Realforce R3 vs Leopold fc980c

Hi guys,

I want my life in Topre :wink:
Am I making a mistake buying the Leopold over the realforce R3? The micro USB screams “take me back to the 90s!” but I read that the Leopold is usually better than the R3…

Thank you!

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Your memory deceives you. Micro-USB is from 2007, Mini-USB is from 2000. Strictly 21st century technologies.

Hope that whichever board you choose will make you very happy.

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I was there @marksmad, I was there
3000 years ago when there were no USB ports! :wink:

I am in my 40s, anything non type-c has been disqualified from entering our home (so we don’t have a mess with cables primarily).

BTW, thanks for your reply.
Do you happen to have some experience on these keyboards please? Happy to take input :blush::+1:


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I don’t necessarily think Leopold is better or worse than Realforce. They are both very nice for what they provide. It’s more a question of what layout you want. I have yet to try a Realforce R3 series, but have owned several R2’s in the past and they are pretty great.

One benefit of the R2 is that you can get the PFU Edition that has silenced 45g sliders, whereas everything else is going to be unsileneced. These are fantastic boards for what it’s worth.

Realforce: 100%, TKL
HHKB: 60%
Leopold: 1800, 66%


I really wish I could help you with your choice but Realforce and Leopold pricing is out of my poverty bracket. It would be awesome if one could build a custom board with Topre switches but Fujitsu only seems to sell them to manufacturers.

As to USB, I’m old enough that I have actually booted a computer by entering hex codes on the front panel. I remember getting my first PC with USB ports (that was in the 20th century) and not being able to buy any devices that would plug into them.

I think I’m stuck with micro-USB until my Kindle dies, at least.

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I’ve got both. I’m typing on the RealForce TKL right now, but the Leopold 980c is every bit as good. I think that’s largely because both Leopold and PFU/Topre are nearly identical in terms of how they’re constructed.

Micro-usb is kind of strange for a keyboard. Never owned one with that

Honestly either should be a good option in terms of build quality. It just depends on personal preference in layout.


plenty of us will take that leo off your hands if it’s not to your taste :smiley:

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Hi guys,

I ordered a Leopold fc980c in the end. Delivery was today. I quite like it. There is a little bit of tactility and a very smooth feeling and nice pushback of the key after pressing it. I need to get used to the layout (I got the all black version). Perhaps slightly more silent would have been extra nice but I am quite a happy camper with this one :blush:

Thanks all for your input!

Ps: I ordered a separate controller to be able to remap keys using QMK.

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Well, if you’re brave enough to swap out the controller there is no harm in lubing the slider rails and stabilizers. It will make an enormous difference in sound. There are plenty of resources here for information on disassembly, modding, and reassembly. It’s quite easy to do. For further silencing you can also utilize Deskeys silencing rings.

Thank you for the advice.
Any brand or type of lube is preferred when doing these mods? Thanks!