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ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Nov 09, 2023 at 11:10 am
Latest change: Test bench update Nov 29, 2023 at 09:32 am
ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air Picture
8.3
Gaming
7.5
Office
8.3
Mobile/Tablet
7.7
Programming
6.4
Entertainment / HTPC
8.3
Raw Performance

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is a wireless version of the ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini and the first wireless entry in ROCCAT's Vulcan II lineup of gaming keyboards. This keyboard uses ROCCAT's linear TITAN II OPTICAL RED switches, which have clear plastic housings paired with flat, low-profile keycaps. This design emphasizes the keyboard's RGB backlighting, which you can customize on a per-key basis and synchronize with other ROCCAT peripherals using companion software. Other features include additional LED lights on select keys to indicate when secondary functions are active and a proximity sensor that you can set to automatically lower the keyboard's RGB brightness levels when you step away to save on battery life.

Our Verdict

8.3 Gaming

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is an impressive gaming keyboard. It has great all-around latency performance and full RGB backlighting that you can customize, along with a host of other settings using the configuration software. Its linear TITAN II OPTICAL RED switches are lightweight and have short pre-travel, making them well-suited for playing fast-paced games. Unfortunately, while this keyboard's overall build quality is good, the keycaps are made of cheap-feeling ABS plastic, which is prone to developing a shiny finish and getting slippery over time.

Pros
  • Impressive latency performance.
  • Low profile keycaps and clear switch housings showcase the keyboard's RGB lighting.
Cons
  • Overall build quality isn't as good as many similarly-priced gaming models.
  • Keycaps are made of cheap-feeling ABS plastic and their flat, low-profile design can take some getting used to.
7.5 Office

While not designed specifically for this use, the ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is a relatively good keyboard for office work. It connects wirelessly with a USB receiver or via Bluetooth with up to three devices simultaneously. Its linear switches are also fairly quiet and actuate smoothly but can feel overly sensitive for most typists due to their low actuation force and extremely short pre-travel distance. Additionally, while the overall build quality is good, the bottom chassis and keycaps are made of cheaper-feeling ABS plastic that can develop a shiny finish and get slippery with extended use. Additionally, the flattened low-profile keycaps are unusual compared to those on most dedicated office keyboards and may take some getting used to.

Pros
  • Connects wirelessly with its USB receiver or with up to three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth.
Cons
  • Overall build quality isn't as good as many similarly-priced gaming models.
  • Keycaps are made of cheap-feeling ABS plastic and their flat, low-profile design can take some getting used to.
8.3 Mobile/Tablet

While The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is designed primarily as a desktop gaming keyboard, it's also great for Mobile/Tablet use. It connects wirelessly via Bluetooth with up to three devices simultaneously, and it's reasonably lightweight and fairly compact. That said, it has a fairly tall, high-profile design compared to most keyboards designed specifically for mobile use, which typically have a thinner, low-profile design. Additionally, the flat keycaps can take some time to get used to for regular typing, and while the overall build quality is good, the keycaps and bottom chassis are made of fairly cheap-feeling plastic.

Pros
  • Connects wirelessly with its USB receiver or with up to three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth.
Cons
  • Overall build quality isn't as good as many similarly-priced gaming models.
7.7 Programming

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is good for programming. You can connect it wirelessly with its USB receiver or with up to three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth. It also has full RGB backlighting and dual LEDs on many keys that display when secondary functions are active. The Compact (65%) form factor lacks a function row, which can be a major weakness if your workflow heavily depends on F-keys. There aren't any dedicated macro keys, but you can program macros to any key using the software. Additionally, while the overall build quality is good, the plastic chassis and ABS keycaps feel fairly cheap. Additionally, the keycap's flat, low profile is somewhat unusual and can take some getting used to.

Pros
  • Connects wirelessly with its USB receiver or with up to three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth.
  • Low profile keycaps and clear switch housings showcase the keyboard's RGB lighting.
Cons
  • Overall build quality isn't as good as many similarly-priced gaming models.
  • Keycaps are made of cheap-feeling ABS plastic and their flat, low-profile design can take some getting used to.
6.4 Entertainment / HTPC

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is acceptable for Entertainment or Home Theatre PC use. It connects wirelessly with its USB receiver or via Bluetooth with up to three devices simultaneously. Its compact size makes it easy to move around and use from a couch. It also has full RGB backlighting and shine-through legends on the keycaps, which are easy to read in a darker room. Unfortunately, it lacks dedicated media keys or other control elements, like a control knob or scroll wheel, so you'll likely need a mouse to navigate menus.

Pros
  • Connects wirelessly with its USB receiver or with up to three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth.
Cons
  • Overall build quality isn't as good as many similarly-priced gaming models.
8.3 Raw Performance

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air has great raw performance with impressive single-key and multi-key latency, full n-key rollover, and a 1000Hz polling rate that other latency components don't bottleneck. Altogether, it delivers a responsive-feeling experience well-suited for gaming in all genres.

Pros
  • Great single-key and multi-key latency performance.
  • 1000Hz polling rate isn't bottlenecked by other latency components.
  • Full n-key rollover.
Cons
  • 8.3 Gaming
  • 7.5 Office
  • 8.3 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.7 Programming
  • 6.4 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 8.3 Raw Performance
  1. Updated Nov 29, 2023: We've concerted this review to Test Bench 1.3.1, which adds a new estimated PCB latency test to the Single-Key Latency section and a new Analog test to the Switches section of this review. You can see the full changelog here.
  2. Updated Nov 09, 2023: Review published.
  3. Updated Sep 12, 2023: Early access published.
  4. Updated Sep 07, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  5. Updated Aug 25, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  6. Updated Aug 11, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is available in a black or white colorway with linear TITAN II OPTICAL RED Switches. At the time of writing, no other switch types are available for purchase with this keyboard, and no variants. We bought and tested the black colorway, and you can see the label of our unit here.

This keyboard bears close similarity with other keyboard models in ROCCAT's Vulcan II lineup, most notably the Vulcan II Mini, a wired version of this keyboard.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is a compact wireless gaming keyboard that continues ROCCAT's Vulcan II lineup. It's the first wireless model in the lineup, but otherwise, it shares the same design as previous entries that pairs standard-profile switches with flat low-profile keycaps. This design makes the RGB lighting on this keyboard stand out quite a bit but is also somewhat unusual as flat low-profile switches are more often matched with low-profile keycaps, as can be seen with the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro or the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. Like other recent entries in the Vulcan II lineup, this keyboard has two unusual backlighting features: a proximity sensor for the RGB lighting and additional LEDs that light up when secondary functions are active. This keyboard is a good wireless alternative to popular compact gaming keyboards like the Razer Huntsman Mini or Corsair K65 RGB MINI if you want a more RGB-focused design.

For more recommendations, see our picks for the best keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and the best RGB keyboards.

Razer Huntsman Mini

The Razer Huntsman Mini and the ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air are gaming keyboards with compact form factors. The Razer has a slightly smaller Compact (60%) form factor. It also has better build quality and better overall gaming performance. On the other hand, the ROCCAT has a Compact (65%) form factor, and its design features low-profile keycaps that better showcase the RGB lighting. Both keyboards use optical switches, but the Razer is available with clicky or linear optical switches, while the ROCCAT is only available with linear optical switches.

ROCCAT Vulcan II Max/Mini

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini is a wired version of the ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air. Both keyboards share the same size, design, and feature set, but the Vulcan II Mini Air has added wireless connectivity with a USB receiver or via Bluetooth.

Corsair K65 RGB MINI

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air are gaming keyboards with compact form factors. The Corsair is a Compact (60%), wired-only model with better overall latency performance, better build quality, and a higher 8000Hz polling rate. It's available in several Cherry MX switch options. On the other hand, the ROCCAT has a slightly larger Compact (65%) form factor. It also has low-profile keycaps that better showcase the keyboard's RGB lighting.

ROCCAT Magma

The ROCCAT Magma and the ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air are gaming keyboards. The Magma is a wired-only, full-size keyboard with rubber dome switches. The Vulcan II Mini Air is a wireless model with a smaller Compact (65%) form factor and optical switches.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Compact (65%)
Height
1.2" (3.2 cm)
Width 12.8" (32.4 cm)
Depth
4.9" (12.4 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.29 lbs (0.584 kg)

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air has a Compact (65%) form factor. It lacks a Numpad, function row, and several navigation keys typically found on full-size models. However, it retains dedicated arrow keys and takes up considerably less space on your desk.

7.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

This keyboard has good overall build quality. The lower chassis is made of generic plastic, but the top plate is aluminum. The entire keyboard is stiff and only exhibits minor flexing. The stabilizers do a good job of supporting larger keys, and there's very minimal stabilizer rattling, even on the spacebar, which frequently rattles quite noticeably on other gaming keyboards. On the bottom of the keyboard, four rubber feet do a good job of keeping the board in place on your desk. Each of the keyboard's two flip-out feet are also capped with a rubber pad.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
Maximum Incline
Home Row Height
30.3 mm (1.2")

This keyboard has acceptable ergonomics. It doesn't include a wrist rest, but there are flip-out feet on the back of the board that provide two incline settings.

3.6
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
No
Stabilizer Fixation
Non-Customizable Design
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
6.25u
Size Of Right Mod Keys
1u
Hot-Swappable Switches
No
Switch Stem Shape
Cherry MX Style
Switch PCB Socket
Soldered
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Yes

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air offers poor overall customizability. The switches have typical cross-shaped, Cherry MX-Style stems if you'd like to change out the stock keycaps. However, the LEDs are also North-facing, which can interfere with some Cherry MX profile keycaps.

10
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
Yes
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

This keyboard has full RGB lighting that you can customize on a per-key basis. Thirty of the keys are also what ROCCAT refers to as 'Smart Keys.' Instead of only one RGB LED light, these keys have an additional dedicated LED light that shows when secondary functions are active. You can customize the behavior of these secondary lights using the configuration software.

9.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

The backlighting provides outstanding backlight clarity, and the shine-through legends are clear and very easy to read in darker rooms. That said, the white-only setting has a very noticeable blue hue.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wireless
Detachable
Yes (Wired Mode and Charge)
Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

This keyboard comes with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable. It's braided and retains some kinks from its packaging.

10
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
3
Proprietary Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
Rechargeable

You can connect the ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air wirelessly with the included 2.4 GHz Stellar Wireless receiver or via Bluetooth with up to three devices simultaneously.

ROCCAT indicates a maximum battery life of up to 240 hours, but this will vary depending on your usage, connection type, and RGB lighting settings. We expect the 240-hour maximum estimate is only attainable when connected via Bluetooth and with all lighting off.

Using the 2.4Ghz receiver provides the best performance but consumes battery at a higher rate. You can adjust RGB brightness to reduce battery drain, and there's a proximity sensor setting in the configuration software that can automatically turn off backlighting when you're away from your keyboard.

4.0
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
No
Macro Programming With Software
Yes

This keyboard has no dedicated macro keys, but you can program macros to any key using the configuration software.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Non-Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball No
Scroll Wheel
No
Control Knob
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps Lock

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air has many extra features, including standard features like a Caps Lock indicator and a Windows Key lock. More unique features include the ability to apply sounds, like typewriter or sci-fi effects when typing. There's also a proximity sensor that you can set to detect when you're away from your keyboard to automatically adjust backlighting levels to conserve power.

Additionally, 30 keys on this keyboard are what ROCCAT calls 'Smart Keys.' These keys have a second LED that lights up whenever secondary functions are active and can provide visual information, like when you mute your microphone, what your computer's CPU load is, or whenever the battery life of any other paired ROCCAT devices is running low. You can customize the behavior of these 'Smart Keys' using the configuration software.

You can see some of these 'Smart Keys' in this photo, showing keycaps with shine-through legends for the top and bottom LED lights.

You can read more about this keyboard's extra features on ROCCAT's website here.

Design
In The Box

  • ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air
  • USB-A wireless receiver
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality
Key Spacing
19.0 mm (0.748")

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air provides good typing quality. The keys feel fairly stable with only minor wobble. Larger keys with stabilizers exhibit only minor wobble and minimal rattling sounds compared to most pre-built gaming keyboards. The TITAN II OPTICAL RED switches have a linear feel. They're fairly smooth from the factory and very lightweight, allowing you to actuate keys quickly. However, you might find the keys are a bit too sensitive if you're a heavier typist or like to rest your fingers directly on the keycaps.

The spacing between keys is standard, but the flat, low-profile keycaps aren't very common on other keyboards and may take some getting used to before you can type at your regular speed. Additionally, these keycaps are made of ABS plastic, which feels somewhat cheap compared to most higher-quality PBT keycaps and can develop a shiny finish with extended use.

7.8
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
50.8 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air is fairly quiet. It's very unlikely that you'll bother anyone around you while typing on it normally.

Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
TITAN II OPTICAL RED
Switch Type
Optical
Feel
Linear
Analog
No

This keyboard uses TITAN II OPTICAL RED switches, which are linear optical switches. No other switch types are available for purchase at the time of writing.

Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
45 gf
Actuation Force
45 gf
Pre-Travel
1.4 mm
Total Travel
3.7 mm

This keyboard uses TITAN II OPTICAL RED switches. These switches are very lightweight and have an extremely short pre-travel distance, making them well-suited for quick, reaction-based gaming.

Performance
8.6
Performance
Single-Key Latency
Best Connection
6.9 ms
Best Connection Std Dev ±1.0 ms
Wired
6.9 ms
Receiver
7.1 ms
Bluetooth
34.0 ms
PCB (Estimated)
5.6 ms

This keyboard has excellent single-key latency performance. It delivers a responsive-feeling experience for playing games in any genre at any competitive level.

8.1
Performance
Multi-Key Latency
Connection Evaluated Receiver
Key Press
7.1 ms
Key Release
15.8 ms

This keyboard has great multi-key latency performance. The Key Press and Key Release latency results are fairly low and reasonably consistent owing to the keyboard's 1000Hz effective update rate. This keyboard is well-suited for playing games requiring additional keystrokes while multiple keys are pressed and maintained.

8.2
Performance
Data Transmission
Connection Evaluated Receiver
USB Polling Rate
1,000 Hz
Effective Update Rate
1,000 Hz
N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
Yes
Multiple Keys Per USB Report
No

This keyboard has great data transmission performance. It supports full n-key rollover and has a 1000Hz polling rate that other latency components don't bottleneck.

8.1
Performance
Chord Split
4 Chord Split Delay
5.4 ms
8 Chord Split Delay
9.3 ms

This keyboard has very good Chord Split performance with low 4-chord and 8-chord split delay, making it well-suited for playing rhythm games that require multiple simultaneous inputs.

Software and Operating System
Software and Operating System
Configuration Software
Software Name ROCCAT Swarm
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No
Onboard Memory
Yes
Profiles
5

This keyboard uses ROCCAT's Swarm software. This software provides many expected customization options for creating custom profiles, recording macros, adjusting RGB lighting effects, and programming secondary shift functions. It also has more unusual options, like programming different keypress sounds, setting character repeat delays, or adjusting the cursor blink rate.

This software isn't intuitive or well laid out. It can take time to get used to for new users. Furthermore, like the software options from other major manufacturers, this software receives criticism for requiring frequent updates and taking up disproportionate system resources. This software may be frustrating if you prefer more lightweight software options or no software at all.

10
Software and Operating System
Computer Compatibility
Windows
Fully Compatible
macOS
Fully Compatible
Linux (Ubuntu 22)
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Windows, MacOS & Linux

This keyboard is fully compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, the configuration software is only compatible with Windows and macOS.

On Windows and Linux, all keys work as expected. On macOS, the Print Screen hotkey acts as an F13 key, and the Scroll and Break hotkeys adjust your screen brightness if you're using an Apple display.

10
Software and Operating System
Wireless Mobile Compatibility
Android
Fully Compatible
iOS
Fully Compatible
iPadOS
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Android, iPhone & iPad

This keyboard is fully compatible with Android, iOS, and iPadOS. However, there's no software available for these platforms.

All default keys work as expected on Android devices. On iOS and iPadOS devices, all default keys work as expected except for the Print, Scroll, Break, and Insert hotkeys, which do nothing.