With gaming capabilities and requirements constantly evolving and advancing, tech companies are forced to adapt and design better hardware to stay on top of the competition, and German manufacturer ROCCAT have stepped up with the Horde AIMO, sporting everything and more that you could look for in a keyboard.
Starting with the basics, the keyboard itself was very simple to set up - simply plug it in and for the most part, it does everything on its own. The keyboard is very comfortable to use, with a detachable palm rest for extra convenience. The keys just feel right, even if my muscle memory meant that for the first week or so, I would occasionally miss keys when pressed reflexively under pressure.
One of my favourite features of the keyboard is the tuning wheel. Whilst most keyboard wheels are stuck to changing the volume, the wheel on the Horde AIMO offers precise control over multiple functions besides volume, ranging from keyboard brightness, microphone volume, and even a task switcher, that allows you to cycle through all open applications, which is useful when you’re working with multiple programs.
Keyboards are either membrane or mechanical. Membrane keyboards are those cheap ones with the rubber that get all sorts of crap inside them and stop working. Mechanical keyboards are all the rage nowadays, especially in the gaming community. The annoying loud clicking they generate is made up for in the amazing responsiveness of the keys, and the tears of everyone that you ever go on voice-activated comms with. But for some, the obnoxious sound is enough to put them off ever getting one, which is where ROCCAT have come in to save the day.
Coining the term ‘Membranical’, the Horde AIMO manages to combine the technology to give you the soft, quiet touch of a membrane keyboard, with the responsiveness and longevity of a mechanical. Sporting what is being described by many as the best membrane-based keyboard on the market, ROCCAT have certainly outdone themselves with the creation. ROCCAT have kept many details regarding the membranical design close to their chest, but have stated the keys have a ‘fast midway travel actuation point’, achieving an actuation speed of 7.8ms, when compared to the standard membrane keyboard of 9.0ms actuation speed.
As with any gaming keyboard, macros are generally included as a must-have feature. The keyboard has five programmable macro keys. The keys can be easily assigned by use of the ROCCAT Swarm software, which can also be used to further customise things like key bindings and illumination. I was a bit worried about how responsive they’d be due to being membrane and macros often being needed on the moment they’re pressed, but ROCCAT tackled this worry in an amusing yet practical manner: by sinking the macro keys deeper into the keyboard so they have less distance to go before registering as a press. To test the macro keys themselves, I made one for the ‘struggle’ function for when you’re on the hook in Dead By Daylight that repeatedly ‘pressed’ the spacebar with a delay of 0.05 seconds and continued for as long as it was held down. The longest amount of time you can ‘struggle’ for before dying is 44 seconds, and the macro managed to hit this almost every time (with the almost being down to human error of pressing too early/late).
Overall, ROCCAT’s latest keyboard is definitely one that any gamer is going to want to get their hands on. With a current pricing of £89.99 on their website at time of writing, it’s certainly worth the investment if you put a lot of time into gaming, whether casual or competitive. Simple to set up, easy to use and effective at what it sets out to do, there’s not much that could be done to improve the Horde AIMO.
Roccat Horde AIMO Review
ROCCAT’s latest keyboard is definitely one that any gamer is going to want to get their hands on. With a current pricing of £89.99 on their website at time of writing, it’s certainly worth the investment if you put a lot of time into gaming, whether casual or competitive. Simple to set up, easy to use and effective at what it sets out to do, there’s not much that could be done to improve the Horde AIMO.