Now with more time under my belt with the Topre Type Heaven, what initially started as a slight bit of feeling that I was not going to like this design has completely been changed. While I am very used to using Cherry MX based mechanical keyboards, I have been known to take the typical rubber dome offerings, and after only ten to twenty minutes of use, I was ready to get rid of it and move to any mechanical switch, even reds. To me the whole reason you go mechanical in the first place is for the feel, and for people who type a lot, it is the right tool for the job. I personally want the activation point, stiff activation pressure, and I like a bit of an audible click from each key being used. Topre brings all of those things.
While being based on a plunger pushing on the top of a rubber dome membrane removes all of the rubbing of components that a mechanical switch does, it is the springs that do all the magic here. Right at the halfway mark of the 4mm travel the spring stops resisting and drops away. The strange feeling to get used to is that same spring quickly returns the keys, causing the keys to only make noise at the bottom edge of the plunger hits the top of the inside of the housing. After much use, I found the Topre to be much like a brown switch in feel and noise, but are almost up to blue or green switch level with the needed force to make the switch provide contact to the PCB.
Feel is something that is really tough to put into "exacting" sentiments, but aesthetics and design are something that can easily be handled. The black frame with slightly lighter grey key caps is very attractive, different than most professional offerings out there, yet not so far as to make a gaudy statement when this is sitting on the boss's desk. It is smaller and more compact than most of the gaming offerings out there, and of course there are none of the fancy features associated with those either. Topre is straight to the point with the Type Heaven. They offer a very solid keyboard, it delivers in both feel and function, and a dab of gold paint, and some rounded edges is all you need for styling cues when you have a product that works this well out of the box.
On a personal level, while I thought Cherry MX green switches were improving my writing speeds; I found that these switches from Topre added another ten words per minute to my writing average. While not a tremendous improvement, it just lends to the fact that you really do need to find the correct tool for the job, when every hand is different.
Taking everything into perspective, the Topre Type Heaven can easily be beat when going against other keyboards based solely on pricing, but that isn't the whole equation. Aside from getting switches that remove the physical drag and resistance that is found with mechanical switches, they have smoothed out the overall actuation both down, and up of the keys in their offerings. Then on top of that, most of the rest of the Topre offerings are priced well over $200. Keeping all of that in mind, to have something that fits the bill as well as the Type Heaven does for me, I can see myself finally moving away from the MX Cherry green switch based Trigger keyboard, in favor of this Topre Design.
It has been a long time since I have been this excited to see something in the keyboard department, usually is it the same four or five switches in every design, it is the add-ons that sold me on the design in one way or another. With this, it is a no frills tool of speed that has improved my game, and there is no reason in my mind why the Topre Type Heaven should not be heavily considered for anyone who considers themselves an avid typist.
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