Gateron Ink Box Pink vs. SP-Star Meteor Orange

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the SP-Star Meteor Orange 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 Gateron Ink Box Pink and the SP-Star Meteor Orange. On one hand, the Ink Box Pink is known for its smooth and light typing feel, making it an appealing choice for those who prefer a softer touch. Additionally, users of this linear switch appreciate the higher-pitched clack it produces. On the other hand, the Meteor Orange offers a more tactile experience, with a gentle and seductive tactility that many find satisfying. It also has a neutral sound profile, which can be desirable for those who prefer a quieter typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

57g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Box Pink and the SP-Star Meteor Orange have contrasting housing materials that significantly affect the sound profile of the switches. The Ink Box Pink features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound. This creates a satisfying, clacky sound that users often appreciate. In contrast, the Meteor Orange utilizes a nylon top housing, which produces a deeper and fuller sound. Nylon absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a rounder and duller sound. These differences make the Ink Box Pink more suited for those who prefer a higher-pitched, crisp sound, while the Meteor Orange is ideal for those seeking a deeper, more resonant typing experience.

When it comes to the bottom housing, the Ink Box Pink retains its proprietary INK blend, contributing to its characteristic pointed and high-pitched sound. This quality is again described as clacky, providing a consistent sound profile between the top and bottom of the switch. Conversely, the Meteor Orange adopts a nylon bottom housing that enhances the switch's overall sound profile. The softer nature of nylon allows for increased sound absorption, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, the Ink Box Pink's bottom housing reinforces its clacky sound, while the Meteor Orange's bottom housing contributes to a deeper and fuller sound experience.

Although the top and bottom housings of the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the SP-Star Meteor Orange differ in material, they both exhibit unique sound characteristics. The bottom housing plays a more significant role in determining the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, while the top housing is responsible for the sound when the key is released. Both switches deliver satisfying typing experiences, albeit with distinct sound profiles. If you prefer a higher-pitched, clacky sound, either switch will provide similar results. However, if you are drawn to a deeper and fuller sound, the Meteor Orange's nylon top and bottom housings create the ideal auditory experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch and the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch, several differences can be observed. The Ink Box Pink has an actuation force of 50 grams, whereas the actuation force of the Meteor Orange switch is unavailable. This means that the force required to trigger a keystroke on the Ink Box Pink is known, whereas it remains uncertain for the Meteor Orange. In terms of bottom out force, the Ink Box Pink requires 60 grams of force, while the Meteor Orange tactile switch only requires 57 grams. This indicates that the Ink Box Pink has a heavier bottom out force compared to the Meteor Orange, which is considered medium-light.

The weight of a switch is an important consideration for keyboard users. Those who prefer a lighter switch may appreciate the Ink Box Pink, as it allows for typing over longer periods without causing fatigue. This makes it ideal for individuals who use their keyboards for extensive work or gaming sessions. On the other hand, some users may prefer a more substantial typing experience, and for them, a switch with a heavier bottom out force, such as the Meteor Orange, would be more suitable. This provides a stronger push feel and can enhance the tactile feedback while typing.

It is worth noting that while the actuation force for the Meteor Orange switch is unknown, its medium-light bottom out force suggests that it may provide a similar typing experience to the Ink Box Pink. Both switches fall within the medium range in terms of typing force, although the Ink Box Pink is considered slightly heavier. Ultimately, the choice between these switches would depend on the user's preference for a lighter or heavier typing experience.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. The Meteor Orange has a slightly longer travel distance compared to the Ink Box Pink. Generally, a travel distance of 4.0 mm is considered the most traditional, while 3.0 mm is the most shallow. However, shorter travel distances are becoming more popular, especially among gamers who prioritize faster response times. If you prefer a more responsive feel, the Ink Box Pink with its shorter travel distance would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a deeper, more substantial feel when pressing down on a key, the Meteor Orange with its longer travel distance may be more appealing. Ultimately, it depends on personal preference and the specific needs of the user.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Box Pink 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 Pink for $7.65.

The SP-Star Meteor Orange has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Meteor Orange 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

The Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch and the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch have different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel.

Starting with sound, the Ink Box Pink switch is known for its clacky and higher-pitched sound. It produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, giving a crisp, bright, and percussive feel. On the other hand, the Meteor Orange switch has a neutral sound profile. It is described as thocky, producing a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when pressed, like a soft knock or a deep thud.

Moving on to feel, the Ink Box Pink switch offers a silky and polished typing experience. It is exceptionally smooth, minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys. This switch enhances the overall smoothness of the typing feel. Similarly, the Meteor Orange switch also has a polished feel, offering reduced friction and smooth key travel. However, its feel is described as mild, providing a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. It stands in a safe middle-ground zone, making it approachable to most users.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the SP-Star Meteor Orange switches have distinct subjective qualities. The Ink Box Pink switch has a clacky, higher-pitched sound and a silky, polished feel. On the other hand, the Meteor Orange switch has a neutral sound profile, described as thocky, and a mild, polished feel. Both switches offer a smooth typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference for sound and feel, as well as the specific requirements of the user.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a smooth and lighter typing feel, the Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch would be a great choice for you. These switches offer a silky and polished typing experience, with minimal resistance and enhanced smoothness. They produce a higher-pitched clacky sound when pressed, which can be described as crisp and bright. On the other hand, if you prefer a more gentle and approachable typing experience, the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch is the way to go. These switches have a medium-light bottom out force and offer a soft and seductive tactility. They have a neutral sound profile, meaning they produce a moderate sound when pressed, suitable for a variety of purposes. Like the Ink Box Pink, the Meteor Orange switch also features a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on your preference for typing feel and sound profile.

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