TL;DR - URSA Minor is a low profile, Topre-stemmed, spherical key cap that feels fantastic both in terms of fingertip feel and texture.
As far as the material goes I’d describe the satin finish as being ideal and the resin itself is almost soft to the touch. Going forward, if these were to be injection molded that satin finish would be really nice, but the plastic used would need to be really thick. Because you get such a solid feeling with them as they are at present.
As far as finger-tip feel goes, I did a quick comparison of these with SA and MT3. I think they’re closest to MT3 in terms of feel, but MT3 still feels flatter. The cupping and roundness of the ridges on these caps feels more comfortable and enjoyable.
(MT3 Left, URSA Minor Right)
The decision to use a full convex lower row is also great. When I engage those keys I’m typically using the side of my thumb. So having a concave key doesn’t “feel” as good as the convex. Now aesthetically one may still prefer their keys to have the same face profile, but I also think it looks very nice.
Although I’ve never tried the Topre Hi-Profile caps, I’d say after using these now for several hours, I have been cured of any urge to splash out for a set of those.
Visually, besides what you can see I think the biggest thing I can say I wasn’t expecting to enjoy was the lower profile nature of these. I’m really used to SA and MT3 and like the big chunky caps. But this lower profile fits better with the more modern case styles and I’m sure they’d be just at some as your more classic cases as well.
They’re just wonderful to type on. I mean, I’m probably being more verbose here than usual just as an excuse to be able to keep typing.
A huge thank you to @Andreas for giving me the opportunity to experience these first hand.
I tried giving these a google search and nothing turned up, but I’m very intrigued. Do you have a link to these?
Thank you, @Extra_Fox I’m delighted to read your words.
You can read up on the project here
There’s URSA Major and Minor.
thanks for the link - this project looks phenomenal and I’m surprised to have missed this! I haven’t been on the forums in a while. best of luck with development, it looks incredible.
These are seriously gorgeous! I’d love to give Ursa Minor a try on my HHKB! Beautiful work, @Andreas!
I am ogling respectfully.
Fantastic work @Andreas - the profile design seems basically perfect - but also holy wow at that printing quality. Killer production there.
I can’t wait to collect way too many of these once they’re available to the public. :3
Thank you all for your kind and inspirational words.
I’m working hard to get URSA sets into the hands of those who are interested.
Love to hear that - I will definitely look forward to getting my hands on some when they are released - fingers crossed for Topre stem variants in the future! They would absolutely complete my Heavy Grail and other Norbauer cases.
What exactly do you mean by Topre stem variants @dirtegg ? These are Topre stems for the FC660C.
oh! wow! i saw the artisans on the FC660 and just assumed that it was the FC660M since I don’t think I saw Topre mentioned in the Ursa thread. I stand corrected then - that’s so cool to know that these are in fact on a Topre board.
Oh… you may have inferred that these are still MX as the project started out, right?
Sorry about being unclear. I should consider to add a final note on the original project post.
all good! as you can imagine, this new bit of news makes me even more interested, haha.
Thank you Dave,
I still have you in mind for a ‘CTRL Room’ colorway
Consider me one of the very interested parties. Loving seeing this project progress and a set of caps in someone else’s hands (with correspondingly glowing third party review). You’re doing impressive work, Andreas!
Thank you, @JasonATXBS your words are music to my ears. I consider you the authority for HHKBs and would love for URSA to dress up a few of your boards.
You’re absolutely killing it @Andreas - these are awesome. One of the few things I’m keeping an eye on and genuinely interested in right now. Great review @Extra_Fox, definitely deserving of receiving these awesome keycaps and you sure did them justice