Consensus on Realforce R2?

I am in the market for a full-size topre. What’s the consensus on these? Are they similar to the RGB version (which I know wasn’t that great)? And more importantly, are these equipped with MX stems?

R2’s are great after modding. They do not come with MX compatible stems, but there are options available to you if you wanted to mod it so that it is MX compatible.


Gotcha. Only the R2 RGB comes with MX stem.

Anyone know the difference between the R2 full-size vs original 104U (now discontinued)?

I don’t know the differences between R2 and the previous one, but there was a huge and detailed review of these on Deskthority:

The consensus, AFAIK, is that the R2 in general are very good. Some aesthetic changes that bother classic fans, but mechanically they are top-notch (for a factory board) and comparable to R1.

Sound out-of-box of unsilenced R2 or maybe even silenced R2 is less than perfect, kinda squishy or friction-y compared with something like Niz. But users tend to mod for sound later.

They are not similar to RGB version. The RGB version was infamous for having

  1. possible wobble
  2. definite bad sound in particular

You had to mod the RGB significantly to improve the sound. The RGB are good boards once seriously-modded. Here’s a recent example:

Sadly, I don’t think full-size Topre RGB is available anymore.

The Realforce R2 PFU edition has all the bells and whistles. It has the multiple actuation modes - a lot of people don’t use this, apparently. Some find it annoying, as it provides complication that they don’t need, and wish it only had one setting.

The factory-silencing of the PFU edition is actually pretty good, and aside from less-than-perfect sound, it is quieter than stock R2. Like other R2, won’t take MX keycaps. Stuck with the boring factory keycaps, which are even worse IMHO on the black-on-black stealth edition, which is the only one that was selling on Amazon previously.

Is the PFU worth the $400+ CAD Amazon wanted for it? Probably not, if you are capable of modding a regular R2. I like the PFU, but not at that price.

In terms of how it stacks up against the comparable Leopold models, I suspect that the R2 is superior to the Leopold TKL and full-size, from what I’ve read. Although Leopold offers sizes that Realforce does not, and they are the best in those categories.

In short, R2 should be a real solid buy, PFU is even nicer if you can afford it. All Topre and probably Niz seems to benefit from modding.


MK (which is the official U.S. seller of HHKB/Topre now?) has them in stock.

FWIW, I have a modded R2 RGB TKL, and it sounds/feels totally fine. And, until the Deskeys full slider/stabilizer set is released/reviewed, the benefits of having MX compatibility strongly weighs in favor of the R2 RGB if you’re ok spending the time to do the litany of mods (lubed sliders and PCB, gasket, silencing rings, etc.).


Ok, that’s really good news. The originator of the Reddit thread on the RGB fullsize that I posted in the previous post thought that they had been discontinued. So I’m glad to learn that’s not the case.

The R2 RGB seems to be a good bet for the people on this forum. Since everyone seems to put 20 hours of mods and then buy a 20-pound concrete case for their Topre, starting with a keyboard that already needs mods makes sense. I’m not being facetious, I would very-much like a full-size R2 RGB with 30-35 G domes and MT3.


Thanks for the info! I think I am going to get the “R1” 104U. I am definitely not looking to mod it. It’s going to be my daily beater to replace my Apple full-size. I didn’t know Apple had jacked up prices on their keyboards so much. $130 for their cheapest full-size? No thanks. I rather pay up and get a Topre.


If you decide to buy, definitely keep us updated! As for modding, it may seem intimidating at first, but Topre is actually a lot of fun to mod, and there are a lot of resources available to you. I promise you wouldn’t regret it!


Just to chime in on the modding here, I also was stock-only for a long time. Modding seemed pretty scary. Fast forward a few years and I’ve domed swapped and lubed my HHKB and I am infinitely more happy with it than when it was stock.

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I am using 87U and I have tried R2 PFU limited edition (TKL version), so this is a short personal comparison between the TKL models, but should be the same for full size models. So these are the differences that I have noticed myself:

  • 87U has a pleasant 3 degrees angle. I am not sure what exactly is the angel of R2 but it feels slightly bigger/steeper. I am not fan of steep angles, I prefer flat or small angle keyboards, so that’s a negative for me. But the difference is very small, some people might not even realize it.
  • Spacebar on 87U is ABS plastic, while on R2 is PBT. R2 spacebar sounds nicer but also feels nicer due to the fact that spacebar on 87U has a sharp edge (which is one of the reasons some people flip it) that can be felt if your thumb finger is not high enough when typing. Fortunately on R2 the edge feels smoother, maybe due to the different plastic material. Please note that if the elevating feet are used on 87U, this issue is much less noticeable.
  • R2 case surface feels smoother and a little more premium to the touch.
  • R2 case has a little bit more height compared to 87U.
  • R2 case takes less space on the desk.

Thanks for the comparison! Exactly what I needed. Welp R2 it is!

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Received my full-size R2 PFU today. First impression: this thing is very well built and heavy for a plastic keyboard. The thock isn’t as enjoyable as HHKBs but it’s close enough. It’s a bit more muted compared to Type-S however. These PBT keycaps got to be one of the best in the market.

Thank you fine folks for the help!


These differences are caused by HHKB’s switches being case mounted on plastic. But Realforce definitely feels sturdier due to its steel plate.

I totally agree. That’s the reason I never looked for other keycaps and MX compatible stems.