Mechanical keyboards are very useful as they provide easier and faster typing, strong feedback, quick responses, and more. Mechanical keyboards have switches under each key of the keyboard instead of a rubber membrane, like normal keyboards.
There are various popular switches that we know, like linear, tactile and clicky switches. But there is one very useful switch that is unknown by many mechanical keyboard users and that switch is the topre switch. These switches have various amazing features that can provide you with an amazing user experience. In this article, you are going to find out more about the topre switches and the topre switch keyboard.
What are Topre Switches?
The Japanese company Topre Corporation have designed the topre switches which are non contact electro capacitive switches. The invention of topre was intended to create a keyboard switch where constant hysteresis was possible even if an operating value was arbitrarily established, thereby preventing proper chatter, without changing the operating characteristics. The operator could know the operating component was pressed to a depth that corresponds to the operating value.
The mechanism of the topre switch is amazing. The electronic switch mechanism of Topre switch is by capacitance which means that for the switch to turn on, there is no need to have contact between the power conductors. This means to register any topre switch key you do not need to hit it at the bottom. The actuation point of the topre switch is higher than most of the switches. This ensures faster typing than the other switches.
They are mounted under a rubber dome on the PCB with a cone-shaped spinal spring. There is a plastic enclosure above the rubber dome with a circular slider. When a key is pressed through the actuation point, the coil spring is mainly used as a signal activator, while the dome of the rubber provides most tactile feedback and key strength. The spiral itself needs little strength to be compressed. It only adds a little resistance to the key press (approximately 5 cN). The Topre switches are seamless, buttery and produce a deep “thock” sound, which topre switch fans find very satisfying.
Since the Topre switch uses a rubber dome, there is continued discrepancy in the community of the keyboards as to whether it is mechanical or even semi-mechanical. This controversy is due to somewhat lack of agreement as to whether it is based on its structure or some of its characteristics which characterise it from traditional rubber dome keyboards. The dome of the switch provides much of its strength and its tactile feel, but the Topre’s dome does not provide “bushy” resistance near the bottom of the stroke, as opposed to traditional rubber-dome keyboards.
How do Topre Switches feel?
When pressed in isolation, Topre switch feels very similar to a good, clean and new rubber dome keyboard, as well as it has a nice “Thock” sound. The other side of the coin is that you will almost certainly never buy a keypad to press only one key in isolation, and this is where the main differences between rubber dome keyboards appear.
When people use a Topre Switch Keyboard for their daily tasks, it feels very different from a rubber dome. Topre’s capacitive switch technology allows for an action without lowering or bottoming the key, so typing is a much more pleasurable experience because every time you lower the key, the chance of missing a keystroke is very low. This is because the impact is very smooth and the bump is tactile next to the top of the stroke. The resistance is practically flat after the bump, making it hard to avoid sinking in. You can not feel the mid-hit actuation point.
In comparison with other mechanical switches, Topre switches feel very smooth and, even without lubrication, they feel that no one or nearly none of the mechanical key elements are grinding. When you use the topre switch keyboard, you don’t feel like you are pressing a hard, flat curved surface. Instead, it feels like you are pressing your fingers against rubber domes. The mushy feeling is removed with the help of the spring.
One of the main reasons these keyboards are so good for typing is that when you press the top switch at the bottom, you don’t feel anything pushing back your fingers.The keys are also very light when you touch them. In short, topre switch keyboards feel very smooth and light, and using them is effortless.
Are Topre Switches tactile?
These switches are extremely tactile. Tactile means a touch sense. Topre switches are excellent to give you a pleasant feeling. You can actually feel that each key is clearly pressed, but the feeling is subtle. This is perfect, because when you type it is not meant to be a conscious thought, the feeling each key is pushed and spring back up. It is a feeling in the back of your mind that helps your memory get started.
Typing is effortless when you use the topre switch keyboard because of its tactile-ness. These topre switches are better than standard mechanical switches. It’s just simpler and feels better. The principles remain the same.
Topre Switches vs Cherry MX Switches
When you talk about mechanical keyboards and its performance, it totally depends upon the switch it is using. Cherry MX Switches are a great competitor for Topre switches. Both the switches provide great features and a great experience while typing. When you want the best mechanical keyboard for you then you need to decide between Topre and Cherry MX switches. Here we will compare both the switches and know the difference between both the switches.
1. Basic Features
Each key switch type would depend on the basic characteristics of the different user preferences. The two switch types of course, based on what kind of user you are, have their own benefits; some features of the keyboard may suit you and some features may not.
Topre switches come with a large amount of tactility, but don’t give you tactile feedback. Ideally, they would offer you a smoother performance. The Topre key switches provide a unique feel and sound, together with the necessary ‘thock’ sound that some gamers may prefer. The Cherry MX switches are a little heavier compared to the topre switches but require less actuation force to operate.
2. Actuation Force
We all know that the actuation force is the pressure required to reach the actuation point. It is one of the most important factors to consider for switches. Whether you are playing a game or typing, actuation force plays an important role. Both the switches have their own unique actuation force and features.
There are a few Cherry MX switches that you can use in professional settings or public places where too much noise from the keyboard is not appreciated. Topre Switches have a rubber dome and are very easy and light to work with. They have 5g of actuation force and can outperform Cherry MX switches in this segment of the comparison.
When you compare Cherry MX switches to topre switches, Cherry MX switches have more variations than topre switches. Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Black, Cherry MX Brown, and Cherry MX Blue are some of the variants that you can access from among Cherry MX switches. In the Cherry MX repertoire, you also have a number of additional options. These switches have a low actuation force and, hence, can be used for gaming as well as for typing. There is a higher actuation force on the Cherry MX Black switches. When handling these switches, you can experience more resistance. The Silver switches were designed to give you a higher level of efficiency and precision. For gamers, these switches could be a perfect choice.
Topre switches have fewer variations than Cherry MX switches. Standard purple and Short Throw topre key switches are few variations available in the topre switches. In a nutshell, both Topre and Cherry MX switches offer you enough variations, but Cherry MX appears to offer many variants of switches that meet almost every demand.
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Most users, especially gamers, are concerned with the appearance of a keyboard when shopping for one. And lighting on the keyboard is one of the most important factors on a keyboard, especially when it comes to looking good. RGB, which is an abbreviation for Red, Green, and Blue, and LED are used on keyboards for lighting.
Both the switches offer various keyboards with lighting but when you compare cherry mx to topre, cherry mx switches provide more varieties of keyboards with lighting. They even offer 16 million colors, giving the Cherry MX switches an advantage when it comes to lighting. switches offer excellent lighting capabilities, but Cherry MX Refract technology makes them expand light without losing power.
Durability is one of the important factors when you choose your keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are generally more durable than normal keyboards. When you compare Topre switches and Cherry MX switches, the Cherry MX outperforms the Topre switches.
Cherry switches are more durable and have a longer life span of approximately 100 million key presses. Whereas, Topre switches have a life span of approximately 50 million key presses. It is clear from the numbers that if you are looking for a durable keyboard, you should go for Cherry MX switches.
Are Topre Switches Worth Using?
Topre Switches are one of the best mechanical switches. Is it worthwhile to spend the money? It totally depends on the user’s perspective. If topre switches meet all the requirements of the users, then it’s totally worth it and if they don’t meet all the demands, it’s not worth it. Some people like using them and some don’t. It’s totally subjective and changes from person to person.
These switches have a good actuation force, can be used for gaming as well as for typing, and provide some excellent features. These switches provide you with a few variations to choose from, where each variation has some unique features and functionalities. After using these switches once, you will understand whether it was worth it or not. One of the main reasons why a lot of people don’t get to use topre switches keyboards is because they are very expensive.
Topre switches are among the best mechanical switches we have, but we don’t see them very often at work. The Topre switches and Topre switch keyboards increase your accuracy, reduce the amount of mistakes you make, increase productivity and more. Not only that, but these switches look great, and the keyboard comes with a variety of RGB and LED lighting options. These switches are durable and have a lifespan of approximately 50 million key presses. These switches can meet your different requirements, so you should definitely give them a try.