PFU Topre Limited Edition Realforce R2 TKL tenkeyless keyboard review and photos

#1
Pixel-PFU-Realforce-TKL-white-x2.png

My background
I've been involved in this obsessive hobby for a long time, starting with Model-M's. I've tried most variants of Topre switches and owned a decent selection of Topre boards. I've also collected many other keyboards and switch types. I love tinkering with and building MX boards, but still prefer the feel of Topre over anything else for daily use. Topre recently released the PFU special edition Realforce R2 in Japan and I couldn't resist the urge to try one out. I hope you enjoy my overview and photos:

So, what's new in the R2 Limited Edition model?
  • Standard layout bottom row
  • All-45g weighted
  • Silenced Purple stems
  • PBT spacebar
  • Media keys with FN + arrow-cluster
  • Software settings instead of of dip-switches
  • Wooden wrist rest included
  • Small (fake) carbon fiber inlay
  • Backspace keycap legend is now a single line of text
  • Glossy color packaging instead of a brown box
  • LED status indicator colors and brightness can be changed
  • No extra wobbly caps or flipped switch positions like Realforce R1 (caps-lock)
  • New case design with similar design features to Novatouch/Leopold/RF RGB
  • Variable actuation point (1.5mm, 2.0mm, 3.0mm)
IMG_4582.jpg

The box includes: keyboard, attached USB-A cable, 2x sound dampening mats which sit under the caps and reduce key travel, timber wrist rest and 2x sets of rubber feet, keycap-puller, and extra caps for swapping ctrl/caps-lock positions.


The design is far more angular and lacks the signature rounded corners of earlier Realforce models:
IMG_4586.jpg
IMG_4678.jpg
IMG_4587.jpg
IMG_4590.jpg
IMG_4589.jpg
IMG_4583.jpg
IMG_4649.jpg
IMG_4585.jpg


The key-caps feel exceptionally precise and crisp, more so than other Realforce boards I've owned and used. Dye-sub labels are also top-notch with sharp edges. Keycaps and switches are all well-aligned too:
IMG_4647.jpg
IMG_4645.jpg
IMG_4639.jpg
IMG_4643.jpg
IMG_4675.jpg


One element I wasn't a fan of was the awkward secondary legends which cover the numpad function layer and media + adjustable actuation point. Feels sloppy, and in the case of the numpad layer, completely unnecessary.
IMG_4679.jpg


Purple stem best stem:
IMG_4651.jpg
IMG_4668.jpg
IMG_4650.jpg
IMG_4653.jpg
IMG_4674.jpg
IMG_4673.jpg


Here's one of the weird memory-foam mats which shortens key-cap travel distance (and further dampens sound). This can be used in combination with adjustable actuation point to alter your feeling of oneness quite substantially:
IMG_4654.jpg
IMG_4655.jpg
Two thicknesses of mats are included.


Software
Windows-only, but a nice touch and interesting direction for Topre. Hopefully they expand upon this to offer better programmability. Any config changes are saved on the keyboard:

RF-install.PNG


Adjusting the entire board actuation point vs individual keys:
rf3.PNG

RF4.PNG

rf5.PNG




The case is mostly a tight snap-fit, with plastic tabs securing it around all sides. The first step to cracking it open is removing the single warranty-sticker covered screw on the back:
IMG_4648.jpg


Once you've removed the screw, find something to pry in between the two case layers such as a plastic spudger. Move along the back carefully prying apart where each yellow connector tab is marked:
open-it-up.jpg
Once the top half is loose you can do the same thing for the bottom, it's the same process but a bit harder to access and pop apart.


IMG_4656.jpg
IMG_4658.jpg
IMG_4657.jpg
IMG_4659.jpg
IMG_4660.jpg


IMG_4664.jpg
IMG_4665.jpg
IMG_4661.jpg
IMG_4662.jpg
IMG_4663.jpg
IMG_4670.jpg

Lubing and Reassembly:
IMG_4666.jpg
IMG_4667.jpg
This is the spacebar's factory lube. It was much better than you'd typically see on first-gen RF's and other Topre boards. It wasn't perfect, but didn't have the signature Topre-rattle.


IMG_4671.jpg
IMG_4672.jpg

Typing audio sample:

Pros:
  • All-45g weighting + silent stems is a big plus
  • Keycaps particularly crisp and fresh feeling, high quality dye-sub job.
  • Adjustable actuation point is interesting and useful
  • All-around better quality and value than the first Realforce, fixing many minor issues it had
Cons:
  • Some stabilized keys were a bit more scratchy than usual, fine after lube
  • Non-programmable (aside from changing the actuation point and swapping ctrl/caps-lock key position)
  • Secondary keycap legends are unnecessary and clutter an otherwise clean design
  • No Linux or macOS support for configuration software or firmware updates

Configuration software download:
Realforce R2 control software
http://www.realforce.co.jp/support/download/

Firmware update downloads:
http://www.realforce.co.jp/support/download/R2/index.html

Japanese PFU Official site:
https://www.pfu.fujitsu.com/rfkeyboard/

Cost:
$435AUD($315USD) delivered via EMS to Australia, from a fellow keyboard nerd who was kind enough to help, no proxy fees.

Sources:
Amazon Japan (i'll find the link soon). Please post details if you can find other suppliers.
 
#4
So with the purple stems are they just silenced or are they also likely to have tighter/better tolerances?

And are you planning to do the BKE thing to this one too, or swap the keycaps to anything or just leaving it stock other than the lube job?
 
#5
So with the purple stems are they just silenced or are they also likely to have tighter/better tolerances?

And are you planning to do the BKE thing to this one too, or swap the keycaps to anything or just leaving it stock other than the lube job?
They're purple, and very slightly lengthened to compensate for the small rubber dampener. I haven't seen an RF board with loose-fitting stems.

No BKE for this one, stock domes are nice.

I have black caps, but will likely leave it as stock for a while.
 
#6
Nice write up and pics!
Good to see they finally fixed changed to 'Backspace' from:
'Back
Space'

Also pretty cool that it's so "fresh", so to speak; the sticker suggesting that it was made less than a month ago on the 16th of July.
 
#7
Having used this a fair bit now, this is what I was looking for all along IMO. Still looking forward to trying the Rama M60-A but the PFU R2 is an absolutely superb keyboard and the Topre silenced 45g switches are exactly the feel I like. TKL is probably my ideal size too on balance for desktop workstation use as I do find the F-keys really handy on MacOS.

Cannot recommend this one enough!
 
#8
Intend to pick up one or two R2 boards later this year in Tokyo. Would this be readily available at the usual PC shops/BIC or do I have to order them online? Less hassle with tax refund if picked up in store. :cool:
 
#9
Intend to pick up a R2 later this year in Tokyo. Would this be readily available at the usual PC shops/BIC or do I have to order them online? Less hassle with tax refund if picked up in store. :cool:
I'm not sure how long this limited edition is sticking around for. There will be new Topre R2 TKL's, but they may not have an all-45g weighted silent version.

Have you heard anything about how long the PFU model will be available for, @002?
 
#10
Not sure how long it will be around but Topre tag a lot of their Realforces as limited and make a couple hundred of them. I'm guessing maybe 500 or so for PFU and then they just won't bother making them again.
 
#15
Do you have a amazon us link to the Krytox 106? I see many listed there. Not sure if they are all the same etc. I have the black version of this coming in sometime this month. Figured I may as well lube it as well.
Thanks!
 
#16
Do you have a amazon us link to the Krytox 106? I see many listed there. Not sure if they are all the same etc. I have the black version of this coming in sometime this month. Figured I may as well lube it as well.
Thanks!
This is the correct stuff:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Krytox-GPL...rstripping-Rubber-Lubricant-105-/251863267449

There's probably better options depending where you're located though. US?

Most of these are people repackaging it in to smaller quantities, since it comes in a huge container.
 
#17
Absolutely loving mine, only comment I would make is the rubber feet are a bit wonky (front left is over 1mm shorter than front right) so it wobbles when you type on it and those rubber pads leave black waffle patterned marks all over my desk as they slide around. I might have to investigate a better alternative but after that it'd be pretty close to perfect.
 
#18
Yea I am in the US. I read that you also have to mix that stuff linked with something else right?
Is there anything that works close to it but does not require mixing?
 
#19
Any news of the new R2 models being released regularly? I'd love to try out a silent, variable weights Topre board. It's just too bad that it probably won't ever be released as an ISO version... The only Topre ISO boards are all uniform 45g non-silenced.
 
#20
Bit ridiculous in my opinion that it is taking so long. The pfu special edition ones are amazing but out of most peoples price range sadly.
I have the 104 R2 from Leopold coming with the blue/gray colors like their fc980c. It is only available in Korea. Who knows when or if anywhere else.
I am unable to source a R2 pfu 104 at all.
 
#23
Good find. Nice to see some more retail options showing up finally.

Do you have the board already?
i just bought it about 45 mins ago - i actually found this thread while googling what was so limited about the limited edition!

i paid for overnight shipping, so im hoping to get it before friday...
 
#24
i just bought it about 45 mins ago - i actually found this thread while googling what was so limited about the limited edition!

i paid for overnight shipping, so im hoping to get it before friday...
Awesome, let us know what you think of it. (y)
 
#25
I cant find them for purchase on Amazon. Link is blank.
Do not think it is live on amazon yet but it is on the other site.

Be careful. The separate pages for pfu and standard r2 both say silent/apc/gram weight. You have to click
on the spec pdf. The non pfu ones can not have all three silent/apc/weight, only two.
If you dont know this already...not likely here I know, you could grab non pfu version and not get what you expected.
 
Edited:

Top