“Thock, clack, thock, clack”, my Novatouch exclaimed as I type away on a yearly revenue report at the office. She was my daily driver now and served me well. Every newly acquired key set did their rounds sitting on her case. I found, in Topre, a new sensation. I pressed down slowly on the key. A satisfying bump at the very top followed by a buttery glide that carried my fingers to the bottom. Like a clear’s tactile bump at the top with the smooth glide down of a well-lubed red. And the sound. Thock, thock, thock. A sound that made blues sound like a cheap children’s toy. What was I thinking? Clicking? Pulsating lights and gaudy branding? Was that really me? I was driving a luxury sports car now. To me, the RGB boards I used to lust over were now 2001 Toyota Celicas with the cheesy spoiler on the back. For me, it was Topre or nothing.

“You haven’t experienced a true Topre keyboard until you’ve owned an HHKB”, they said. “What was wrong with my Novatouch?”, I thought. I have beautiful PBT Granites on them. It’s not like I was using the cheap ABS stock caps. Anyways, I can’t imagine Topre mounted to a plastic case would feel nearly as satisfying as my plate mounted Novatouch. I didn’t want to hear it. Well… my wallet didn’t want to hear it.

But I did hear it. Not the drone of the HHKB cult but a faint ringing every time I pressed down on my beloved Novatouch. For most, its inaudible. To the discerning ear and fingers, it echoed in my mind with every stroke. I felt like Da Vinci staring at Mona Lisa with a lazy eye. My opus, my dream board, with a minor imperfection that haunted me. For the next two weeks, that thocking symphony sounded off-key.


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