Author Topic: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB  (Read 2574 times)

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Offline Bunni

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My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« on: Sun, 19 February 2017, 19:45:42 »
I posted this on Reddit earlier today, and someone there thought I should post it here as well, so here you go and hope it's helpful:

Background:

I had decided I needed a back-lit keyboard, because I have some vision issues, and my office has impossible lighting. I'm a typist by occupation, and a gamer from way back in the 1980's. I'm a really visual person too and I love color.

I've been using mechanical keyboards for a few years (not counting my use of old IBM Model M's back in the day when they weren't old).

My first was a Corsair K95 RGB with Cherry MX Browns, which turned out to be a pretty awful experience, resulting in the return of the keyboard. Somewhere here, I have a post about that experience. If someone locates it, feel free to link it. A quick look at their site shows they don't even sell that keyboard anymore, hmm, wonder why? Maybe the newer offerings are better? No idea. I don't care to look after experiencing their customer service.

My husband got a KUL with Browns and liked it. I bought one too, liked it quite fine, but I discovered for work, I really need a full size keyboard. We use it as an extra, and currently it's attached to our smart TV. I also accidentally ordered it with smoke legends, which I can't see well at all, so will eventually put better keycaps on it.

I tried a Ducky Legend next with Cherry MX Blues. I liked the Blues much better. The plain white lighting was helpful. It developed some pretty horrible key chatter, and it went back to Mechanical Keyboards for repair. I was told that even if they repaired it, the problem was likely to come back, and they suggested a replacement instead. It was replaced with a KBtalking One, same back-lighting, and they threw in some Vortex double-shot keycaps with a bit larger legend. I was totally happy with it, until it too developed chatter recently.

I learned that all Cherry MX switches had the potential to produce key-chatter. I prolly had read that before, but love for mechanical keyboards can be blind. Having had work interrupted due to chatter sucked.

I had seen Topre switches, heard sounds, and read reviews and decided that was going to be my next purchase. I also read they do not develop key-chatter. I hope that's true, time will tell!

Topre Realforce RGB:

Off to Mechanical Keyboards where to my delight, I found the Realforce RGB in stock. I read reviews, viewed vids, heard the cheap clackiness as opposed to the thock sound of more traditional Topre switches, and also saw a vid review dispelling most of what I'd seen, which convinced me to give it a shot. The price tag was off-putting, but since I'm pretty hard on keyboards, and I use it to make my living, I rationalized this as an investment.

The really nice thing I like about this keyboard is that it isn't full of macro keys, or unnecessary stuff like Logitech's G910 Orion Spark with keycaps I would have hated. If you like those things, cool, but I'm in my late 50's, and it's not for me.

The Keyboard arrived Friday, and to my delight and amazement there is no clacky sound like in some of the vids I watched. (Maybe the boards they reviewed were early evaluation units?) It has the "Thock", and it's actually quieter than my Cherry MX Blues. The keys feel great. I tried the different actuation settings, and let my husband and daughter feel the difference too. I've been gaming with the middle setting, 2.2mm, but typing for me on the highest, 3.0mm, is quite nice.

All the pics I saw of this keyboard seemed quite bright, while reviews said it's not bright. I tried to photograph it, but the pics don't do it any justice. With flash, you can't see the lighting at all. Without flash, it looks crazy bright, and I can't seem to find a way to take a pic that is realistic. You'll just have to trust me that it is clear, pleasant, not overly bright, but not too dim either. There are three brightness settings. The colors are lovely!

It doesn't come with software, but it's not required either. The software is provided via a download from their site, and the link is included. It is very light, doesn't stay resident, and you're able to save three different color profiles to the keyboard. It's not something that hoards memory and has to stay in the background like Corsair's original Cue software. Through the software, you can configure the keyboards colors and actuation for each key individually or all of them. You can even choose the color of the Num Lock, Caps Lock, Scroll Lock and Key Lock indicator lights. The software simply is a convenience though, and it just does what it's supposed to do. Awesome!

There are ample shortcut keys for things like calculator, bookmarks, music, email, etc. There are media keys as well. You can set actuation on the fly directly on the keyboard as well.

There is nothing cheap feeling or sounding about this keyboard in the least. It doesn't look like a toy, nor does it feel like one. I've been blinded before, as I said about key-chatter being inevitable with the Cherry MX switches. I'll be sure to admit it, if something negative arises as time goes on with this keyboard.

The only negative thing I can say about this keyboard is the price. It was $250 at Mechanical Keyboards. Various videos and reviews mentioned a much higher price. Seasonic also sells it for $250 through Amazon, but shows 1-2 months for delivery. Topre keyboards are generally more expensive. Perhaps the added RGB lighting, and the ability to use Cherry MX-style keycaps is worth the expense for some. I've never spent this much for a keyboard, but the Corsair was close. The Corsair was a disaster for me, in less time than I have had this now. The keyboard doesn't have USB or audio ports. I never use them, so it doesn't matter to me, but it will be a drawback for those that do I guess.

TL;DR: Topre Realforce RGB Keyboard is awesome in my opinion, and the pics and vids out there don't do it justice. Perhaps initial video reviews were not done on the keyboard Topre is shipping now? I'll follow up after a few months of use.

Offline zslane

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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 19 February 2017, 20:44:02 »
The Realforce RGB board is my favorite board right now. But unless yours was miraculously and accidentally silenced at the factory, yours exhibits considerable upstroke clack, just like both of mine did. It'll take silencing rings to make that go away...

Offline Bunni

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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 19 February 2017, 23:22:01 »
The Realforce RGB board is my favorite board right now. But unless yours was miraculously and accidentally silenced at the factory, yours exhibits considerable upstroke clack, just like both of mine did. It'll take silencing rings to make that go away...

I'm not hearing what you describe at all.  There is some feedback, but it's not a clack.  Like I said, it's quieter than Cherry MX Blues.  The sound is quite satisfying to me.  Perhaps something has changed as I mentioned, because the videos I saw demonstrating the sound, are much louder, and clacky.  It's great just as is.


Offline Viking_Robot

  • Posts: 26
Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 26 February 2017, 13:36:02 »
I bought one for work.  Having a full size board of decent build quality is nice.  Good review.

Offline gallowgeek

  • Posts: 32
  • Location: Germany
Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 27 February 2017, 06:00:42 »
I really want to try one of those Topre keyboards. How does it differ from the MX Blues in terms of feel? Is it much lighter? Is it easier to type on? And also, how much did you buy that keyboard?

Offline Belfong

  • Formerly known as Ballfong
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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 27 February 2017, 06:31:23 »
I am curious about this keyboard but the full size is a no go for me. I wish they'd make a TKL next.
 

Offline csmertx

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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 27 February 2017, 07:19:46 »
Media keys you say? Hmm..
Another 3D Keyboard Model Thread - Instagram | csmertx

Offline zslane

  • Posts: 1517
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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 27 February 2017, 12:19:58 »
Topre boards don't click. They thock softly. The RealForce RGB clacks on the upstroke right out of the box, but that's the same problem all mechanical switches suffer from, including MX switches, and that's completely different/separate from the "click" that comes from an MX blue's click leaf.

Topre switches feel quite different from any other switch. They have a very smooth downstroke and the rubber dome produces a gentle "pop" feeling when it collapses. There is no MX switch with a comparable feel.

Offline dante

  • Posts: 2343
Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 27 February 2017, 12:41:15 »
I tried a Ducky Legend next with Cherry MX Blues. I liked the Blues much better. The plain white lighting was helpful. It developed some pretty horrible key chatter, and it went back to Mechanical Keyboards for repair. I was told that even if they repaired it, the problem was likely to come back, and they suggested a replacement instead. It was replaced with a KBtalking One, same back-lighting, and they threw in some Vortex double-shot keycaps with a bit larger legend. I was totally happy with it, until it too developed chatter recently.

I learned that all Cherry MX switches had the potential to produce key-chatter. I prolly had read that before, but love for mechanical keyboards can be blind. Having had work interrupted due to chatter sucked.

If it weren't for hot swap I'd completely ditch MX and its clones all together; The "50 million keypress" is a bunch of BS.

Silenced Topre always seems to be everyone's final destination.  It's a riddle that Topre doesn't make more silenced options.
« Last Edit: Mon, 27 February 2017, 12:49:15 by dante »

Offline Elrick

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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 28 February 2017, 00:25:01 »
Silenced Topre always seems to be everyone's final destination.  It's a riddle that Topre doesn't make more silenced options.

Not here sunshine, the only decent and most loved Thorpe is a LOUD one.  Who cares about the quiet wallflower ones, no one knows they are there and in the end who cares about them  :p .

Best go for the ones that let the world know who's in charge, the noise emphasizes that fact and helps to stop any user from falling asleep form using these type of switches.

Silence is for old people in retirement homes, so unless you want to be labelled in that category best to go for the normal Thorpie and enjoy some noise in your Life.

Offline dante

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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 28 February 2017, 09:24:41 »
Silenced Topre always seems to be everyone's final destination.  It's a riddle that Topre doesn't make more silenced options.

Not here sunshine, the only decent and most loved Thorpe is a LOUD one.  Who cares about the quiet wallflower ones, no one knows they are there and in the end who cares about them  :p .

Best go for the ones that let the world know who's in charge, the noise emphasizes that fact and helps to stop any user from falling asleep form using these type of switches.

Silence is for old people in retirement homes, so unless you want to be labelled in that category best to go for the normal Thorpie and enjoy some noise in your Life.

Using Youtube as an example, I'm not alone.  Nearly every Topre video that isn't a review is silenced and slathered in lube.

Offline zslane

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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 28 February 2017, 12:26:44 »
Loud clicky/clacky keyboards are surely a sign of obnoxious, youthful exuberance. I am none of those things.

Silenced/dampened keyboards are a sign of refined, mature elegance. I am all of those things.  :cool:

Offline dantan

  • Posts: 286
Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 01 March 2017, 03:42:11 »
I am waiting for Topre to make a split keyboard. Surely that would be more ergonomic?

Offline Tempest790

  • Posts: 110
Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 05 March 2017, 03:39:47 »
Excellent review.  My keyboard search has ended as well.  The Topre Realforce RGB provides everything I want, and it's great to type on.  It added about 5 words a minute to my average typing speed.

I keep looking at other keyboards, but I know I'd probably be let down.  Yes, $250 is a lot of money but since I haven't bought any more keyboards since then, I guess it's saved me money too.

Offline Elrick

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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 19:27:19 »
Silenced/dampened keyboards are a sign of refined, mature elegance. I am all of those things.  8)

Like the other day, you made the mistake of walking past a cemetery and two guys attacked you with shovels  ;D .
« Last Edit: Mon, 06 March 2017, 19:42:26 by Elrick »

Offline zslane

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Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 06 March 2017, 20:07:00 »
I hate it when that happens.  :mad:

Offline nxtruong

  • Posts: 15
Re: My Journey to Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 20 March 2017, 21:36:56 »
Definitely try a topre keyboard some day  :thumb:

I'm really curious what it feels when using topre switch.