The Realforce 104 Euro Tour - Round 3

This is where the older threads are stored for the try before you buy ( sinklist ) items
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29 Apr 2014, 13:57

I am in the same position with you on that one. And alas I don't have the same kind of organisational skills or pulling power as misterinterface, so I don't think it will ever be destined to ever be very large :P

Well if you are interested in a small meet up, then just PM me, like I said I live around the Morningside area.


29 Apr 2014, 15:17

I'm reluctant to try this... I'm really curious and I'm afraid I might like it, in which case I will have to buy one. But that price...

Oh, what the hell... sign me up.

Thank you!

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30 Apr 2014, 16:43

Sooo we have ten people who signed up now, right? :3


30 Apr 2014, 22:31

With both noesc and kile we have 11 ?

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Topre Enthusiast

30 Apr 2014, 23:30

OK sorry for the delay. Yes we have 11 people now so let's begin! :)
I am not sure how efficient the current route is but I think it's good enough...If they are some compelling arguments otherwise that everyone can agree on, we can change it. Registrations will remain open as they did for the last tours (i.e. you can join in mid-way if you meet the initial post criteria).

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30 Apr 2014, 23:34

Austria and Hungary are a fair bit closer to Macedonia than is the Netherlands. But I'm not sure how much difference that makes for shipping, honestly. Cost seems to vary more depending on where you're sending from than where you're sending too. Mostly…


01 May 2014, 01:45

I am not sure that distance makes difference in price in my country, for within EU at least. The same package I've sent to UK cost me less than the one to Serbia which i basically 30 km from where I live...


02 May 2014, 08:33

It does not really make sense to send it from Germany to Finland and then to Austria.

Depends where it ships from but I would say Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary are all pretty close


03 May 2014, 09:09

Muirium wrote:Austria and Hungary are a fair bit closer to Macedonia than is the Netherlands. But I'm not sure how much difference that makes for shipping, honestly. Cost seems to vary more depending on where you're sending from than where you're sending too. Mostly…
I think you're right, and I'm not even sure shipping to a closer country is necessarily faster, which would have been another reason to change the order ? But assuming there is some speed gain, I guess the most economical with the least list upheaval would be germany-> austria -> hungary -> macedonia -> netherlands -> finland -> sweden ?
But that only works if medowy doesn't mind being quite a bit later on the list.

Most economical in terms of distance would be something like macedonia -> hungary -> austria -> germany ->netherlands -> sweden -> finland (or the other way around), but that would be changing everything and not suitably rewarding those who signed up early ?

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Topre Enthusiast

03 May 2014, 09:19

Took your first suggestion and re-arranged based on that. The keyboard was already in Germany so as a favour to the person holding on to it I wanted minimal fuss to kick the tour off. Medowy should be fine to wait a bit as I think he actually has an HHKB anyway.


03 May 2014, 12:48

I don't mind to wait as said earlier! I'm just interested to try it out when ever I can =)

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09 May 2014, 15:05

Yeah I don't mind the wait. I do own a HHKB but I have never tried a Realforce. Also the variable force seems interesting...

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10 May 2014, 11:29

Little status update: I received the keyboard yesterday from fireglow :)

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13 May 2014, 23:38

Daniel wrote:Little status update: I received the keyboard yesterday from fireglow :)
Cool stuff! :)

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18 May 2014, 16:51

After I used the keyboard for a week I'll try to sum up my impressions:

If you hold the keyboard in your hand for the first time you'll instantly recognize that it's heavier than the average keyboard. The whole keyboard is really sturdy.
Next thing I noticed is the cable routing on the bottom which only allows you to route the cable either to the right or left side and not straight out of the back of the keyboard.

I really like the font and positioning of the letters on the keycaps. It was also the first time I could take a look at dye sublimated keycaps and I'm impressed how sharp they are, as I expected them to be more blurry. I think I got this expectation from close-up photographs of Cherry keycaps here in the forum but sharpness and contrast really isn't a issue with black on white dyesubbed keycaps like the Realforce has.

What I consider a no-go on a keyboard in this price category is the fact that on almost all of the keycaps the keycap mount kind of shines through on the top.
Besides of that the Realforce is very nice looking.

Now let's shift attention to the typing:
- While I think Cherry MX red are to easy to press for proper typing the 45g of the Realforce are sufficient. I think this comes from the higher initial force which is needed to press a key.
- I bottom out every key while typing, but while you'll get that mushy feeling on normal rubber dome keyboards when bottoming out the Realforce lacks this feeling. I think this is one of the reasons why Topre switches feel that good.
- The different weights of the keys are only noticeable if I pay attention to it. As soon as I just type away I don't notice it any more. I think I could get used to it.
- Unfortunately the only 55g key on the keyboard is the escape key. But I'd really like to try out a all 55g Topre keyboard.
- What I don't like is the rattling of the stabilizers, maybe greasing helps. It's still quieter compared to Costar ones, but higher pitched (which makes it appear to be louder) than plate mounted Cherry ones.
- Compared to the Topre switches Cherry MX black feel like some one poured sand in them. But I only notice this scratchiness when slowly pressing a single switch and not while typing.
- It's really quiet which makes it a good options to be used in office environments without attracting the anger of colleagues.

And as last:
Would I buy one?
Probably not, at least not new, which would cost me 265€ as of now. If would get offered a used one for around 150€ I'd definitely think about it.

All in all apart from the points mentioned above there's really nothing wrong with the Realforce it's a great keyboard and if you have money to blow then buy one!

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19 May 2014, 21:28

The keyboard is on it's way to waffl.

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19 May 2014, 21:39

I had similar first reactions to this board. Well, except the weight, which was lighter than all my IBMs! But the Realforce is nice and tough anyway, just more modern than my many kilo beasts.

002 likely needs his stabs greased. They were some of the louder ones I've encountered, already, last year. Especially when compared to the otherwise quietness of the board. I've tried an HHKB since then and it was a great deal quieter.


19 May 2014, 22:46

My coworkers are already annoyed to hell with my Filco Browns, (everyone else in the entire studio uses Apple Aluminum keyboards) they're in for a real treat now.

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21 May 2014, 18:08

The keyboard was successfully delivered to me :oops: I accidentally swapped the sender and recipient in the online formular of DHL. :roll:
I resent it and it really is on its way to Waffl now.


22 May 2014, 00:05

Hey, at least it arrived safely. :-)


27 May 2014, 12:17

Just a quick note, the keyboard's arrived :) very quick first impression, pretty blown away by the build quality. Will be a pleasure to use this for a week. As with Daniel, I'm pretty blown away by the sharpness of the caps. I haven't used a fullsize board in ages though, it's really pushing the mouse away quite a bit. I can already tell I would love this board as a TKL. It feels amazing.

Can also say, just typing this I can already feel the variable weights quite evidently..

The plate mounted switches are great too. Feel so solid and sturdy. It's also not that loud, actually it's fairly quieter than my Filco TKL with brown switches. I also feel like I am not bottoming out nearly as much.

Will post back shortly.

Thanks again 002.
Last edited by waffl on 02 Jun 2014, 16:44, edited 1 time in total.


27 May 2014, 14:10

It sounds like I'm going to have to part with a substantial chunk of money soon... :/

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27 May 2014, 14:29

You know you will! Which size of keyboard are you thinking? I've tried both full size Realforce and 60% HHKB now; plus a TKL prototype NovaTouch, but it's not the final version yet. There's some differences in feel as well as size.


27 May 2014, 15:55

I'm very very much for minimalism! So the HHKB will most likely be my choice.
But as of yet I've never touched a Topre-switch so who knows what will happen!

Looking forwards to get my hands on this Realforce!

OT: HHKB + My design
Ever since I've first heard about the first HHKB in ~96-98, I've wanted one. Not a bad feat from someone who's born in 86!.
I like it mostly because of the form-factor... and secretly because it says "hacking" on it ^_^
This was way WAY before I had any idea that keyboards could be so vastly different in feel and technology used. Now I'm even more interested! The cost for a Topre is very prohibitive for me though... but one day.

Atm, I'm "taxing out on the runway" to design and make my very first keyboard.
My aim is to create something with the best kind of minimalism / functionality / ergonomics and will probably end up somewhere around 40-60%.
Many of my ideas comes from the HHKB and the work from this forum.
Details etc. will come as a build-log I guess, or at least pictures when I'm done.

There's nothing I would like to show as of yet though! Not because it's a secret, more because of that the construction is embarrassingly bad and the worst kind of MacGuyver hack! For the prototype I've scavenged essentially everything, including the diodes! :O

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27 May 2014, 16:58

That's exactly the kind of thing we like to see around here, just so you know!


27 May 2014, 18:57

Urg, it's only been one day of working on this keyboard and I feel like I'm addicted already. I absolutely love it.

Not a good sign for the ol' bank.

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27 May 2014, 19:03

Topre: taste the ramen. You'll be eating it for a while to balance out the books…

How's the variable weighting going? And is it heavy enough, overall?

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28 May 2014, 22:36

I forgot to mention in my review:
Although the variable weighting wasn't a problem while typing I found my self accidentally pressing for example the w key while browsing, because I rest my fingers on it in order to later close the tab.


02 Jun 2014, 16:38

As my week with this wonderful board comes to an end (unfortunately I actually only got to use it for about two days), I have no doubt that plate mounted topre is my absolute favourite.

I was wondering if anyone knows how the leopold FC660c compares in feeling, sound, etc... The solidity of this realforce is what really feels right to me. It stays put, and feels super sturdy.

A full review coming, but in the meantime, I know without doubt that I would love to have either a TKL realforce (variable is actually quite nice to me in the end), or the Leopold if it compares for compactness.
Muirium wrote:Topre: taste the ramen. You'll be eating it for a while to balance out the books…

How's the variable weighting going? And is it heavy enough, overall?
Good thing I really like Ramen :) With some broccoli, egg, etc etc, you can even make instant ramen quite good.

Top ramen, however... pretty impossible to save. Topre Ramen.. hmm

For me, variable is great. I have a pretty light touch though.
Last edited by waffl on 02 Jun 2014, 16:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Topre Enthusiast

02 Jun 2014, 16:41

Glad you liked it, waffl :)
I haven't tried the FC660C, but I know it's metal plate mounted unlike the HHKB and I think it should feel pretty similar to a Realforce for that reason. The other good thing about the FC660C now is that they finally switched to dye-sub legends, so no more crappy worn off laser caps.

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