The gaming world evolves at an unprecedented pace. This hasn’t changed since I picked up my first controller 35 years ago. It’s exhilarating to get your hands on a new product. A few months later though, something newer and bolder comes out creating a void of disappointment in what you once thought was tops. I can either be aggravated by this or embrace it and have something to look forward to.
Roccat certainly embraces this philosophy as they try to improve and create better products. Their latest attempt, the Vulcan II Mini keyboard ventures into new territory never before seen in the gaming world. This 65% sized keyboard features the world’s first dual-LED linear gaming switches. Pretty cool. In this review I dive into the size, the features, and the playability of this fancy new device.
I’ll get this out of the way early – I like having the ten key on my keyboard. I need it. I use it way too much for work and my own budgeting purposes. If you need a ten key – this isn’t for you. However, if you need to save space and love gaming, read on. 65% of a keyboard is indeed better than the typical 60% on mini-keyboards. This means Roccat is able to squeeze in arrow keys on the bottom right. Pretty important depending on what your latest gaming vice is. Or is it?
In a quick google of “games that require arrow keys” I honestly can’t find a game past 1991 where these keys actually matter. Commander Keen anyone? Do people even use arrow keys anymore (comment if you do! I’d love to hear about my flawed thinking)?
If they do, my bet is they are using Excel, and if they are using excel, my guess is they have a tenkey on their keyboard. Regardless, it’s a great conveniently transportable keyboard. I can also remove the USB-C cable for portability. This makes it easy to toss in a bag without cables getting all tangled up. It also feels better than other tenkeyless keyboards I have experience with. It’s tad bigger so when I type I tend to make less errors.
If the Vulcan II Mini shines anywhere it is here. Let’s start with the “World’s first Dual-LED switches”. This matters. It matters for those of us who highlight specific keys for specific tasks. I can now highlight secondary function keys without ever changing the color scheme of my keyboard.
I quickly pause and play music with a simultaneous press of the FN (function) key and “x”. The icon is on the key, but the key also maintains my scheme while another LED highlights it green. On other keyboards the key would change color or have a different color altogether to show me it’s significance. I like the innovation here, and it certainly makes the Vulcan II Mini stand out. I can adjust settings and customize just about any button (cool with the dual LED functionality) with the Swarm software.
The RGB lighting is top notch – partially why I love Roccat keyboards. I don’t think anyone beats them here. Titan II optical switches grace the top and they are fully compatible with 3rd party key caps. Again – major customization options here. The Titan II switches have been tested to 100 million keystrokes without fail. I personally test this but find I get tired of pressing the same button after about 11 presses. Guess I’ll just have to trust Roccat on this one.
Games play great. Response times seem instantaneous. It’s all good on the playability side. As mentioned – this is a space saver. This keyboard is phenomenal for small desk gaming. It does its job fast and the keys are quieter than the Vulcan Pro for dorm room dwellers with a cranky roommate. Whether playing a slower title like Minecraft, or a Fortnite style game where every millisecond matters, end users will be completely satisfied with the investment here.
Roccat is my keyboard of choice over the likes of Dell, Microsoft, Razer, Logitech, Glorious PC Gaming Race, and CoolerMaster. This doesn’t mean other keyboards haven’t been great. It just means I prefer Roccat so far. It’s a preference thing. While many sites will hail some type of Razer keyboard as the sure king, I appreciate their opinion, but I find I just like my Vulcan Pro better.
I do not prefer the Vulcan II mini. It’s too small for me. It’s an amazing keyboard – and I want to love it, it’s just not for me. Again – a preference thing. Thankfully, Roccat just announced a full-sized option will come out in the Vulcan II Max. Sign me up.