Realforce 103UB 55g (black)

The Good Fifty-five-gram weighted switches provide tactile appeal of mechanical keys without audible feedback; sturdy construction.

The Bad Expensive; lacks features like extra USB ports.

The Bottom Line The Topre Realforce 103UB 55g keyboard is a simple mechanical keyboard with unique, quiet switches underneath the keys that minimize the familiar clacking sound of other mechanical keyboards. Passionate, well-off typists interested in accommodating their neighbors might have some interest in this expensive input device, but with few other standout features, we can't recommend it to other mechanical-keyboard fans due to its high price.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 4.0
  • Performance 8.0
6.3 Overall

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Realforce 103UB 55g (black)
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Review

Realforce 103UB 55g (black)

Typing purists maintain that the IBM Model M keyboard will always be the standard to compare modern keyboard designs to, particularly for the satisfying "clack" made by the switches underneath and the fast response from those switches that loyalists claim increases speed and accuracy. The recent popularity of mechanical keyboards has led foreign manufacturers like Topre (formerly Tokyo Press Kogyo) to introduce new versions like the Realforce 103UB 55-gram keyboard. Priced at $245, the 103UB costs substantially more than competitive models like the Das Keyboard or the Rosewill RK-9000, but uses proprietary sensors instead of the standard Cherry key switches to maintain the mechanical typing experience without the clicking that tends to annoy others.

Topre also highlights its extra-tough build quality compared with the cheap keyboards you get with store-bought computers, but we still wish for a few more extras given the cost. We recommend the Realforce 103UB to hard-core keyboard jockeys with extra cash and sensitive ears, but others will find the equally responsive, less expensive Rosewill RK-9000 and Das Keyboard more viable options.

The body of the Realforce 103UB feels sturdier than the Das Keyboard or the Rosewill RK-9000. We're not worried about the failure rates of those competing models, but the Topre board may have more appeal if that's a particular concern for you. At a little more than 3 pounds, the Topre's heft ensures that it stays in one place on your desk.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $245
  • Brand Topre Corporation
  • Color black
  • Matching Dryer Model Number Keyboard
  • Product Type Keyboard
  • Weight 3 lbs
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Compliant Standards RoHS
  • Type Drivers & Utilities
  • OS Required Microsoft Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP/Vista/7
  • Form Factor external
  • Compatibility PC
  • Type USB
  • Type keyboard
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