Ever since we got deep into samples of testing all the varieties of switches on the Cherry MX base offerings, and also seeing some white ALPs switches, it has always been in our mind to see what the Topre branded switches were all about. I have been hearing for some time that they are a hybrid switch; that upon description may slightly turn potential customers off, but in reality, this is one of those switches you just have to feel for yourself to believe they have got a tactile feel and quite a bit of resistance out of what is essentially a hybrid, rubber dome switch based keyboard.
Let's take that a step further to go ahead and clear the air. This is in no way the same rubber domes that you get in the average keyboard. The idea here is to take a rubber dome switch, add some spring assist, and with large plungers that collapse the rubber domes underneath, Topre gives you what can only be equated to something similar to a Cherry MX brown switch. These offer a tactile spot in the compression of the switch, but are dead silent on the travel downward to activate the capacitance switches on the PCB.
With Topre switches the rebound is quite different, and here is where the switches actually make noise. Where the caps on a Cherry MX based board will bottom out on the steel plate, Topre switch do not hit the plate, but there is an audible tick when the keys are reset to the upmost position as the spring forces the key back up.
With the Topre switch and concept out of the way, let us get to why we are here today, and that is because Topre has sent over the Type Heaven 104-key keyboard for us to test. Here the idea is simple. Give the customer a keyboard that is for touch-typists, take away all the lighting and distractions, and offer a keyboard to the masses that is the lowest priced Topre based keyboard available on the market. After just over a week with the Type Heaven, I think it is high time we bring forth our findings, and you may soon see that the Cherry MX boards may not be the right choice for you, just like how I love Cherry MX greens, but the white ALPS still has a spot in my heart; let's see if the same rings true with these hybrid switches.
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