Gateron Ink Box Pink vs. Cherry MX Brown

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the Cherry MX Brown switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options you may come across are the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the Cherry MX Brown. The Ink Box Pink switch is a linear switch, known for its smoothness and lighter typing feel compared to other mechanical switches. It offers a higher-pitched clack, giving it a distinct sound. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Brown is a tactile switch that exudes subtlety. It provides a gentle tactility while offering a relatively light typing experience. The audio feedback is subdued and has a low-pitched tone. Both switches have their own unique qualities that appeal to different preferences. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

55g

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

No

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 housing materials of the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the Cherry MX Brown switches have distinct differences, resulting in varying sound profiles. The Ink Box Pink features a proprietary INK blend top housing, known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound. This creates a satisfying clacky sound, which is not overly sharp. In contrast, the MX Brown switch utilizes a nylon top housing, producing a deeper and fuller sound. The softer nylon material absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder tone. While both switches offer a satisfying typing experience, the Ink Box Pink leans towards a higher-pitched and clacky sound, whereas the MX Brown provides a deeper and fuller sound.

Moreover, the bottom housing materials of the Ink Box Pink and the MX Brown switches further contribute to their sound profiles. The Ink Box Pink uses the same proprietary INK blend for its bottom housing as well. This maintains the switch's characteristic high-pitched and clacky sound. On the other hand, the MX Brown switch incorporates a nylon bottom housing, which contributes to a deeper and fuller sound. The nylon's ability to absorb more sound results in a rounder and less sharp tone. Therefore, these differences in bottom housing materials create distinctions in the overall sound produced by the switches.

Additionally, the impact of the top and bottom housing materials on the overall switch sound and feel is noteworthy. For switches with different top and bottom housings, such as the Ink Box Pink and the MX Brown, the qualities of each material are distributed between the top and the bottom of the switch. The bottom housing plays a significant role in determining the sound and feel when a key is bottomed-out, while the top housing influences the sound when a key is released. Although the Ink Box Pink and MX Brown switches have different housing materials, their overall function remains quite similar, providing users with a satisfying and typist-friendly experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch and the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch, there are some notable similarities and differences. In terms of actuation force, the Gateron Ink Box Pink requires 50 grams of force to trigger a keystroke, while the Cherry MX Brown only requires 45 grams. This makes the MX Brown slightly lighter in terms of actuation force. However, when it comes to bottom out force, the Ink Box Pink requires 60 grams, whereas the MX Brown requires 55 grams. Thus, in terms of bottoming out, the Ink Box Pink is slightly heavier.

For those who prefer a lighter feel, the Cherry MX Brown may be more suitable as it requires less force to trigger a keystroke. This can be advantageous for those who type for extended periods of time or engage in long gaming sessions. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Box Pink provides a more substantial typing experience with its slightly heavier actuation and bottom out forces. This can be desirable for individuals who prefer a stronger push feel while typing.

In conclusion, while the actuation and bottom out forces of the Gateron Ink Box Pink and the Cherry MX Brown switches differ slightly, both switches fall within the medium weight range. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch and the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch have different travel distances. The Gateron Ink Box Pink has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Cherry MX Brown has a slightly longer travel distance of 4 mm. The 4 mm travel distance of the MX Brown is more traditional, while the 3.6 mm travel distance of the Ink Box Pink is slightly shorter. Gamers often prefer shorter travel distances as it allows for faster response times. So, if you prioritize responsiveness, the Ink Box Pink would be the better option. However, some individuals may find shorter travel distances to be too abrupt and prefer a more substantial depth in their keystrokes. In that case, the MX Brown with its slightly longer travel distance would be the more suitable choice. Overall, the Ink Box Pink offers a shorter travel distance for quicker responses, while the MX Brown provides a longer travel distance for those who prefer a more substantial keystroke feel.

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 Cherry MX Brown 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.

Typing experience

The Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch is best known for its smooth and lighter typing feel compared to other mechanical switches. When using these switches, you will notice a higher-pitched clack sound. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch offers a more subtle typing experience with gentle tactility and subdued audio feedback.

In terms of sound, the Ink Box Pink switches can be described as clacky and high-pitched. They produce a sharp and snappy sound that is crisp, bright, and percussive. If you prefer a switch with a richer and bassy sound profile, the Ink Box Pink may not be the ideal choice. On the other hand, the MX Brown switches produce a bassy and low-pitched sound during key presses. These switches have a deeper and richer sound profile, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones.

When it comes to feel, the Ink Box Pink switches provide a silky and polished typing experience. They offer an exceptionally smooth typing feel with minimal resistance when pressing and releasing keys. This smoothness is achieved through the use of refined materials and/or factory lubing. In contrast, the MX Brown switches can be described as textured or scratchy. Some users prefer the subtle texture of these switches, while others prefer a smoother, friction-free typing experience.

Taking into account all the available information, the Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch and the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch have distinct qualities. The Ink Box Pink offers a lighter typing feel, higher-pitched clack sound, silky and polished feel, while the MX Brown provides a more subtle typing experience, bassy and low-pitched sound, and a textured feel. Depending on your preferences, you can choose the switch that suits your desired typing experience and sound profile. If you prefer a similar smooth and polished feel, but want a different sound profile, you can explore other options within the Gateron Ink Box or Cherry MX switch families.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prefer a lighter typing feel with smooth and sleek key travel, 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 level of resistance. They offer a high-pitched clack sound when pressed, which can be crisp and bright. Additionally, the Ink Box Pink switches are described as silky and polished, resulting in an exceptionally smooth typing experience with minimal resistance.

On the other hand, if you value subtlety and a gentle tactility in your typing experience, the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch might be more suited to your preferences. With a bottom out force of 55 grams, these switches provide a medium-light level of resistance. They offer a bassy sound profile that is characterized by a deeper and richer tone. The MX Brown switches are described as having a relatively light typing feel with gentle tactility, providing a subtle and subdued audio feedback. However, it is worth noting that some users may find these switches to be textured or scratchy, which may not suit those who prefer a smoother typing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Box Pink linear switch and the Cherry MX Brown tactile switch comes down to personal preference. Consider your desired typing feel, sound profile, and level of resistance when making your decision. Both switches have their own unique qualities and can be a fantastic addition to your mechanical keyboard setup.

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