KBDFans hipro EC caps. Mini review

I ordered the EC Hipro keycaps from KBDFans the minute they showed up for order. I’ve been eagerly awaiting their arrival for a long time. Today we see if they’re worth the wait. First some photos:

I compared these to SA and MT3 caps. Left to right is the new HiPro EC, SA Pluse, and MT3 Godspeed.

The profile view. Not the best shot. I will say they are very similar to MT3, with the exception of the z row, R4. HiPro have a less agressive angle.


Here’s a shot for color. They are the same color as the EC Extended 2048 caps. Left to right is HHKB Snow White, EC 2048, HiPro, GMK minimal


Thicker than stock Topre. Pretty much the same thickness as GMK:

Some crooked stems (see the Q here). These are mounted on the Snow White 25th anniversary HHKB for color comparison.

So, the big news here is that there is something wrong with the design. I couldn’t get the caps to snap in to the 2nd or 3rd row (Q and A rows). Upon close listening and feel, it appears they are contacting the housing somewhere.

This happened on my Type-s and non silenced HHKBs. The caps snap in on my Fc660c, and 980c, but seem to have contact as well. I don’t detect any housing contact on my Realforce. They seem most compatible with a Realforce board. Unfortunately I wanted to use them on my HHKB.

Space bars were straight and functioned well.

They did have a bit of gap issue from PBT shrinkage, about on par with other KBDFans EC offerings. There was less wobble than my Extended 2048 set.

I believe I’ll be selling my set. Hope this post helps those looking for info. Let me know if you have questions.


TLDR: Similar but less scoopy than MT3, decently low wobble, some crooked stems, GMK thickness, problems with housing contact on home row (and row above on most boards I own)

25 Likes

That’s interesting, the only ones I could not get to snap in (on a stock HHKB Pro2) were the homing F&J

1 Like

Many thanks for the great and detailed write up. It’s always great to see more options in the EC space – but a shame about all the issues. Seems KBDFans’ inconsistencies with their EC offerings are continuing, but I so wanted it to work out.

2 Likes

KBDF Hipro EC looks like the result of SA and MT3 having a secret love child together

5 Likes

Well shoot. I guess I’ll hope for extras for my Realforce, but I was hoping to also use these on the FC660C.

1 Like

I wouldn’t be a train wreck or anything, but there is a noticeable sound difference on the home row on 660c

1 Like

Interesting, was probably going to put them on a R2, but was also thinking about putting them on my 980c, guess I’ll mess around with them tonight.

Yo these mfers are thicc af.

2 Likes

they’re shipping already? damn! can’t wait for mine, but they said they will ship them end of december?

…during whose inception they have abused the regular Topre keycaps to get the stem from it.

I bought these as a part of the GB, and would warn against picking these up, unless you are ok with crooked keycaps or plan to make stems straight yourself.
Below are some photos of caps mounted on a fc660c:

Summary



The crooked stems are especially noticeable on 1.25u caps. Kbdfans have denied my refund, stating that they don’t have any problems on their end.
That being said, the caps are made of PBT, so straightening up the stems with hot water is possible.
What a shame, the caps do look and sound fantastic, if not for the bad stems.

6 Likes

I have exactly the same issue with my sets. Dissapointing that bdfans are not taking responsibility.
Out of interest, how would you go about correcting the stems with hot water? I’m familiar with the hot water technique for flattening spacebars but am stuggling to see how one could correct the stem rotation. Thanks in advance for any pointers.

I didn’t really test it, but I think fixing down the keycap then using a slider + pliers + somehow a gentle torque with hot water could work?

The mods are definitely crooked, but even some of the alphas are noticeably warped as well. Glad I waited on these.

Got mine a little while back… The R2 R3 keycaps are the issue. Seems like the stems do not protrude out enough (or the walls of the keycaps are too “too tall”) causing the wall of the keycaps to hit the switch plate on the HHKB… Its such a shame… otherwise I like the color, lettering and the texture of these… I will keep mine and probably sand down the key cap walls to see if that works but it’s going to be a very arduous task… Though when I put these on my HHKB I have no issues with crooked stems, I must have gotten lucky.

2 Likes

Perhaps on the the Type-S the silencing rings make the stems shorter and causing the issue.