Durock Blue Lotus vs. Gateron Ink Box Black

An in-depth look at the Durock Blue Lotus and the Gateron Ink Box Black switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options are the Durock Blue Lotus and the Gateron Ink Box Black. These switches have distinct characteristics that make them suitable for different types of users. The Blue Lotus switches from Durock are praised for their tactile intensity and swift responsiveness. With a slightly reduced travel distance of 3.7mm, these switches provide a marked tactile feel, making them perfect for those who enjoy a more pronounced tactile feedback. Additionally, the Blue Lotus switches feature a detachable light column for vibrant RGB illumination, adding a captivating visual appeal to your keyboard setup. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Box Black switches are known for their incredible smoothness and creamy feeling. These switches offer a unique sound signature reminiscent of a spray paint can being shaken. The Ink Box Black switches are categorized as clacky, high-pitched, silky, and polished, providing a distinct typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits your preferences and typing style.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

65g

Bottom-out force

70g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Total travel

3.70 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Modified PC & UPE Blend

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated long spring

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The Durock Blue Lotus and the Gateron Ink Box Black have different housing materials, resulting in varying sound profiles and tactile experiences. The Blue Lotus utilizes a modified PC and UPE Blend top housing, which provides a unique and premium feel. On the other hand, the Ink Box Black features Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing, known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. Both switches offer a satisfying and clacky sound, although the Ink Box Black's sound may be slightly sharper.

For the bottom housing, the Blue Lotus employs a nylon material. This classic switch housing material creates a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the Ink Box Black incorporates Gateron's proprietary INK blend bottom housing, which imparts a pointed and high-pitched sound. Despite their different materials, both bottom housings contribute to the overall sound of the switch, with the nylon providing a deeper tone and the INK blend offering a thinner and higher-pitched sound.

When it comes to typing experience, the bottom housing has a more prominent impact on the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing influences the sound when releasing a key. For the Blue Lotus, the nylon bottom housing will contribute to a softer bottom-out sound, creating a more cushioned typing experience. In comparison, the INK blend bottom housing of the Ink Box Black will provide a crisper bottom-out sound, adding a slightly firmer feel to each keystroke. Despite their differences, both switches offer a satisfying typing experience with their respective housing materials.

In conclusion, the Durock Blue Lotus and Gateron Ink Box Black utilize different housing materials that result in distinct sound profiles and tactile experiences. The Blue Lotus boasts a modified PC and UPE Blend top housing, creating a unique and premium feel, while the Ink Box Black features Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing known for its satisfying clacky sound. Both switches have different bottom housings, with the Blue Lotus using nylon for a deeper and fuller sound, and the Ink Box Black employing the INK blend for a sharper and higher-pitched sound. Despite these differences, both switches offer enjoyable typing experiences with their respective housing materials.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Durock Blue Lotus tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch, there are some similarities as well as differences. Both switches have medium-heavy forces, making them suitable for users who prefer a more substantial typing experience. The Blue Lotus has an actuation force of 55 grams, slightly lighter than the Ink Box Black's 60 grams. This means that the Blue Lotus requires a slightly lighter touch to trigger a keystroke. However, when it comes to bottoming out, the Ink Box Black is also slightly heavier, with a bottom out force of 70 grams compared to the Blue Lotus's 65 grams.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Blue Lotus would be the better choice as it requires less force both for actuation and bottoming out. This can be advantageous for individuals who need to type for longer periods of time, such as in work or gaming sessions. On the other hand, the Ink Box Black would be more suitable for users who prefer a stronger push feel, as it requires slightly more force for both actuation and bottoming out.

In summary, while the actuation and bottom out forces of the Blue Lotus and Ink Box Black switches are not exactly the same, they are both in the medium-heavy range. The Blue Lotus is slightly lighter in terms of actuation force and bottom out force, while the Ink Box Black is slightly heavier. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on the user's preference for a lighter or heavier typing experience.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Durock Blue Lotus tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch, we find that the Blue Lotus has a slightly longer travel distance of 3.7 mm, while the Ink Box Black has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm. Both switches fall within the range of shorter travel distances that have gained popularity in recent times. Gamers, in particular, tend to favor shorter travel distances for quicker response times. Therefore, if you prioritize responsiveness, the Ink Box Black would be the better choice. However, for those who prefer a more substantial feel, the slightly longer travel distance of the Blue Lotus may provide a more satisfying tactile experience. Overall, it is important to consider your personal preference for travel distance when selecting between these two switches.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock Blue Lotus has an MSRP of $5.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Blue Lotus for $4.57.

The Gateron Ink Box Black has an MSRP of $8.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Box Black for $7.65.

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 Durock Blue Lotus switches offer a bassy sound profile during key presses, characterized by a lower frequency range that resembles the depth and richness associated with bass tones. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Box Black switches produce a clacky and high-pitched sound when pressed. The clacky sound is sharp, snappy, crisp, bright, and percussive, while the high-pitched sound is sharp and crisp. Please note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. However, if you are seeking a deeper and richer sound profile, the Blue Lotus may be a better choice, whereas if you prefer a sharper and crisper sound, the Ink Box Black may be more suitable.

In terms of feel, the Durock Blue Lotus switches are described as accented, snappy, and stepped. The accented tactile feel provides a prominent amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. The snappy responsiveness of these switches is due to longer or dual-staged springs, making the typing experience feel more alive. Furthermore, the stepped feel of the Blue Lotus switches means that there is a mild pre-travel and/or post-travel, giving a two-stage tactile experience. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Box Black switches are described as silky and polished. The silky typing experience offers exceptionally smooth key presses and minimizes resistance when pressing and releasing keys. The polished finish of these switches, either through materials or factory lubing, results in reduced friction and a sleek typing experience. If you prefer a switch with a pronounced tactile feel and snappy responsiveness, the Blue Lotus is a solid choice. Alternatively, if you prioritize a smoother and more refined typing experience, the Ink Box Black may be more appealing.

Taking all the available information into account, the Durock Blue Lotus switches excel in tactile intensity and swift responsiveness, making them perfect for those who desire a marked tactile feel. Their snappiness, combined with the detachable light column for vibrant RGB illumination, ensures a performance-driven switch with captivating visual appeal. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Box Black switches offer an incredibly smooth and creamy typing experience, akin to the sound of a spray paint can being shaken. While the Ink Box Black switches lack the intense tactility of the Blue Lotus, they compensate with their silky feel and polished finish. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on your personal preferences for sound and feel. If you prefer a deeper and richer sound profile with a marked tactile feel, the Blue Lotus is the way to go. If a smoother and more refined typing experience is your priority, the Ink Box Black will provide similar results.

Conclusion

In closing, if you value a marked tactile feel and vibrant RGB illumination, the Durock Blue Lotus tactile switch is the way to go. With a medium-heavy bottom out force of 65 grams, these switches deliver a striking blend of tactile intensity and swift responsiveness. They have a slightly reduced travel at 3.7mm, giving them that snappy and accented feel. The Blue Lotus switches are perfect for those who enjoy a prominent amount of tactility without it being overwhelming.

On the other hand, if you prioritize an incredibly smooth typing experience and a clacky, high-pitched sound, the Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch is the better choice. With a similar medium-heavy bottom out force of 70 grams, these switches offer a creamy and silky typing experience. The factory lubing and polished finish of the Ink Box Blacks result in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Their clacky sound signature adds a crisp, bright, and percussive element to your keystrokes.

Ultimately, the decision between these two switches depends on your preferences for tactility, sound, and feel. Consider whether you prefer a prominent tactile feel with vibrant RGB illumination or a smooth and polished typing experience with a clacky sound. Both the Durock Blue Lotus and Gateron Ink Box Black switches offer unique characteristics that cater to different typing preferences.

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