· By The Lone Penman
It's Topre Tuesday!
Ahhh, the pinnacle of rubber dome goodness that is Topre. In this day and age when MX-style mechanical switches are by far the dominant force regarding popularity, Topre still represents a remarkable niche amongst a respectable number of users. I asked some diehard Topre folks what set it apart for them, and the answer was along the line of "the feeling of oneness".
The Topre situation can be described as somewhat "love it or hate it", and to be honest, I was not always a fan. That may be because the typing feel was initially reminiscent of the generic membrane boards that I dreaded for so long, and also, the accessibility and wide variety of MX switches just kept me occupied for years. However, I knew that I would give Topre another go some day.
So when a good friend lent me his well-tuned HHKB and Realforce boards, it didn't take long for me to realize what I had been missing the whole time. Just like what any good boards deserve, a Topre keyboard needs that extra care, touch and tuning to reach its full potential. It became clear that I was being hasty with my judgement, and needed more of that "oneness" in my daily typing.
I've been pleasantly surprised by the amount and sheer quality of community effort in order to make Topre more accessible and customizable. On top of the staples from HHKB and Realforce, we now have a wide variety of third-party parts, with more and more custom keyboard designers adding Electro Capacitive kits to their offerings. The Topre scene looks really vibrant right now, and with a rediscovered appreciation for rubber dome, I've been working with the team to develop a GSK Topre artisan cap, for the first time.
It was never a straightforward process, and it took us many many trials and errors. However, with the kind of flair and hard work we always put in our grind, and the help we received from our good friends at Mechlovin' Studio, we finally got it right.
Topre Tuesday is apparently a big thing now, and that means there's simply no better day of the week to present our first ever Topre artisan keycap, and hopefully with many more to follow. This Toprecorn (as we will call it from now on) will debut with a classic colorway inspired by the R1 Realforce 87U. I know, it only makes sense.