Author Topic: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!  (Read 6443 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline IBMPCDOS5

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 58
  • I have no idea what to put here.
The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 21:32:18 »
Time for a keyboard review... again.
I've always been very skeptical yet intrigued about Topre. I mean, why would a new Type Heaven cost as a new-old stock Alps keyboard? But I've always ironically wanted to try Topre.
But the prices again are freaking UNBELIEVABLE so I check for alternatives on YouTube. After looking at a HHKB 2 review by chyrosran22, he said that BTC DwS are the closest thing to Topre. So, what do I do? I throw my CC at my laptop and purchase a NIB BTC 5100c (AT model of course!)

First Impressions:

The keyboard is just really small. It looks tinier in person than in the photos I saw. I was really impressed that it was UNTOUCHED. Like, the DIN plug had bubble wrap around it, the FCC papers were in there, and the cable had the plastic bag thingy around it. The keyboard itself was pristine, not damaged at all. I am not sure if the seller added an AT to PS/2 adapter or not but it was in the package.

Switches:
There were two AT BTC 5100 models to my knowledge. One model has foam and foil switches, and one is the
model that I own. These domes are very similar in construction to Topre. A slider, over an individual conductive dome, over a PCB. Wait, a RD with a PCB? Blasphemy! Well, Topre has it too, although it's capacitive. The sliders are MX-Mount, so you can stick on any Cherry or artisan keycap you want! Speaking of keycaps...

Keycaps:

They appear to be thin POM caps. Not 100% sure. If anyone has a black model, please tell me what they are!

Keyfeel/Sound:
The keyfeel is very smooth, tactile and because of the slider, a very Topre-like thock is produced. While is it slightly less full, and more of an aquatic drop. It's not like a Model F "p'tang" but a decently full sound nonetheless.

Final Verdict:

This is a test ride-esque for Topre. It's a nudge towards the rubber cup god, but also good for people who want MX-Mount sliders while still being good, a 75% layout, or people who can't live without PS/2.

Did I miss something? Tell me below! I may do a video review if people want me too!
~IBMPCDOS5

Offline Frenky

  • Posts: 13
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 03:56:17 »
Thanks for the review! Could you add some pictures?  :))

Offline Bigpock

  • Posts: 193
  • Location: Flawda
  • lolhiimbigpock
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 04:16:06 »
Theres some of the black models on ebay right now for sub 40 dollars. Is it worth it? Should I just aim for the white beige model?

KUL-ES 87

Offline IBMPCDOS5

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 58
  • I have no idea what to put here.
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 15:11:47 »
Thanks for the review! Could you add some pictures?  :))
Yeah! I can show the plug, the sliders, etc. Not sure 'bout the PCB but who knows?
Theres some of the black models on ebay right now for sub 40 dollars. Is it worth it? Should I just aim for the white beige model?
The black model is somewhat common and is the closest to the HHKB black model but with legible keycaps. Besides it's just awesome lookin'! Especially with PBT keycaps... mmm...



Offline klennkellon

  • Posts: 1274
  • Location: Southern California
  • I like bottoming out
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 00:11:40 »
Careful if you're looking to buy one of these because some could come with BTC's Foam and Foil which use the same slider as the domes.

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 2879
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 06:54:44 »
Careful if you're looking to buy one of these because some could come with BTC's Foam and Foil which use the same slider as the domes.
The slider isn't exactly the same though, and the foam and foil version uses external springs or sleeves, so they're easy to tell apart, but a good warning anyway.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline IBMPCDOS5

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 58
  • I have no idea what to put here.
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 07:01:12 »
Thanks for the heads up! I did touch on this a little but I felt it was a bit  unnecessary for this review. Still should be a disclaimer in the review.

Sent from my SM-S120VL using Tapatalk


Offline Bigpock

  • Posts: 193
  • Location: Flawda
  • lolhiimbigpock
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 16:52:26 »
how can i tell them apart when buying them from a retailer or ebay

KUL-ES 87

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 2879
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 17:33:29 »
how can i tell them apart when buying them from a retailer or ebay
Ask for a cap-off pic!
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline Fullcream

  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Australia
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 18:01:09 »
A long time ago I somehow acquired 3 BNIB slider over dome BTC 5100C's all for $5 each. Yeah I was amazed at how nice it felt and it was probably one of the closest feeling domes to topre in my experience. After about a few weeks of use I noticed something.. the deep solid thock wasn't the same anymore. It felt less refined and more mushy.
I started to notice an increasing rattle sound in every individual switch before collapsing the dome. This did not improve after lubricating the sliders and rails and using many different types of keycaps.

I then used it right next to one of the other brand new ones I had and was amazed at how quickly the previous one had deteriorated.

the same happened with all 3 of these boards. Very sad  :(

These were the black models, the keycaps are just thin abs with pad printed legends that wear down very quickly.
In my experience apart from how quickly the feel and sound of the switches goes from good to bad. I agree with the OP that it's a very nice quality board, especially the design of the case and having mx compatible stems (except for the mini top row) is really cool too.
« Last Edit: Thu, 02 February 2017, 18:12:03 by Fullcream »

Offline Bigpock

  • Posts: 193
  • Location: Flawda
  • lolhiimbigpock
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 16 February 2017, 16:44:10 »
Got mine today, plugged in the ps/2 port, all the lights on caps scroll and num lock flash and then it doesn't type

20 mins later. I figured out that keyboards with ps/2 adaptors need to be plugged in when booted up. I guess you can tell who just got his first ps/2 keyboard. Cheers.
« Last Edit: Thu, 16 February 2017, 17:05:42 by Bigpock »

KUL-ES 87

Online Phenix

  • Posts: 591
  • Location: Germany
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 20 February 2017, 05:47:08 »
thanks for your impression!
Maybe add some pictuers of the board next time?  :thumb:
Winter is coming.

Offline bloos

  • Posts: 7
Re: The BTC 5100c - I can't believe it's not Topre!
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 04 February 2018, 00:44:51 »
Do these switches feel closer to a 55g topre or a 45g?