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Gateron Ink Yellowvs. SP-Star Meteor Orange

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow 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 Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor Orange. The Ink Yellow is a linear switch that offers a shorter travel, making it ideal for those who desire a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. With its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, the Ink Yellow provides a satisfying typing feel. On the other hand, the Meteor Orange is a tactile switch that boasts exquisitely gentle tactility. With its soft and seductive feel, this switch creates a delightful typing experience. While both switches share the categories of 'Neutral' and 'Polished', the Ink Yellow is described as 'Clacky' and 'Mild', while the Meteor Orange is characterized as 'Mild' and 'Thocky'. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits your preferences and typing style.

By the numbers

Ink Yellow
Meteor Orange
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear
BrandSP-Star
CategoryTactile

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

$5.50

$5.00 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

57g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

Gold-plated

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor Orange switches have distinct differences in terms of sound profile and tactile experience. The Ink Yellow features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound. This sound is described as clacky, offering a satisfying thin and higher-pitched noise. In contrast, the Meteor Orange utilizes a nylon top housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound overall.

When it comes to the bottom housing, both switches differ in their material composition. The Ink Yellow utilizes the same proprietary INK blend, delivering a similar pointed and high-pitched sound profile as its top housing. On the other hand, the Meteor Orange utilizes a nylon bottom housing. While the bottom housing contributes to the overall sound profile, it may have a slightly different impact compared to the top housing. The nylon bottom housing adds to the deeper and fuller sound profile, providing a tactile experience that complements the overall typing sensation.

Overall, the differences in housing materials between the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor Orange result in contrasting sound profiles and tactile experiences. The Ink Yellow has a clacky and higher-pitched sound, created by the proprietary INK blend in both its top and bottom housings. In contrast, the Meteor Orange with its nylon top and bottom housings offers a deeper and fuller sound with a rounder and duller tone. Though different, both switches provide unique and pleasing sound profiles, with the choice ultimately depending on personal preference.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch, it is evident that they have differing characteristics. The Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, making it medium-heavy in terms of force required. On the other hand, the Meteor Orange's actuation force is unavailable, but it has a bottom out force of 57 grams, which falls into the medium-light category.

Considering weight, the lighter key switches, such as the Meteor Orange, are favored by individuals who type for extended periods or engage in long gaming sessions. The reduced force required allows for more comfortable typing without experiencing as much fatigue. In contrast, the Ink Yellow with its slightly heavier actuation and bottom out force, provides users with a stronger push feel, resulting in a more substantial and satisfying typing experience.

While the specific actuation force of the Meteor Orange is not known, it can be inferred that it is lighter than the Ink Yellow due to its lower bottom out force. However, without clear information on actuation force, it is impossible to precisely determine the difference between the two switches in this regard. Therefore, it is essential to consider the bottom out force as a factor in determining the overall force required for each switch.

In summary, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is heavier due to its higher actuation and bottom out force, providing a more substantial push feel. On the other hand, the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch is lighter, allowing for comfortable typing over extended periods. Without knowing the exact actuation force of the Meteor Orange, it is not possible to make a direct comparison. However, considering their respective bottom out forces, the Meteor Orange can be assumed to require less force overall.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distances of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch, there is a noticeable difference. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Meteor Orange has a slightly longer travel distance of 4 mm. The difference may seem small, but it can have an impact on the overall feel and responsiveness of the switch. The Ink Yellow falls within the range of shorter travel distances, which is preferred by gamers looking for faster response times. On the other hand, the Meteor Orange provides a slightly deeper and more satisfying key press due to its longer travel distance. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference. If you prioritize a quicker response time, the Ink Yellow with its shorter travel distance may be the better option. However, if you prefer a more substantial and tactile feel when typing, the Meteor Orange's longer travel distance could be the preferred choice. Regardless, both switches offer reliable performance, so you can expect similar results in terms of overall key travel experience.

Sound tests

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 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.

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Typing experience

In terms of sound, the Gateron Ink Yellow is a neutral switch with a clacky profile. This means that when pressed, it produces a crisp, bright, and percussive sound. On the other hand, the SP-Star Meteor Orange is also a neutral switch but has a thocky profile. This means that it produces a deep, rich, and satisfying sound, similar to a soft "thud" or "knock". Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, making them suitable for most intents and purposes. However, it's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor Orange offer a mild typing experience, which is more gentle compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. This makes them approachable for most users, as their qualities fall in a safe, middle-ground zone. Additionally, both switches are polished, meaning they have a smooth and refined finish that results in a sleek typing experience. This can be attributed to the materials used or factory lubing, which reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel.

Overall, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor Orange switches offer similar qualities in terms of sound and feel. They both have a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement, making them versatile for different use cases. Additionally, they provide a mild and polished typing experience, ensuring smooth key travel and reduced friction. However, it's important to consider personal preferences and factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used, as these can also impact the overall experience.

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.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are looking for a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, with a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, then the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be a great choice for you. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a medium-heavy feel. It also produces a neutral and clacky sound, which is crisp, bright, and percussive. Additionally, the Ink Yellow has a mild and polished feel, providing a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a switch that offers a soft and seductive tactility with a bottom out force of 57 grams (medium-light), then the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch would be a fantastic option. These switches are known for their exquisite gentleness and neutral sound profile. The Meteor Orange switches produce a deep, rich, and satisfying thocky sound when pressed, reminiscent of a deep "thud" or soft "knock". Similarly to the Ink Yellow, the Meteor Orange also offers a mild and polished feel, ensuring a gentle typing experience with smooth key travel.

Ultimately, the decision between the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the SP-Star Meteor Orange tactile switch comes down to your personal preference for typing experience. If you desire a shorter travel, clacky sound, and medium-heavy feel, the Ink Yellow is the way to go. However, if you prefer a soft and seductive tactility, thocky sound, and medium-light feel, the Meteor Orange would be the better choice for you. Regardless, both switches offer a pleasant typing experience suitable for various purposes.

Mentioned in this article

Ink Yellow

Ink Yellow

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Try the Ink Yellow switches
Meteor Orange

Meteor Orange

BrandSP-Star
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$5.00 per 10 switches

Try the Meteor Orange switches