Roccat Magma Review RGB Rubber Dome Keyboard With 26-key Rollover

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

While mechanical keyboards seem to be more popular than membrane keyboards, it is a misconception to think mechanical keyboards are better than membrane keyboards! Both types of keyboards have their pros and cons and both work well for gaming, believe it or not! When it really comes to it, the only difference that really matters is the feel of mechanical switches being easier to press. When gaming you can still perform well with a membrane keyboard like the one pictured, which is Roccat's newest rubber dome keyboard with RGB lights and a membrane actuation system.

The Roccat Magma keyboard is entirely made of plastic, including the top plate, which is made of semi-translucent plastic that diffuses the back lighting via ten leds located strategically across the keyboard in five different zones. The Magma keyboard has 5 lighting zones (just like the Kone AIMO gaming mouse), which are also independently configurable so, you can make the Magma keyboard multi-colored.

The bottom panel of the Magma keyboard is also made of plastic and has a ridged design with rubberized pads and two height adjustment raisers to elevate the front end of the keyboard (from 3.5cm to 4.5cm high). The feet raisers provide an extra 1cm height adjustment. The power cable is located in the front centre of the keyboard and, it's a non-detachable 1.8 meter long rubber sheathed cable.

The Roccat Magma membrane keyboard has a standard bottom row with a total of 105 keys (including 7 media keys) and 26-key rollover support. N-key rollover is typically supported by most mechanical keyboards and, it's ideal mainly because it means every key on the keyboard has been designed to register independently, which prevents the so-called "ghosting" effect where extra key presses are registered when multiple keys are pressed together. 

Most membrane keyboards typically support 10 simultaneous key presses (10-key rollover); whereas the Magma keyboard is able to register 26 key presses simultaneously. The Roccat Magma keyboard comes with an all plastic palm rest, which has a ridge textured finish and sits level against the bottom row of the keyboard. While the palm rest isn't padded, it prevents the wrists from bending, making the typing experience more comfortable. The Magma keyboard weighs 870 grams, which is 80 grams lighter than the Roccat Pyro keyboard.

Being a membrane keyboard, the Magma keyboard uses rubber dome switches rather than mechanical switches. This means, the Magma keyboard does not have springs or metal contacts; hence the actuation is a little quieter, as well as tactile and responsive, not mushy. As far as sound, key presses are relatively silent compared to a mechanical keyboard because of the rubber domes which dampen the sound, although it mostly depends on the typing style. If you're an aggressive typist, the keys will make a subdued clank sound as demonstrated on the below video.

Unlike most membrane keyboards, which usually have a "buried style" keybed, the Magma keyboard has an "open style" keybed that exposes the keys, making them stand up as if floating in mid-air. The open style keybed also makes it easier to clean in-between keys, as well as de-keying the keyboard.

The Magma keyboard has a sturdy key construction with exposed metal wire underneath the longer keys (space bar, enter key, etc). The metal wire is typically found hidden in most keyboards and its purpose it's to provide a uniform pressure point across the keycap so, key presses register no matter where you press on the keycap.

You can change profiles, adjust brightness and activate Game Mode directly from the Roccat Magma keyboard. If you want to change lighting effects and re-assign keys, you will need to download the software (Roccat Swarm), which only supports Windows computers (Win 7/9/10). The software lets you store up to 5 independent profiles, change the lighting speed and brightness, choose color themes (10 presets to choose from) and remap keys. There is also an option called Aimo Intelligent lighting, which basically makes the keyboard lighting react to your key presses. Changing profiles from the keyboard only works when the Roccat Swarm software is open/running.

Being a membrane keyboard, the input lag is a bit higher than a mechanical keyboard. This is because of the naturally slower reaction time of rubber dome switches. To register a keypress with a membrane keyboard, the keycap has to bottom out; whereas mechanical switches actuate and register about half way through the keypress, so your action in game happens faster.

The main advantage of a membrane keyboard vs a mechanical keyboard it's the sound produced. If you share a room with someone or your gaming computer happens to be in a shared bedroom, the Magma membrane keyboard is the better option because you will be able to type at night without disturbing anyone. 

The Magma keyboard is better than your standard rubber dome keyboard because the key actuation isn't mushy. That said, for competitive gaming a mechanical switch keyboard such as the Roccat Vulcan TLK Pro maybe more suited. You can buy the Roccat Magma keyboard from amazon.

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