Key (NKRO) with 100% anti-ghosting
Like other Roccat keyboards, the Roccat Vulcan II Mini is anything but quiet. It’s not a terrible noise, there’s no ping or terrible rattling when typing, but there’s certainly plenty of click-clack noise. We’ll say the switches aren’t as loud as those on the Cherry MX Blue or Brown, but they’re far from quiet.
There are some interesting points about the setup though, the Vulcan II Mini uses Roccat’s Titan II optical red switches. They’re linear and fire at just 1.4mm, so they’re fast and responsive while gaming, as well as being accurate. We found this keyboard to be pleasantly responsive and had no issues while gaming or working.
The keyboard is also curious because of its configuration with two LED switches. This is said to be a world first and essentially adds an extra set of LEDs to the keys, but only to certain keys. Each key on the keyboard that has a secondary action by default, for example the number keys that also serve as F-keys, has an additional LED. When you press the FN key, the main LED dims and the second brightens. That means you can easily see the secondary action of these buttons, even in the dark.
It’s a shame that this only applies to the selected keys on the keyboard as it would really improve the lighting as a whole if the whole keyboard had twice as many LEDs, but it’s an interesting design.
More than just chic RGB
Like the other Roccat keyboards we’ve seen over the past few years, the Vulcan II Mini is awesome for a number of reasons. One of them is almost certainly the RGB lighting. Various options are available in the software to customize the lighting, but you can also adjust the lighting with hardware buttons and switch between modes by changing profiles too.
There are other features that aren’t immediately obvious but also make this keyboard a pleasure to use. If you press the FN + Win keys at the same time, the game mode will be activated. As with other keyboards, this disables the Windows key to prevent you from accidentally activating the start menu in the middle of a player. But it’s more than that. It then also turns the Caps Lock key into an easy-shift key. The usual Caps Lock feature is then disabled, but pressing Caps Lock gives you access to other actions you’ve programmed into Roccat’s Swarm software.
This means you can then access a whole host of other actions, including macros, which you can program and use as needed. Handy for a keyboard with fewer keys, but not necessarily less functionality.
This is another great looking keyboard from Roccat and if you’re a fan of smaller form factor keyboards then this might tick a few different boxes.
Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Verity Burns.