The Vulcan II Max shows Roccat forging ahead when it comes to RGB lighting in its gaming keyboard design, while much of the PC tech industry is taking its foot off the gas. It not only sports keys with full RGB lighting, but also shortened keycaps that expose more of the RGB-illuminated switch below than usual. What’s more, it also a lighting array on the front edge that lights up its included rubber wrist rest.
Subtlety isn’t this keyboard’s forte, but if you’re into the dazzling look there’s no denying the Vulcan II Max delivers the goods. The wrist rest lighting works impressively well. The wrist rest is just a piece of translucent rubber that slots into holes in the front of the keyboard (from which the lights shine), but the light disperses through it surprisingly evenly, and the 16 individual lights make for smooth colour transitions.
All the lighting is also compatible with Roccat’s Swarm software, which provides umpteen effects and ways to coordinate your lighting with the rest of your system. The lighting drops to a dimmer standby mode when the keyboard’s not in use.
The wrist rest is also comfortable, thanks to its soft rubber build and large footprint, and comfort is also aided by the whole keyboard’s low profile. The slim keycaps and body result in a combined 2-3mm lower key height than typical keyboards, plus the front keycaps don’t slightly curve up like on many keyboards, meaning the slim wrist rest doesn’t need to raise your wrists as high to reduce wrist strain.
We’re less keen on the look of the keycaps – they seem to be floating on top of the switches rather than being integral parts of them. On the plus side, the tops are quite wide, somewhat like the wide, flat keys on laptops, but with more of a pronounced curve on the top so your fingers can center on the keys easily. We found these caps very comfortable and accurate for typing.
The mechanical keyswitches are Roccat’s own Titan II optical switches, which boasts a 100 million click lifespan. Currently, the keyboard is only available in a linear switch variety, and in fact it’s only available in a US layout too, but other variants should be arriving soon.
The switches feel great, with a typical smooth Cherry MX Red-style linear action that’s pleasant for typing and ideal for rapid-fire inputs for gaming. Noise levels are typically high, though, with a marked bottoming out and key return noise, but there’s not the slight echoey noise from the case that you hear from some keyboards.
For features, this keyboard only really offers its lighting and the addition of back, forward and play/pause buttons, along with a volume control. The latter is pleasingly tactile, with a relatively stiff, notched action for precise control.
However, there’s no USB passthrough, removable USB cable or any other extra buttons. Instead, the cable is tethered and terminates in two USB-A ports, the extra one of which provides power for the lighting. You also get several secondary functions that can be activated via the Fn key. For instance, Fn+Win disables the Win Key while the F1-F12 buttons activate profiles, record macros, mute the microphone and more.
Roccat Vulcan II Max pros and cons
- Dazzling lighting array
- Comfortable wrist rest
- Low-profile design
- No USB hub
- Few extra features
- High price
Roccat Vulcan II Max specs
The Roccat Vulcan II Max specs list is:
|Dimensions (mm)||463 x 236 x 34 (W x D x H)|
|Format||Full size (105 keys)|
|Switch type||Roccat Titan II optical Red or Brown|
|Switch life||100 million keystrokes|
|Extras||Detachable RGB wrist rest, volume wheel and media controls|
Roccat Vulcan II Max price
The Roccat Vulcan II Max price is expensive, demanding a premium for its dazzling lighting array.
Price: Expect to pay $180 USD / £200 GBP
Roccat Vulcan II Max review conclusion
If you simply must have the most RGB lighting at all times then the Roccat Vulcan II Max is the keyboard to buy. Moreover, its wrist rest is comfortable as well as dazzling, plus its funny-looking short keycaps offer a decent typing experience. However, you pay a premium for all that lighting, with other keyboards offering more physical features at this high-priced end of the market. If it isn’t what you’re looking for, check our guide to the best gaming keyboard for a few more options.
Roccat Vulcan II Max rating
Lit up to the max and a solid enough keyboard, but other models offer more features for the same money.