Aflion Panda vs. Kailh NovelKeys Cream

An in-depth look at the Aflion Panda and the Kailh NovelKeys Cream switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, the choice of switch can greatly impact your typing experience. Two popular options to consider are the Aflion Panda and the Kailh NovelKeys Cream. The Panda is renowned for its unparalleled tactile sensation, providing a satisfying and deeply resonant "thocky" sound profile. Its hyper-tactility and full-bodied audio feedback set a new standard for those who value a heightened typing experience. On the other hand, the NovelKeys Cream offers a hefty linear typing experience, with a deeper sound profile than the average switch. This switch is known for its buttery smoothness and textured feel, making it invigorating to type on. However, let's dive deeper beyond these generalities so you can make an informed decision about which switch is best suited for your preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

55g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

70g

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

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

POM

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Single-stage 15mm long spring

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Aflion Panda and the Kailh NovelKeys Cream switches offer distinct differences in sound profiles. The Panda's polycarbonate top housing creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound, while the Cream's POM top housing produces a deeper and more muted sound. This contrast in sound can greatly influence the overall typing experience and user preference. Additionally, the Panda's polycarbonate top housing allows for RGB lighting due to its translucency, making it a visually appealing choice for those interested in customized lighting effects. Conversely, the Cream's POM top housing may prioritize a more subtle aesthetic.

When it comes to the bottom housing materials, both switches utilize different materials that impact sound in various ways. The Panda's nylon bottom housing creates a deep and full sound, enhancing the typing experience with a duller and rounder sound profile. On the other hand, the Cream's POM bottom housing also contributes to a pleasing and unique sound, but with a deeper and more muted tone. These differences in sound can be attributed to the properties of the materials used, with nylon absorbing more sound and creating a rounder sound profile, while POM offers a deeper and more subtle tone.

Overall, the top and bottom housing materials of the Aflion Panda and the Kailh NovelKeys Cream switches significantly impact the sound and feel of each keystroke. The Panda's polycarbonate top housing is ideal for those seeking a clear, sharp, and resonant sound with the added benefit of compatibility with RGB lighting. In contrast, the Cream's POM top housing offers a deeper, more muted sound for those who prefer a softer typing experience. The differences in the bottom housing materials, nylon for the Panda and POM for the Cream, further contribute to the unique sound profiles of each switch, with nylon delivering a fuller sound and POM adding a pleasant depth to the keystrokes. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on personal preferences, as both provide distinct qualities for a rewarding typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Kailh NovelKeys Cream linear switch, there are notable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Aflion Panda has a lighter actuation force of 50 grams, while the NovelKeys Cream requires a slightly heavier force of 55 grams to trigger a keystroke. Both switches fall into the medium force range, providing a balanced typing experience. However, when it comes to bottoming out, the Panda requires 60 grams of force, whereas the Cream switch requires a heavier 70 grams. This means that the NovelKeys Cream offers a more substantial typing experience, which may be preferred by individuals who enjoy a stronger push feel. On the other hand, the lighter bottom out force of the Aflion Panda may be more suitable for those seeking a keyboard that allows for longer typing periods, making it suitable for work or extended gaming sessions. Overall, while the actuation force of both switches is similar, the Panda is lighter in terms of bottom out force, while the Cream switch is heavier.

Travel distance

Both the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Kailh NovelKeys Cream linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on the keys, you will feel a consistent 4 mm of travel. Therefore, both switches will provide a similar typing experience in terms of the distance you feel when you press the keys.

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 Kailh NovelKeys Cream has an MSRP of $6.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the NovelKeys Cream for $6.25.

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

In terms of sound, the Aflion Panda tactile switch is best known for its unparalleled, hyper-tactile sensation and a profoundly "thocky" sound profile. Typing on the Panda switch will result in a resonant sound with a clean and sharp profile. On the other hand, the Kailh NovelKeys Cream linear switch offers a deeper sound profile, although not overly so. It provides a low-pitched and resonant sound experience, which is more bass-heavy and mellow compared to higher-pitched switches. It's important to note that the sound profile of the switches can also be influenced by the choice of keyboard and keycaps used.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the Aflion Panda tactile switch is described as having an accented and invigorating feel. It offers a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle, providing a prominent amount of feedback. The actuation force is moderate to firm, resulting in a snappy and reactive feel while typing. On the other hand, the Kailh NovelKeys Cream linear switch is buttery in feel, providing a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. It offers a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. Additionally, like the Panda switch, it also provides an invigorating feel with pronounced feedback and moderate to firm actuation force.

In conclusion, the Aflion Panda tactile switch excels in providing a hyper-tactile sensation and a thocky sound profile, while the Kailh NovelKeys Cream linear switch offers a heftier linear typing experience with a deep sound profile. Both switches provide invigorating feedback and a moderate to firm actuation force, creating an immersive typing sensation. While the Panda switch is more focused on achieving a hypertactility and sonorous audio feedback, the Cream switch prioritizes a smoother and buttery keystroke experience. Additionally, it's important to consider other factors such as the choice of keyboard and keycaps in order to fully optimize the sound and feel of these switches. Overall, these switches offer different subjective qualities, but you can expect similar results in terms of feedback and actuation force.

Conclusion

In closing, if you prioritize a super responsive tactile force and a deep thocky sound profile, the Aflion Panda tactile switch would be an excellent choice for you. With a medium bottom out force of 60 grams, it offers a hyper-tactile sensation and a sonorous audio feedback that sets a new gold standard for those who value hypertactility. On the other hand, if you prefer a heftier linear typing experience and a deeper but not overly deep sound profile, the Kailh NovelKeys Cream linear switch would be more suitable. With a medium-heavy bottom out force of 70 grams, it delivers a pronounced feedback and an immersive typing sensation. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches will depend on your personal preferences and whether you prioritize tactile feedback or a smooth linear experience.

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