With the Vulcan models, manufacturer ROCCAT ventured into the opto-mechanical keyboard segment, which succeeded excellently with the original Vulcan TKL Pro (our review). Now the manufacturer is reissuing the keyboard in a white color scheme. Our ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White review explains what the new edition has in store.
|Key switch type||ROCCAT Titan Switch Optical (1.4 mm actuation distance, linear)|
|Sampling rate||1,000 Hz|
|Microcontroller||32-bit ARM Cortex M0-based processor|
|Software||ROCCAT® Swarm Software|
|Cable connection||USB type C|
|Cable length||1.8 m, braided|
|Dimension||360 x 133 x 34 mm|
|Price||€ 138.58 *|
ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White review: package contents
Just one look at the packaging of the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White reveals that, apart from the design, not much has changed here. The new keyboard also comes in a small, colorful cardboard box that only contains the bare essentials.
The keyboard rests in a protective plastic sleeve over a cardboard slipcase, which only contains the connection cable besides the quick start guide. Fortunately, it is a detachable and robust, fabric-covered USB-C to USB-A cable. The length of about 1.8 meters is also satisfactory.
Design and finish
In terms of design, the new ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White differs only minimally from the regular black model. And yet, it’s those certain nuances in the color choice that make for a more refined appearance.
Instead of a black aluminum case, the new edition relies on a silver body, on which the flat white keycaps are even better accentuated. This makes the entire keyboard look brighter, friendlier and also a bit more upscale, at least visually.
But the compact Ten-Key-Less keyboard also leaves a very good impression in other respects. Thanks to a width of only 36 centimeters and a maximum depth of 13 centimeters, there is more than enough room on the desk for extensive mouse movements or additional peripherals.
Visually, the new model also relies on a futuristic design, where the inwardly curved keycaps float freely above the transparent switches. The upper right corner of the keyboard also features a finely graduated scroll wheel to adjust the volume and a button to mute the speakers completely.
On the other hand, no innovations await us on the bottom, which is once again made of plastic to save weight. In total, the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White weighs 660 grams. There are three rubberized feet on the underside, which prevent the keyboard from slipping away. At the top, the flip-out feet also feature a wide rubber coating while allowing the keyboard to tilt.
ROCCAT once again does without dedicated macro or function keys. Functions are enabled via the FN button along with another key input, just like on the normal Vulcan TKL Pro. These include a game mode that deactivates the Windows key or the possibility to turn the RGB lighting on and off, dim it or change the effects.
Processing of the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White
In terms of workmanship, the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White paints the same picture as the black model. The compact keyboard is undoubtedly one of the highest quality keyboards currently available on the market. All materials feel very high-quality and robust, which is additionally underlined by a pleasant feel. Thanks to the additional reinforcement of the new, roughened aluminum plate, the white model looks even a bit more robust than its predecessor. However, this impression cannot really be substantiated.
ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White in a practical test
In practice, the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White proves to be an excellent keyboard and not only in gaming mode, but also when typing a text. Once again, the manufacturer realizes this through its in-house Titan Switch Optical. They trigger linearly with an extremely small actuation distance of 1.4 millimeters.
However, they are not purely mechanical keys, but optical switches. In the opto-mechanical switches, a light beam below the switch provides the signal. If you press the key down, this is broken and the keyboard recognizes the stroke.
This reduces the mechanical load, which results in a particularly long service life of up to 100 million keystrokes. This system also has a positive influence on the response time of the strokes, as well as the trigger distance.
Positive: The metallic noise, which we had to criticize especially in the space bar of the black model, is conspicuous by its absence in the new Arctic White edition. However, there is a small point of criticism regarding the selection options, because the Titan Switches are only available as a linear model.
Fans of tactile or clicking switches are therefore not served here – those who are explicitly looking for “clicky feedback” will be left out in the cold. However, this circumstance does not really weigh heavily, because the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White triggers pleasantly precise and turns out neither too loud nor too quiet.
Chic RGB lighting
Due to the white color scheme of the keyboard, the noble RGB lighting naturally catches the eye even better. Once again, only the transparent main key designations are illuminated, while the glossy aluminum base plate also shines in color.
The secondary functions of the individual keys remain unlit. From the black model, the Arctic White variant has also inherited the illuminated CAPS LOCK button, which shines white when activated and thus skillfully stands out from the bright colors of surrounding buttons.
Software connectivity: ROCCAT Swarm
In terms of software, ROCCAT Swarm is once again used, which doesn’t come across quite as clearly as some other manufacturers’ solutions in terms of its black and blue design. On the software side, Swarm provides the obligatory options for reassigning individual keys, adjusting the lighting in various effects and creating and saving macros.
Regarding the illumination, the intelligent “AIMO” mode is once again particularly noteworthy. Here, the keyboard relies on natural color gradients and reacts to inputs with color changes. If you hold down a key longer, the surrounding keys also glow in the same color. Definitely a chic and nice gimmick.
If you miss the acoustics of a clicky keyboard, you can also find a remedy in the software. Thus, it is possible to provide every keystroke with a sound feedback via the loudspeakers. Besides a click, there are sounds of a typewriter, a ray and a sci-fi effect available, which can also be adjusted in terms of volume. Nicely meant, but unfortunately rather annoying than being a real option.
Conclusion on the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White
Surprisingly, the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White is a little bit more than just a re-release of the well-known TKL keyboard in a new color. An even higher-quality finish, a more refined design and further detail improvements ensure that the white model outperforms its black predecessor.
The combination of high-quality opto-mechanical switches and chic AIMO lighting is still beyond reproach. The compact form factor with its elegant finish cuts an excellent figure on the office desk as well as in the gaming room.
Only the lack of tactile or clicking switches and the relatively high price remain as minimal points of criticism. Otherwise, you get a first-class keyboard with the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro Arctic White, which should delight gamers and frequent writers alike.