I have a confession to make. Sometimes I use certain components for my PC strictly because they look awesome. For example, I have several RGB fans in my case. Some are necessary, and admittedly some are not. I think they look awesome though. Then there is my physical desk space – it literally glows with mesmerizing light. It’s like Christmas year-round, and now it’ even more gorgeous – as the new Roccat Vulcan II Max keyboard shines brightly upon it.
It’s the “world’s most beautiful keyboard” according to Roccat. They are not wrong. Even non-gamers/PC enthusiasts can’t help but comment on how cool this keyboard looks.
What makes the Vulcan II Max stand out from other keyboards? Simply put – the brightness of its LED lights. Roccat uses transparent switch housing giving each key a noticeably bright color hue that spreads across the entire keyboard. The keys set atop an Anodized aluminum silver plate (or black on the black model) that reflect the colors even further.
The max also delivers a new wrist rest I find much more pliable and accommodating for long sessions compared to the hard plastic of the Vulcan Pro. The wrist rest connects to the bottom of the keyboard and acts as a sort of “conduit” for color. I can’t believe the additional light this allows for, and I often find myself just staring at the keyboard for minutes at a time. It’s really that hypnotic
Like the Vulcan II Mini, the Max allows me to highlight certain keys with two different colors. No other keyboard has done this in the history of keyboards. I love the idea of this option and right now there are 24 keys that I can highlight “double” highlight to remind me of what control profile I have for different games. The profiles can be edited within Roccat’s “Swarm” software”. The software has a ton of features. Many are well beyond what I will ever choose to use in my gaming sessions. The basics are there. I can program keys, save to a variety of profiles, and change my lighting preferences. Syncing my lights through AIMO is still my favorite feature here as all my RGB devices match in color scheme. Truly a sight to behold.
There is a minor (or major for some) downside here though. The cable is very thick and heavy duty. In order to get full light functionality out of the Vulcan II Max, I need 2 USB ports. I’ve not seen this before on a keyboard. Annoying. I’m good as I have a USB hub, but I’m annoyed because I want all ports available for multiple options. I don’t want several taken from one device.
This optical keyboard is top notch for gaming performance. The proprietary Titan II (Red) switches have a 1.4mm Actuation Point and 3.6mm Travel Distance (brown switches are available). Simply put, it’s fast, it’s accurate, and it’s built to help me win games with lightning-fast response. I find typing feels a tad different than my Vulcan Pro, but I tend to type a bit better with tactile/louder switches. Regardless, wow that my keys are highlighted with the aforementioned dual-LED lights, I’m crushing more baddies and swapping to new hotkeys faster than ever before.
A function button allows for the second programmable layer of keys. It sits just below the “?” key on the right-hand side. It doesn’t feel super accessible, and I find myself taking my hands off the board to find it. I’m glad it’s there, it’s just tough to find without scanning for it. On the top right (above the ten key) I can still quickly adjust volume and mute sound with a knob. I use this feature more than any other. Next to the knob, I can skip songs, pause, or play music with three media keys. These are not programmable which is a minor bummer but doesn’t impact this user.
The overall performance of the keyboard is a multi-tasking gamer’s dream. The programmable responsive switches/keys (not to mention swappable as they’re compatible with 3rd party keycaps) make for fast and furious gameplay that won’t let me down in the heat of battle. Optimally though, I like to sit back and watch the insane light show while typing or chilling with some old school King’s Quest.
Roccat designs the most beautiful keyboard I’ve seen with the Vulcan II Max. If you don’t buy it for the games, buy it to make your friends jealous. I’m telling you it is sick (yes – the good sick). I can get over the minor annoyance of it taking two USB slots as long as it stays this pretty and responsive.
Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.