Aflion Panda vs. Everglide Crystal Violet

An in-depth look at the Aflion Panda and the Everglide Crystal Violet switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, two standout options are the Aflion Panda and the Everglide Crystal Violet. The Aflion Panda is well-known for its unparalleled hyper-tactile sensation, making it a top choice for those who prioritize an intense tactile experience. Not only does it offer a satisfying and clicky feel, but it also produces a deep "thocky" sound profile, adding to the overall sensory satisfaction. On the other hand, the Everglide Crystal Violet offers a more relaxed and gentle tactile typing experience. With a light operating force of 45g, it provides a comfortable feel for long typing sessions. Additionally, the Crystal Violet switches emit a pleasantly mellow sound, leaning towards the lower-pitched spectrum, ensuring a subtle and non-intrusive auditory experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits your preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

55g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

ABS

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

ABS

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Single-stage 15mm long spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Aflion Panda and the Everglide Crystal Violet differ significantly in their housing materials. The Panda features a polycarbonate top housing, while the Crystal Violet utilizes an ABS top housing. Polycarbonate is a relatively stiffer plastic, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. On the other hand, ABS is a relatively rare plastic to be used in switch housings, and it tends to produce a lower-pitched sound when typing. So, while the Panda offers a more clear and resonant sound due to its polycarbonate top housing, the Crystal Violet provides a deeper and fuller sound with its ABS top housing.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the Panda incorporates a nylon bottom housing, while the Crystal Violet employs an ABS bottom housing. Typing on switches with nylon bottom housing elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the Crystal Violet's ABS bottom housing, like its top housing, produces a relatively low-pitched sound when typing. Therefore, while the Panda gives a more muffled and rounded sound with its nylon bottom housing, the Crystal Violet provides a similar low-pitched sound with its ABS bottom housing.

When both top and bottom housings are different for a switch, the qualities of each housing material are split between the bottom and top of the switch. Thus, pressing down on the switch will primarily convey the characteristics of the bottom housing, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. On the other hand, the sound when releasing a key will be more influenced by the qualities of the top housing. In this case, the hybrid combination of materials in the Panda and Crystal Violet switches will lead to differing bottom-out and release sounds and feels. However, the use of ABS in the top and bottom housing of the Crystal Violet provides a similarity in the low-pitched sound profile experienced throughout both actions.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Everglide Crystal Violet tactile switch, there are some notable differences to consider. The Panda has an actuation force of 50 grams, while the Crystal Violet requires slightly less force with its actuation force of 45 grams. However, both switches fall within the medium range when it comes to actuation force.

In terms of bottom out force, the Panda requires 60 grams for a complete press, whereas the Crystal Violet has a bottom out force of 55 grams. Both switches can be considered medium in this aspect as well.

Considering weight, it is worth noting that the actuation and bottom out forces of both switches are relatively close to each other. This means that users can expect similar results and experiences from both switches.

Now, when it comes to preferences, those who prioritize a lighter typing experience may lean towards the Crystal Violet switch, as it has a slightly lower actuation and bottom out force. This lighter feel can be beneficial for extended typing or gaming sessions, making it ideal for work or gaming scenarios.

On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more substantial and firm typing experience may opt for the Panda switch, as it requires slightly more force for both actuation and bottom out. This heavier touch can provide a more robust and satisfying typing experience for those who appreciate a stronger push feel.

In conclusion, while both the Aflion Panda and Everglide Crystal Violet tactile switches possess similar medium actuation and bottom out forces, the Crystal Violet leans towards the lighter side, while the Panda offers a slightly heavier touch. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on personal preferences and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

Both the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Everglide Crystal Violet tactile switch have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will experience the same level of travel distance. Therefore, it can be concluded that both switches offer a similar feel and experience in terms of the distance traveled when pressing down on a key.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Panda has an MSRP of $5.20 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Panda for $3.56.

The Everglide Crystal Violet has an MSRP of $7.08 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Crystal Violet for $4.19.

Here at Milktooth, we offer the best prices on switches (on average, 27% lower the competition). In addition, we offer free shipping on orders over $49.00. We also offer free returns and exchanges, so you can shop with guaranteed satisfaction.

That said, while price is an important piece of the puzzle, our opinion is that you should ultimately pick the option that most suits your unique preferences since you’ll be using these switches for years to come. In other words, finding something perfect for you is, in our view, the most important criteria.

Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the Panda switch is best known for its resonant and thocky sound profile. Typing on these switches produces a clean and sharp higher-pitched sound, creating an immersive auditory experience. On the other hand, the Crystal Violet switch offers a pleasantly mellow and low-pitched sound. The use of ABS in the switch housing contributes to the lower-pitched spectrum, resulting in a subtle and non-intrusive auditory experience. It's important to note that the sound of both switches can be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen.

In terms of feel, the Panda switch provides an accented and invigorating typing experience. It offers a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle, providing a prominent amount of feedback. The actuation force of these switches is moderate to firm, creating a snappy and reactive feel that is immersive while typing. On the other hand, the Crystal Violet switch offers a creamy and mild typing experience. These switches are known for their smooth and buttery feel, similar to gliding your fingers effortlessly across the keys. The switches have a gentle and approachable feel, falling in a safe and middle-ground zone. Additionally, Crystal Violet switches can be described as stepped, providing some pre-travel and/or post-travel sensation.

Considering all available information, the Panda switch stands out for its hyper-tactile sensation and profoundly thocky sound profile, making it the go-to choice for those who value hypertactility and a full-bodied audio feedback. On the other hand, the Crystal Violet switch offers a relaxed and stepped tactile typing experience with a pleasantly mellow sound. These switches are ideal for those seeking a comfortable and gentle feel while typing. While the two switches differ in their subjective qualities, both provide unique and desirable experiences. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preferences regarding sound, feel, and typing experience. However, similar results can be achieved in terms of sound and feel by selecting switches with similar descriptors and characteristics, such as choosing low-pitched switches for a mellow sound or mild switches for a more gentle feel.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you value a hyper-tactile experience with a deep thocky sound profile, the Aflion Panda tactile switch would be the ideal choice for you. It offers a medium bottom out force of 60 grams, creating a full-bodied and sonorous audio feedback. On the other hand, if you prefer a more relaxed and stepped tactile typing experience, the Everglide Crystal Violet tactile switch would be more suitable. With a medium-light bottom out force of 55 grams, it offers a gentle and comfortable feel. The Crystal Violet switches have a pleasantly mellow sound profile, leaning towards the lower-pitched spectrum. Ultimately, your preference will depend on whether you prioritize the hyper-tactility and deep sound of the Panda switch or the relaxed and stepped tactile experience of the Crystal Violet switch.

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