I have been down a very long and winding road in the world of mechanical keyboard ownership. My first mechanical keyboard, you could say, was in 1991 when we had an IBM Model 55 PS2 computer in the house. Buckling spring was pretty much all the rage back in those days. For a very long time since then I was unable to find a keyboard that would replicate it and to be honest wasn't something I thought about.
I managed to buy a Unicomp keyboard some years ago but was unimpressed with what I really still believe to this day is the holy grail of mechanical keyboards. However, that being said, buckling spring has one main disadvantage in the modern day office if anyone is looking to reprise one of these into daily use, and that is noise. Truly, they offend the eardrums of most non-mechanical keyboard users, who simply do not understand.
Anyway, all this aside, there must be a mechanical keyboard that is fit for the modern day, and after many years of using Cherry MX Brown and Blue switches - (coincidentally, Filco Majestouch keyboards both procured from the Keyboard Company some years ago) - I thought I had found my utopia in the Happy Hacking Keyboard which I went to some lengths to import from Japan.
The Topre keyswitch is indeed the ultimate in my opinion, but I could not get on with the form factor. Then, finally, after months of waiting, the Topre Realforce is finally back in stock. I immediately ordered one as soon as I had the chance...
The keyboard arrived promptly, as usual with the excellent service from KBC. Inside the outer box used to deliver it, was another, nondescript cardboard box, with a simple label on the side detailing the contents. Clearly Topre have not invested money in shiny packaging, leading me to believe that my £210 has gone into the keyboard.
After liberating the keyboard from it's container, I immediately notice the weight. The Topre Realforce is a plate mounted keyboard, so does carry some heft. I like it, it feels solid, the plastic is solid, and the key action is simply sublime. Quiet enough to be acceptable, and with a tactile feel that is, in my opinion, far superior to that of the Cherry lines (and not to disrespect Cherry - they are fine switches!), Topre is where it is at.
The cost is very high, but this is for a very good reason. You are not simply buying a keyboard, you are investing in an extremely high quality instrument for commanding ones computer.
I am very pleased with the keyboard, and the excellent service from KBC.