Author Topic: KBDFans EC9009 Topre Keycaps Review  (Read 8757 times)

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Offline Hyde

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KBDFans EC9009 Topre Keycaps Review
« on: Thu, 18 April 2019, 22:40:41 »
Hello Geekhack,

So a while back I bought a Topre Type Heaven as my gateway to Topre.  Down the line I eventually upgraded to a Realforce 104UW, that's when I realize the Topre PBT keycaps makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

To be fair Type Heaven actually is quite nice and very solidly build, also in general I don't have any issue with ABS keycaps.  But compare to the Realforce then you do notice the PBT keycaps makes a huge difference and that's what give you the Topre "thock".

Problem is, Topre has not been selling keycaps separately for a while now (probably not profitable), so now I'm on a mission to find Topre keycaps.

Luckily KBDFans released their own Topre keycap set, however there isn't much review regarding it so I've decided to take the plunge and now writing this review for anyone thinking to purchase it in the future.

This the keycap set that I bought:
https://kbdfans.cn/collections/electrostatic-capacitive-keycaps/products/in-stock-ec9009-keycaps-set

Here are some pretty photos, you can see the details are quite nice.






So what's the verdict?  Off the bat I noticed the texture is a lot more rough compare to Topre PBT.  However I would say this is fairly normal/common for Cherry MX based PBT keycaps, though compare to stock Topre PBT it's white a bit rough.  This however do wear down/smooth out with some use.

The legends are a little bit thicker, but otherwise still nicely dye subbed, the quality of the dye sub is actually quite good.  The base colour however is a little bit warmer (brown ish) compare to the stock Topre PBT, which is a little bit greyer in comparison.

Overall I am quite satisfied with the build HOWEVER there is a relatively big con.  I'm not 100% but it does feel like there's more wobble on it.  On my Realforce there's almost zero wobble.  My assumption is that the keycap doesn't fit securely onto the Topre slider so there's a tiny bit of give.  Which result in a little bit more grain/noise while typing, which I find a bit surprising considering both my Topre are silenced.  Also binds a tiny bit on off centre strikes which would never happen to Topre normally.

Here is a picture of it on my Type Heaven.  I must apologize that I took it the pictures on 2 separate days that's why the Type Heaven pic is a bit potato-ish.




Something to keep in mind that at the current moment the number pad "7" doesn't have the "Home" printed under, it's a minor thing that still need to be fixed.

So all in all I think this keycaps is not a bad choice overall however it's a bit let down by the wobble.  Also doesn't help that the stock Topre keycap sets the bar too high, so in comparison there is a noticeable gap in terms of typing feel.

Again like I said it's not bad, if you've never used Topre PBT before then you'd probably think this is fine, but in comparison I'd say stock Topre keycaps is like 25% nicer (in terms of typing feel).  This is tricky because it's like saying Lexus is not bad but Ferrari is better.

So would I recommend this keycap set?  Hmmmmm it's hard to say because there literally is no other choices at the moment.  But I would say if you can just buy a Realforce then just go that route.

At the time when I bought Type Heaven it was because it was cheaper, but now looking back it's more worth it to buy a Realforce than Type Heaven + PBT keycaps.  I might try to switch the Type Heaven back to stock keycaps to see if the wobble really is a fit issue.  I can't imagine it being a build issue since I read it somewhere that aside from the keycaps the Realforce and Type Heaven should feel identical in terms of typing feel (like if you put Topre on PBT on Type Heaven then it's pretty much exactly the same).

I think in the future if they can fix the wobble issue then this would be a great set.  Again I must test this further later, will update you guys once I find out lol.

Archiss ProgresTouch Retro - Gateron Yellow  |  Topre Realforce 104UW - 45g Silent  |  Topre Type Heaven  |  Beige Filco Ninja 104 - MX Red  |  Das Keyboard - MX Brown  |  Poker II - MX Red  |  Race II - MX Brown  |  Matias Quiet Pro - Matias Dampened ALPS  |  Logitech K840 - Romer G  |  Cherry MX Board 2.0 - MX Red  |  Cherry G84-4100 - ML  |  IBM Model M
Roccat Kone Pure  |  Logitech G203  |  Logitech G303  |  Logitech G302  |  Razer Naga  |  CM Storm Xornet  |  Razer Goliathus Mobile Stealth  |  Razer Goliathus Control  |  Artisan Hien  |  Artisan Hayate  |  Artisan Shiden

Offline Riverman

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Re: KBDFans EC9009 Topre Keycaps Review
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 22 April 2019, 15:34:49 »
I have those same keycaps, plus the space bar kit, so I have the green accents on my Type Heaven at the moment.  If you put silencing rings on your keyboard, you have by far the cheapest all 45g silenced Topre keyboard around!  That's my setup at home, and it's wonderful.  I have a Filco MX brown with QMX Clips at work, and it's not nearly as satisfying to type on.

Offline Hyde

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Re: KBDFans EC9009 Topre Keycaps Review
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 23 April 2019, 20:12:37 »
lol I actually silenced both my boards, silenced Topre is just amazing.

I think I'm just picky because silenced Realforce is still noticeably better, but like you said compare to everything else it's actually still quite good.

I use my Type Heaven at work now haha.

Archiss ProgresTouch Retro - Gateron Yellow  |  Topre Realforce 104UW - 45g Silent  |  Topre Type Heaven  |  Beige Filco Ninja 104 - MX Red  |  Das Keyboard - MX Brown  |  Poker II - MX Red  |  Race II - MX Brown  |  Matias Quiet Pro - Matias Dampened ALPS  |  Logitech K840 - Romer G  |  Cherry MX Board 2.0 - MX Red  |  Cherry G84-4100 - ML  |  IBM Model M
Roccat Kone Pure  |  Logitech G203  |  Logitech G303  |  Logitech G302  |  Razer Naga  |  CM Storm Xornet  |  Razer Goliathus Mobile Stealth  |  Razer Goliathus Control  |  Artisan Hien  |  Artisan Hayate  |  Artisan Shiden

Offline Riverman

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Re: KBDFans EC9009 Topre Keycaps Review
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 25 April 2019, 12:59:37 »
I had bought an interesting Realforce on eBay a while back that had some factory purple silenced sliders, and some standard sliders that had Hypersphere rings on them.  I couldn't tell the difference between the two when using that one, but I did really like the keyboard, other than the mushy 30g keys and the fact that the legends were nearly invisible in my office's crappy light.  It was a good year after I sold that keyboard before I silenced my Type Heaven, so I couldn't make a side-by-side comparison, but I don't feel like I'm missing much using a Type Heaven with KBDFans silencing rings vs. the Realforce.

Offline Hyde

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Re: KBDFans EC9009 Topre Keycaps Review
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 25 April 2019, 17:59:53 »
Oh yeah one of my friend bought the R2 PFU Edition that come with 45g and silent, and we compared it to the regular R1 with KBDFans silence x rings, and we actually liked the silence x rings a bit better.

I think because it doesn't have the purple slider extra depth so the silence x filled in the gap nicely and made it feel extra solid.  In contrast the R2 silent actually felt a bit mushy relatively (still great, but you know when compare side by side you notice the difference).

But as for keycaps I think the stock keycaps is noticeably better than the KBDFans keycaps, I think profile might be a bit different too.

KBDFans keycaps is closer to OEM while Topre is a little bit shorter I think, which might contribute to the feeling of less wobbly probably.

Archiss ProgresTouch Retro - Gateron Yellow  |  Topre Realforce 104UW - 45g Silent  |  Topre Type Heaven  |  Beige Filco Ninja 104 - MX Red  |  Das Keyboard - MX Brown  |  Poker II - MX Red  |  Race II - MX Brown  |  Matias Quiet Pro - Matias Dampened ALPS  |  Logitech K840 - Romer G  |  Cherry MX Board 2.0 - MX Red  |  Cherry G84-4100 - ML  |  IBM Model M
Roccat Kone Pure  |  Logitech G203  |  Logitech G303  |  Logitech G302  |  Razer Naga  |  CM Storm Xornet  |  Razer Goliathus Mobile Stealth  |  Razer Goliathus Control  |  Artisan Hien  |  Artisan Hayate  |  Artisan Shiden

Offline Hyde

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Re: KBDFans EC9009 Topre Keycaps Review
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 25 April 2019, 20:26:03 »
Okay here's another update, so tonight I swap my Type Heaven keycap back to the stock keycaps (ABS), then the wobble is gone!  So there was definitely some fit issues (maybe loose fit?).

Immediately I noticed the typing surface is also wider (I think EC9009 is narrower) and shorter.  Overall it's more comfortable too.

But you also definitely noticed that ABS is not as "sharp" and "rigid" as PBT, PBT also sounds better.  At the moment I'll just say I'm indifferent to using between the 2 sets, the stock ABS is better in some area while the EC9009 is better in others.

Hopefully one day they can improve upon version 2 or something.  :)

Archiss ProgresTouch Retro - Gateron Yellow  |  Topre Realforce 104UW - 45g Silent  |  Topre Type Heaven  |  Beige Filco Ninja 104 - MX Red  |  Das Keyboard - MX Brown  |  Poker II - MX Red  |  Race II - MX Brown  |  Matias Quiet Pro - Matias Dampened ALPS  |  Logitech K840 - Romer G  |  Cherry MX Board 2.0 - MX Red  |  Cherry G84-4100 - ML  |  IBM Model M
Roccat Kone Pure  |  Logitech G203  |  Logitech G303  |  Logitech G302  |  Razer Naga  |  CM Storm Xornet  |  Razer Goliathus Mobile Stealth  |  Razer Goliathus Control  |  Artisan Hien  |  Artisan Hayate  |  Artisan Shiden