In order to test this keyboard, I used it as my daily working and gaming keyboard for a period of two weeks. I’m a writer by trade and PC gamer by hobby, so it was two weeks of near constant use. The games I played were these:
- Diablo III: A cooperative action RPG
- StarCraft II: A competitive multiplayer real time strategy
- League of Legends: A competitive multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), akin to WarCraft III mod D.O.T.A.
- RAGE: A singleplayer first person shooter with racing sections
- World of Warplanes: A multiplayer flight shooter
- Quake Live: A competitive multiplayer first person shooter
- Borderlands: A cooperative first person shooter
- Mass Effect 3: A single player RPG with shooter elements
Here we’ll look at how the Topre Realforce performed in testing, in two sections: writing and gaming, the two major use-cases for this keyboard.
The Topre Realforce produced superlative writing results. While it was a bit odd transitioning to a capacitive switch and rubber dome assembly from a strict mechanical switch, after the first few days the keyboard felt broken in. I achieved much faster typing speed and accuracy than I had on the previous keyboard I reviewed, the Cooler Master Quick Fire Rapid with Cherry Blacks.
The differently weighted keys also made the typing experience a lot more comfortable: Weaker fingers were matched to lighter keys and stronger fingers to heavier keys. While a separate wrist rest is a necessity for optimal comfort, this made a lot of difference to my comfort after many hours of typing. The Topre Realforce provides one of the most luxurious typing experiences I’ve ever experienced.
The Realforce doesn’t excel for gaming in quite the same way as it does for typing. In most genres like strategy and shooters, you will be holding your left hand on the keyboard near WASD and your right hand on the mouse. As you won’t be holding your hands in the default home row position, the differently weighted keys aren’t that much of a bonus – your stronger fingers will likely be over some of the lighter keys, for instance.
For StarCraft II, I found the Realforce keys to be some of the best I’ve found. Again, whilst they weren’t demonstratably better than Cherry MX mechanical switches, they did provide a nice blend of weight, actuation and overall feel.
StarCraft II pro player TT1 swears by the Topre Realforce, but the vast majority of other pro players are content to use mechanicals or cheap rubber domes like the Q-Senn DT35.
Overall, gaming isn’t the main reason you should buy a Topre Realforce. The Realforce won’t slow you down or hinder you in any way, but it doesn’t offer any gaming-related reasons to spring for it over a solid (and much cheaper) mechanical like the Filco Majestouch 2 or Coolermaster Quick Fire Rapid.