Aflion Iceberg vs. Gateron Ink Yellow

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Aflion Iceberg and the Gateron Ink Yellow, both of which fall under the linear switch category. Starting with the Aflion Iceberg, it is important to note that Aflion is a relatively new switch manufacturer, but the Iceberg switches they produce are highly regarded for their quality. This switch offers a satisfying smoothness and a unique feel, thanks to its two-stage spring. It is often described as clacky, high-pitched, snappy, feathery, and subtle. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow is known for its shorter travel distance, making it a great choice for those who desire a typing experience that lies between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch provides a pleasing smoothness and clackiness sensation and is often categorized as neutral, clacky, mild, and polished. While these general observations can help guide your decision, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to ensure you choose the perfect switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

37g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

45g

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

No

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

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

20mm two-stage spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Aflion Iceberg and the Gateron Ink Yellow differ in terms of their composition and resulting sound profiles. The Iceberg features a polycarbonate top housing, which is stiffer and creates a sharper, higher-pitched sound. This material is especially suitable for switches with RGB lighting due to its translucency. In contrast, the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend for its top housing, which yields a pointed and high-pitched sound without being overly sharp. Both materials offer distinctive sound profiles, but the Iceberg's polycarbonate provides a crisper and more resonant result compared to the Ink Yellow's INK blend.

Moving on to the bottom housing, the Iceberg employs a nylon material that produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. Because nylon is a softer plastic, it absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder tone. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's own INK blend for its bottom housing, which again offers a pointed and high-pitched sound, similar to its top housing. While both bottom housings contribute to the overall sound and feel of the switch, the Iceberg's nylon bottom housing produces a more pronounced deep and full sound compared to the Ink Yellow's INK blend bottom housing.

Overall, the housing materials of the Aflion Iceberg and the Gateron Ink Yellow may yield similar results in terms of a high-pitched and clacky sound profile. However, their specific compositions result in variations in the sharpness and resonance of the sound. The Iceberg's polycarbonate top housing and nylon bottom housing combine to create a crisp and deep sound experience, while the Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend for both top and bottom housings offers a satisfying but slightly softer clacky sound. The choice between these two switches ultimately depends on individual preferences for specific sound characteristics.

Weight

When comparing the Aflion Iceberg linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, one noticeable difference lies in their actuation and bottom out forces. The Iceberg switch features a relatively light actuation force of 37 grams and a bottom out force of 45 grams. In contrast, the Ink Yellow switch requires a heavier actuation force of 60 grams and has a bottom out force of 67 grams, making it medium-heavy in comparison. This discrepancy in force can significantly impact the typing experience for users. If a lighter touch is preferred, the Iceberg switch would be a suitable choice for prolonged typing sessions or extended gaming sessions. However, for individuals who prefer a more substantial and stronger push feel, the Ink Yellow switch would deliver a more satisfying typing experience with its heavier forces. Nevertheless, both switches provide distinct options catering to different preferences, ensuring that users can achieve their desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The Aflion Iceberg linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch both have different travel distances. The Iceberg has a travel distance of 4 mm, which is a more traditional distance, while the Ink Yellow has a shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm. The shorter travel distance of the Ink Yellow is preferred by gamers who prioritize faster response times. On the other hand, for those who prefer a deeper feeling when pressing down on a key, the longer travel distance of the Iceberg switch may be the better choice. It ultimately comes down to personal preference - if you value responsiveness, the Ink Yellow with its shorter travel distance would be suitable, but if you prefer a more substantial feel when typing, the Iceberg switch with its longer travel distance would be the way to go.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Iceberg has an MSRP of $3.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Iceberg for $3.07.

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

The Aflion Iceberg linear switch is best known for its satisfying smoothness and fulfilling feel. It offers a two-stage spring that adds to the overall typing experience. In terms of sound, the Iceberg switch is described as clacky and high-pitched, producing a sharp and crisp sound when pressed. It provides a satisfying and percussive sound profile. When it comes to feel, the Iceberg switch is described as snappy and feathery. It offers a super responsive typing experience with a light actuation force, reducing finger fatigue. The switch also has a gentle resistance and a subtle typing feel, making it suitable for shared spaces.

On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is best known for its shorter travel and offers a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. In terms of sound, the Ink Yellow switch is described as clacky and neutral. It produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed and offers a moderate sound profile. The switch does not lean towards a rich and bassy sound, making it suitable for those who prefer a more neutral sound profile. In terms of feel, the Ink Yellow switch is described as mild and polished. It provides a gentle typing experience, reducing the strain on fingers. The switch has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek and polished typing experience.

In conclusion, the Aflion Iceberg linear switch offers a satisfying smoothness, a clacky and high-pitched sound profile, and a snappy and feathery feel. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch provides a shorter travel, a clacky and neutral sound profile, and a mild and polished feel. Both switches offer their own unique qualities and cater to different preferences. However, if you are looking for a similar typing experience in terms of sound and feel, either switch can provide similar results. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific requirements of the user.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a light and smooth linear switch with a fulfilling feel, the Aflion Iceberg may be the right choice for you. With a bottom out force of 45 grams, it provides a snappy and feathery typing experience, reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. The Iceberg is also known for its clacky and high-pitched sound, which is crisp and bright. On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-heavy switch with a shorter travel distance, the Gateron Ink Yellow is worth considering. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a mild and polished typing experience, suitable for most users. The Ink Yellow also has a clacky sound profile, similar to the Iceberg. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on your personal preference for actuation force, feel, and sound.

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