ROCCAT Magma Review – Gaming Keyboard
As mechanical keyboards continue to dominate the gaming keyboard market, ROCCAT is out to prove that there are still gamers who love the look and feel of a membrane gaming keyboard; especially when they can showcase mesmerizing RGB effects such as the ROCCAT Magma RGB gaming keyboard does. But are you better off spending a few extra dollars for a mechanical keyboard such as the ROCCAT Vulcan 120? Or has ROCCAT bridged the gap in performance between mechanical and membrane keyboards with the ROCCAT Magma?
First things first, the ROCCAT Magma gaming keyboard is not for gaming enthusiasts that appreciate subtle RGB effects. In fact, there is nothing subtle about the Magma as its 5-zone RGB illumination can be quite overwhelming and dare I say it, flamboyant. This does, however, create a clever illusion of its keycaps almost floating above the keyboard’s chassis. This is thanks to its large semi-translucent membrane plate that houses a total of 10 LEDs that provide all the RGB effects, including support for ROCCAT’s AIMO lighting technology – The results speak? Well, they speak for themselves!
Despite its plastic chassis and base plate, the keyboard feels rather durable and is well built. There is noticeable flex when put under stress but if you are twisting your keyboard with two hands while gaming then you are clearly doing something wrong.
Coming in at a price point of under 100 bucks ($99.95 AUD), it does mean that the Magma misses out on some luxury features such as dedicated media controls and per-key RGB illumination. You do get ROCCAT Easy-Shift[+] technology that adds a second function to each key, along with an included detachable palm rest, but I do have a soft spot for dedicated media controls. The palm rest helps support your wrists during those long gaming sessions but it does feel a bit cheap. The ridged finish of the plastic does look nice, but it is a pain to keep clean and fails to provide any anti-slip features that you would expect from a palm rest.
As you would expect from a membrane keyboard, performance is where these keyboards fall short (in comparison to mechanical keyboards). The Magma addresses some of the traditional limitations of membrane keyboards, particularly multiple key registrations by including 26 key rollover, but the limitations of the hardware does still mean that you are sacrificing performance to a degree (again, compared to a mechanical keyboard). However, when compared to one of the best membrane keyboards on the market, the SteelSeries Apex 3, the Magma is quite impressive as it feels just as good and easily matches the Apex 3’s response time.
A common criticism of membrane keyboards is the mushy feedback of a keypress. This simply doesn’t compare with the satisfying audible click or tactile feel of a mechanical key. This is one of the unfortunate characteristics associated with a membrane keyboard, but there are some upsides as they are whisper quiet! Streamers who don’t want each keypress to be heard on their stream or gamers who stay up late at night would both benefit from the silence that a membrane keyboard can provide and trust me, parters hate the loud clicking noise of a mechanical keyboard at 3 am while they’re trying to go to sleep!
For all your customisation needs, ROCCAT Swarm provides everything you will need. The interface of Swarm has always been the Achilles heel of the software, but once you become familiar with it then you can quickly modify the keyboard to suit with such features as its 5-zone RGB illumination effects, key bindings, Easy Shift[+] function, shortcuts, and even keypress sound effects! Now, this may not be for everyone, but it sure did keep me entertained!
As far as value for money goes, it is hard to look past the ROCCAT Magma as it provides exceptional bang for buck. Its semi-translucent top plate takes full advantage of the Magma’s 5-zone RGB illumination and really allows the keyboard to stand out from the crowd. This flamboyant design may not appeal to gamers who prefer subtle use of RGB lighting, but if you don’t like bright and vivid RGB lighting, then are you even a true gamer? ROCCAT has addressed the main issue with membrane keyboards by providing 26 key rollover to ensure that most key inputs are registered, but the squishy feedback of the membrane dome still fails to compete with the tactile response of a mechanic switch. At less than $100AUD, the ROCCAT Magma is perfect for entry-level gamers who want a stylish keyboard that won’t wake up the household or for anyone who appreciates value and performance.
ROCCAT Magma Review
- PERFORMANCE - 85%85%
- FEATURES - 85%85%
- DESIGN - 89%89%
- VALUE - 97%97%
The ROCCAT Magma is one of the best membrane keyboards on the market thanks to its mesmerising RGB lighting, 26 key rollover, and bargain price of just $99.95 AUD!