Aflion Panda vs. Gateron New North Pole V2

An in-depth look at the Aflion Panda and the Gateron New North Pole V2 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Aflion Panda and the Gateron New North Pole V2. The Panda is best known for its unparalleled, hyper-tactile sensation and profound "thocky" sound profile, making it the go-to choice for those who value a super responsive tactile force and a full-bodied, sonorous audio feedback. On the other hand, the New North Pole V2, unlike its predecessor, offers a crisper typing experience without a rubber dampener, while still retaining the hallmark feature of the North Pole lineup - a frictionless typing feel. Gateron has successfully maintained the seamless glide and smoothness that users have come to love. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can better decide on the best switch for your specific needs and preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

50g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

62.5g

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

Ink Housing Material

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Single-stage 15mm long spring

Spring

Gold-plated 15.4mm

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Aflion Panda and the Gateron New North Pole V2 share many similarities. Both switches utilize polycarbonate in their top housing, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The stiffness of polycarbonate contributes to a clear and resonant sound, making it an ideal choice for switches with RGB lighting due to its translucency. As a result, users can expect similar sound characteristics and visual appeal when comparing the top housing of these switches.

However, where these switches differ is in their choice of bottom housing material. The Panda utilizes nylon, while the New North Pole V2 features a polycarbonate bottom housing. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound and creates a deeper and fuller sound profile. On the other hand, the stiffer polycarbonate bottom housing in the New North Pole V2 contributes to a sharper and crisper sound. When pressing down on the switches, the qualities of the bottom housing will be felt, impacting the bottom-out sound and feel. Therefore, depending on preferences, users may find the Panda's nylon bottom housing to elicit a duller and rounder sound, while the New North Pole V2's polycarbonate bottom housing offers a more defined and precise auditory experience.

In summary, the housing materials of the Aflion Panda and the Gateron New North Pole V2 bring distinct characteristics to these switches. While both switches use polycarbonate in their top housing, resulting in similar sound profiles and transparency for RGB lighting, the Panda differentiates itself by adopting a nylon bottom housing. The nylon bottom housing provides a deeper and fuller sound due to its softer nature, contrasting with the sharper and crisper sound generated by the polycarbonate bottom housing of the New North Pole V2. These differences highlight the impact of bottom housing on the overall sound and feel of the switches, offering users the choice between a duller yet resonant sound or a more defined and precise auditory experience.

Weight

When comparing the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch, the actuation forces are the same at 50 grams. This means that the amount of force required to trigger a keystroke is equal for both switches, resulting in a similar typing experience in terms of initial activation. However, when it comes to bottoming out, there is a slight difference. The Panda switch has a bottom out force of 60 grams, while the New North Pole V2 has a slightly heavier bottom out force of 62.5 grams. This means that when fully pressing down on the switches, the New North Pole V2 requires a slightly higher force compared to the Panda switch.

In terms of weight preferences, those who prefer a lighter typing experience would find the Aflion Panda tactile switch more suitable. With its lower bottom out force, it allows for a lighter and potentially less fatiguing typing experience, making it ideal for extended typing or gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals seeking a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing experience may lean towards the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch. Its slightly heavier bottom out force provides a more pronounced tactile feedback and a sense of solidity during typing.

Overall, both switches fall under the medium actuation and bottom out force category, but with the Gateron New North Pole V2 having a slightly heavier bottom out force compared to the Aflion Panda. Choosing between the two ultimately depends on personal preference, with the lighter Panda offering a lighter typing experience and the New North Pole V2 offering a slightly heavier and more substantial feel.

Travel distance

The Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either switch, you will experience the same distance of travel. Therefore, in terms of travel distance, both switches offer similar results and provide a consistent typing experience.

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 Gateron New North Pole V2 has an MSRP of $6.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the New North Pole V2 for $5.70.

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 Aflion Panda tactile switch is described as resonant. This means that users can expect a higher-pitched sound profile and an immersive auditory experience. The sound produced by the Panda switch is clean and sharp, providing a satisfying thocky echo. On the other hand, unfortunately, there is no specific information available about the sound profile of the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch can be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen, so individual experiences may vary.

In terms of feel, the Aflion Panda switch is known for its accentuated tactility. It offers a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. This provides a pronounced feedback, combined with a moderate to firm actuation force, resulting in an invigorating and reactive typing sensation. On the other hand, the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch is described as polished, creamy, and frictionless. These descriptors indicate that it offers a smooth and refined typing experience, with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The switch glides effortlessly, creating a sleek and creamy typing sensation without any sense of resistance.

Considering the available information, the Aflion Panda tactile switch stands out for its hyper-tactile sensation and thocky sound profile, appealing to those who prefer a full-bodied audio feedback and a super responsive tactile force. On the other hand, the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch provides a crisper typing experience through its lack of a rubber dampener, while still maintaining the hallmark features of the North Pole lineup, such as the frictionless typing feel and seamless glide. While the specific sound profile of the New North Pole V2 is not mentioned, its polished, creamy, and frictionless feel suggests a smooth and refined typing experience.

In conclusion, both switches offer unique features and qualities. If you are seeking an unparalleled hyper-tactile sensation with a thocky sound profile, the Aflion Panda tactile switch would be a great choice. However, if you prefer a crisper typing experience with a smooth and refined feel, the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch would be a suitable option. It's important to note that individual preferences may vary, and the overall experience will also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prioritize hyper-tactility and a deep thocky sound profile, the Aflion Panda tactile switch would be the ideal choice for you. With its medium bottom out force of 60 grams, the Panda offers a super responsive tactile force that sets a new gold standard for those who value hypertactility. Additionally, its unparalleled audio feedback adds to the immersive typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a crisper typing experience with a frictionless feel, the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch is the way to go. With a slightly higher bottom out force of 62.5 grams, the New North Pole V2 retains its hallmark frictionless typing feel while providing a smoother and more refined finish. This switch offers reduced friction and smooth key travel, resulting in a silky and effortless typing sensation.

Ultimately, your choice between these switches will depend on whether you prioritize tactile feedback and sound or smoothness and refinement in your typing experience. Consider your preferences and needs carefully to make an informed decision.

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