Tuesday, June 4th 2019

Walkthrough of the Leopold Booth at Computex 2019

Leopold is a boutique keyboard manufacturer based out of Korea, and one we have not yet had the pleasure of covering in detail on TechPowerUp. That is about to change, however, as we were invited to meet representatives of the company and go through their products at their Computex booth. I have been familiar with their existing lineup to an extent, noting that they use both Cherry MX and Topre switches in their keyboards designed for the high end market. The FC660 especially is quite popular among keyboard enthusiasts wanting a small form factor keyboard for ergonomics, and Leopold showed off their new version of an electrostatic capacitive switch based on the Topre switch.

The new switch finds its way in the equally new FC660PT keyboard, with the primary design change being the location of the spring relative to the switch housing and rubber dome that gave Topre switches the unique tactile feedback which people either loved or did not. The new design attempts to appease users who long since have wanted compatibility with Cherrry MX stem keycaps, which account for the vast majority of aftermarket keycap sets. The spring is thus right on top, and makes for an interesting two-step feedback mechanism seen in the force-travel diagram below, which may well be just as divisive as the Topre switch itself. Noting that the springs may work loose and possibly be lost, Leopold tells us they plan to also include an extra set of springs with the keyboard as well. The rest of the keyboard is unchanged, and that by itself is a good thing in my books given it is hard to improve on the build quality provided by the thick metal case paired with the 1.5 mm thick PBT keycaps with dye-sub legends. Read past the break for more Leopold offerings at the show floor!
Leopold also gave the Bluetooth connectivity treatment to several of their other popular keyboards, including the FC660M, FC750R, FC900R, and FC980M, which fall in the 60/TKL/full-size/95% form factors respectively. The new variants get a BT at the end of the product name to help quickly distinguish them from the older USB-only versions, and are powered by two AAA batteries on the back.

The lack of an OEM keycap profile for some of their current generation keyboards was seemingly a dealbreaker for many, and they should be pleased with the new OEM profile versions, currently marked OE but subject to change. Leopold had the FC750R OE and FC900R OE with the OEM profile treatment to show at their booth, and the other major change we saw here was one we missed on the other new keyboards. In order to address the louder clack from the space bar key, Leopold has integrated a soft pad on the contact surfaces which minimizes noise and does not detract further from the typing experience. To be fair, the use of Cherry stabilizers already causes a fairly mushy feeling in most implementations, so the overall change is a positive one for those wanting a quieter, less obtrusive space bar key. These sound absorbing pads are also integrated in the other new keyboards from above, if you were curious.

The Leopold brand has also made a name for their high end accessories, including hand-stitched leather wrist rests made in Korea from full grain Italian leather, hand finished wooden wrist rests, and more. Adding to this was an anti-slip pad meant to be used with keyboards, and the pad itself has a marking of a full-size keyboard on it. It is a low profile soft pad that also helps prevent scratches to the high end keyboards from Leopold and other outfits, if this was something that interests you.

The rest of their booth was dedicated to their current product portfolio, showing off also their manufacturing prowess when it comes to keyboard cases ,accessories, and keycaps alike, with multiple different keycap sets to be seen. We will be sure to add Leopold to our keyboard review database sooner than later, and let us know if there was something in particular that you wanted us to start with.
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8 Comments on Walkthrough of the Leopold Booth at Computex 2019

#1
sutyi
Could you guys do watermarks in the corners only please? Not the fan of these images with the TPU logo plastered all-over. :(
Posted on Reply
#2
JAB Creations
We don't need less keyboard control, we need more! The Logitech G110 keyboard is perfect except that they never updated it to use mechanical keys. Two sets of macro keys separated by physical spaces on the left side of the keyboard and LED backlit are absolutely perfect. Back/Forward, Navigate Back/Forward, Close/Restore Tab, Dim/Brighten Screen, etc. Yes, most of us game though a lot of us also do productivity work too.
Posted on Reply
#3
cryohellinc
JAB Creations
We don't need less keyboard control, we need more! The Logitech G110 keyboard is perfect except that they never updated it to use mechanical keys. Two sets of macro keys separated by physical spaces on the left side of the keyboard and LED backlit are absolutely perfect. Back/Forward, Navigate Back/Forward, Close/Restore Tab, Dim/Brighten Screen, etc. Yes, most of us game though a lot of us also do productivity work too.
That is your own biased opinion. I think that g110 is a massive ugly membrane monstrosity.

Keep trash where it belongs, meanwhile Leopold provides a fantastic range of high-quality keyboards. With some additional modding on top of it, the results can be fantastic.
Posted on Reply
#4
Imsochobo
cryohellinc
That is your own biased opinion. I think that g110 is a massive ugly membrane monstrosity.

Keep trash where it belongs, meanwhile Leopold provides a fantastic range of high-quality keyboards. With some additional modding on top of it, the results can be fantastic.
agreed, FN key for media, that's it for me :)
There is so many keyboard shortcuts I can use for everything else.
Posted on Reply
#5
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
sutyi
Could you guys do watermarks in the corners only please? Not the fan of these images with the TPU logo plastered all-over. :(
Watermarks in the corners tend to be cropped off and reused without credit by other websites, unfortunately. I found one particular website copying 100% of my reviews, including text and photos, a few weeks ago which sucks.
Posted on Reply
#6
JAB Creations
cryohellinc
That is your own biased opinion. I think that g110 is a massive ugly membrane monstrosity. Keep trash where it belongs...
Hm, you're right though I can't seem to find the delete button for your post.
Posted on Reply
#7
lolwowmage
Question for Topre + Gaming:

Am I limited how fast I can press the key in quick succession by how long it takes for the topre dome to come back up after depressing?
(sorry for bad wording...english)

For RTS, have to spam a lot, and wondering if its bad for starcraft...
Posted on Reply
#8
sutyi
VSG
Watermarks in the corners tend to be cropped off and reused without credit by other websites, unfortunately. I found one particular website copying 100% of my reviews, including text and photos, a few weeks ago which sucks.
I get it why it is being done, I'm just not very fond of the way it looks. For me on some of the shots it's very hard on the eyes and totally spoils the material, not very pleasant to look at.
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