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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.