Author Topic: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard  (Read 6163 times)

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Offline drewafx

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Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 00:51:30 »
"the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" test
Typing force "Normal - Soft - Hard - Normal"

I'm honestly surprised many people think Topre keyboard is just another rubber dome.
It doesn't have contact point and is not spring loaded like actual mechanical switches, but
that does not mean it's like rubber dome keyboard.

Actuation point of a Topre is more like mechanical switches, so no bottom out on every keystroke (actually very displeasing for me to bottom out Topre)
The solid construction is even better than a lot of Cherry MX switches resulting in less keycap chattering
(no experience with other switches, but Topre's circular slider and housing is hard to beat in terms of omni-directional uniformity)

Rubber dome keyboards always bottom out (even after not putting force after tactile bump, they rubber is already on its way to hitting contact and bottom out)
Regardless of typing force, they sound the same because of this

It's regarded as endgame board for a good reason. Quietness and tactile feel of rubber dome and precise capacitive actuation like mechanical switches.
With the actuation point changer in Realforce RGB and customizable bottom out stroke length through sponges, it's only getting better.

Offline chyros

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 01:46:17 »
I'd say the opposite, it gets mainly worse. The more I use Topre, the less I like it. I'm at the point now where I actually prefer some other rubber dome mechanisms.
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Offline drakche

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 09:11:08 »
I'd say the opposite, it gets mainly worse. The more I use Topre, the less I like it. I'm at the point now where I actually prefer some other rubber dome mechanisms.

Why?
I switched to a EC keyboard (not topre but really close, Plum 87) and after using it for some 2-3 month I switched back to my old keyboard with Outemu MX blues, and the difference in feel and keystrok smoothers is really noticeable. Even if the Plum is a Topre clone, it's much better than any MX-like keyboards I've tried.

Offline chyros

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 13:14:46 »
I'd say the opposite, it gets mainly worse. The more I use Topre, the less I like it. I'm at the point now where I actually prefer some other rubber dome mechanisms.

Why?
I switched to a EC keyboard (not topre but really close, Plum 87) and after using it for some 2-3 month I switched back to my old keyboard with Outemu MX blues, and the difference in feel and keystrok smoothers is really noticeable. Even if the Plum is a Topre clone, it's much better than any MX-like keyboards I've tried.
That's like comparing a bad apple to a rotten one :p .

I simply feel the more I use it, that it's just another rubber dome, with the added advantage of NKRO and mid-stroke actuation. The tactility isn't even all that strong, especially on the lower-weighted models. I know much snappier domes than Topre.
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Offline digi

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 13:16:10 »
Uhhh, Topre has springs jack.

Offline romevi

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 13:21:28 »
Thorpe > all.

Offline DudeSnail

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 13:45:44 »
How do you not bottom out on topre


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Offline digi

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 13:47:02 »
How do you not bottom out on topre


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I bottom out on everything.

Offline HPE1000

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 13:53:39 »
Model M buckling spring is not just a better, expensive membrane keyboard

Offline drakche

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 15:04:49 »
I'd say the opposite, it gets mainly worse. The more I use Topre, the less I like it. I'm at the point now where I actually prefer some other rubber dome mechanisms.

Why?
I switched to a EC keyboard (not topre but really close, Plum 87) and after using it for some 2-3 month I switched back to my old keyboard with Outemu MX blues, and the difference in feel and keystrok smoothers is really noticeable. Even if the Plum is a Topre clone, it's much better than any MX-like keyboards I've tried.
That's like comparing a bad apple to a rotten one :p .

I simply feel the more I use it, that it's just another rubber dome, with the added advantage of NKRO and mid-stroke actuation. The tactility isn't even all that strong, especially on the lower-weighted models. I know much snappier domes than Topre.

Fair point. :)
But in it's defense it's an amazing office keyboard. Extremely quiet. I had it first with 35g domes, tactility was meh. 55g domes... Hole different story.

I might event to one step further and get 62g domes for my Plum at one point.

Mind you, the rubber in Plum EC switches is different than in topre, and quite thicker and in one piece. All I have for topre reference is typing a bit on Novatouch, which was too light and I didn't like :D

Offline DudeSnail

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 15:26:12 »
How do you not bottom out on topre


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I bottom out on everything.

But Im pretty sure you have to be a toddler not to bottom out on topre

Offline romevi

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 15:31:35 »
How do you not bottom out on topre


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I bottom out on everything.

But Im pretty sure you have to be a toddler not to bottom out on topre

I bottom out all the time.
Wait; I thought you had to bottom out on Topre...

Offline zslane

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 15:42:35 »
I'm honestly surprised many people think Topre keyboard is just another rubber dome.

Well, I think the smart ones know that isn't the case, it's just that calling it out for its rubber dome design is the snarkiest way to criticize it. "It's just another rubber dome" isn't really a valid criticism, it's just trollbait for Topre fans.

Offline chyros

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 15:46:43 »
How do you not bottom out on topre


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I bottom out on everything.

But Im pretty sure you have to be a toddler not to bottom out on topre

I bottom out all the time.
Wait; I thought you had to bottom out on Topre...
You don't, that's it's biggest virtue xD .
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Offline LiquidEvilGaming

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 17:12:52 »
While I truly enjoyed my time with my HHKB and my Realforce boards I ended up selling off both as while Topre is I agree the bees knees of domes I still always missed that truly mechanical feel of Alps/Cherry/Gateron etc.  I still greatly appreciate Topre for what it is but honestly having experienced and owned/sold two of the most loved Topre boards I can't say I terribly regret selling them.  Though I'll admit I do miss the thock sound profile now and again, But even the O-Ring modded MX Clear pok3r I'm using right now I am more accurate on and I can type faster on.
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Offline zslane

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 17:39:53 »
It's funny because I sort of feel the opposite way.

I was a devoted MX red user before I started using Topre switches. MX reds were a lot better than the cheapo membrane switches I was using prior to that, but all that bottom-out and upstroke noise eventually got to me. I find that 45cN Topre switches, with silencing rings installed, provide the same smooth downstroke that vintage blacks or Gateron reds provide, but with a soft, pillowy tactile bump and a lovely thock sound at the end.

So for me, 45cN Topres beat any MX switch due to their smooth quiet downstroke, gentle tactile bump, and silent upstroke. Even with the wobble of SA keycaps it beats the sound and feel (and wobble) of Matias Quiet Clicks. But if you're not a fan of smooth, quiet 45cN tactile switches, then I can see how you wouldn't connect with Topre switches.

Offline rowdy

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 21:42:26 »
Thorpe and BS are my two favourite switches.

If I use either one, or even something else, for a while, I fine myself missing either of them.

I tend to use BS at work and at home when I can get away with it, but mostly HHKB at home as it is much quieter.

Originally I got my HHKB to use on my home server as it was a small keyboard that I'd heard good things about.

Now I use it 5/7 of a week every week.

The only thing I find unfavourable about it are the 45g domes.  I have a feeling that 55g would be better.
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Offline ArchDill

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 21:49:59 »
I got an HHKB for work and it is becoming my main board. The best tactility imo


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Offline drewafx

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 22:56:25 »
As for how I don't bottom out on Topre, it does take some conscious "ninja" typing.
When I have something on my mind to just type, kinda like playing piano gently,
move around my wrist and fingers till I can feel the rubbers breaking and popping...
lift it as soon as you feel it give in.
Backspace and Enter keys are always hard Thock for the sound though

Force curve is not linear so just have to get used to feeling the tactile bump
(silent and negative force feedback)
Cherry blues you can scratch where the contact meets,
but Topre it's invisible...Maybe that's why they implemented variable weighting...
to keep this magic line of actuation even throughout weak/strong fingers.

Maybe Topre Spacers between keycap and switch housing to avoid bottom out completely...but $20 for 14 keys is too much
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/topre-spacers-actuation-change-realforce,33406.html

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 13:16:21 »
It's regarded as an endgame because most people run out of money after a few $200 keyboards..


That's literally the only reason.


They want it to be endgame, because they can't afford to keep the game going..


And because the means are limited, they must believe that it's the best, otherwise ontop of not being able to afford to correct their mistake,  they've also wasted what they've put in..


Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 13:18:55 »
Topre is not a bad keyboard,  but there's no such thing as an endgame...   and if we step back and evaluate the mechanical stability of the Topre design,  it is inferior to mx style switches.

Offline dante

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 13:54:58 »
I'd say the opposite, it gets mainly worse. The more I use Topre, the less I like it. I'm at the point now where I actually prefer some other rubber dome mechanisms.

My brother from another mother?! [ie: I agree with you!]

If I had to pick out things about Topre that really bother me it would be these:
1. Lack of ANSI weighting diversity. (ie: Lack of 30g ANSI 60%/66%/80% and 55g ANSI 60%/66%/Fullsize models.)  This is where I feel Plum is going to steamroll Topre in the coming years.
2. Some Topre models exhibit a cheap hollow sound when typing.  Perhaps dampening material put inside the case would fix this; I don't know.
3. Just looking at the enthusiast market (as well as my preferences) it's clear silent models are the most popular.  Silencing should be standard.
4. There is a lot of talk about "build quality" on the Realforce; well if we are "going there" the frame flex on the new RGB board looks laughable for a $250 "Made in Japan" product.
5. Plus or minus 15g variance in weighting per dome?  Go home Topre you're drunk!

However to balance that out let me say some positive things.
1. Of all the keyboards I've ever tried (50+?) that use cable routing the Realforce is by far the best.  Once you put the cable in it stays in.  Most keyboards (including Plum) will have the cable pop out for no good reason.
2. Great resale value if you ever decide it's not for you; especially with how often Elite Keyboards goes out of stock.
3. The PBT caps are nice enough that you may not even care if you can use MX compatible ones.
4. Topre itself (not Fujutsu, Leopold, Coolermaster) sticks to hardwired cables: The most reliable method IMHO.

Offline zslane

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 16:50:21 »
1. Lack of ANSI weighting diversity. (ie: Lack of 30g ANSI 60%/66%/80% and 55g ANSI 60%/66%/Fullsize models.)  This is where I feel Plum is going to steamroll Topre in the coming years.

This bugs me too. However, the only form factor missing for me now is a 45cN ANSI 60%. All the others are irrelevant to me (and to most of the 60% marketplace I'd wager).

Quote
2. Some Topre models exhibit a cheap hollow sound when typing.  Perhaps dampening material put inside the case would fix this; I don't know.

I'll have to take your word for that. I don't hear any such "cheap hollow sound" coming from any of my RealForce boards (which includes the RGB).

Quote
3. Just looking at the enthusiast market (as well as my preferences) it's clear silent models are the most popular.  Silencing should be standard.

I agree with this 100%. In my view, Topre should never allow a board to go out the door without factory silencing.

Quote
4. There is a lot of talk about "build quality" on the Realforce; well if we are "going there" the frame flex on the new RGB board looks laughable for a $250 "Made in Japan" product.

I can't dispute this one either.

Truth is, I wish Topre hadn't decided to change the case design for the RealForce RGB. Just like I wish they hadn't wasted money on RGB backlighting. Pandering to the "gamer market" is diluting the quality of their brand, there's no doubt about it. Having said that, I can live with the build quality of the RealForce RGB given that it delivers all the other essential features I need from a Topre board. But I don't deny that buying into a RealForce RGB board involves making some compromises.

Quote
5. Plus or minus 15g variance in weighting per dome?  Go home Topre you're drunk!

Eh? I don't understand this one.

Quote
However to balance that out let me say some positive things.
:
3. The PBT caps are nice enough that you may not even care if you can use MX compatible ones.

Well, for me the stock keycaps of any keyboard is a waste of plastic. I would prefer to buy barebones, but I don't usually have that option. I will always be putting a custom keycap set on my keyboards, so the quality (or lack thereof) of the stock caps is completely irrelevant to me.

As is the cost of the board (most of the time)...

Offline LiquidEvilGaming

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 18:33:03 »
5. Plus or minus 15g variance in weighting per dome?  Go home Topre you're drunk!

Eh? I don't understand this one.

That's the listed possible variance in weighting on the domes Topre uses.

Imagine MX browns ranging from 45G to 60G.
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Offline zslane

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 19:04:17 »
15g variance; does that mean +/- 7.5g? Or does it mean +0 to +15g?

Offline LiquidEvilGaming

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 20:05:03 »
15g variance; does that mean +/- 7.5g? Or does it mean +0 to +15g?

Going to please ignorance here as that's an excellent question and i'm unsure.  Either way it's a fairly large variance however given the price of Topre boards.
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Offline dante

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 12 April 2017, 20:39:28 »
15g variance; does that mean +/- 7.5g? Or does it mean +0 to +15g?

I'm going to say +/- 15g.  If you go deep in the GH/Deskthority Archives you'll see variance much more extreme than this.

Nobody brings it up very often so Topre are doing their job.  There was a "theory" a while back that suggested that boards made in the summer were more susceptible due to the humidity in the factory/Asia.  Obviously it's impossible to know for sure but is a pretty good educated guess.

Offline drakche

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 13 April 2017, 04:37:17 »
I'd say the opposite, it gets mainly worse. The more I use Topre, the less I like it. I'm at the point now where I actually prefer some other rubber dome mechanisms.

1. Of all the keyboards I've ever tried (50+?) that use cable routing the Realforce is by far the best.  Once you put the cable in it stays in.  Most keyboards (including Plum) will have the cable pop out for no good reason.


I found an easy solution to that. If you noticed, only the center gude is shaped so that the cable doesn't fall out (it narrows then it widens), while the rest of the guides are just narrowing. If you take a nice rounded file, that's just the right size you can widen to top part of the guide and it will snap into place.

Also, I have to add. The more I use my Plum after the dome swap the more I like it.

Currently I have it with O rings installed, since it came like that stock. But next time I'm cleaning my keyboard I'm def going to remove the bands and apply different (slightly thicker) lube to it. :)

Offline zslane

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 13 April 2017, 13:21:46 »
15g variance; does that mean +/- 7.5g? Or does it mean +0 to +15g?

I'm going to say +/- 15g.  If you go deep in the GH/Deskthority Archives you'll see variance much more extreme than this.

Interesting. Strange, but interesting nonetheless.

I can only say from my own experience that I haven't encountered such variance. In particular, all the Topre switches I've used so far have a very distinct and detectable tactile bump, whereas the switches on my Noppoo (marked on the factory box as 40g +/- 5g) have no tactility at all. I would expect the 45g Topre domes to have the same feel as the 40g Noppoo domes given that they both can go as low as 30-35g. But that simply isn't the case with any of the Topre-based boards I own.

And just to be clear, as I understand it, the "strength" of the tactile bump is entirely dependent on the rigidity of the rubber domes, which is a function of its thickness, and therefore its resistance. Therefore, lower resistance = less tactility.

Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 16 April 2017, 12:00:30 »
How do you not bottom out on topre


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I bottom out on everything.

I know I know I should stay on topic, but I couldn't resist:

I also bottom out on my GF. She feels linear, like MX Blacks.
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Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 16 April 2017, 12:02:33 »
I keep switching between HHKB, 87U 55g, and Clears.

HHKB: mmmm buttery, but the crispness is missing.

Then I go to the 87U: Mmmm... so crisp. But bottoming out and plate-mounted is not so soft as HHKB. Also tactility.

Clears: MMM... so tactile. So springy. But also grainy and not butter-smooth.

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Offline mTwTT1

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Re: Topre is not just a better, expensive rubber dome keyboard
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 13 August 2017, 05:00:18 »
I've been gaming on a modded Realforce 45G for like 4-5 years now (played SC2 professionally), no complaints here.. i absolutely love it. I switched to a Topre in like 2012, I actually bought the keyboard and domes from the marketplace on geekhack and had someone mod it for me :D.