Roccat Valo: New gaming keyboard reviewed
After a long time in development it is finally ready for sale: Roccats gaming keyboard Valo. PC Games Hardware reviews the new input device.
Roccat Valo reviewed: Introduction
Roccat's first gaming keyboard has been in development for almost two years. The result is the Valo, a high quality input device. At dimensions of 495 x 202 x 20 millimeters Roccat's creation weights 1,250 grams. In contrast to Logitech's G19 and Microsoft's Sidewinder X6 the design of the Valo is rather plain. The keyboard can be adjusted in height, but doesn't have a hand rest.
The long time of the development apparently has paid off and the Valo has several handy and well thought through features. Roccat equipped the keyboard with illuminated keys, a mini LCD, two MiByte internal memory, an additional USB port, media keys as well as a deactivation feature for the Windows keys, Shift key, Caps Lock and the Tab key. The range of delivery even includes a tool for removing keys from the board.
Furthermore the Valo offers 41 macro keys that can be assigned with up to 500 keystrokes. Roccat also delivers 45 extra keys colored in red, light and dark blue which can be used to instead of the original keys. The macros can be saved in five profiles with 4 sub-profiles (Layers) each. One of the profiles, the so-called Profile-2-Go is stored in the internal memory of the keyboard. For casual gamers this might be a little overwhelming, but fans of MMORPGs for example will most likely be happy about the huge variety. It is for example possible to create a profile for World of Warcraft and adjust the sub-profiles, or Layers, to the individual characters or classes.
The on-the-fly macro programming is surprisingly easy and is done with record and stop keys. Roccat's Valo even recognizes time delays between keystrokes and for how long a key is pressed. Programming the macros with the software as well as the position of the profile and macro keys need to be getting used to.
With the software you can also determine what kind of information is shown on the display. The USB 1.1 port of the keyboard has problems to detect an attached USB stick - using USB 2.0 would have been the better option of Roccat. Although the keys are rather flat, they nevertheless have a short and direct pressure point. For people who are writing a lot, the keystroke could have been defined a little clearer though. Another problem: If the feet of the Valo are used to increase the height of the keyboard, the slip resistance is reduced.
Roccat Valo reviewed: Conclusion
Even if the design of the Valo is a little simpler than the style of the competition the Roccat keyboard can nevertheless keep the pace in matters of accessories and range of delivery. The price of about 100 Euros is justified.
|Price/Price-Performance||ca. 100 Euros/Good|
|Cable length||175 Centimeters|
|Number of keys||159 keys|
|USB Port/Sound connectors||Yes/Yes|
|Extras||41 macro keys, LCD display, microphone, 2 MiB internal memory, profile and macro layer keys|
|Keyboard layout/clearness of arrangement||Full size/Good|
|Key height (main keys)||Medium|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||495 x 202 x 20 mm|
|Key stroke/Pressure point||Good/Very Good|
|Duck jump compatability||Yes|
|Macros freely programmable||Yes|
|Office/Gaming compatability||Good/Very Good|