Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Outemu Lime

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Outemu Lime switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options that often come up in conversations are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Outemu Lime. The Ink Yellow is a linear switch that offers a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. It is known for its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, making it a great choice for those who prefer a more neutral and polished feel while typing. On the other hand, the Lime switch is a tactile switch that stands out due to its lightweight design, approachable tactility, and silence. This switch is a favorite among tactile enthusiasts who desire a feathery light typing experience with a hint of tactile feedback. While these general descriptions provide some insight into the strengths of each switch, let's delve deeper into their specific characteristics to help you make the best choice for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

35g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

45g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.30 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Partial box

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

Gold-plated

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Yellow and the Outemu Lime differ in terms of their housing materials. The Ink Yellow features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. It offers a clacky and satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound. On the other hand, the Lime utilizes a nylon top housing, a classic switch housing material. Typing on switches with nylon housing results in a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound.

In terms of bottom housings, the Ink Yellow and the Lime both offer unique characteristics. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend bottom housing complements its top housing, providing a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. This contributes to a clacky sound that is satisfying to many users. On the contrary, the Lime incorporates a nylon bottom housing, known for its ability to elicit a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon allows it to absorb more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound.

It is important to note that the qualities of the top and bottom housings of a switch greatly impact the overall sound and feel when typing. If the top and bottom housings differ, as is the case with the Ink Yellow and the Lime, the qualities brought by each housing material are split between the top and bottom of the switch. Pressing down on the switch allows one to feel the qualities of the bottom housing, as it influences the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing plays a more significant role in the sound produced when releasing a key. Despite these differences, both switches offer unique sound profiles and tactile experiences that can enhance the typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Outemu Lime tactile switch, there are clear differences in their weight. The Ink Yellow is the heavier of the two, with an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, giving it a medium-heavy feel. On the other hand, the Lime is much lighter, with an actuation force of 35 grams and a bottom out force of 45 grams, making it a light switch.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Lime switch would be a suitable choice. The low actuation force of 35 grams allows for quicker keystrokes and is particularly beneficial for extended typing sessions or gaming marathons. However, if a more substantial typing feel is desired, the heavier Ink Yellow switch would be a better fit. The actuation force of 60 grams provides a stronger push, giving a more satisfying and tactile typing experience.

It's worth noting that while the weights of these switches differ, selecting either option will still yield comparable results. Both switches provide a comfortable typing experience with their respective actuation and bottom out forces, allowing users to effortlessly engage each key. Ultimately, the decision between the two will come down to personal preference and the desired typing feel.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Outemu Lime tactile switch, it is evident that the Ink Yellow has a slightly longer travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Lime offers a shorter travel distance of 3.3 mm. Both of these distances fall within the range of modern switch travel distances, which can vary from the traditional 4.0 mm to the more shallow 3.0 mm.

For gamers seeking quicker response times, the shorter travel distance of the Lime switch may be more appealing. This reduced distance allows for faster actuation, allowing gamers to execute commands with minimal delay. On the other hand, some individuals may find shorter travel distances to be too abrupt, opting for a switch with a longer travel distance, such as the Ink Yellow. This additional depth can provide a more satisfying tactile experience for those who prefer a hearty feel when pressing down on a key. Overall, the choice between the Ink Yellow and the Lime switch ultimately depends on personal preference and the desired level of responsiveness.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Yellow 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 Yellow for $7.35.

The Outemu Lime comes in at $3.40 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 Yellow switch is characterized as having a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. However, it also has a clacky sound that is crisp, bright, and percussive when pressed. On the other hand, the Outemu Lime switch also has a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. However, it produces a much quieter sound compared to the Ink Yellow switch. The Lime switch is described as muted, which means it produces a softer and quieter sound that minimizes the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the choice of keyboard and keycaps.

In terms of feel, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and Outemu Lime switches offer a mild typing experience with characteristics that fall in a safe, middle-ground zone. The Ink Yellow switch is described as having a pleasant smoothness and a polished finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The Lime switch, on the other hand, offers a feathery light typing experience with little exertion required from the fingers. It is exceptionally light to press, reducing finger fatigue and making it comfortable for extended typing sessions. Additionally, the Lime switch has a subtle resistance, providing a gentle typing feel that is suitable for shared spaces. Like the Ink Yellow switch, it also has a polished finish for smooth key travel.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Outemu Lime tactile switch have different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow switch has a clacky sound and offers a smooth and polished typing experience. On the other hand, the Lime switch has a muted sound and provides a feathery light typing experience with subtle resistance. Both switches are suitable for those looking for a moderate actuation force requirement and a neutral sound profile. However, it is important to consider other factors such as the choice of keyboard and keycaps, as they can also affect the overall sound and feel of the switches. Ultimately, if you prefer a smooth and clacky typing experience, the Ink Yellow switch would be a suitable choice. If you prefer a quieter and more feather-light typing experience with a touch of tactility, the Lime switch would be a great option.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force and a shorter travel distance, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be a great choice. This switch offers a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, showcasing a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. In terms of sound, the Ink Yellow switch is described as neutral and clacky, producing a crisp and percussive sound when pressed. Additionally, in terms of feel, the Ink Yellow switch is described as mild and polished, offering a more gentle typing experience and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter switch with a bottom out force of 45 grams and a touch of tactility, the Outemu Lime tactile switch would be a perfect fit. These switches are lightweight, have an approachable tactility, and are silenced, providing a feathery light typing experience. The Lime switch is also described as having a neutral sound profile, but with a muted characteristic, producing a softer and quieter sound compared to regular or clacky switches. In terms of feel, the Lime switch is described as mild, feathery, subtle, and polished, providing a gentle resistance, reduced finger fatigue, and smooth typing experience.

Ultimately, the decision between the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Outemu Lime tactile switch depends on your specific preferences. If you prefer a medium-heavy switch with a shorter travel and clacky sound, the Ink Yellow switch would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter switch with a touch of tactility, a muted sound profile, and a smooth typing experience, the Lime switch would be a great option. Consider your desired typing experience and sound profile when making your decision.

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