What are Topre Switches? {Complete Guide 2022}


As far as expensive switches for the mechanical keyboards are concerned, there are some extraordinary switches like Holy Panda Switches, Cherry MX Switches.

But do you know about Topre Switches?

I hope the answer would be no as Topre switches are one of the most expensive switches that are very rare to see or someone using it, many of us didn’t use these switches, or maybe we never heard about it.

In the United States, these switches are not as popular as some other switches among the programmers, gaming community, and typists.

But in Japan, these switches are quite popular among keyboard users.

Some keyboard enthusiasts used these switches in their keyboard and they suggest these key switches are a must-try for people who want a slightly different experience or those who are experiment-oriented users.

If you want detailed information about Topre switches this article will surely help you so make sure to read it till the end.

I’m breaking down this article into what Topre switches are, their feel and touch, their working mechanism, how they are different from conventional mechanical switches, and the best Topre switches keyboard you can buy.

In this article, every single question will be covered regarding Topre switches.

Let’s get dive into the details!

What are Topre Switches?

Topre switches-1

Topre switches are designed and manufactured by a Japanese company ‘Topre’, from where these switches derived their name.

Japanese engineering company Topre not only produces mechanical switches but is a well-established manufacturer of premium electronic components which produce Air conditioning components and pressing parts.

Topre switches are considered a good alternative to the standard mechanical switches because of their unique working mechanism, slightly different feel, and performance.

Topre switches works on three significant principles that are:

  • Electrocapacitive Method of Actuation
  • Non-squishy bottom out Force
  • Rounded Top

These switches provide great tactility, smooth and snappy typing experience along with having a non-squishy bottom out.

Topre switch’s working mechanism is completely based on Electrocapacitive for registering a keystroke, In simple words, these switches use electric current that comes from a sensor mounted on a switch. As a result, a keystroke is registered successfully and actuation is activated.

This activation method is totally different from a standard mechanical switch that’s the reason Topre switches grabbed the attention of keyboard enthusiasts.

Topre Switches Review

Topre switches are compared to standard mechanical switches by some professionals, is it really a competitor?

Or it is just a hyped switch on the market.

Let’s breakdown these functionalities and specifications into an in-depth review for better understanding.

This review is completely based on Topre switches technical factors such as Design & Fell, Working Mechanism, Actuation, Durability, and their price.

1. Design and Feel

The design and feel for Topre switches are drastically different compared to mechanical switches.

These switches have a beautiful and beveled rounded top which is connected to a circuit board underneath that gives them a sturdier build as well as helps switch sensors to perform actuation feasibly.

Some people liked this design shape while some doesn’t because a mechanical switch has a square shape design that most of the users preferred.

The feel of these switches is smooth, snappy, and consistent which not only allows a smooth and snappy typing experience but also helps to provide excellent grip over the keys which pushes to a faster typing experience.

Topre switches are equipped with a slider inside the housing over a rubber dome and a conical coiled spring that mounts over a (PCB) printed circuit board.

The switches of the Topre keyboard are based on discrete components but they are manufactured as sheets.

2. Working Mechanism

Topre switches-working mechanism

Image Source: seasonic.com

 

Topre switches work on an electrocapacitive mechanism.

These switches work on a  combination of a rubber dom and a mechanical switch technology.

A PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is mounted on the keyboard surface and the rounded top switches are directly connected to the electric circuit underneath which lyes above the PCB which supports the smooth activation of a switch.

The keystrokes are registered via an electric current which is supplied by sensors that are placed inside a switch then after successful keystroke is done.

The electric current doesn’t pass through a switch that is flicked but the switch’s sensors play a significant role in the entire keystroke process.

The conclusive part is the keystrokes are detected electrically in the Topre switches, unlike the mechanical switches in which keystroke is done via a different mechanism.

That is the reason these switches offer a very unique feel to a user while typing on them.

Talking about their bouncing space it is slightly less, and when you type on this switch, the reset position to an original place after a keystroke is very quick and smooth. Which is way ahead when you compare them with mechanical keyboards switches.

You don’t require more pressure to register a keystroke, a little pressure is enough because they offer smooth-oriented keystrokes.

The spring mount mechanism is different too because the spring is set directly to the Printed Circuit Board as a result you won’t feel too much when you typed on Topre switches.

A well-placed spring provides good stability as well as a sturdy build to a keyboard.

Electric sensors are capable enough to register a keystroke even though the typing force is too low and has a small space.

3. Actuation

As far as the actuation of this switch is concerned, Topre is best known to provide different actuation which is based on electrocapacitive mechanism.

Actuation is the most significant feature of these switches, so when actuating them a user may feel he is typing on a rubber dom keyboard but actually, Topre key switches are more solid and it is not like a membrane keyboard.

The actuation is light and more consistent throughout the typing due to the standard spring placed inside the switches.

The user who likes heavy actuation don’t need to disappoint as there are few options for them, they can opt for a switch having 35gs up to about 55gs of force, I know that is not that heavy but a great buy over light actuation switches.

well, the final thought is the actuation is light, consistent as well as efficient in the Topre switches.

actuation is the most important reason for a user to buy Topre keyboards.

Look at how Topres switches are actuated, perform, and produce sound through a video.

Source: SauceAndToss

 

4. Durability

Topre switches are not as durable as mechanical switches, they are mediocre in terms of durability.

Although these switches are designed to survive up to 50 million keystrokes which are considered good in general prospects if you are a user of a mechanical keyboard this can looks very ordinary.

Gateron and Kailh switches are the best options for the user as they provide a guarantee to last up to 50 million keystrokes while Cherry switches are way ahead and certified up to 100 million keystrokes.

I would say Topre switches are average in terms of build quality and durability.

In the end, it totally comes down to user-specific preference as some users want a switch that lasts for many years without any severe damage.

There are some users too who are not much concerned about keyboard durability as it is don’t lye in their priority.

5. Price

Topre switches and their keyboards are usually much more expensive, but why do they come with a heavy price point here are some specific reasons.

Topre keyboards are only manufactured by a Japanese company Topre Co Ltd and these switches go through some advanced and high-quality checks and tests, these are the most significant reasons Topres’ prices are increased when they arrived at the market.

The market demand for Topre switches is comparatively low.

On the other hand, mechanical switches are always high in demand that increasing the competition and pushing all manufacturing companies to launch their switches at low prices so users may attract to purchase them.

Coming to Topre switches price, the price may vary from $209 to $259 based on their models, functionalities, and specifications.

Are Topre Switches Worth Buying?

Look, price is the most dominant factor for any kind of product, it can decide whether a person will buy it or not.

Topre switches or Topre switch keyboards come at a very high price point, this looks affordable for some people whereas for some people it can’t.

The price and feel can be subjective because it totally depends on individuals so I’m going to list below some positive sides as well as some negative thoughts which may help you to decide whether you should go for it or not.

First of all, let’s talk about their positive sides.

The most vital property of Topre switches is their working mechanism, they work on an electrocapacitive method for actuation which is totally different from mechanical switches.

Overall, the typing experience is snappy, smooth, and consistent. Feels and touch is also satisfying, actuation is also light which can be useful to improve your typing speed and efficiency.

You can consider these switches and keyboards if you can afford them, you want some unique experience from your keyboard which cant be found in mechanical switches, or you love to type on linear switches as these are lighter like linear switches.

Now take a look at some negative sides you should also consider before buying.

The prominent deal-breaker factor for the Topre switches keyboard is their price, which is vary between $209 to $259.

Even you can’t give them a try as they are not cheap so I would say investing your hard-earned money is not a good idea in these switches. Rather there are many options out there on the market which are economical as well as best too.

The second downside is Topre switches sound which is not that great in my opinion.

And the third one is, You can not swap out your existing mechanical switches from your keyboard and install Topre switches because they don’t support a hot-swappable mechanism.

Finally, I would say if you are willing to spend money you can try them.

Or if you want value for money products, please don’t buy them. You can look at some magnificent switches from Gaterons and Kailh.

What Do Topre Switches Feel Like?

topre switches-4

Topre switches have a rounded shape from the top which is different from conventional mechanical switches that have a square shape.

This design provides good stability and a smooth feel, when you pressed a Topre key you fill like typing on a rubber dom surface due to the electrocapacitive principle and the component from which they are built.

In fact, Topre key switches are slightly harder than rubber dom switches including membrane keyboards.

The keyboard keycaps provide an excellent hold when you type and slide your fingers across the keyboard during typing. The keycaps of Topre keyboards are made with a premium plastic material which is good for overall typing on them,

Due to light actuation and no bottom-out force for actuation, Topre switches are very light to touch and type as well. These switches are very easy to use and some users may feel more reactive and tactile while typing on these switches.

The sound profile of Topre switches is unique compared to some other switches and they are also less noisy which is a good thing if you want to use them in the office.

Overall, some people like these switches feel and touch while some people don’t like at all so first you have to try them at a nearby keyboard store before buying them.

What Do Topre Switches Sound Like?

As far as the sound profile is concerned, Topre switches are known to produce little noise when they are typed.

The sound is not very satisfying, it is relatively less noisy from the downstrokes. When upstrokes hit from the top, there is inconsistent clack produced by these switches due to its 55g resistance which can give an unpleasant experience.

These switches generate Thock sound which is their specialty.

The sound profile can be enhanced by doing a lube process to them which can make these switches more silent and slightly make them pleasing to hear.

But you have to take the switch apart to lube it and rebuilding it can give mental stress to some users.

However, these switches can be a good option for the user who mostly likes less noisy switches, but before buying, please test the sound at your nearby keyboard store.

I am embedding a video so I request you to watch this and get a real feel of the Topre switch’s sound for lubed and silent switches.

Source: Taeha Types

 

Are topre switches tactile?

Before jumping to the tactile behavior of Topre switches, you should know what is a tactile switch means?

Tactile switches are electromechanical devices or switches that give you physical sensation in response to their circuit is being activated, it simply produces a sense of touch when it is activated.

Topre switches produce very strong tactile feedback when they are pressed, giving you a strong sense of touch so when you type on them you will feel each keystroke very clearly and smoothly as well.

You can type on these switches effortlessly without too much pressure. Actuation can activate with a soft hand with a little amount of pressure.

I can say Topre tactile feedback is slightly similar to a standard mechanical switch, you can type very frequently on it and move forward as soon as actuation is done automatically fast and consistence.

Topre switches provide more than tactile as you feel better, type effortless and fast.

Can You Install Topre Switches Yourself?

Installing Topre switches yourself on a keyboard is close to impossible due to various reasons associated with them.

You can not install Topre on your keyboard even if you have expertise in it because these switches are connected directly to the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) which sends a signal to the computer then keystroke takes place.

So installing Topre switches into your standard mechanical keyboard simply means you have to swap out the existing entire circuit board then replace it with a Topre PCB.

This is close to impossible because you will encounter a compatibility issue as every keyboard has a different size and shape.

Topre switches require a direct connection to the PCB which is totally different from a mechanical keyboard. A mechanical switch hit levers and levers hit PCB that’s how keystroke is activated in a mechanical keyboard.

The final answer is you can not install Topre switches yourself on a keyboard.

Topre Switches vs Cherry

topre switches vs cherry

Topre switches have many unique and advanced functionalities, keeping their price aside most of the users love to type on these switches.

Due to its various characteristics, some people compare Topre switches to Cherry switches.

Look Cherry switches are considered the king of mechanical switches that why most of the companies made their keyboard switches to compete with cherry and somehow try to beat them.

Take a loot at the comparison table of Topre switches vs Cherry, and their details below:

Technical Benchmarks

Topre

Cherry

Construction and Design 

Slider mechanism with a robber dome inside.

Gold cross point contacts 

Lighting

RGB and LED Effects

RGB and LED Effects

Noise Level

Quietier

Depend on each switch profile.

Variety of Switches

Limited Variety

More Variety

Durability

Topre switches can survive up to 30-50 millions keystrokes.

Cherry switches are more durable having 100 million keystrokes.

Coming to the comparison part, Topre and Cherry switches have different mechanisms to work.

Cherry working is based on mechanical switches that have no rubber dome inside, however, Topre switches work on electrocapacitive actuation, and their switches are directly connected to the PCB along with a rubber dome mounted inside.

Cherry switches have a variety of switches in their family lineup so a user can pick among them accordingly. while Topre switches don’t that have varieties.

The most significant edge cherry switches have is their durability which is around 100 million keystrokes whereas Topre has 30 million keystrokes which are very less.

In terms of sound and tactility, Cherry’s sound and tactility depend on switch profile as every cherry switches have a different sound profile, however, Topre has a thock and quiet sound profile along with a strong tactility.

As both switches have different mechanism and usage, I would say Cherry switches provide more value what you pay that why Cherry win this battle with Topre switches.

Topre Switches for Gaming

Topre switches for gaming

Although Topre is a tactile type of switch, despite they are a good option that can be used for competitive gaming due to their smooth, consistent typing and low sound profile.

The actuation is light and consistent which provides a fast and smooth typing experience, as well as a low sound profile won’t create any issues through the mic during communicating with your teammates.

Looking at these specifications we can say Topre switches can handle all gaming operations.

I would recommend you to go with Linear switches or Silver speed switches from Cherry and Gateron if gaming is your primary concern.

What are the best Topre keyboards?

Topre keyboards work on different mechanisms and are equipped with many advanced functionalities which you will not find in conventional mechanical keyboards.

Due to certain reasons, Topre Keyboards are one of the most expensive keyboards but somehow it justified their price.

If you are going to spend large bucks from your pocket then choosing the right keyboard should be the priority and challenging too that’s why I have sorted the best three Topre Keyboards among the market which you can buy without a single doubt.

Every keyboard is magnificent and top-notch in every technical aspect.

Here is the Topre Keyboards list:

1. The Topre Realforce 104UB

This Realforce 104UB keyboard from Topre has occupied the top position in our Topre switches keyboard list due to its various characteristics and functionalities.

Realforce 104UB has a noncontact electrostatic set of switches has an ergonomic design that allows smooth movement over the entire keyboard as well as comfortable typing over a long period of time.

The keyboard is made with a premium, thick and durable plastic material and has sublimation printing that doesn’t go off early even after aggressive typing.

It has N-Key Rollover for better control on the keyboard, no matter how fast you are, you will have excellent control and grip over the keys.

Realforce 104UB keyboard is equipped with some other advanced features like superior key touch feel for satisfying touch control, as well as no chattering feature, providing you consistent keypresses throughout the typing.

Apart from functionalities, this keyboard has a good lifespan too. It can survive up to 30 million keystrokes which are definitely not common for a Topre switches keyboard.

Overall, Realforce 104UB is an excellent Topre keyboard that offers all significant functionalities to a user.

Check it out on Amazon.

2. Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2

Topre switches-keyboard- Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2

Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 is listed in the second position on our list, this keyboard sticks to Japanese root which is its specialty.

It is 80% keyboard and has a compact size, the intention was to make this keyboard 80% is to provide sleek and slim design to the user which can easily be portable. Although it looks beautiful and elegant too.

Happy Hacking Keyboard comes with Topre key switches that provide extra tactility, extra comfort and eliminate key chatter for consistent and precise keystrokes.

This keyboard is constructed with thick and premium plastic which enhances its durability and provides strong build quality.

The keycaps are made from premium PBT plastic with dye-sublimation printed legends for a long life span as well as shine resistance to survive legends for many years without any severe issues.

The keyboard has all the significant ports for better usability, it adopted the key arrangement following the Sun Type 3 key array. The [Control] key is to the left of [A] for greater usability and maximum productivity.

Apart from Hacking!! this Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 can be a perfect option for programming, gaming, and day-to-day typing for offices.

Check it out on Amazon.

3. Seasonic Topre keyboard Realforce RGB

Topre Switches-keyboard-Seasonic Realforce RGB

Seasonic Realforce RGB Topre Keyboard is exceptionally good and specially made for gaming that’s why I have listed it in my top Topre switches keyboard list.

This keyboard from Seasonic is equipped with many unique functionalities as It has NKRO and Anti-ghosting features along with an anti-fatigue character which will not create pain and fatigue in hand if you use it perpetually.

One unique and very significant feature of this keyboard which needs to be discussed here is its ‘Actuation Point Changer’ which means this keyboard allows you to change the actuation point on the keys according to your needs.

Actuation Point Changer is a feature that makes this keyboard different and stand out from the rush, you will not get this kind of feature even on expensive keyboards.

The Seasonic Topre keyboard comes with changeable RGB Lightning having a 16.8 million color spectrum which is certainly phenomenal. You can assign different colors to different keys according to your preference.

It has a customizable function key option that is capable to execute complex keyboard commands to perform any kind of task. This is simply awesome, Right!!

The company offers three years warranty with this keyboard so you don’t need to be concerned about its durability and performance. It’s one of the best-performing keyboards on our list.

In my opinion, This Seasonic keyboard is the best Topre keyboard on our list, If I have to pick one among the three I would certainly go with this magnificent keyboard. It’s highly recommended from my side.

Here is a video you should check out for a better understanding of how adjustable actuation work in real life.

Check it out on Amazon.

Source: PCWorld

 

Conclusion

By putting this well-prepared article in front of you, I hope I was able to clear all your doubts regarding Topre Switches.

Coming to conclusion, Topre switches are definitely not as popular as the standard mechanical switches on the market, it probably very rare to see this keyboard in the offices or on the sitting table due to its low demand.

Topre keyboards come with some unique functionalities as you have seen above in Seasonic and Happy Hacking keyboards which most of the conventional keyboards don’t have.

Being an expensive keyboard, many people might not have used it before but it can be a good option for business prospects because of its seamless performance, strong tactility, no-chattering, consistent, fast, and precise typing experience.

For individuals like you, you have to decide finally to go for it or not.

I have put all possible scenarios regarding Topre Switches with their in-depth answers.

I hope this post was helpful to you.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers!!

Topre Switches FAQs

What is special about Topre switches?

Topre switches are electrocapacitive non-contact keyboard switches that actuate via an electric current that comes from a sensor, not from a switch. It is a completely different mechanism compared to standard mechanical switches. This is what makes Topre switches special and different.

Are Topre switches good?

Yes, Topre switches provide a smooth, consistent, and precise typing experience along with feels and touch are also great and satisfying. Typing on these switches feels like you are typing on a rubber dom switch due to rubber dom placement, tactile feedback is very strong and consistent overall Topre are good switches.

Is Topre better for typing?

When typing is the priority, tactile switches are mostly preferred because tactile bumps are the significant reason which allows fast, consistent, and error-free typing. The typing experience is more enjoyable and effortless on Topre switches.


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