My RF TKL R2 PFU Limited Edition keyboard arrived last night. I unboxed it this morning. I got the black on black version, US ANSI layout, all 45g switches. It has all the bells and whistles, including actuation point control (APC), NKRO, silencing, and a host of functions accessed by Fn key combinations.
At first, I was perplexed, because the package-insert manual consisted of a single sheet of paper with all of the instructions in Japanese only. This left me with almost no idea of how to access the various functions.
However, I soon found that the RF website has a product support page with download links for a catalog/spec sheet in English, driver software (Windows only), and a PDF of the software manual in English.
Here are my initial impressions of Pro and Con:
-- Compact form factor.
-- Attractive stealthy look.
-- Very quiet, but with a bit of the clip/clop on clay thockness.
-- Subtle Topre tactility. Good typing feel.
-- Not completely programmable. Every modern keyboard ought to be completely programmable using TMK or QMK or something just as good.
--- Attached cable. I much prefer a detachable cable.
--- Hardwired Fn key. I much prefer no function key or one that can be remapped.
--- Functions that are mostly useless for me or that I would prefer to assign myself.
--- Case apparently snaps together rather than being held together with screws. I prefer a straightforward way of opening a keyboard case without worrying about damaging snap tabs.
-- APC. I suppose this will appeal to some, but I would be okay with the default middle setting. However, as long as this feature exists, it is nice that it can be accessed easily via Fn + Up-arrow.
-- Embedded NumPad. Sort of nice to know it's there, but I doubt that I would ever use it. Moreover, some of the embedded NumPad keys interfere with my HHKB-style of remapping.
-- Silencing mats. The box also contains two rubber mats in different thicknesses that can be installed on the plate by first removing the keycaps. This will provide even more silencing at the expense of some key travel. The keyboard is already one of the quietest I have used. I doubt I would have any use for the rubber mats.
When slowly pressing keys to test weight and tactility, the 45g switches initially felt too light and lacking in tactility. However, when actually typing, the weight and tactility feel just right. At first, I thoujght I would regret not opting for an all-55g model, but now that I am typing on it, I think 45g is the best choice.
As soon as I can figure out how to open the case without breaking it, I would like to install a panel-mount USB connector for a detachable cable and investigate the possibility of installing an internal Hasu USB-USB converter to make the keyboard completely programmable (except probably the hardwired Fn key).
However, the first change I'd like to make is to replace the alphanumeric keycaps with caps that have visible legends. To me, black on black is not cool. The keys ought to be either blank or equipped with visible legends. However, I do like dark keyboard cases and dark modifier keys, which is why I bought the black version. I already have a set of Topre caps with visible legends ready to install.
OVERALL: The RF TKL R2 special PFU edition seems solidly built, and the silenced all-45g Topre switches provide an excellent typing experience. However, TKL is more than I need -- 60% is my optimal form factor. Moreover, HHKB is my favorite layout, and to get this, I would need to install an internal converter or use an external Hasu USB-USB converter. I also prefer a detachable cable, and the RF has a fixed cable. Finally, whereas I like the black color for the case and modifiers, The black on black legends are a silly affectation, and I will be replacing the alphanumeric caps with a new set that has visible legends. Overall, although the RF is definitely a premium product (with a very premium price), I prefer to use my HHKB Pro 2 as my daily driver.
EDIT: After setting up the RF R2 with an external Hasu USB-USB converter and installing blue alphanumeric keycaps with visible legends, white HHKB keycaps to demarcate the cursor diamond, and some red keycaps on the top row, the keyboard is growing on me. Just prior to getting the RF, I had been typing on a Leading Edge DC-2014 with SKCM blue Alps. Now, after typing on the RF for a few hours, the DC-2014 seems crude by comparison. I also tried out my Tokyo60 with Zilent switches that I had once said were Topre-like. The Zilents are perhaps even quieter than the silenced Topre switches in the RF, but the RF is definitely more elegant and refined. There is also something sure-footed about typing on the RF. I feel less prone to making typos than I do on Alps or mx boards, and the switches are not prone to the twitchiness I've often encountered with Alps switches, such as missed keypresses or chattering. I'd give the Realforce 4 out of 5 stars. It would be 5 stars if it had a detachable cable and complete programmability.