Gateron Ink Box Pinkvs. Cherry MX Black
When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, there are a plethora of options available, each with its unique characteristics. Two popular linear switches that stand out are the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the Cherry MX Black. The Ink Box Pink is renowned for its beautiful translucent design and offers a smoother typing experience relative to other switches. Known for its higher-pitched clack, this switch falls into the categories of being 'clacky', 'high-pitched', 'silky', and 'polished'. On the other hand, Cherry has perfected their iconic MX Black switches with their new Hyperglide tooling. Providing a classic textured smoothness, these switches offer a familiar deep sound profile when typing. Classified as 'low-pitched', 'textured', and 'stiff', the MX Black delivers a satisfying typing experience. However, let's dive deeper beyond these generalities so you can make an informed decision about the best switch for your needs.
By the numbers
$7.65 per 10 switches
$4.00 per 10 switches
Top housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Top housing material
Bottom housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Bottom housing material
The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the Cherry MX Black switches offer distinct differences in sound profile and overall typing experience. The Ink Box Pink features a proprietary INK blend for both the top and bottom housing, which contributes to a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound. This clacky sound is characterized as satisfying and thin. In contrast, the MX Black utilizes nylon for both the top and bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. The nylon material absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound compared to the Ink Box Pink.
While the top and bottom housings of the switches have different materials, it is noteworthy to mention their impact on the typing feel. When pressing down on the switch, the qualities of the bottom housing come into play. The bottom housing material affects the bottom-out sound and feel, meaning that the INK blend of the Ink Box Pink would offer a unique experience compared to the nylon bottom housing of the MX Black. On the other hand, the top housing has a greater impact on the sound when a key is released. Therefore, the INK blend of the Ink Box Pink and the nylon top housing of the MX Black would contribute to different sound profiles when keys are let go.
In summary, the Gateron Ink Box Pink and Cherry MX Black switches demonstrate distinct characteristics due to their different housing materials. The INK blend of the Ink Box Pink results in a clacky and high-pitched sound, while the nylon material of the MX Black creates a fuller and deeper sound. Although the top and bottom housing materials play a role in the overall sound profile, the bottom housing contributes more to the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing affects the sound when keys are released. These differences emphasize the importance of housing materials in determining the typing experience and sound profile of mechanical switches.
When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch, there are some notable differences. The Ink Box Pink has a lighter actuation force of 50 grams compared to the MX Black's 60 grams. This means that less force is needed to trigger a keystroke on the Ink Box Pink, making it more suitable for those who prefer a lighter and smoother typing experience. On the other hand, the bottom out force of the Ink Box Pink is 60 grams, while the MX Black has a heavier bottom out force of 80 grams. This indicates that when fully pressing the switches, the MX Black requires more force, providing a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger push feel. Overall, the Ink Box Pink offers a slightly lighter actuation force and bottom out force compared to the MX Black, providing a smoother and lighter typing experience. However, both switches offer a similar range, so users who prefer a lighter or heavier typing experience can achieve their desired results with either option.
When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch, it is evident that the Ink Box Pink has a shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the MX Black has a longer travel distance of 4 mm. The Ink Box Pink falls on the shorter side of the spectrum, which is favored by gamers who seek faster response times. On the other hand, the MX Black offers a slightly more generous depth, which can be preferred by those who enjoy a more substantial feel when pressing down on a key. Both options fall within the range of traditional travel distances, with the Ink Box Pink being slightly shallower than the norm and the MX Black adhering closely to the traditional 4.0 mm distance. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on the individual's preference for either a more responsive or a deeper keystroke experience.
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 Cherry MX Black comes in at $4.00 per 10 switches.
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.
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When it comes to sound, the Gateron Ink Box Pink switches have a clacky and high-pitched profile. These switches produce a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, giving a crisp and bright auditory experience. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Black switches are low-pitched, offering a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. This results in a deep sound profile that is familiar to many typists. However, it's important to note that the sound of the switches can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard's construction and the type of keycaps used.
Moving on to feel, the Gateron Ink Box Pink switches are described as silky and polished. They offer an exceptionally smooth typing experience, minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys. The overall smoothness of these switches enhances the feel while typing. On the contrary, the Cherry MX Black switches are textured and stiff. Some users prefer a subtle textured feel, while others prefer a smoother and friction-free typing experience. Additionally, MX Black switches require a higher amount of force to actuate and bottom-out, resulting in a stiffer typing experience.
Taking all the available information into consideration, the Gateron Ink Box Pink and Cherry MX Black switches have distinct subjective qualities. The Ink Box Pink switches are known for their clacky and high-pitched sound, as well as their silky and polished feel. On the other hand, the MX Black switches have a low-pitched sound profile and offer a textured and stiff typing experience. If you prefer a sharp and crisp sound with a light typing feel, the Ink Box Pink switches would be a good choice. However, if you prefer a deeper sound and don't mind a slightly textured and stiffer feel, the MX Black switches would be a suitable option. Ultimately, individual preference plays an important role in selecting the right switch for your mechanical keyboard setup.
Try switches before you buy them
We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.
You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.
Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.
We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.
The try at-home program costs only $15, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.
To sum up, if you prioritize a lighter typing feel and a higher-pitched clack sound, the Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch would be a great choice for you. These switches have a bottom out force of 60 grams, providing a medium amount of resistance. They are best known for their smoothness and offer a silky and polished typing experience, minimizing resistance and enhancing overall smoothness. The Ink Box Pink switches also have a clacky sound profile, which can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, if you prefer a heavier bottom out force and a low-pitched sound profile, the Cherry MX Black linear switch would be more suitable. With a bottom out force of 80 grams, these switches require more force to actuate and offer a stiff typing experience. They are best known for their classic textured smoothness and a familiar deep sound profile. Ultimately, your choice between the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the Cherry MX Black would depend on your preference for typing feel, sound, and the level of resistance you desire in your mechanical keyboard switch.