The variety of keyboards in all sizes is immense and with it comes the minimalist keyboards that people like me are looking for. More space in our workstation, aesthetics, among other things, but the key to these “Mini” keyboards is not to lose the functions of a normal keyboard.
In the following paragraphs I’m going to tell you about my experience with the Vulcan II Mini Air wireless keyboard (I previously reviewed the Vulcan II Mini wired version). Like its wired version, this Vulcan II Mini Air offers a number of good features without losing the most important thing: comfort when writing.
Starting with the most important, the Mini keyboards in this case have a shape called 65% (compared to a full one which is 100%) but the most remarkable thing here is that we keep the directional arrows. In other of my reviews I have mentioned that this is an interesting factor to maintain since a lot of space is sacrificed to maintain them. Some keyboards do not have directional arrows but are 60% shape.
For those who don’t really mind having to press the Fn key to activate the second layer of features, these keyboards are a godsend. The most interesting thing here is that this keyboard has 29 multifunctions (which can be seen identified on the keys). All these functions are distributed in an intelligent way but the most striking thing about this is that they light up differently with the RGB to give us even more notion of what is happening.
Other companies choose not to actually show you the key layout or what each key does when you press it and this can lead to a certain kind of headache (at least for me) having to memorize what each key does, although over time it becomes more easy I think the best way is to do what ROCCAT does.
The Vulcan II family has the peculiarity of having one of the best switches for gamers, the TITAN II offer a fairly fast response when pressing keys. Even at the time of writing this review my experience is quite good, not only because of the speed when typing but also the smoothness that it has. Although compared to the Vulcan II that I also reviewed recently, this one does make a bit more noise.
“Soft as butter” you can say that the TITAN II switches can feel and it is that it does not make me any resistance. When I tried Glorious GMMK PRO my experience was quite different, since it could feel like you are using a typewriter in many cases. Practically 80% of the value of a keyboard is the experience at the moment of using it and this keyboard has given me a very good one.
ROCCAT’s RGB is one of the most outstanding and in this white Vulcan II Mini Air it comes out quite a bit, although I must admit that darker colored keyboards take advantage of these functions more. The white color means that the RGB does not have much use since not all the color combination helps to stand out. The brightness of this must also be high to be able to identify the keys, but this is something more for the user’s taste and it is not a direct problem that is worth highlighting a lot.
The specifications of this product are:
- Form factor: 65%
- Connectivity: Detachable USB-C to wired USB-A,
- 2.4GHz wireless dongle,
- 3xBluetooth 5.2
- Cable: Detachable 1.8m braided USB-C USB-A 2.0
- Switch Life Cycle: Tested up to 150 million
- Polling rate: 1000 Hz
- Built-in memory: 4MB
- Onboard profile: 5
- RGB: RGB lighting per keyboard + 29 smart keys
- Keyboard switching: full key (NKRO) with 100% anti-ghosting
- Processor: 32-bit ARM Cortex M3
- Software: ROCCAT SWARM
- Battery life: up to 240 hours (varies by use/proximity sensor)
- Adjustable height: Yes, 3 different heights
As you can see the number of connections of this keyboard is not only wireless, but we can put 3 different Bluetooth connections to 3 different devices. If we press the function key and we can see how the connections that we want to activate for each of them are highlighted. There is no confusion and it will not be difficult to adapt at all. The idea of this clade is to make our lives more comfortable in every way.
As always inside the box comes the Vulcan II Mini keyboard, a detachable braided USB cable (USB-C charging), the Stellar wireless dongle, and a quick start guide. Of the few keyboards that let you see the battery percentage in the taskbar, this is one. We simply have to activate this function through the ROCCAT Swarm software, which by the way is quite useful in this case to configure the battery use profiles.
Let’s talk about the battery
This section would be the most relevant in this keyboard since it is wireless and for this ROCCAT has added a function that I find quite interesting and innovative. The keyboard has a proximity sensor that when it feels that we are going to touch the keyboard, the RGB is activated automatically. The purpose, as you can imagine, is to give us a better battery life since the greatest consumption is in lighting.
In that same order, 3 different modes have been included in this sensor (it can be configured manually by ROCCAT Swarm). These modes are: Work Mode, Work & Play and Holiday Mode. Each of them focuses on different bars that help manage the battery, for example Work Mode has more standby time with less RGB and a very reduced average time to be active. If we move our hands away, the keyboard immediately goes into standby mode and even if our hands are close, the RGB is off and not all functions are active (to save battery). This mode offers us up to a total of 750 hours of use, something incredible for me.
The other modes go hand in hand, offering 150 hours on average for Work & Play while Holiday mode offers 90 hours. The colors are for everyone, but I must say that these battery usage profiles are essential since they give us a perspective of the time we will have before charging our keyboard.
Another important thing is that the keyboard is Dual LED, which means that some keys are always on to let us know which keys are vital. In this case, the Fn + Tab key, for example, helps us to change profiles if we press it, as well as the keys that help multimedia. This is more to help us find them quickly rather than actually looking for what the combination is.
The key mapping is well done for both the left and right hand. Just press the Fn key and any command in the second option and that’s it. This is thanks to Easy-Shift[+] that helps to unlock those functions that are not so necessary for day to day but we need to have them. For a more personalized mapping we can create our special commands using the ROCCAT Swarm program. For any other reference to the advantages of this keyboard, you can see the review of the wired version, which is practically the same.
Like its wireless version, this keyboard boasts a great deal of its virtues. Its features are quite innovative and the TITAN II optical switches make everything even easier while typing or gaming. This has excellent ROCCAT signature RGB lighting making it even more relevant to use. This is a compact keyboard with all the functions of a full keyboard with the facility to quickly learn the keys since they are well identified. The use of the battery is extremely good and more so with the use of the proximity sensor that ended up crowning this keyboard as one of the most interesting that I have tried. As a mechanical keyboard itself, typing noise is minimal, its weight is about average compared to others but much more useful in every way. This review was carried out with a copy provided by ROCCAT.