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Review: Topre Type Heaven – The Ultimate PC Keyboard?

Oct 11, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  11 Comments

type-heaven

Every 2-3 years, I manage to wear out a keyboard.  With nearly 3000 articles written for CNCCookbook and countless emails responded to, I guess that goes with the territory.

Normally, I don’t think too much about what keyboard to buy, I just head over to Staples and get whatever they have.  This time I decided to order online, and while I was at it, I checked around for some reviews.  Was there some ultimate keyboard that wasn’t too expensive I could try?

Turns out there is–Topre is a Japanese company (machinists will be familiar with the quality of Japanese machine tools) called Topre that makes what they call “Realforce” keyboards.

If you poke around on the Internet a little bit, it doesn’t take long to discover these keyboards practically have a cult following.  If you do a lot of touch typing, they’re wonderful.  The feel is lighter (30-55 gram models available versus 50-60 grams for the average membrane keyboard) and smoother.  These things have a precision feel I haven’t come across since I last had an IBM-made keyboard years ago, but they’re not clacky like the old IBM PC keyboards.

The feel is due to a non-contact mechanism that uses a capacitive switch instead of closing a set of contacts.  To top it all off, the thing is built like a battleship.  It stays where you put it on your desk.  That’s nice because I am constantly juggling the keyboard, my mouse, a coffee cup, and a ton of other things in a small space.

Best of all, my fingers are less tired by the end of a long day of typing, and I seem to be able to type a little faster and with fewer mistakes.  The shape and layout of the keys is just perfect for me.

Topre sells a bunch of different keyboard models, and some are pretty expensive.  As in $250 plus expensive.  I loved the idea of these keyboards and all the positive reviews I came across, but I just couldn’t stomach such a high price.

But, I kept poking around and eventually discovered the “Type Heaven” model, which is intended to be the entry-level Topre keyboard.  It can be had on Amazon for a price of about $150.  That’s still a premium compared to the keyboard I just wore out, a Logitech model that cost about $50 bucks, but it was more approachable than their flagship models.

My other concern was whether the Type Heaven would have that real Topre feel.  The reviews said it did, and in fact a number of the reviewers sold their more expensive Topre keyboards, bought Type Heaven’s, and pocketed the change.

Not bad!

So I took the plunge, the keyboard arrived two days ago, and I have enjoyed using it every minute since.

Keyboards are pretty boring, but being machinists, we all like nice tools.  For a wordsmith like me, a keyboard is an essential tool, and mine just got a whole lot better.

If you want to check one out on Amazon, they’re about $150.

Type Heaven Keyboard

Have any of you dear readers tried a Topre keyboard?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

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Review: Topre Type Heaven – The Ultimate PC Keyboard?
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11 Comments

  • […] day involves lots of typing, you need to check one out.  I hate to be suspenseful, but I put a whole keyboard review over on CNCCookbook, and even with this premium keyboard, I’m not going to retype it all again […]

  • I have a filco majestouch, and really like it.

  • I’ve used a Kinesis Advantage for over a decade. I really like the cupped shape over the traditional flat shape.

  • No wordsmith here. Most of my typing is with a stylus now.

    I still have an old IBM keyboard that has capacitive swiches and buckling springs on the desktop machine. I like the clack and feedback. It’s got to be 20 years old now. Had a mechanical Alps but the cat pissed on it and ruined it 🙁

    My worst experience has been with notebook keyboards with a Tormach mill. Been through a couple of them. I recently bought a Lenova keyboard. Old IBM notebook type with a nipple stick. It is nice that it elimated the mouse. Don’t know how it will hold up, but have been using it for 3 months now.

    b0b

  • I thought my Mac keyboard was good until I got a daskeyboard. I just love the feel and the click clack cherry keys, the keyboard makes you type faster.
    Cheers

  • Logitech G710+ gaming keyboard with 6 programmable keys for doing CAD.
    I connect a Logitech G13 Programmable Gamepad with 25 programmable keys for serious weeklong projects. I keep a trackball on the left side of the keyboard when I am not using the gamepad as some CAD commands are best executed with the right hand.

    I never did any gaming but it seems if you want quality hardware, the gaming community has it.

    I also switched to an Adesso Vertical mouse when I came down with Carpel tunnel problems.

    • John, the Logitech was the one I wore out. I definitely prefer this keyboard. I can type faster and with less fatigue.

      • I needed a keyboard with dedicated function keys. It also had to have 2 Windows keys because with my huge monitor, the Win-Arrow key is essential in moving Windows around.

        Because ….
        I have a Visio 55 inch 4K TV/Monitor With a Pluggable Brand USB3 to 4K adapter. This is an unbelievable CAD work station. The screen sits on my desktop and is 28 inches from my eyeballs.

        After 30 years I feel I am finally back to a work area as comfortable as my old drafting board.

        Being bleeding edge there are problems with browsers but all productivity programs work.
        This monitor also works good in 1080p Mode when I have to use browsers.

        Prior to this I used a 43 inch 1080p Hisense Monitor on my desktop 28 inches from my eyeballs and I considered that breathtaking.

        I am currently looking for an affordable computer that will handle 4K natively.

  • It is still possible to get commercial quality DEC and Compaq keyboards. The LK47x series is probably still the best “typist’s” computer keyboard ever produced. I highly recommend it. The one I’m currently using has been in service for nearly 10 years. Last time I looked – 2 months ago – prices ran about $80-120.

  • Tesoro makes the Durandal V2 mechanical keyboard. Clicky Cherry MX switch keys like an old IBM, backlit (you really don’t know how great this is until you use it), 2 USB ports, all keys fully programmable. It’s really a gaming keyboard, but it works awesome for just about everything. Not cheap, I paid around a hundred bucks for mine, but it was money well spent.

    • Bryan, I have a friend with one of those keyboards and he loves it. I like this one slightly better feel-wise. I used to use the old IBM style for years (until I finally went irrevocably USB), but I decided I was a little better off with the “clackey” style (like the old IBM’s), though they’re still WAY better than most keyboards you’ll find these days.

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