Will Roe 21/03/2019
I've been using the Topre Realforce 88UB for nearly a week now and I can say with confidence it's the best keyboard I've ever used.
I've used many keyboards with a variety of Cherry MX (and some clones like Kailh) key switches as well as a few other esoteric keyboards like the Matias Ergo Pro (with their tactile switches). My first mechanical keyboard was a tenkeyless Filco Majestouch with Cherry MX Brown switches (also from Keyboardco of course!) which I bought in 2012. Up until now that remained my main keyboard and I was looking for something with more tactile key switches (something Cherry aren't great at) and this Topre really delivered!
There are a couple of clarifications not specifically mentioned in the product description I'd like to mention:
1) The keys are 45g Topre key switches, uniformly across the whole keyboard. Although Realforce keyboards are well-known for their variable weightings across keyboards, this isn't one of those (I didn't want that myself).
2) There is a very well built cable gutter and you can position the cable 3 ways - out to the left, to the right and straight out the back, depending on your desk arrangement. The cable is not removable unfortunately.
3) There aren't any lock lights on keys like caps lock etc. This wasn't super clear to me from the product photos since they are quite low resolution. Not an issue for me, but that's mainly because I remap CapsLock to escape, which is unusual perhaps.
4) This version (the Black model) comes with some yellow (hideous!) replacement key caps for the W, A, S and D keys. This is frankly hilarious as I can't imagine anyone mistaking this for a gamer-centric keyboard. It also comes with a high-quality wire keycap puller (i.e. not one that'll scratch keycaps, as previous models came with apparently). I would rather this model came with the same replacement keys the beige model comes with - i.e. red WASD+Escape keys - they would look really quite nice on the black model, and very out of place on the beige model.
5) The feet provide a very stable base, the keyboard doesn't slide around on the desk at all. I use it with the back feet flipped out, providing a greater angle and it's very comfortable in that position.
I like tenkeyless designs because I don't type lots of numbers and I like to not have the mouse too far out to the side. That meant choosing between the black and the beige Topre Realforce models (88U and 88UB - B for Black in this case). I chose the Black model because it would look better on my desk, where almost everything else is black. This leads me to the only real downside of this keyboard, which is the impractical legends on the key caps. They are black on dark grey, which means they are effectively blank in most lighting conditions. If you point a lamp at them, the result is quite a shiny reflection, which doesn't illuminate what keys are where. So for purely practical reasons I'd recommend the beige version. I find I'm happy to type on this keyboard - touch typing for the most part - and perhaps I'm vain enough that the colour scheme seems to matter more to me than being able to see where keys are all the time!
If you're used to Cherry MX-style mechanical key switches, using Topre key switches will take some time to get used to and they feel very different (not to mention how different they sound - more of a thock than a click). If I had to guess who would prefer these, it'd have to be typists who tend to bottom-out when typing, rather than very light typing folks. Because these bottom out on a rubber dome, they don't feel harsh or sound bad or cheap (like Cherry style switches can sound depending on materials). It's next to impossible to avoid bottoming out when typing on them also, because the tactile bump is right at the top of the key travel, after that there's nearly no resistance so you tend to hit the full travel of the key. I find Cherry Brown to be a little on the light side (also 45g) and these 45g Topre switches feel slightly heavier. That might be due to the margins of error (the spec says 45g +- 15g) or just the different tactility of the switch, either way I don't find them fatiguing (like Matias tactile switches) or overly sensitive (like Cherry MX Brown or Red - if you rest your thumb on the spacebar it can register without pushing).
It's very difficult to describe the tactile feeling of typing on any keyboard and moreover it's highly subjective and personal, so I'll have to be satisfied with saying since I've had this keyboard on my desk I have looked for opportunities to type things, anything! Just doing typing tests is aesthetically pleasing. I'm so happy with this keyboard I think I'll not get the itch to buy another keyboard for a good long while. It's likely the next thing I'd buy would be replacement key caps for this model, because as mentioned that's its main weakness.