Everglide Aqua King (V3) vs. Gateron Ink Yellow

An in-depth look at the Everglide Aqua King (V3) and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options to consider are the Everglide Aqua King, a linear switch, and the Gateron Ink Yellow, also a linear switch. The Aqua King is best known for its frictionless feel, giving the impression of gliding effortlessly, much like skating on a freshly resurfaced ice rink. This switch offers a typing experience that is subdued, creamy, and silky, allowing for a magical feel while typing. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow is characterized by its shorter travel distance, making it an ideal choice for those who desire a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch provides a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, offering a neutral and mild experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so that you can make the best decision in choosing the switch that suits you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

46g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

62g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Everglide Aqua King and the Gateron Ink Yellow differ in their housing materials, with the Aqua King featuring a polycarbonate top and bottom housing, while the Ink Yellow has a proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing. The polycarbonate material used in the Aqua King's housing creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to the stiffness of polycarbonate, resulting in a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for RGB lighting enthusiasts. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend housing offers a relatively high-pitched sound profile that is described as clacky. While it is not overly sharp, it still provides a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound.

If a switch has different top and bottom housings, as is the case with the Aqua King and Ink Yellow, the qualities of each housing material will be divided between the two parts of the switch. When you press down on the switch, you will feel the effects of the bottom housing, which has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. This means that the material used in the bottom housing will contribute to the overall tactile experience when pressing a key. On the other hand, the material used in the top housing will have a greater impact on the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, the choice of housing material can significantly influence the overall sound and feel of a mechanical keyboard switch.

Despite their differences, both the Aqua King and Ink Yellow switches aim to provide a satisfying typing experience. Whether it be the sharp and resonant sound of the Aqua King's polycarbonate housing or the clacky and high-pitched sound of the Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend housing, users can expect a distinctive auditory experience from each switch. Additionally, the use of clear housing in both switches allows for the incorporation of RGB lighting, enhancing the visual appeal for those who enjoy customizable lighting effects. Ultimately, whether you opt for the Aqua King or the Ink Yellow, you can expect an exceptional typing experience with unique sound profiles and the ability to personalize your keyboard's lighting aesthetics.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Everglide Aqua King Linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow Linear switch, there are notable differences. The Aqua King has a lighter actuation force of 46 grams, while the Ink Yellow requires 60 grams of force to trigger a keystroke. This means that the Aqua King has a more sensitive and responsive feel, requiring less effort for typing or gaming. In terms of bottom out force, the Aqua King requires 62 grams of force, whereas the Ink Yellow needs 67 grams. This indicates that the Aqua King provides a slightly softer landing when pressing all the way down compared to the Ink Yellow, which has a slightly more substantial feel. Both switches fall within the medium to medium-heavy range, but their specific force ratings differentiate them. Ultimately, those who prefer a lighter typing experience may lean towards the Aqua King, while those who enjoy a stronger push feel may opt for the Ink Yellow. It's worth noting that although the forces differ between the two switches, both can deliver similar results in terms of keystroke actuation and bottoming out, depending on the preferences of the user.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Everglide Aqua King linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, it is clear that the Aqua King has a longer distance of 4.0 mm compared to the Ink Yellow's 3.5 mm. Generally, a travel distance of 4.0 mm is considered more traditional, while a distance of 3.5 mm is considered shallower. However, in recent times, shorter travel distances have gained popularity, especially among gamers who prioritize faster response times. If you prefer a more responsive feel when pressing down on a key, the Ink Yellow with its shorter travel distance would be a suitable option. On the other hand, for those who prefer a more substantial and satisfying depth to the key press, the Aqua King with its longer travel distance would be a better choice. Ultimately, the decision between the two will depend on personal preferences and what feels most comfortable to the individual user.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Everglide Aqua King (V3) has an MSRP of $7.18 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Aqua King (V3) for $5.44.

The Gateron Ink Yellow has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Yellow for $7.35.

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

The Everglide Aqua King linear switch is best known for its frictionless feel, providing a typing experience similar to ice skating on a freshly resurfaced rink. Your fingers will effortlessly glide across the keys, creating a magical sensation. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch offers a shorter travel compared to traditional mechanical keyboards, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. The Ink Yellow switch showcases a pleasant smoothness and a slight clackiness.

In terms of sound, the Aqua King switch produces a subdued sound when pressed. It is not completely silent, but it offers a more subtle sound signature compared to most switches. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch has a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. However, it also has a slightly clacky sound, described as crisp, bright, and percussive. The final sound produced by each switch will depend on factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the Aqua King can be described as creamy, frictionless, silky, and polished. This means it offers a smooth, buttery typing experience with minimal resistance or friction. The keys effortlessly melt into each keystroke, providing a sleek and refined typing experience. Similarly, the Ink Yellow switch is also described as polished, offering a smooth and refined finish for a sleek typing experience. It provides reduced friction and smooth key travel. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch is also described as mild, offering a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics.

Overall, the Everglide Aqua King and Gateron Ink Yellow switches have distinct subjective qualities. The Aqua King provides a frictionless and magical typing experience, while the Ink Yellow offers a shorter travel and a typing experience falling between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. Each switch has a unique sound profile, with the Aqua King being more subdued and the Ink Yellow being neutral with a slight clackiness. In terms of feel, both switches offer a polished finish, but the Aqua King provides an exceptionally smooth and effortless typing experience, while the Ink Yellow offers a more mild and approachable feel. Depending on your preferences, either switch can provide a satisfying typing experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you prioritize a typing experience that feels frictionless and resembles gliding on freshly resurfaced ice skating rink, the Everglide Aqua King linear switch is the one for you. Its creamy, frictionless, silky, and polished descriptors indicate that it offers an extremely smooth and effortless typing experience with minimal resistance or friction. Additionally, the Aqua King produces a subdued sound, providing a more subtle and dampened sound signature.

On the other hand, if you prefer a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is the better choice. With its shorter travel distance, it delivers a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. The Ink Yellow switch is described as polished, which means it has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. Furthermore, it offers a neutral sound profile and a moderate actuation force requirement, making it suitable for various purposes and proficiency levels.

Ultimately, your decision will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. Consider whether you prioritize a frictionless, ice-skating-like typing experience or a smoother typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. Also, take into account the sound profile that best suits your needs.

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