Unlike the last exceptional release of the Vulcan Pro with innovative opto-mechanical switches, German manufacturer Roccat is pulling the handbrake again and sticking with the tried and true. The new keyboards, the Pyro and Magma, are classic linear-mechanical as well as rubberdome gaming keyboards. Here, the design of the keyboard cases is visually the same, but the lighting concept is different. We will take a closer look at the rather inconspicuous Pyro in this review – find out how well it performs now!
|Button switch type||TTC linear (Red)|
|Operating force||45 g|
|Trigger point||2.0 mm|
|Operating travel||4.0 mm|
|Lifetime||50 million strokes|
|Cable length||1.8 m|
|Media control buttons||5 integrated media control buttons +|
|Lighting||AIMO lighting system|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||3.60 cm x 44.70 cm x 15.20 cm|
Scope of delivery
Delivered is the Pyro in a typical for Roccat plain packaging. On the front is thereby the keyboard with lighting illustrated. On the back, the features of the keyboard can be read. If you open the packaging, you’ll see a decent picture overall. Everything has been sufficiently secured with plastic foil and black foam. Apart from the Pyro, a quick guide is also included.
Design & workmanship
Stripped of its foil, the Pyro cuts a fine figure from the very first second – and there’s a clear reason for that. The top of the keyboard case is coated with dark gray brushed aluminum. In combination with the matt black keycaps, the first impression is right. Around the brushed aluminum layer is a small plastic edge, which stands out visually with grooved stripes. We could not determine any optical defects or processing errors after a first inspection.
On the upper right edge of the pyro there is a small LED strip with volume control. Of course, this is nothing innovative, we can find similar things on many other keyboards. The volume control can be operated precisely and very smoothly. In addition, the Pyro comes with macro keys, which are located at F8 to F12 and can be accessed with the FN key. As an extension to this, Roccat uses their Easy-Shift[+] technology again, which allows the keys around WASD to be assigned two functions. In order to be able to set this up later, Roccat makes the software called Swarm available for download on their site.
The fluted edge from the front continues over the back of the keyboard. On the back here we now find two quite large feet with anti-slip pads, which can be found in triplicate on the lower edge of the case. A bit more centrally, we see two small recesses for the included palm rest. The plastic of the back is very robust in combination with the aluminum plate on top.
Of course, a palm rest is also included. This is made of the same material as the lower case of the Pyro and continues the design concept. As a little extra, there is a rather large Roccat logo on the right edge of the palm rest, which shimmers in glossy black. Finally, the palm rest can be attached to the keyboard with two small plastic clips. This has enough hold, but should be removed again during transport, because otherwise the clips could break off rather easily due to their small size. In addition, four large anti-slip pads provide a neat finish here.
The keycaps are classic ABS keycaps in a matte black design. Underneath are the mechanical TCC switches. With a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes and equipped with Advanced Anti-Ghosting, you will have fun with the keyboard for a long time. Their release point is 2.0 mm. The keycaps are also quite easy to remove and also clip back on without any loss of grip. Last but not least is the 1.8 meter long USB cable with nice details. It is sleeved and has a keyboard in white on the USB plug. The annoying search for the right USB cable is thus avoided.
RGB lighting & software
As mentioned at the beginning, the Pyro is equipped with Roccat’s Aimo technology. It illuminates each of the individual switches with one LED each. Unlike its sister model, the Magma, the top of the keyboard is not illuminated. At this point, we would have liked to see the Magma with mechanical switches as well, since this lighting concept looks very promising – still, we are talking about the Pyro here. With Roccat Aimo, multiple devices can be connected in series and illuminated in 16.8 million colors. Finally, the lighting spectacle can be individually configured in the software.
Swarm is based on the classic Roccat design. In the top bar, we can switch between the individual devices and the complete control. One bar down, we can choose between three tabs for general functions, key configuration and key illumination. Here, everything has been kept clear and in a modern design with black and blue colors. At the bottom of the window, there is also the function to configure a total of five game profiles. However, it is somewhat awkward that you have to press “apply” at the bottom right after each change.
Overall, the lighting is very solid – the gradients of the colors make a very good impression. In terms of adjustable modes, there is once again everything your heart desires, such as: Waves, heartbeats, continuous lighting and ripple effects. Although the strongest brightness level is strong, it is still considerably darker than comparatively on the ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX.
Last but not least, there is the question of handiness and ergonomics with the Pyro. To anticipate – here, as always, sovereign work was done. Writing and gaming on the Pyro is very long and comfortable. There were no complaints after our two-week test period. The only thing that one or the other might find rather unpleasant is the palm rest. With the grooved design, it can provide a lot of grip, but at the expense of the palm rests. Depending on personal taste, this is sometimes more, sometimes less good.
The red TCC switches installed on the Pyro are comparable to Cherry MX Red switches, but they are a bit softer on keystroke. This makes typing on the keyboard quite pleasant – there is also something special about them, depending on the viewing angle. They are quite loud for quiet linear switches when typing. The reason for this is the simple damping directly at the contact. Other than that, there’s nothing to complain about with the switches for the price of the keyboard.
The new Roccat Pyro may not have as sensational a design as the Magma, but it still has a lot going for it. In our review, we can only report positive things about the mechanical keyboard. The design looks more than successful, the workmanship is on a great level, which we are used to from Roccat. In terms of RGB, it is equipped with Rocca Aimo and thus offers more than enough options for individualization in a simple frame. The TCC switches in red were always reliable in our test and performed well during typing as well as gaming sessions. The price of just under 100 Euros is more than fair.