Gateron Ink Black V2 vs. SP-Star Polaris Purple

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the SP-Star Polaris Purple switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

Introducing the Gateron Ink Black V2, a beloved linear switch hailed by the mechanical keyboard community for its smooth downstroke and satisfying clack. With a sound profile described as low-pitched, bassy, chirpy, mild, and polished, this switch offers a classic and refined typing experience. On the other hand, we have the SP-Star Polaris Purple, a tactile switch that provides an exhilarating typing experience with its big tactile bump. Known for its snappy sound profile, this switch falls under the categories of neutral, mild, and polished. Both switches have their unique qualities and choosing between them depends on your personal preferences and typing style. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make an informed decision on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

70g

Bottom-out force

67g

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

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Color coated

Spring

Gold plated

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Black V2 and the SP-Star Polaris Purple both have contrasting housing materials. The Ink Black V2 features a proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing, while the Polaris Purple has polycarbonate top and bottom housing.

In terms of sound profile, the Ink Black V2's INK blend housing is described as having a pointed, high-pitched sound that is clacky. On the other hand, the Polaris Purple's polycarbonate housing creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. This is because polycarbonate is a relatively stiffer plastic, resulting in a clearer and more resonant sound profile.

Aesthetically, the Polaris Purple's clear polycarbonate housing is particularly useful for those who plan to use RGB lighting. The translucency of polycarbonate allows the RGB lighting to shine through, enhancing the overall visual experience. The Ink Black V2, on the other hand, does not offer this transparent quality in its proprietary INK blend housing.

While the top and bottom housing materials differ between the two switches, it is important to note their impact on both sound and feel. The bottom housing material plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel when a key is pressed, while the top housing material influences the sound when a key is released. Therefore, the choice of housing material can impact the overall typing experience and sound profile of the switch.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch, there are notable similarities and differences. The actuation force of the Ink Black V2 is 60 grams, while the Polaris Purple's actuation force is unknown. However, both switches have a medium-heavy bottom out force, with the Ink Black V2 measuring at 70 grams and the Polaris Purple at 67 grams.

Considering weight, some users prefer a lighter switch for longer typing sessions or extended gaming periods. In this aspect, the Ink Black V2 would be a suitable choice due to its lower actuation and bottom out force, providing a lighter feel. On the other hand, a heavier actuation and bottom out force can offer a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger push. For such individuals, the Polaris Purple, even with an unknown actuation force, would still be a heavier option for a satisfying typing experience.

Overall, while the Ink Black V2 is considered lighter with its 60 grams actuation force, the Polaris Purple can provide a similar experience due to its slightly heavier bottom out force of 67 grams. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on personal preference and the desired typing or gaming experience.

Travel distance

Both the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will experience a consistent 4 mm of travel distance. Therefore, in terms of travel distance, both switches will provide similar results.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Black V2 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 Black V2 for $7.24.

The SP-Star Polaris Purple has an MSRP of $5.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Polaris Purple for $5.00.

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

When it comes to sound, the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch is known for its low-pitched and bassy characteristics. These switches offer a deeper and richer sound profile during key presses, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. Additionally, the Ink Black V2 has a unique acoustic signature that sets it apart from other switches, characterized by a little squeak. On the other hand, the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch is described as having a neutral sound profile. This means that it has a moderate sound with no extreme peaks or valleys in its frequency range. However, it's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. Overall, if you prefer a low-pitched and bassy sound experience, the Gateron Ink Black V2 would be a great choice. If you prefer a more neutral sound profile, the SP-Star Polaris Purple can offer a satisfying typing experience.

In terms of feel, both the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the SP-Star Polaris Purple are described as offering a mild typing experience. This means that they provide a more gentle and approachable typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Their qualities stand in a safe, middle-ground zone, making them suitable for both beginners and advanced users. Additionally, both switches are described as polished, which indicates that they have a smooth and refined finish. This results in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The polished nature of these switches can be attributed to the materials used and/or factory lubing. Overall, if you prefer a mild and polished typing experience, either the Gateron Ink Black V2 or the SP-Star Polaris Purple would be a great choice.

Taking all the available information into account, the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the SP-Star Polaris Purple switches have different subjective qualities. The Ink Black V2 is known for its low-pitched and bassy sound profile, offering a smooth downstroke and rich clack. It also has a mild and polished feel, providing a gentle typing experience with reduced friction. On the other hand, the Polaris Purple switch features a big tactile bump, resulting in an exhilarating tactile typing experience. Its sound profile is described as snappy and neutral, making it suitable for most intents and purposes. Similar to the Ink Black V2, the Polaris Purple also offers a mild and polished feel. Depending on your preference for sound and feel, you can choose between the two switches. However, it's important to consider other factors such as your choice of keyboard board and keycaps, as they can also influence the overall typing experience.

Conclusion

In closing, when deciding between the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch, there are a few factors to consider.

If you prefer a linear switch with a smooth downstroke and a rich clack sound profile, the Ink Black V2 would be a great choice. It has a slightly higher bottom out force of 70 grams, offering a medium-heavy typing experience. The sound is described as low-pitched, bassy, and even a little chirpy, which can add some character to your keystrokes.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a tactile typing experience with a big tactile bump, the Polaris Purple is worth considering. It has a slightly lower bottom out force of 67 grams, still providing a medium-heavy feel. The sound profile of this switch is neutral, making it suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, and whether you plan to use it at home or work.

In terms of feel, both switches offer a mild and approachable experience. They are described as polished, meaning they have a smooth and refined finish that reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel.

Ultimately, the decision between the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the SP-Star Polaris Purple comes down to your personal preferences. If you prioritize a linear switch with a smooth downstroke and a rich clack sound, the Ink Black V2 would be an excellent choice. However, if you prefer a tactile switch with a big tactile bump and a neutral sound profile, the Polaris Purple would be a great fit. Consider your typing style, sound preferences, and the overall feel you desire in a switch before making your final decision.

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