Author Topic: Over 4 years with my Topre Realforce RGB  (Read 4589 times)

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Offline Tempest790

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Over 4 years with my Topre Realforce RGB
« on: Tue, 22 March 2022, 12:29:10 »
After owning this keyboard for years, I decided to give an update on my thoughts and issues with it. Like anything new, we tend to be less critical than after having it for some time.

I'll start with the reliability first. Keystrokes work fine, but the LED's are definitely substandard. For such an expensive keyboard, Topre dropped the ball on the RGB's used in the keyboard. I've had more than one fail, although they return to working except for the number 6 key in the top row. That one was the first one to lose a color so I can't make it white anymore. When I switch the keyboard to all green, some LED's are not quite the same color either. Lastly, when my computer is in sleep mode, the keyboard stays slightly lit with some of the blue LED's not going completely off. It's weird. My Ducky is even older, and I haven't had any LED issues with it or any other Ducky I've own.

I did switch out the keycaps with all white some time back since the backlighting doesn't come through to well on the original Topre keycaps. Plus, the PBT caps seem to give a slightly deeper sound when typing. That was a nice upgrade that I'm glad I did.

Typing on it is still good. Topre does feel like a refined rubber dome. Probably not worth the cost for its feel, but I do like it better than most Cherry switches. I decided I needed to try something more tactile and recently ordered the BKE ultra light replacement domes that are RGB compatible. Wow! That makes it very tactile. I also ordered a sample kit and tried the light and heavy versions too. Ultra light is a little heavier than stock Topre domes due to the tactile bump which is at the very beginning of the key press. But, it is very satisfying to type on. Installing the domes was a little trial and error since you have to make sure it's lined up perfectly when you put the back plate on again. Took me three tries, but I finally got it working good. I put the light and heavy domes under the Escape key, spacebar, and top right +4 keys. The spacebar definitely needed the extra firmness. However, if you touch type, then these are most likely not for you. There's almost no fade once you overcome the initial tactile bump. So the different actuation distances that the keyboard supports is not useful anymore. I never used that feature, so it didn't matter much to me. Key press is silent even if you bottom out, but the key will pop back up which will give it a plastic on plastic sound. Not quite a tactile sound since it's on the upstroke. I don't mind it, but they also sell silencing rings to cushion that if anyone wants to install those.  The BKE domes really breathed new life into this keyboard. I miss tactile keyboards, and this really improved it lot. It's probably not for everyone though.

Do I still like the keyboard? Yes, but I wonder if Topre's Gen 2 version of the RGB keyboard just fixed some of the issues with the original model like mine. Hopefully, the LED problem was fixed. Worst case scenario, I'd just give up on the backlight and install some good quality non-backlit keycaps.

Now is it worth it? I paid about $260 for the keyboard originally. Add about $30 for the white keycaps, $70 for the BKE domes full set, and $12 for a sample pack, and we're up to a total of $372 for this keyboard. That's a lot. Probably too much for what you're getting.

However, I do intend to keep this for the long haul. I realize that I don't really care for most Cherry switches except for the Reds which are really smooth and nice. Note: I use a Cherry MX Brown keyboard at work. It's decent to use but definitely not my favorite. ZealPC new Clickiez swtiches really intrigued me though. If they come out with some more versions of that switch, I might try that someday.

Now, can someone make a Model F with a standard 104 layout?  ;D


Update:

After a few weeks with the BKE domes, I'm in love! This really made the keyboard perfect for me. I missed a nice tactile feel, and the new domes really deliver. Topre should think about selling their keyboards with these as an option, especially the RGB version. The only downside with installing the BKE domes is that my volume up key would stay active after I pressed it. I think the spring must be slightly compressed even though I've reseated everything 3 times. The key doesn't activate or repeat on its own though which is good. It was the only key that gave me issues. I was able to fix it though by changing my APC from 2.2 mm to 3 mm. Just something to keep in mind if you decide on this mod. I read a couple of others that had a similar issue with some various keys on the keyboard.
« Last Edit: Wed, 30 March 2022, 10:18:47 by Tempest790 »

Offline keypport

  • Posts: 34
Re: Over 4 years with my Topre Realforce RGB
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 16 September 2022, 04:53:46 »
It's a story worth thinking about.