Author Topic: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard  (Read 7417 times)

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Offline jokkebk

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Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« on: Tue, 10 March 2015, 07:16:40 »


Hi all! This is my first review posted to Geekhack, all improvement ideas are welcome. After close to two years with the HHKB2 Pro, I decided it is time to have those cursor and function keys back again, and I wanted to standardize my keyboards to ISO layout as well. Alas, the Topre Realforce 88UB (45g even weighted) seemed the obvious choice:

http://codeandlife.com/2015/03/09/topre-realforce-88ub-a-happier-hacking-keyboard/

I included quite a lot of images and a comparison table of my pros and cons with HHKB2 vs. Realforce, so I thought linking the review would be easier than replicating those here. Hope you don't mind. :) As a summary, I think the tenkeyless Realforce is maybe the end-all model for my needs, especially with the standard layout and superb feel of Topre switches might (knock knock) make it my sole KB for quite some while.

Joonas

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 10 March 2015, 10:17:44 »
I liked the review. Only complaint is that you say the switches feel superb without even saying if they feel smoother or have a tactile bump or are clicky. If someone doesn't know about Topre switches, it'd be hard to judge. But I suppose they could use your review in conjunction with other info :). Anyways, nice job!
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Offline rowdy

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 10 March 2015, 14:16:26 »
Welcome to Geekhack!

Quite a thorough review, thanks for posting :)
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thatís incorrect. Itís in HHKBís slogan, but when Americaís cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

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Offline jokkebk

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 10 March 2015, 14:57:32 »
I liked the review. Only complaint is that you say the switches feel superb without even saying if they feel smoother or have a tactile bump or are clicky. If someone doesn't know about Topre switches, it'd be hard to judge.

Thanks! You are right, I've read too many threads about Topre vs. Cherry feel, that I totally forgot to comment on that one in the article! I guess my verbal description of the 45g Topre switches is, that there is initial resistance which smoothly "gives out" and the button drops down. There is a definite tactile bump but not the associated click of Cherry MX blues for example. I recall Cherry MX browns are the most similar in this respect, but they have a rough micro-feel whereas Topre is softer/smoother.

I think I'll augment my review with the above. Thank you for the feedback!

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 10 March 2015, 14:58:50 »
Thanks for considering my feedback and the review :)
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline 3Love

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 10 March 2015, 21:59:22 »
88u? I have 86 and 87
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Offline jokkebk

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 18 March 2015, 02:57:56 »
88u? I have 86 and 87

You're obviously missing the perfect continuation to your collection then - you could say you have Realforce 86-88 ;) The 88 is UK ISO layout. As a scandinavian, I was always missing the extra keys next to enter and left shift, especially since my work laptop I need to use 8 hours a day has that layout.

Too bad there are almost no custom keycaps available for Topre, and even less for the 88-key version, as left shift for example is different width. I'd like to have some retro coloring, but seems like I need to purchase a Cherry MX KB for that...

Offline 3Love

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 18 March 2015, 02:58:31 »

88u? I have 86 and 87

You're obviously missing the perfect continuation to your collection then - you could say you have Realforce 86-88 ;) The 88 is UK ISO layout. As a scandinavian, I was always missing the extra keys next to enter and left shift, especially since my work laptop I need to use 8 hours a day has that layout.

Too bad there are almost no custom keycaps available for Topre, and even less for the 88-key version, as left shift for example is different width. I'd like to have some retro coloring, but seems like I need to purchase a Cherry MX KB for that...
oh, I know.
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【WTB/WTTF】https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=63161.0

KBD Collection: 356CL, 356.2, 356DGE, Koala, 356MINI, 356N, 356N-MK2, 356PAD, 360C, 456GT, FMJ, LZ-MXSE, LZ-RE, KMAC 1.0, KPAD, Duck Orion, Duck Pad, Exo, TEX and etc.

Offline Helvetinbarbaari

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 19 August 2017, 06:14:06 »
88u? I have 86 and 87

You're obviously missing the perfect continuation to your collection then - you could say you have Realforce 86-88 ;) The 88 is UK ISO layout. As a scandinavian, I was always missing the extra keys next to enter and left shift, especially since my work laptop I need to use 8 hours a day has that layout.

Too bad there are almost no custom keycaps available for Topre, and even less for the 88-key version, as left shift for example is different width. I'd like to have some retro coloring, but seems like I need to purchase a Cherry MX KB for that...

Have you seen this:
http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard/swedish-topre-realforce-88u-45g-white-keyboard.asp
« Last Edit: Sat, 19 August 2017, 06:28:37 by Helvetinbarbaari »

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 19 August 2017, 09:18:14 »
Holy necro post Batman.

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Offline Helvetinbarbaari

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 19 August 2017, 09:50:25 »
 :D True dat! Might still look for that Special Someone? ;)

Offline Hordak

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 28 August 2017, 11:22:44 »
Nice review, thanks! Would have been interesting to hear more of your thoughts on how the 45g switches in the HHKB and Realforce compare, as I'm also considering changing things up by adding a Realforce 45g to my HHKB collection too. However, your description sounds very positive in that regard.

When it comes to the Backspace key: don't you prefer the location on the HHKB? For me that was probably the biggest revelation when I first started typing on the HHKB.

Quote
And I can rest my hand on the edge and use Page Up/Down to browser longer texts without having to have my other hand’s pinky on a function key.
You said you use Vim. You may want to try Chrome Vimium. With that you can use D and U shortcuts (and more) for paging. No need to hold down the function key.

« Last Edit: Mon, 28 August 2017, 11:25:05 by Hordak »

Offline rowdy

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 28 August 2017, 21:44:12 »
Nice review, thanks! Would have been interesting to hear more of your thoughts on how the 45g switches in the HHKB and Realforce compare, as I'm also considering changing things up by adding a Realforce 45g to my HHKB collection too. However, your description sounds very positive in that regard.

When it comes to the Backspace key: don't you prefer the location on the HHKB? For me that was probably the biggest revelation when I first started typing on the HHKB.

Quote
And I can rest my hand on the edge and use Page Up/Down to browser longer texts without having to have my other handís pinky on a function key.
You said you use Vim. You may want to try Chrome Vimium. With that you can use D and U shortcuts (and more) for paging. No need to hold down the function key.



Um, this thread is more than 2 years old, and OP has been MIA since 03-11-2015, 01:10:17!
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thatís incorrect. Itís in HHKBís slogan, but when Americaís cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

Ị̸͚̯̲́ͤ̃͑̇̑ͯ̊̂͟ͅs̞͚̩͉̝̪̲͗͊ͪ̽̚̚ ̭̦͖͕̑́͌ͬͩ͟t̷̻͔̙̑͟h̹̠̼͋ͤ͋i̤̜̣̦̱̫͈͔̞ͭ͑ͥ̌̔s̬͔͎̍̈ͥͫ̐̾ͣ̔̇͘ͅ ̩̘̼͆̐̕e̞̰͓̲̺̎͐̏ͬ̓̅̾͠͝ͅv̶̰͕̱̞̥̍ͣ̄̕e͕͙͖̬̜͓͎̤̊ͭ͐͝ṇ̰͎̱̤̟̭ͫ͌̌͢͠ͅ ̳̥̦ͮ̐ͤ̎̊ͣ͡͡n̤̜̙̺̪̒͜e̶̻̦̿ͮ̂̀c̝̘̝͖̠̖͐ͨͪ̈̐͌ͩ̀e̷̥͇̋ͦs̢̡̤ͤͤͯ͜s͈̠̉̑͘a̱͕̗͖̳̥̺ͬͦͧ͆̌̑͡r̶̟̖̈͘ỷ̮̦̩͙͔ͫ̾ͬ̔ͬͮ̌?̵̘͇͔͙ͥͪ͞ͅ

Offline Hordak

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 28 August 2017, 23:58:38 »
Oops yes, missed that. Comments are still relevant though..

Offline mikehotel

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 01 October 2017, 08:19:43 »
How do you feel about 45 vs 55g for gaming

Offline xondat

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 01 October 2017, 08:35:11 »
How do you feel about 45 vs 55g for gaming

Sometimes it feels like comments such as this one pick a word from the title, make a comment vaguely relating to it, and don't post within context. Very confusing.

Find a more relevant thread or perhaps start your own? :-[

Offline nastrovje

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 01 October 2017, 18:32:11 »
How do you feel about 45 vs 55g for gaming

Find a more relevant thread or perhaps start your own? :-[

Definitely the better idea from now on.

To still give you a quick reply: Topre is a typist "switch". It simply sucks for gaming. If you really need a Topre board, go with 45g, but seriously can't recommend it. Not bottoming out is hard with this switch and once you do, you have to wait an eternity until the dome comes back up. Fast movements  which are needed in FPS games are practically impossible.

Offline kekstee

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 02 October 2017, 11:02:26 »
To still give you a quick reply: Topre is a typist "switch". It simply sucks for gaming. If you really need a Topre board, go with 45g, but seriously can't recommend it. Not bottoming out is hard with this switch and once you do, you have to wait an eternity until the dome comes back up. Fast movements  which are needed in FPS games are practically impossible.
That makes it sound much worse than it really is. Maybe it starts being an issure on hectic jump and run games?
It's still much better than a MX Blue or heavy buckling spring for gaming. In fact I've played plenty of shooters on a HHKB after I moved the crouch/run control/shift up one row to shift/control.


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Offline rowdy

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 02 October 2017, 20:58:32 »
How do you feel about 45 vs 55g for gaming

Depends how strong your fingers are.

The more keys you need to keep held down, the stronger your fingers need to be, and the more tiring it will become.

I have fairly strong fingers and have gamed on 45g, 55g, buckling springs and probably everything between.

In fact I prefer gaming on stiffer switches.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thatís incorrect. Itís in HHKBís slogan, but when Americaís cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

Ị̸͚̯̲́ͤ̃͑̇̑ͯ̊̂͟ͅs̞͚̩͉̝̪̲͗͊ͪ̽̚̚ ̭̦͖͕̑́͌ͬͩ͟t̷̻͔̙̑͟h̹̠̼͋ͤ͋i̤̜̣̦̱̫͈͔̞ͭ͑ͥ̌̔s̬͔͎̍̈ͥͫ̐̾ͣ̔̇͘ͅ ̩̘̼͆̐̕e̞̰͓̲̺̎͐̏ͬ̓̅̾͠͝ͅv̶̰͕̱̞̥̍ͣ̄̕e͕͙͖̬̜͓͎̤̊ͭ͐͝ṇ̰͎̱̤̟̭ͫ͌̌͢͠ͅ ̳̥̦ͮ̐ͤ̎̊ͣ͡͡n̤̜̙̺̪̒͜e̶̻̦̿ͮ̂̀c̝̘̝͖̠̖͐ͨͪ̈̐͌ͩ̀e̷̥͇̋ͦs̢̡̤ͤͤͯ͜s͈̠̉̑͘a̱͕̗͖̳̥̺ͬͦͧ͆̌̑͡r̶̟̖̈͘ỷ̮̦̩͙͔ͫ̾ͬ̔ͬͮ̌?̵̘͇͔͙ͥͪ͞ͅ

Online subcat

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 02 October 2017, 21:03:42 »
Also jumping in to vouch for topre for gaming, have had no issue with stock 45g nor BKE, at least for FPS.

Offline Prothrin

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 12 October 2017, 04:22:39 »
Thanks for posting! I agree that more compact key layouts aren't for me. Dedicated home and end keys, as well as arrow keys are extremely useful for programming.

Offline pr0ximity

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Re: Topre Realforce 88UB - A Happier Hacking Keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 12 October 2017, 05:38:18 »
OP, please take me back to 2015