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Aflion Pandavs. Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring

An in-depth look at the Aflion Panda and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to comparing and contrasting two exceptional mechanical keyboard switches, the Aflion Panda and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring, there are distinct qualities that make each switch stand out. The Aflion Panda is renowned for its unrivaled hypersensitivity and deep, thocky sound profile. With an unparalleled hyper-tactile sensation and a sonorous audio feedback, the Panda sets a new benchmark for those who value hypertactility. On the other hand, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring offers a medium-high level of tactility with its long, two-staged spring, delivering a satisfying typing experience. With deep, resonating thocks, this switch variant provides a clacky, high-pitched, and sharp audio feedback. These general pointers can help you decide which switch might suit your preferences. However, let's delve deeper into the specifics to help you make the best-informed decision regarding the perfect switch for you.

By the numbers

Panda
Shadow (Ink) Double Spring
BrandAflion
CategoryTactile
BrandAflion
CategoryTactile

$5.20

$3.56 per 10 switches

$4.50

$3.57 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

55g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

63g

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

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

20mm dual-stage spring

Housing materials

The Aflion Panda and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring share similarities in terms of their housing materials. Both switches feature a polycarbonate top housing, which contributes to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to polycarbonate's stiffness, which leads to a more clear and resonant sound. Moreover, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches that utilize RGB lighting. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and aesthetics when using both the Aflion Panda and the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switches.

However, the key difference lies in the bottom housing material. The Panda utilizes a nylon bottom housing, while the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring features a polycarbonate bottom housing. Nylon is known for producing a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing, as it is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound. In contrast, the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring contributes to its sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Additionally, the translucency of the polycarbonate material is advantageous for RGB lighting purposes.

The distinction in bottom housing materials affects both the sound and feel of the switches. When pressing down on the switch, the qualities of the bottom housing material become more noticeable, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing material has a greater impact on the sound produced when letting go of a key. Therefore, users can expect subtle differences in the typing experience between the Aflion Panda and the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring due to their contrasting bottom housing materials, but the overall sound and aesthetic qualities provided by the polycarbonate top housing remain consistent.

Weight

When comparing the Aflion Panda tactile switch to the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch, there are some differences in the actuation force and bottom out force. The Panda has a slightly lighter actuation force of 50 grams compared to the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring's 55 grams. However, both falls in the medium range. In terms of bottom out force, the Panda requires 60 grams of force, while the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring requires 63 grams. The difference here is minimal, but the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring is slightly heavier.

Considering weight, some individuals prefer a lighter switch for extended typing or gaming sessions, as it allows for more comfortable use over time. This lighter weight also makes it ideal for portable keyboards that are frequently carried to work or elsewhere. On the other hand, those seeking a more substantial typing experience might prefer a switch with a heavier actuation force. This provides a stronger push feel and adds to the overall tactile feedback while typing. For such users, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring may be a better choice, as it has a slightly heavier actuation force compared to the Panda.

In conclusion, while the actuation and bottom out forces differ slightly between the Aflion Panda and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring, both switches fall within the medium range. The Panda is lighter in terms of actuation force and bottom out force, while the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring is slightly heavier. Therefore, individuals who prefer a lighter typing experience may opt for the Panda, while those seeking a more substantial and tactile feel might lean towards the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring.

Travel distance

The Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either switch, you will feel the same distance traveled from the top to the bottom. As a result, you can expect similar tactile feedback and overall typing experience with both switches in terms of key travel distance. Neither switch is shorter or longer than the other in this aspect, as they both provide the same travel distance. So, whether you choose the Aflion Panda or the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring, you can be assured of consistent and comparable results in terms of switch travel distance.

Sound tests

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 Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring has an MSRP of $4.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring for $3.57.

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.

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Typing experience

In terms of sound, the Aflion Panda switch offers a unique and distinct auditory experience. It is described as resonant, producing a higher-pitched sound profile that is clean and sharp. Typing on the Panda switch provides an immersive typing experience with a deep and thocky sound. On the other hand, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch is known for a clacky sound, which is sharp, snappy, and crisp. It also has a high-pitched sound profile. It is important to note that the sound of the switches can be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the Aflion Panda switch is described as accented, offering a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. It provides a pronounced feedback and a moderate to firm actuation force, creating an invigorating and reactive typing sensation. On the other hand, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch has a sharp tactile bump, offering a high feedback intensity that can be distinctly felt with each keypress. It is also described as accented, providing a prominent amount of tactility. Additionally, the Shadow switch is snappy and bouncy, with a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation, as well as a stepped feel that allows for some pre-travel and/or post-travel.

Taking all of the available information into account, the Aflion Panda switch is best suited for those who value a hyper-tactile sensation and a full-bodied, sonorous audio feedback with its deep thocky sound. It offers an invigorating typing experience with a medium level of tactility. On the other hand, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch is a great choice for those seeking a tactile switch with a medium-high level of tactility. It provides a sharp and snappy sound profile, along with a high feedback intensity and a bouncy, spring-like feel. Both switches offer unique qualities, and while they may have different sound and feel characteristics, they both deliver satisfying tactile feedback.

Try switches before you buy them

We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.

You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.

Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.

We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.

The try at-home program costs only $15, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you value hyper-tactility and a full-bodied, sonorous audio feedback, then the Aflion Panda tactile switch would be a great choice for you. With a medium bottom out force of 60 grams, it provides a responsive tactile force paired with a deep thocky sound profile. On the other hand, if you are seeking a medium-high level of tactility and enjoy a switch with a two-staged spring, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch would be perfect. With a slightly higher bottom out force of 63 grams, it offers deep, resonating thocks when typing.

In terms of sound, the Panda switch provides a resonant experience with a higher-pitched and clean sound profile. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch produces a clacky and high-pitched sound when pressed, which can be described as sharp, crisp, and bright.

In terms of feel, the Panda switch offers an invigorating typing sensation with pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a reactive feel. It is an accented switch that provides a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch is known for its sharp and strong tactile bump, providing a high feedback intensity. It is also an accented switch and has a snappy and bouncy feel, giving a spring-like feedback sensation.

Ultimately, the choice between the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch depends on your preference for hyper-tactility and a sonorous audio feedback, or a medium-high level of tactility with a two-staged spring. Consider the sound profile and feel that each switch offers to make an informed decision based on your typing preferences.

Mentioned in this article

Panda

Panda

BrandAflion
CategoryTactile

$5.20

$3.56 per 10 switches

Try the Panda switches
Shadow (Ink) Double Spring

Shadow (Ink) Double Spring

BrandAflion
CategoryTactile

$4.50

$3.57 per 10 switches

Try the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switches