Gateron Ink Red vs. Gazzew U4T

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Red and the Gazzew U4T switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options worth comparing and contrasting are the Gateron Ink Red and the Gazzew U4T. The Ink Red is a linear switch that stands out with its lower actuation force, perfect for those with a lighter typing style. With a satisfyingly smooth feel, a crispy and clacky sound profile, and effortless typing experience, the Ink Reds are a great choice for those in search of a neutral, silky, and polished switch. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4Ts offer a harmonious fusion of thockiness and sharp tactility. Known for their bassy "thock" sound profile and assertive tactile feedback, every keystroke on the U4T provides both auditory and tactile satisfaction. Categorized as bassy, thocky, and sharp, these switches offer a unique typing experience. 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

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

65g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

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

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Stainless steel 17.5mm Korean spring

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Red and the Gazzew U4T have distinct differences in their housing materials. The Ink Red features a proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing, which is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. This creates a satisfying clacky sound that is not overly sharp. On the other hand, the U4T utilizes a proprietary Gazzew blend top and bottom housing, often referred to as "boba plastic." This unique plastic blend provides a rich and deep sound profile due to its softness. The U4T's bottom housing, in particular, contributes to the switch's bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing affects the sound when releasing a key.

While the housing materials of the Gateron Ink Red and the Gazzew U4T differ, they both offer unique qualities. The Ink Red's INK blend top housing produces a thinner and higher-pitched sound, creating a clacky typing experience. Similarly, the U4T's Gazzew blend top housing delivers a rich and deep sound profile. Despite their different characteristics, both switches result in satisfying auditory feedback when typing or gaming. Whether you prefer a sharper clack or a deeper sound, both switches offer distinct sonic experiences.

When comparing the bottom housings of the Ink Red and the U4T, they play a crucial role in the overall sound and feel of the switches. The INK blend bottom housing in the Ink Red contributes to its pointed and high-pitched sound profile, making an impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. In contrast, the Gazzew blend bottom housing in the U4T, known as "boba plastic," adds to the switch's softness and delivers a rich and deep sound profile. Therefore, depending on your preference for a sharper or softer sound when pressing down on a key, the choice between the Ink Red and the U4T's bottom housing materials becomes significant.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Red and the Gazzew U4T showcase differences in their housing materials that result in distinct sound profiles. The proprietary INK blend housing of the Ink Red offers a pointed and high-pitched sound, providing a clacky typing experience. Conversely, the proprietary Gazzew blend housing in the U4T, referred to as "boba plastic," delivers a rich and deep sound due to its softness. While the differences in their top and bottom housings contribute to their sound and feel, both switches offer satisfying auditory feedback. Whether you prefer a sharper clack or a softer sound, these switches provide options to suit various typing preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Red linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch, there are a few notable differences. The Ink Red has an actuation force of 45 grams, while the U4T's actuation force is unknown. Both switches have a bottom out force of 60 grams and 62 grams respectively, which falls within the medium range.

The lighter actuation force of the Ink Red may appeal to those who prefer a more effortless typing experience, allowing them to type for longer periods without fatigue. This lighter weight can also be advantageous for gamers who require quick and precise keystrokes during extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more substantial typing feel may lean towards the Gazzew U4T, as its actuation force is unknown. The U4T's slightly heavier bottom out force of 62 grams provides a more tactile experience, giving typists a satisfying push feel with each keystroke.

Ultimately, the decision between these two switches will depend on personal preferences and typing style. While both switches offer a medium bottom out force, the Ink Red is known for its lighter actuation force, whereas the U4T's actuation force remains undisclosed.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Red linear switch and the Gazzew U4T 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 feel the same distance of travel. Both switches offer a consistent and comfortable typing experience in terms of the distance the keys travel. Therefore, regardless of which switch you choose, you can expect similar results when it comes to the travel distance of these switches.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Red 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 Red for $7.35.

The Gazzew U4T comes in at $6.50 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

When it comes to sound, the Gateron Ink Red switch has a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. This makes it suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you plan to use it at home or work. The Ink Red switch also has a unique chirpy characteristic, adding a slight squeak to its sound profile. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T switch offers a bassy sound profile with a lower frequency range, giving it a deeper and richer tone during key presses. It also has a thocky sound, producing a satisfying "thud" or "knock" when the key is pressed and released. Both switches offer distinct and enjoyable sound profiles, but the Ink Red is more neutral and chirpy, while the U4T is bassy and thocky.

In terms of feel, the Gateron Ink Red switch provides a silky smooth typing experience. It is described as a silky switch, offering exceptional smoothness and minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys. It also has a mild characteristic, providing a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users. Additionally, the Ink Red switch is polished, resulting in a sleek and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T switch is known for its sharp tactile feedback. It has a strong and crisp tactile bump that can be felt distinctly with each keypress. While the Ink Red switch focuses on smoothness, the U4T switch emphasizes a tactile typing experience with its sharp feedback.

Overall, the Gateron Ink Red and Gazzew U4T switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Red switch has a neutral sound profile with a slight chirp and provides a silky smooth typing experience with a mild characteristic. On the other hand, the U4T switch offers a bassy sound profile with a thocky sound and provides a sharp tactile feedback. Depending on personal preference and typing style, both switches can deliver satisfying typing experiences, albeit with different characteristics.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you have a lighter typing style and prefer a smoother linear switch, the Gateron Ink Red would be a great choice for you. With its lower actuation force and satisfyingly smooth typing experience, these switches are effortless to type on and produce a crispy and clacky sound. They are suitable for most intents and purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and can be used both at home and at work.

On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a more pronounced tactile feedback and a deeper, bassy sound profile, the Gazzew U4T tactile switch would be a better fit for you. These switches offer a harmonious fusion of thockiness and sharp tactility, providing auditory and tactile satisfaction with every keystroke. The strong and crisp tactile bump is prominent and can be felt distinctly, enhancing the typing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Red linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch comes down to personal preference. If you prioritize a smooth and effortless typing experience with a lower actuation force, go for the Ink Red. If you prefer a more pronounced tactile feedback and a deeper, bassy sound profile, the U4T would be a better fit. Both switches have their unique qualities and can enhance your overall typing experience based on your specific preferences.

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