Roccat Skeltr Gaming Keyboard Review
Roccat have been heavily involved in the gaming peripherals market for some time now. And with a solid plethora of gaming keyboards behind them such as the recently released Suora and the likes of the older Ryos Mk Pro, it seems strange that they’ve now released the Roccat Skeltr. Without taking too much away from Roccat, the Skeltr is no more a keyboard focused on gaming, but more like a multimedia interface with Bluetooth technology for mobile devices.
The great thing here is that the Roccat Sketr can be used with your PC and mobile or tablet device simultaneously. There is no need to keep connecting one or the other which saves a lot of time. There’s a button on the top right hand side of the keyboard that once pressed, the keyboard sends a signal to your mobile device. A great tool for people wanting to multitask between PC and phone. Connecting your device to the keyboard is very easy. You will however need to download the Roccat Swarm driver to your computer for this, among other functions to become active.
The whole chassis of the keyboard is made from a plastic material. It feels very robust and didn’t flex at all, even when on its hind stands. The build quality feels very rugged. I would not be scared to carry this keyboard around, or even if treated rough during intense gaming sessions. It definitely feels like it’s been built to last.
There is a groove running across the rear of the Roccat Skeltr that is able to hold several phones or even a couple of tablets at a time if you need that kind of connectivity. The USB passthrough is in the centre of the rear making it simple charging your device while it’s resting in your keyboard. The charging of the device I will stress is nowhere near as fast as it would be plugging it straight into the mains. But while it’s in use with the keyboard it saves battery draining from your phone or tablet. The only annoyance was that one the charger was plugged in, you must have your phone horizontal for it to rest in the groove. My Samsung S6 Edge’s home screen cannot go horizontal so navigating to different apps was a little difficult.
Roccat Swarm, the Roccat PC peripherals driver is also available for your mobile or tablet device. It makes for some great pairing configurations between phone and keyboard. Inside the app you can find some basic master controls for your PC such as volume control, play or skip track and a mute microphone button. The best feature I found was the PC monitoring tool where it looked at things like your CPU temperature, RAM usage and GPU load. The app was extremely easy to set up too which is nice. Both keyboard and Samsung found each other quickly as my PC and phone are on the same wireless network in my home. What was a little tedious was the fact that the app didn’t remember my computer and I had to connect to it every time I started the app. Okay it’s a few seconds out of my startup time, but it would have been nice to see.
Right, onto actual keyboard performance. The keys here use a membrane setting, which is completely different from a mechanical switch. As soon as I started typing on the Roccat Skeltr, it felt alien. My previous keyboard was a Roccat Suora with Brown switches. The keys on the Skeltr are very spongy. They have a good tactile feedback and you have to make very little effort to actually perform a keystroke. But if you are more of a gamer rather an a multimedia user, then I would definitely look elsewhere. However, Roccat’s trademark macro keys down the side of the QWERTY keyboard labeled M1 through M5 are still present, as well as the Roccat macro button which has replaced the caps lock key. There are RGB backlights for every single key. It’s not as prominent compared to the likes of Corsair’s K70 or Razer’s Chroma range but never-the-less, if you want to match the colour of your PC internals for a more streamlined desk you can do.
It’s not a bad thing that Roccat has moved away from their more conventional mechanical keyboards to a membrane style. It doesn’t look like this time round Roccat has put gaming at the forefront of its design which is great for users who aren’t heavy players. The multimedia functions of this keyboard are absolutely fantastic, and macro keys can be used in programs like Photoshop or Premiere Pro. The Roccat Skeltr is definitely up there with the best, but for pure gamers, I’d look somewhere else. For all you media heads, I couldn’t recommend this keyboard to you more.