Classic Product List

UK Topre Realforce 88UB 45g Key Black on Black Tenkeyless Keyboard



Now available for the first time and exclusively produced for The Keyboard Company, the Topre Realforce88UB keyboard, in United Kingdom layout, is a joy to type on. It incorporates Topre's patented 30 million key life cycle non-contact electrostatic capacitance switches with a switch weight of 45g. The subtle black on black keycaps with their tactile feel and N Key Rollover ensure fast and accurate input.

UK Topre Realforce 88UB 45g Key Black on Black Tenkeyless Keyboard - YA21B0

Included are yellow with black print W, A, S and D keys, a key puller and 4 key collars (used to disable keys).

UK Topre Realforce 88UB 45g Key Black on Black Tenkeyless Keyboard - YA21B0

Part Number
Cable length
1.6 Metre
Language Layout
United Kingdom
Number of keys/buttons
Switch Type
366 mm
168 mm
40 mm
1.2 kg
PC and MAC (Mac's may experience limited functionality)
Gross Weight
1.5 kg

UK Topre Realforce 88UB 45g Key Black on Black Tenkeyless Keyboard - YA21B0

  Anonymous  28/08/2019
I bought the Swedish layout version of this, but since it isnt available anymore I thought Id leave a review on this, since its essentially identical.

The build quality is overall very good, though I am a little disappointed at the thickness of the PBT keycaps, which are on the thinner side. I have tried both thicker PBT and ABS caps on my novatouch which is also topre but with cherry compatible stems, and the thicker caps are a lot nicer to type on. The striking surface on the keycaps also feels a little bit smaller than usual, not by much, but enough to notice.

The 45g switches, while identical in actuation force to my novatouch, do feel a little lighter. Which also makes the keyboard quite a bit quieter. Ive used this keyboard at work for the last year and its the perfect keyboard for an office environment where people are easily disturbed. It isnt silent, but it isnt offensive either. The only buttons that Im a bit disappointed in are the larger ones which dont have any real stabilisers to speak of, which can cause a bit of an emptyboxy kind of sound which is quite bright. Again, comparing to my novstouch which does have stabilisers, the sound of the stabilised keys is a lot more pleasant. Comparing this keyboard to the Realforce RGB however, this wins in terms of near silent operation.

The rubber feet under the keyboard also didnt make great contact with the desk and are also not the grippiest.

The case and metal plate retaining all the stems is very sturdy but can in some cases twist a little along the long axis of the keyboard of torqued too hard. This will make the keyboard sit unevenly, which was how my keyboard arrived. If you just give it a gentle twist itll be perfectly straight again though.

The cable is nothing to write home about, its a standard cable and it sits quite snug in the grooves on the underside. It isnt removable.

While I wouldnt recommend or even suggest that this keyboard is waterproof, I have spilled water in it twice and its still fine. Ive also spilled half a beer in my novatouch, so its safe to say that topre keyboard can survive a spill or two.

The angle of the keyboard is quite steep, steeper then most. When the keyboard is flat it still has a little bit of an angle to it, so thats worth keeping in mind.

Overall its a solid keyboard thats perfect for an office environment. The keycaps could be thicker, larger keys should be stabilised, the rubber pads could be nicer... but its nothing you think about in daily use.
  Binh  25/01/2019
I have this keyboard for over a week now and I can say it is growing on me. I like it.

As mentioned in several other reviews already, it is very different to MX Cherry Switch. I really didn't like it at first (or first touch) but after a few days I start to get used to it. My first keyboard was a Filco Cherry Brown from Keyboardco 10 years ago! Had other Cherry switches since then but this is just different type of good.

Can't say I'd recommend on a heartbeat due to the price. But if you already owned other Cherry switches and want to try something new and different, this Topre keyboard is worth it.
  Rogalian  14/11/2018
It's a fantastic keyboard, the best I've used, vastly superior to Cherry switches and a pleasure to type on but it's not perfect.

The colour scheme is not good.

Black on black is great if you only ever need to hit keys using muscle memory. If you're oriented in a different position from your normal, it becomes a bit of a hunt and peck fest in anything other than bright, direct light. Whitegrey legends on the keys would be a far better idea and I'd not have to be finding a way of replacing the whole keyset.

  AM  26/06/2018
This is one seriously good keyboard.
Built quality is great, typing is a pleasure.
Totally happy with it, planning to buy another one soon!
Thank you Keyboard Company ^.^
  Tom  20/03/2018
If you're a programmer, buy this keyboard. Cherry switches don't even come close to this.
  c3rt  11/02/2018
After not owning a single mechanical or topre keyboard and always using the membrane one (mostly at work) I have to say it feels amazing.

Typing on this keyboard is effortless, feedback is amazing and now I finally understand why people love these. Found the extra four yellow keys great, but would be also nice if these keycap sets were available somewhere.

Many thanks keyboard company for the fast delivery!
  Peter  04/06/2017
The Realforce keyboard is of high quality and it is very enjoyable to use.

I also own an IBM Model M buckling spring keyboard and a Ducky One with MX Blue, but the Topre keyboard will be my daily driver, because of the reduced noise level. There is still a clacking sound from the upstroke of the keyboard, but it is approximately at the same level as a cheap rubber dome keyboard, which is a good thing.

The keycaps on the Realforce keycaps have a nice slightly rough texture to them and feel less flimsy than the ones on my Ducky keyboard. The black on black legends can be hard to read in dark rooms, but in a proper lit office environment it is not a problem.

The 45g weighting of the keys feels similar to the MX Blue keys, perhaps a tiny bit lighter, but still offers a good level of tactility. For all day use I think the buckling spring model M becomes straining to use, while the MX blue and the 45g Topre switches are fine to use all day.

No problems with my order from keyboard company.
  GT  26/04/2017
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.

Many thanks
  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.
  Narek  30/11/2017
I'm a long time mechanical keyboard user, started with Filco MX Blues, tried Browns and Reds. Blue's were my favourite, never found the Browns tactile enough and I love tactile keys.

Topre are now my favourite switches, I spent a very long time deciding whether I they were worth trying because of the high asking price. But they completely are, if they work for you. I can't decide between the lighter and faster 45g switches and the heaver more tactile 55g switches. Both are really great, you wouldn't go wrong with either.

I think the 45g are probably easier to live with for day to day longer term so I would recommend them to anyone who likes tactile switches. Topre switches are completely different to Cherry MX and I can now understand why Topre users find Cherry MX switches gritty, especially Browns.

I'd also like to thank KeyboardCo for a flawless service and providing top customer service as always!
  Greg  10/04/2017
Enjoying using the Topre Realforce, the keyboard is extremely high quality and I think the black on black keys look very sleek.

As for typing, I have to say I much prefer the feel and sound of the Topre switches compared to my old MX Brown Filco.

I'd say for gaming Cherry MX switches are more suited, but the Topre's are more than capable.
  Tom RH  29/03/2017
Very pleased with my Realforce 88UB. The Topre action is great, very nice key finish, outstanding build (it is built like a tank!) and great looks. Also nice and quiet - so happy colleagues too!

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