Review: Roccat Suora

Is there such a thing as too minimalist?

Update: Since this review went up, Roccat has released an LED-lit model called the Roccat Suora FX. It is functionally the exact same as the original Suora, but now features high-quality configurable backlighting too.

Despite using Roccat’s already iffy Swarm configuration program, setting up the FX and giving it a lighting scheme I like (all the colours, always, now and forever) was pretty dang painless. None of the weird bugs, poor signposting or annoying delays I’ve found in the other times I’ve used Swarm happened here, which was nice.

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The lighting looks great. Roccat’s other RGB LED lighting can have some very visible transitions between colours at times, which can be distracting when the hardware is just in the corner of your vision, but the fade on the Suora FX is smooth as silk. It’s not as vibrant as other keyboards, even at the brightest setting, but it’s enough to be visible and good looking.

If you like the sound of the Suora, the FX is the exact same, just with fancy lighting. For me and my weird Tron fantasies that’s fabulous, but for the more minimalist type, the original model will suit you just fine.

The Suora FX was provided for review by the manufacturer. The original review continues below.

Gaming peripherals can look awful sometimes. If it’s not garish RGB lighting, it’s probably extra angles and edges that make it look like something you’d find in an alien torture chamber. Roccat has tried to buck this trend with the Suora, a minimalist, bare-bones frameless mechanical keyboard that, while definitely a great piece of kit, might ultimately be a bit too pricey for what it is.

If minimalism is what you’re into the Suora looks fantastic. It has smooth edges and raised keys that aren’t impeded by the normal gaming peripheral clutter. The backlighting is nice and vibrant on its max setting, however for those who’d prefer it can be disabled or toned down through the Swarm configuration program. The utilitarian design makes the Suora a lightweight device, making it the ideal keyboard for LAN party-goers and eSports players who need their equipment to be easily movable.

Unfortunately, that lightweight design also means that it’s easy to accidentally push it around the desk while in use. The bottom surface is a slippery matte plastic, and so the only way to get it to stop moving is to use the raising feet, which for some people results in an uncomfortable typing position. I like my keyboards to be flat, but I also like them to not wander off while I’m mid-sentence. It feels like a stepdown from the Ryos, which had absolutely zero budge.

The ideal keyboard for LAN party-goers and eSports players who need their equipment to be easily movable.

The mechanical keys, which appear to have TCC brown switch, which is a nice change from the usual dominance cherry switches have in mechanical keyboards. Each key has a decent amount of click to it. I’ve found previous Roccat keyboards to feel somewhat ‘gritty’ and mushy, but that’s definitely a problem that has been fixed for the Suora. The keys are raised high above the backplate which makes keeping it clean isn’t an utter arse ache like in embedded keyboard designs.  The key activation distance is incredibly small, which makes controlling games quick and responsive with a bit of practice.

It’s obvious the Suora is all about function, with the high-quality keys and the trim design, but there are still one or two neat features. It has dedicated volume keys, which even my more “gamer-y” Roccat Ryos lacks. There’s also an easy “game mode” button that disabled the windows key to prevent accidentally losing focus on the game by opening the windows start menu.

This is a bare-bones device with that standard gaming premium price.

However, the biggest problem of the Suora is the extent to which the minimalist focus has been taken. Yes, this is made to be a bare-bones device without all the unnecessary faffing of a standard gaming board, but it still comes with that gaming keyboard premium price, and so the lack of dedicated macro keys or even a USB passthrough is disappointing.

In terms of raw performance, the Suora is incredibly impressive. It has a great typing feel and a couple of much-appreciated features. It looks smooth and tasteful too, which is not something that can be said by a lot of gaming peripherals. The focus on minimalism extends too far, though, with basic functionality like a USB passthrough and a non-slip bottom surface making justifying the relatively hefty price a difficult task.

Basically, if you need performance, performance, and more performance, the Suora is the way to go. It’s by far Roccat’s best keyboard yet in terms of raw power. If you need a bit more functionality or are planning to use this as a day-to-day keyboard, you might be disappointed.

Hardware supplied by the manufacturer for the purposes of this review.

Manufacturer: Roccat

MSRP: £94.96, 99.99 

Input: 1x USB 2.0+

  • Sleek and stylish
  • Great typing experience
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Lacking features
  • Slips around on desk
  • Expensive?

If you need performance, performance, and more performance, the Suora is the way to go. If you need a bit more functionality or are planning to use this as a day-to-day keyboard, you might be disappointed.

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Joe is LPVG’s resident hardware nerd. If it’s overpriced and has gaudy RGB lighting, he’s probably drooling over it. He loves platformers, MMOs, RPGs, hack ‘n slashers and FPS, with his favourite games being Mirror’s Edge, Left 4 Dead, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Oblivion and Dead Space. Don’t ask him about his unhealthily large Monsters Inc memorabilia collection. Seriously, just don’t ask…

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