Oct 23
12:09 am
MG
2
Omega
0
1:00 am
YG
0
PE
2
2:25 am
AG
1
MY
1
3:22 am
MG
1
496
1
4:41 am
Omega
0
RAG
2
6:11 am
YG
1
CRO
1
8:24 am
RAG
1
1
Oct 24
12:17 am
YG
0
MG
0
1:00 am
neon
0
0
2:00 am
RAG
0
PE
0
3:00 am
MG
0
YG
0
4:00 am
neon
0
MY
0
5:00 am
CRO
0
PE
0
7:00 am
496
0
RAG
0
Oct 25
12:00 am
AG
0
0
2:00 am
0
PE
0
3:00 am
YG
0
496
0
4:00 am
Omega
0
PE
0
5:00 am
RAG
0
CRO
0
7:00 am
YG
0
0
Oct 26
12:00 am
YG
0
PE
0

|Vulcan 121|Vulcan 121

Roccat's Vulcan 121 keyboard checks off *just about* all important peripheral boxes.

Gaming Keyboards

Roccat Vulcan 121 AIMO Keyboard Review

Chris Pollock
Finally, a keyboard that's different. There are a lot of good keyboards around, but as I've lamented before, there's often very little to differentiate between them. For some, it's the switches, and for others, it's that they're pink. But for the Roccat Vulcan 121 AIMO, it's .. well, it's a little bit of everything.
Roccat Vulcan 121 AIMO Keyboard

Roccat

Roccat Vulcan 121

The Roccat Vulcan 121 AIMO Keyboard is both style and substance. With a unique look and absolutely amazing design, you are going to be hard-pressed to find a better keyboard on the market.

Our Score

Visually, it immediately strikes you as unlike anything else, with raised, flat, thin caps rather than the deep, long ones that populate most keyboards. The new flat-top cap style allows light to easily disperse across the board, allowing the lighting effects to be more free-flowing than most keyboards. The way the RGB lights cast their field is truly different to any other keyboard I’ve used, and I love it.

Pros

  • Visual design is spectacular
  • Switches are fantastic
  • Elements of pro audio controllers
  • Unique dynamic lighting

Cons

  • Management software has some minor issues

But RGB is only as good as it’s software, and Roccat has come through with the goods there too. Although it’s not perfect, the Swarm software used to update and configure their equipment is easy to navigate, easy to use, and within minutes I was able to customize my macros, adjust the lighting, and change various behaviors of the keyboard. After experimenting with some standard layouts, I eventually settled on the dynamic lighting mode. I couldn’t exactly tell you how the dynamic mode works. It’s not like the Element Whirlwind FX or Logitech dynamic lighting that directly reflects what’s on the screen. It seems to be a combination of screen contents, speed of typing, and maybe several other things. In a blistering tornado of typing trying to rush out a draft before the end of the day, the lighting began to pulse and glow red as if superheating in response to my furious assault of keystrokes. I’m not exactly sure how it does it, but it managed to consistently pump out fresh looks for my desktop that felt good.

Swarm isn’t perfect, but in the scheme of keyboard management packages out there, it’s one of the better ones. There are some truly baffling options — would you like it to play typewriter key clicks as you type? No? Great, you’re normal and not weird. Would you like to enable options that your keyboard doesn’t support? You can do that too, it just won’t do anything. Very strange. But small oversights aside, the experience is far more user friendly than many other similar software packages.

The extras are top-notch as well – the media controls are copied almost exactly from high-end midi controllers. The buttons are a soft rubber with a low actuation that light up when pressed, and the volume knob feels satisfying and precise. The wrist-rest detaches almost instantly. This too doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you want to make use of your desk without moving your keyboard, the ability to instantly make space for electronics (or a burrito) is a fantastic user experience point. It sounds silly to heap praise on this, but it’s just another way that Roccat has differentiated the Vulcan 121 AIMO.

Roccat Vulcan 121 AIMO Keyboard close-up

And of course, since we’re talking about differentiation, I’d be remiss not to add that the Vulcan 121 AIMO uses proprietary ROCCAT Titan keyswitches. They feel similar to Razer Green switches, but with a different resistance profile, a different audio note, and with a little more precise feedback. Typing is fluid, accurate, and easy. They’re not linear, and have a defined click point, but the feeling of the click point being overcome is much better than I expected when I started using it.

But now, after three weeks, I’m sold on every aspect of the Vulcan 121 AIMO. Usually I give each keyboard two weeks in the saddle, but this one got one extra – not because I needed more time to form an opinion, but I just didn’t want to give it up. This was a full-sized keyboard too, and not the TKL layout that I prefer, so it says a lot that I consciously wanted to keep using it.

This one gets a big strong RECOMMEND from me.

Chris Pollock

Chris "chhopsky" Pollock started building computers in 1999, and it is no coincidence that the dotcom crash happened almost immediately afterwards. After two decades bouncing between tech, esports, game development, and broadcast production, he has settled in Vancouver, BC where he spends too much time cursing at the Unreal Engine editor and half-finishing game prototypes. He writes articles about mice, keyboards, headsets, and any other piece of technology he can get his hands on, no matter how many times we ask him nicely to stop.

More from author

Want more Hotspawn delivered right to your Inbox?

Thank you for subscribing to the Hotspawn Newsletter. Keep an eye on your inbox for updates!

Checking your Email, please wait...

An error occured while signing you up. Please try again later.

Sign up for the Hotspawn newsletter to receive the latest esports and tech news, exclusive offers, giveaways, and more!

* Please enter a valid email address

* You must agree to the privacy policy to continue