Pro-Level Performance: An In-Depth Look at the Turtle Beach Vulcan II TKL Pro Keyboard

Every now and then, the wild and wonderful world of gaming peripherals sees the launch of a product that claims to elevate your gaming. This is the latest in our run of TB reviews Turtle Beach is best known for its range of very high-end audio headsets, but – like a lot of companies – it has started to look seriously at the pro gamer market to see how it can expand its range. One of these recent additions to its portfolio of pro-gear is the Turtle Beach Vulcan II TKL Pro keyboard. So, is it worth the ‘pro’ moniker it carries? Let’s dig out what it offers, what its quirks are and what it delivers for money.

THE PRO DESIGN: Compact and Sleek

Crafting a PRO Aesthetic

With a tenkeyless (TKL) layout, the Vulcan II TKL Pro features no number pad, resulting in better compactness. Its top, made of aluminium, adds to the look of the keyboard while also being durable. Its per-key RGB lighting is nothing to scoff at either, adding a statement to your setup and going all-in on the pro look and feel.

Ergonomics and PRO Touches

Its low profile and light weight make it feel less like a hulking space-taker, while its intuitive ergonomics – two height-adjustable kickstands and a soft foam wrist rest – salvage it for pro gamer use, even if stepping down to full-sized keycaps is a shame.

PRO FEATURES: Beyond the Surface

A Tactile Journey with Magnetic Hall Effect Switches

Peel back its gamer-friendly exterior, and the Turtle Beach Vulcan II TKL Pro is notable for its Hall Effect magnetic switches, the latest in keystroke innovation. I’ve been trying out the keyboard for a month now, and although the keystroke is buttery smooth – reaching that coveted ‘thock’ goal is out of the question – it’s quite satisfying, nonetheless. In terms of responsiveness, gamers can select from five different actuation points for each key, ranging from 0.1mm to 4.0mm – the shorter the distance, the faster the keyboard responds to your keystroke.

Customization at Your Fingertips

Swarm II software allows input from pro gamers to be fed back into the Vulcan II TKL Pro. This allows the keyboard to be customised down to its RGB lighting, macros, and actuation points, adding an uncommon degree of fine-grained control to what can be done to a keyboard. This level of personalisation to your gaming hardware adds another layer of the youness that can be programmed.

THE PRO GAMING EXPERIENCE: Performance on the Frontline

Highlights and Shadows

Field-tested on flagship esports titles including Counter-Strike 2 and Final Fantasy XIV, Vulcan II TKL Pro’s strengths and weaknesses become apparent. Ultra-short actuation that registers input immediately is great for games that require fast reflexes, but the small keycaps make it less certain whether or not complex manoeuvres have been made just right, which could be a deal-breaker for not all pro gamers.

Pro for Work, With Caveats

It also works well as a daily-driver for typing outside of gaming – thanks to the magnetic switches, every keystroke is a smooth one. It’s like having a daily driver and a weekend performance car rolled into one. But the quirky design of the keycaps might still take some getting used to for some users.

Is It Worth the PRO Price Tag?

The Turtle Beach Vulcan II TKL Pro retails for $149.99 USD, a gamey mid-to-high range. The combination of its unique features, programme-able options, comfortable, compact design and magnetic switches make this keyboard an option for anyone looking to pay for a pro gaming set-up. It might not be the Holy Grail of game keyboards, but the company’s well-designed pro-level adjustments can make a case that’s hard to ignore for anyone looking to get the most out of their gaming world.

Understanding 'PRO' in the Vulcan II TKL Pro

While the root sense of ‘pro’ indicates ‘for the professional’ and ‘skilled in a particular art’, in the context of the Turtle Beach Vulcan II TKL Pro, ‘pro’ refers to an emphasis on features and customisation that provides gamers with an edge in elite play. The keyboard allows for switching the actuation point on the keys, has a smoother magnetic switch, and bundles that with software customisation with the discerning pro gamer in mind for a supposed edge, one that combines style and function – as long as one is not too concerned about the size of the keycaps.

In conclusion, while Turtle Beach’s Vulcan II TKL Pro is a guided missile of a gaming keyboard, the company’s first steps into the gaming keyboard market are very impressive. It’s quite stylish in its way, it performs well across a wide range of applications, and yet there’s some customisation of the device in there too. For the right gamer, it is a step onto the journey of personalisation that pro gaming can inspire. The Turtle Beach Vulcan II TKL Pro is available now.

Jun 12, 2024
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