Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Keyboards › Gtune Realforce 108B-MP Review
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Gtune Realforce 108B-MP Review

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is a review of the Gtune 108B "Masterpiece" keyboard, which I received from Japan the other day. Mostly, I will be comparing it to my 55g Realforce 103UB.

First, lets take a look at the aesthetics of the board:

P2040548.jpg

Straight away we can see the difference from the Realforce boards readily available from EliteKeyboards. It has a 108-key Japanese layout, and the letters are legible. The coloring used for the letters isn't the most attractive color, but it's not bad. We also get a red num/caps/scroll lock.

P2040553.jpg

Wow, that red looks so much better then the blue the normal boards use! It's also less painful on the eyes; I found myself covering the bright blue lights on my Realforce 103UB with an old movie ticket. No need to with this one.

P2020537.jpg

Removing some keys, we can see there is a nice red color under the keys. I think this is a nice, thoughtful touch. Why use boring black when you can have a cool red?

P2020542.jpg

Oh yeah, that red showing through is awesome. I'm officially sold on red backing for keyboards. Overall I'm quite pleased how the keyboard looks, once I got used to the look of the goofy Enter key.

Performance:

First, lets take a quick look at the specs here. The whole board uses Topre's capacitive rubber dome switches, weighted at 45g for all the keys. It also features a PS/2 connector to enable full N key rollover, which allows you to literally press every key on the keyboard at once. The Realforce 103UB by contrast has a USB connector, and is limited to 6 keys.

How about typing? As someone who's throughly enjoyed typing on my 55g 103UB, I can say the 108B-MP's switches are just the right touch lighter, and it really makes a large difference. The 55g board felt just a little bit "clunky", and the lighter 45g keys remove that feeling. IMO, this board is as much better then the Cherry MX boards, as they are then your average rubber dome.

How hard is it to type with the Japanese layout? Well, it's not quite as bad as you would think, assuming you can touch type (You'll have to ignore symbols on keys they switched around). The spacebar, which I thought was going to be the worst, is actually not a problem at all. I didn't have to change how I hit the spacebar at all. However, the single key backspace and the upside down enter key have proven to be a little more difficult. I now have to reach all the way over for backspace, since it's just one little key. I used to hit it where the "Yen" key is now. The enter is also one key shorter where I used to hit it, but it's a little easier to learn to reach further for the enter key.

Gaming:

I believe I am unusually qualified to evaluate the keyboards gaming performance. Normally, most games use the mouse first, and the keyboard second. However, for many years I was very into the THPS games, and played them on the computer with the keyboard. I got quite good, and got a few world records in the third one. If you aren't familiar with the game, there is lots of balance bars, so the timing and performance of the keyboard can be very critical.

Topre vs Cherry gaming:

I have tried all the switches Cherry offers, and I can say confidently that the Realforce boards outperform the Cherry switches. With the tactile Cherrys, I feel that the tactile bump gets in the way when you are doing very fast paced movements, in my case when the balance goes crazy towards the end of a combo. Especially with the Blue switches, which due to an insane design, make games pretty much unplayable for me. As for the linear Cherry switches, I feel they are much better suited for fast paced gaming then the tactiles, but still do not perform quite as well as the Topre based boards do. I think it's just the way the Topre switches press down... in the end, I seem to just get better control out of my Realforce boards.

Gtune vs Realforce:

Well for gaming, it really comes straight down to three things: are the 45g weights better then the 55g weights, does the tiny spacebar cause any problems, and does the NKRO over 6KRO even matter?

As for the 45g vs the 55g weighting, I'm finding that the removed "clunk" factor and the general lighter pressing is even more enjoyable for the games then it is for just typing. I feel that this 45g is the perfect weight; any lighter and there will not be enough feeling to the keys. Given how noticeable the change from 55g down to 45g was for me, I don't think I would want a 30g weighted board.

Now for the big debate: Is it worth going ps/2 just for NKRO? Isn't 6 keys enough?! Well, for me, not always. 6 keys is usually plenty, and if you play FPS games, you only have one hand down with 5 fingers. However, when I do play the newer Tony Hawk games on the PC, the addition of the walk ability and spine transfers has made it so I will occasionally need to press 7 keys at once. As you can imagine, when I have 6 keys already held down, it is very annoying to try to hit the seventh, and smash and 50 million MPH into the side of a halfpipe because I didn't do what I thought I would. That might be hilarious the first few times you see it, but when you have a great combo going and loose out just because your keyboard can't handle it, you will start to appreciate what a NKRO board brings. Again, this probably doesn't apply to most people though.

The tiny spacebar honestly hasn't caused me a single issue in games. I even do this thing unconsciously where my thumb gets tired, and I use my pointer finger to help it hit the spacebar. There seems to be room on that little tiny strip there, so I really haven't even noticed that the spacer is the size of the SHIFT key (literally).

Price
Okay here we go, the big one. This is a VERY expensive keyboard. It starts at around $310 straight from Gtune's website, and is only sold in Japan as far as I can tell. This means if you want it in the States, you are going to have to get someone to import it for you. Unless you know someone in Japan, you will have to pay an importer a commission, any applicable taxes, shipping from gtune to them, and from them to you. You could easily be looking at a $400 price tag after all that.

However, I feel that the board was worth it. It is pretty much the perfect keyboard, the only thing I would change at all on it is give it a US standard (ANSI) layout. I have no regrets buying this keyboard, and it may just be the last keyboard I ever buy for myself.
SUPERPWN
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i5 4670K Asus z87-Pro HIS R9 290x HIS R9 290x 
RAMHard DriveOSMonitor
32GB DDR3 Gskill Ripjaws 4TB Seagate Windows 8 x64 Overlord x270 OC 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR27 LG34UM94 G-Tune Topre Realforce 800w 
Audio
Yulong D100 DAC with Denon D7000 headphones 
  hide details  
Reply
SUPERPWN
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i5 4670K Asus z87-Pro HIS R9 290x HIS R9 290x 
RAMHard DriveOSMonitor
32GB DDR3 Gskill Ripjaws 4TB Seagate Windows 8 x64 Overlord x270 OC 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR27 LG34UM94 G-Tune Topre Realforce 800w 
Audio
Yulong D100 DAC with Denon D7000 headphones 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 15
As far as I know, those coloured keys are laser printed, which means they aren't as durable as the black-on-grey Topre keys which are dye sub'd.

That said, Topre keys get quite shiny and are easily scratched (HHKB ones at least) so the fact that it's lasered may not be a huge problem.
Daedalus
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 955 Gigabyte MA78GM-UD2H Gainward 9600GT GS 4GB OCZ Platinum PC2-6400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
250GB Samsung P120S, 1TB Samsung F1 Window 7 64bit/Arch Linux Samsung 204B 20"/Dell 1701FP IBM Model F and others 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 Lian-Li V350B Steelseries Ikari Laser 
  hide details  
Reply
Daedalus
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 955 Gigabyte MA78GM-UD2H Gainward 9600GT GS 4GB OCZ Platinum PC2-6400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
250GB Samsung P120S, 1TB Samsung F1 Window 7 64bit/Arch Linux Samsung 204B 20"/Dell 1701FP IBM Model F and others 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 Lian-Li V350B Steelseries Ikari Laser 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 15
Hot damn that is one slick looking board, and I agree completely on the 45g vs 55g issue. I'd prefer an all-55g board over a board with different weight switches, but I'd definitely prefer an all 45g board to an all 55g board. And just as kind of a weird aside, I'd actually prefer a yellow backplate and replacement keys, but I do prefer red LED's for the lock functions. Next time I go to Japan I might just have to pick me up one of these bad boys.
post #4 of 15
Nice KB. I wish they had they had somthing similar to this with ANCI layout (all 45g, puke on grey keys, red led/backplate etc.)

Also did the red w,a,s,d come with the board, or did you get a set of modifiers (ctrl, alt, shift) along with w,a,s,d seperate?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600K GA-P67A-UD7-B3 EVGA GTX470 SLI 16GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
C300 64GB + 150GB Raptor 30" 3007WFP-HC + 20" 2007FP Portait (3760x1600) Realforce 87u 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX850 LIAN LI MX-518 QCK+ 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600K GA-P67A-UD7-B3 EVGA GTX470 SLI 16GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
C300 64GB + 150GB Raptor 30" 3007WFP-HC + 20" 2007FP Portait (3760x1600) Realforce 87u 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX850 LIAN LI MX-518 QCK+ 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
red wasd, shift, and ctrl key came with the board.
SUPERPWN
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i5 4670K Asus z87-Pro HIS R9 290x HIS R9 290x 
RAMHard DriveOSMonitor
32GB DDR3 Gskill Ripjaws 4TB Seagate Windows 8 x64 Overlord x270 OC 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR27 LG34UM94 G-Tune Topre Realforce 800w 
Audio
Yulong D100 DAC with Denon D7000 headphones 
  hide details  
Reply
SUPERPWN
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i5 4670K Asus z87-Pro HIS R9 290x HIS R9 290x 
RAMHard DriveOSMonitor
32GB DDR3 Gskill Ripjaws 4TB Seagate Windows 8 x64 Overlord x270 OC 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR27 LG34UM94 G-Tune Topre Realforce 800w 
Audio
Yulong D100 DAC with Denon D7000 headphones 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 15
too bad they don't make an all 45g realforce with a US layout, I have the all 55g one and I love it.
Gaming Rig
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3930k ASUS Sabertooth X79 EVGA GTX 580 SC + EK Ni/Al Waterblock @ 920/184... Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB DDR3 2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
2 x Samsung 2TB 5400rpm (RAID1) 2 x Corsair Force Series GT 120GB SATA III (RAID1) 655 + EK TOP, 2 x EK-CoolStream XTC 280 Rads, S... EK Supreme HF Full Gold CPU Block 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR30W 30" 2560x1600 Filco Majestouch-2 (NKR MX Brown) SeaSonic Platinum-1000W 80 PLUS PLATINUM LIAN LI A70F USB3.0 Aluminum Full Tower 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G400 Dell XPS EMU 1616m 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming Rig
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3930k ASUS Sabertooth X79 EVGA GTX 580 SC + EK Ni/Al Waterblock @ 920/184... Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB DDR3 2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
2 x Samsung 2TB 5400rpm (RAID1) 2 x Corsair Force Series GT 120GB SATA III (RAID1) 655 + EK TOP, 2 x EK-CoolStream XTC 280 Rads, S... EK Supreme HF Full Gold CPU Block 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
HP ZR30W 30" 2560x1600 Filco Majestouch-2 (NKR MX Brown) SeaSonic Platinum-1000W 80 PLUS PLATINUM LIAN LI A70F USB3.0 Aluminum Full Tower 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G400 Dell XPS EMU 1616m 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 15
The 10th Anniversary versions have different colors. Japanese layout only. No truth to the rumor that they are labelled "GSpot".
Quote:
* REALFORCE 108UH-S(SA010S)
* Keytop set for 108(108keys per set)

1. SA0100KT1: white
2. SA0100KT2: sky-blue
3. SA0100KT3: red
4. SA0100KT4: yellow
5. SA0100KT5: orange

topre-03.jpg
Edited by ripster - 3/9/11 at 11:30am
My System
(13 items)
 
  
Keyboard
Lots of them 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
Keyboard
Lots of them 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Plus side to that is they will work on this keyboard.
SUPERPWN
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i5 4670K Asus z87-Pro HIS R9 290x HIS R9 290x 
RAMHard DriveOSMonitor
32GB DDR3 Gskill Ripjaws 4TB Seagate Windows 8 x64 Overlord x270 OC 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR27 LG34UM94 G-Tune Topre Realforce 800w 
Audio
Yulong D100 DAC with Denon D7000 headphones 
  hide details  
Reply
SUPERPWN
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i5 4670K Asus z87-Pro HIS R9 290x HIS R9 290x 
RAMHard DriveOSMonitor
32GB DDR3 Gskill Ripjaws 4TB Seagate Windows 8 x64 Overlord x270 OC 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR27 LG34UM94 G-Tune Topre Realforce 800w 
Audio
Yulong D100 DAC with Denon D7000 headphones 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 15
Wow, sounds great! Thanks for the review. I'll keep an eye out for these next time I'm in Japan.
Old Faithful
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 ABIT IP35 PRO NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 6GB DDR-2 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
150GB WD Raptor 10,000 rpm Win 7 Pro 64-bit Dell 2408WFP Leopold Tenkeyless (Cherry MX Brown) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX620W Antec 900 Death Adder / Imperator / R.A.T. 7 / G500 ARTISAN KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
  hide details  
Reply
Old Faithful
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 ABIT IP35 PRO NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 6GB DDR-2 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
150GB WD Raptor 10,000 rpm Win 7 Pro 64-bit Dell 2408WFP Leopold Tenkeyless (Cherry MX Brown) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX620W Antec 900 Death Adder / Imperator / R.A.T. 7 / G500 ARTISAN KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 15
Wow, that's a decent amount more than a regular Realforce. I don't think I could even imagine paying up for that, Wish it had a US layout, though. I really did like the red backplate on the Rosewill keyboard. I don't think that keyboard is available anymore, though.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Keyboards
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Keyboards › Gtune Realforce 108B-MP Review