When it comes to picking out a mechanical keyboard there are nearly as many options as there are people. When it comes to what keyswitch you prefer most of you think of just the color options that Cherry switches have but more and more other keyswitch types have been coming into the picture. With that you need to look at the switch type before even getting into colors. A good example of this are Topre’s. We covered a variation on them with the Novatouch but today I’m going to be taking a look at a Topre keyboard directly from Topre, the Type Heaven. This is one of those weird situations where this specific keyboard is considered an entry level Topre keyboard when compared to other Topre keyboards, but that puts it up with higher end Cherry keyboards. So today I want to check out what it is all about and see if this is an option that you should be looking at when shopping for a new mechanical keyboard.

Product Name: Topre Type Heaven

Review Sample Provided by: Seasonic (US Distributer)

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Weight

1.4kg (including packaging)

Dimensions

155.9mm x 455.0mm x 31.1mm

Number of Keys

104 Layout

Length of cable

1.5m

Switch

Capacitive Switch

Key Life Time

50 million times

Key Weight

45g ±15g

Key Shapes

Step Sculpture

N-Key Rollover

6-Key rollover

System Requirements

Windows® 8, Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, or Windows® XP

Labeling of Keycaps

Laser

Interface

USB

Warranty

2 year limited warranty

 

 


Packaging

The packaging for the Type Heaven is short sweet and right to the point. We don’t have any fancy graphics, just a black box with golden lettering on it with the name of the keyboard in the middle. Seasonic did add a sticker over on the bottom left with the actual model name on it, a few key features, and information on the warranty. Speaking of it comes with a 2 year warranty! On the back things are just as simple, it is all black other than the Topre logo and their website URL.

image 8

image 9

Once inside the box we have the Type Heaven wrapped up in a clear plastic bag and then sitting tightly with cardboard folded to keep it snug and protected. There aren’t any special accessories with the keyboard like with the Novatouch or my Realforce. You get a warranty information paper that shows you were you can find the serial number and also explains that in the US the Type Heaven is distributed by Seasonic so you have to contact them if you have issues. That is good news by the way, Seasonic has always had great power supplies and with that good service when there are issues, having their backing here in the states is much better than having to RMA internationally. Under the keyboard you will also find an installation guide but let’s be honest we should all know how to hook up a keyboard. If you forget though you can check out the drawing inside showing you how to plug in a USB plug!

image 10

image 6

image 7

 


Photos and Features

At first glance the Type Heaven isn’t really going to stand out to most people. I mean what we have at the most basic level is a standard looking mechanical keyboard. The fact that it uses a different switch isn’t visible when looking from here. That said if you look a little closer you will find a few details that are just a little different than a standard keyboard. For starters the legends on the keys use a very off white color rather than the bright white that we see a lot more. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing to me currently, I will find out a little more through testing. The other aspect of the Type Heaven that really stood out to me was its rounded design. Most mechanical keyboards are squared off on each edge, here the top edge has a large radius  that keeps the clean styling but sets the keyboard apart a little. I touched on it a little but I should also point out that this is a full keyboard meaning you get a full set of F keys and a number pad.

image 11

image 12

I really like how they handled the LED lighting, we have the same pinhole lighting that I loved on the code keyboard. The code was a little more subtle though because they didn’t find it necessary to label each pinhole as well but even so I love the choice to not stick a bright LED right up on top to light up your office. Just above the lighting is the only branding on the keyboard as well.

image 13

image 15

Over on the left half of the keyboard we can see there aren’t any special macro keys tucked along the side like some gaming keyboards. There also isn’t a function layer with media controls. You are getting a keyboard and nothing else. There isn’t any backlighting, something I personally prefer to use on all of my keyboards but currently there aren’t any backlit Topre keyboards. There are a few knockoffs that have integrated lighting but Topre as of now hasn’t. So what you get is a very standard font. Most of the modifier keys actually have both the icon and the lettering so that should appeal to people who prefer ether style.

image 14

While it really doesn’t matter much because no one makes keysets for Topre’s, the bottom row isn’t standard. Over on the left the windows key is a 1u and control and alt keys are 1.5’s when normally all three would be 1.25u’s. Over on the right it is similar as well with a 1u windows key and a 1u menu key.

image 16

From the side profile we can better see the rounded top section of the case on the Type Heaven. We can also see that they use something very similar to a standard OEM key profile as well so switching to this keyboard from another mech should be simple.

image 17

The USB cord is 1.5 meters long aka a standard length. They didn’t use sleeving or anything fancy but the cord itself feels like it has a thick protective coating to keep it safe. The cord is not detachable but they did give you two different paths to be able to send it out the left or the right side of the keyboard. I would have liked to see a third path letting you right it right out of the back, but this should work for most people. While looking at the underside of the keyboard in the middle we do have a white label with the branding, model number, and serial number. We also have all of the required logos like the CE and FCC logos.

image 18

image 19

I was extremely disappointed in the rubber feet for the Type Heaven though. When you lay it flat you have two small square pads on the front edge and then at the back two tiny dots. This isn’t enough to  keep the keyboard secure, especially given it’s not an extremely heavy keyboard. You do get feet on the back to be able to angle the keyboard up more but these also don’t have rubber on them as well. So basically the keyboard is already likely to slide around then you take away two of the small rubber feet when you angle it.

image 20

image 21

So for those of you who are used to a Cherry MX or Cherry MX Knockoff switch these Topre’s are going to look a lot different. I went over the design of a Topre switch in our Novatouch review but just to recap the switch consists of a cover and then the sider that you see on the top. The slider when pushed down compresses a rubber dome as well as a conical spring. The combination of the spring and the dome is where you get the amount of pressure needed to push the key down. In this case it is 45g this is similar to the Cherry red and the Cherry brown and in this case the feel is closer to the brown with a tactile feel as you press it. When you compress the spring it touches the printed circuit board and closes the circuit. In some ways this uses the same idea of a rubber dome keyboard but it is better considered more of a hybrid that mixes the durability and consistency of a mechanical keyboard with a slightly softer keypress. Rubber domes tend to feel mushy but a Topre has a distinct tactile feel only it isn’t as harsh as a Cherry MX switch.

image 1

With the Novatouch Cooler Master uses a design similar to Cherry stabilizers for their long modifier keys, the Type heaven doesn’t use a stabilizer at all on all of the keys other than the space bar. For that one they use a similar design to what Cooler Master used. There are two built in stabilizers, one on each side and then a spring is used on the outside of the switch to compensate for the additional weight of the spacebar.

image 3

image 4

image 5

With the keycaps off I of course did have to take a closer look at them as well. You can see the slightly rough finish on the top. Here we have a better view of how a Topre cap connects as well. The caps are ABS so you can expect that rough finish to rub off quicker than you would see on PBT keycaps and remember replacement caps are basically impossible to find. As for thickness these aren’t very thick but they are slightly thicker than some of the Cherry caps I have seen like the custom WASD Keyboard caps. That said they aren’t thick enough to give that solid feel that a really good keycap will give you.

image 2

 


Performance

Swapping from the Chery MX Clears and browns that I normally use to the Type Heaven was nothing at all. Everything I love about typing on the clears and the browns is even better when typing on a Topre keyswitch. So there was no surprise that I enjoyed typing on the keyboard. Really the only thing I noticed when moving to this keyboard was the lack of backlighting. This isn’t a complaint because you can’t get backlighting on Topre, at least yet, but it was really the only thing that stood out. The fairly standard layout of the Type Heaven helped with that. I rarely use the few buttons that they changed on the bottom row so that never become an issue. Not having media controls or anything like that was also not an issue because most keyboards only include media controls on a function layer. If I don’t have a volume knob or similar I don’t use them anyhow.

One thing I did notice with the Type heaven and I can’t say I’m all that surprised. The lack of any decent sized rubber feet on the bottom had the keyboard sliding back over time, lucky for me my desk is completely packed to the brim with keyboards currently, but if it had room to move I would most likely have to pull the keyboard back into place after every game or two. Kicking it up on an angle only makes this situation worse as well.

Surprisingly the lack of stabilizers didn’t really stand out at me my Realforce is the same way but I do really like how they handled stabilizers on the Novatouch over not having them at all. The main thing that stood out to me other than the stabilizers and the thinner keycaps between the two was the Type Heaven has a bit of a pingy sound when you type where my other Topre keyboards are more stable and quiet. It’s not too big of an issue but I think it is a sign of a thinner plate/PCB.

 


Overall and Final Verdict

So the Topre Type Heaven is an interesting keyboard. It falls at the low end of Topre boards and close to the high end of Cherry keyboards. Because of that we run into a few small quality issues that you wouldn’t find on a high end Cherry MX keyboard, but it is expected being a lower priced Topre. So on the plus side we have a Topre that doesn’t completely break the bank. Along with that we end up with a simple and clean design with features like the pinhole status LEDs that I loved on the Code keyboards. That clean design makes this a perfect option if you want to stay low key in the office. The relatively quiet Topre switches help with that as well, giving you the tactile feedback without going all Model M on your coworkers.

Like I said before there are a few downsides to being a Topre on a budget. The keycaps that they went with are lasered ABS and noticeably thinner than a high end PBT keycap. I’m a little worried that over time they will wear sooth but they will still hold up better than a backlit keyboard. Not having accessible replacement keycaps will make it even harder if the ABS caps do wear to the point that they need replaced. Then of course the only real performance issue I ran into was a bit of a ping sound when you type. I suspect the plate and PCB are a little thin as I don’t have this issue on my Realforce or the Novatouch but it isn’t bad enough that I would drop the keyboard all together. This is expected a little though given this is designed to be a cheaper Topre keyboard. That doesn’t make this a cheap quality board, just not as high of quality as the high end boards that costs considerably more.

So is this the keyboard for you? Well this is an interesting question. While I don’t consider the price to be a con because it is actually cheaper than any other keyboard with Topre switches. The problem is the Novatouch is getting much closer in price  and I felt like it didn’t have issues like the pinging. Add to that the option to be able to use standard MX keycaps and the Novatouch is a great option. Basically if I was okay without the number pad I would go with the Novatouch but at a lower price and with a full number pad the Type Heaven is the best option for a future Topre enthusiast or for someone who is looking to get a classy keyboard with a quality switch.

fv4recommended

Amazon Link: HERE

 

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

Log in to comment

garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #36629 24 Apr 2015 21:29
Hey everyone, today I take a look at the Topre Type Heaven. If you have been curious about Topre switches, check this out!

We have 1118 guests and one member online

supportus