Review: Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo Keyboard & Kain 120 Mouse (PC)

Roccat, at first glance, may not seem like they have been taking the gaming peripheral sphere serious from its past, but it seems like the company is playing to its strengths as of recent, and that’s always welcome. On the box of the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo, it proudly says “German Design & Engineering.”

We’re fans of that.

And, while it’s eye-catching design will certainly be getting a lot of attention, there’s also some finer details that Roccat has lavished on the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo in a bid to make it one of the best mechanical keyboards money can buy. But, has it succeeded? 

The design of the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo is, quite simply, stunning. As soon as we saw it, we loved the look. In many ways, the design is quite conservative for a gaming keyboard. There’s a brushed aluminium body, and the seemingly obligatory RGB back lighting, but one small difference really makes this keyboard stand out.

And that is the keys themselves. Unlike other keyboards that have key caps that cover the entire key, including the switch, the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo only has keycaps over the top of the key, leaving the rest exposed. Very modern, and very elegant looking.

It’s a small design tweak that makes a huge difference, giving the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo an industrial-like feel as the mechanical parts are exposed, while also giving a hint of retro cool that’s similar to old typewriters24.

It certainly doesn’t look old fashioned, however, as those RGB LEDs which light up each individual key look even more striking as they glow around each key, as well as through the top, as the switches themselves are transparent.

There’s no dedicated macro keys on the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo, which some people may miss, but we think helps keep it from feeling cluttered. 

Instead, macros can be assigned to the F1, F2, F3 and F4 keys. There is a dial knob in the top right-hand corner of the keyboard. Next to it are three buttons. One mutes the volume of your device. The next button is the ‘FX’ button. Pressing this, then twisting the knob lets you scroll through the various lighting options. There is also a volume button, and pressing this lets you use the knob to control sound volume.

It also comes with a wrist rest you can attach to it. It’s a nice addition, but it’s made of rigid plastic, which means it’s not as comfortable to use as a padded wrist rest. It’s the one misstep in an otherwise flawless design.

Roccat is yet another company that has dropped the popular Cherry MX mechanical switches for its own, with the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo using Roccat Titan switches. These have a 1.8mm actuation point, and are probably most similar to Cherry MX Brown switches.

So, you get a tactile switch that feels light and fast. The half-weight caps on the keys don’t just give the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo an impressive look, it also allows the keys to return to their position much, much faster. It’s not as loud as some mechanical keyboards are, but the quickness of the switches makes it a fantastic keyboard for typing on, as well as a very good gaming keyboard.

According to Roccat, the electrical bounce time of the keys is reduce by 20%, compared to Cherry MX Switches, to 4ms, and it results in a very responsive feeling keyboard that can keep up with frantic typing, as well as fast-paced action in games. I went ahead and tested the keys with DJMAX RESPECT V, MUSYNC, Vectronom and a few other games that required some serious spot on timing and I was not disappointed. Not only did I feel like my skill increased the more I spent time with it, but I felt that using less force with the raised style when striking consecutive keys in a row kept pressure on my fingers and hand low.

Playing these games, my accuracy was unlike any other. Never using a mechanical keyboard for longer than 5 minutes before, I felt that with the low pressure ‘clicks’ assisted in keeping the in-game beat and tactile feedback of this keyboard stood out.

Moving onto the Roccat Kain 120 mouse, the mouse itself looks excellent, finished in a smooth plastic texture, the shell feels solid and at the bottom we have the Roccat logo window which will illuminate with RGB effects and can be fully custom with the provided software. The DPI button is very special to me, it is in the style of the buttons found on DJ Controllers, it has a rubbery quality feel to it that instills confidence in stamina over long usage. The scroll wheel does not go for any fancy tire styles just useful ridges that gives some good grip. The left and right mouse buttons are separate from the main body and have a satisfying click to them. What looks like a metal strip in the middle appears to be metallic coated plastic. The mouse itself feels quite long and will suit palm grips well, likely best for those with larger hands.

The Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo keyboard and the KAIN 120 mouse are both now available via select retailers and on the Roccat dedicated web shop.

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