Aflion Blue Sky vs. Gateron Ink Yellow

An in-depth look at the Aflion Blue Sky and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to selecting a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options to consider are the Aflion Blue Sky and the Gateron Ink Yellow. The Blue Sky is a linear switch that offers a crystal clear typing experience, thanks to its long pole stem. With a sparkling sound profile and exquisitely smooth push feel, this switch is best known for its high-pitched, neutral, mild, and polished characteristics. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow is also a linear switch but with a shorter travel distance. It is recommended for those who desire a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. With its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, the Ink Yellow is categorized as neutral, clacky, mild, and polished. These general descriptions can give you an idea of what each switch has to offer. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities, so you can best decide on the most suitable switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

60g

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

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

15mm spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Aflion Blue Sky and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches offer distinct differences in terms of sound profile and aesthetic appeal. The Blue Sky features a polycarbonate top housing, which results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This stiffer plastic creates a clear and resonant sound, making it ideal for those who prefer a more pronounced typing experience. Additionally, the polycarbonate housing's translucency allows for vibrant RGB lighting, adding to its overall visual appeal. In contrast, the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing, known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. While still producing a satisfying and clacky sound, it offers a slightly milder tone compared to the Blue Sky.

Moving on to the bottom housing, the Blue Sky incorporates a nylon material that brings about a deeper and fuller sound profile. The relatively softer plastic absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder tone. This can be appealing to those seeking a more mellow typing experience. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow also uses Gateron's proprietary INK blend for its bottom housing. While it may share similarities with its top housing's sound profile, the bottom housing's impact on the typing experience is primarily felt when bottoming out. Its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound adds to the overall clacky sensation, creating a unique tactile response.

Although there are differences, it's worth noting that if the top and bottom housings are the same for a switch, the qualities of each housing material will be evenly distributed throughout the switch. In terms of sound, the bottom housing mainly affects the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing has more influence on the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, if both the Aflion Blue Sky and the Gateron Ink Yellow have similar top and bottom housing materials, users can expect to achieve comparable results in terms of sound profile and typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Aflion Blue Sky linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there are noticeable similarities and differences. The Blue Sky has a lighter actuation force of 50 grams compared to the Ink Yellow's 60 grams. This means that the Blue Sky requires a slightly lighter touch to trigger a keystroke. However, when it comes to bottoming out, the Blue Sky requires a force of 60 grams, while the Ink Yellow needs 67 grams. This indicates that the Ink Yellow has a slightly heavier feel when pressing all the way down. Overall, both switches fall within the medium to medium-heavy range, providing a satisfying typing experience. Those who prefer a lighter switch for extended typing or gaming sessions may opt for the Blue Sky, while individuals seeking a more substantial and forceful push feel might lean towards the Ink Yellow. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The Aflion Blue Sky linear switch has a travel distance of 4 mm, while the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch has a travel distance of 3.5 mm. The Blue Sky offers a more traditional travel distance of 4.0mm, while the Ink Yellow provides a slightly shorter distance of 3.5 mm. The shorter travel distance of the Ink Yellow can be advantageous for gamers who prioritize faster response times. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more profound keystroke may find the 4 mm travel distance of the Blue Sky to be more satisfying. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on personal preference and the desired level of responsiveness and depth. Both switches offer a distinct travel distance that caters to different needs, ensuring users can find a suitable option for their typing or gaming experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Blue Sky has an MSRP of $6.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Blue Sky for $4.07.

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

In terms of sound, the Blue Sky linear switch offers a high-pitched sound profile. When pressed, these switches produce a sharp and crisp sound. This can be a preferred choice for individuals who do not prefer rich and bassy sound profiles. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow linear switch has a neutral sound profile. It falls in the middle ground and offers a moderate sound experience suitable for most purposes. However, it is also described as clacky, producing a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. This sound can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps selected.

In terms of feel, both the Blue Sky and Ink Yellow switches offer a mild typing experience. This means that the typing experience is more gentle compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. The sound and feel of these switches are approachable to most users as their qualities fall into a safe middle ground zone. Additionally, both switches are described as polished, meaning they have a smooth and refined finish resulting in a sleek typing experience. This smoothness can be attributed to the materials used in the switches or factory lubing. As a result, both switches offer reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Based on the available information, the Blue Sky linear switch emphasizes a crystal clear linear typing experience with a high-pitched sound profile. It offers an exquisitely smooth push feel. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow linear switch is characterized by a shorter travel distance and can provide a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It showcases a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. While the Blue Sky and Ink Yellow have similar descriptions in terms of sound and feel, they offer different experiences overall. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preferences and desired typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, both the Aflion Blue Sky and Gateron Ink Yellow linear switches have their unique qualities that make them suitable for different preferences and needs.

If you prioritize a crystal clear linear typing experience with a sparkling sound profile and exquisitely smooth push feel, then the Blue Sky switch with its long pole stem would be an excellent choice for you. The Blue Sky switch also offers a high-pitched sound profile, which can be preferred if you enjoy sharp and crisp sounds when typing. Additionally, its mild and polished feel ensures a gentle and refined typing experience.

On the other hand, if you desire a typing experience that lies between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch is the way to go. This switch is characterized by its shorter travel, providing a pleasant smoothness and clackiness when typing. The Ink Yellow switch also offers a neutral sound profile, suitable for most intents and purposes, as well as a mild and polished feel, ensuring a comfortable and smooth typing experience.

Ultimately, your choice between the Aflion Blue Sky and Gateron Ink Yellow switches will depend on your personal preferences for bottom out force, sound profile, and feel. Consider the qualities and characteristics that best align with your typing style and desired experience, and choose accordingly. Whether you opt for the Blue Sky switch's sparkling clarity or the Ink Yellow switch's laptop-like feel, both switches offer reliable performance that will enhance your mechanical keyboard experience.

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