Gateron Ink Yellow vs. SP-Star Meteor White

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor White 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 White. The Gateron Ink Yellow is a linear switch that is best known for its shorter travel, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch offers a delightful combination of smoothness and clackiness, making it a favorite among typists. On the other hand, the SP-Star Meteor White is also a linear switch, but it offers a more subdued experience. This gentle switch is easy to push and produces a soft pitter-patter sound profile. Both switches fall under the neutral and polished categories, but while the Ink Yellow leans towards being clacky and mild, the Meteor White leans towards being thocky and mild. These general pointers provide an initial understanding, but let's dive deeper beyond these generalities to help you determine the best switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

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

Gold plated

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor White differ in their housing materials. The Ink Yellow utilizes a proprietary INK blend for both the top and bottom housings, while the Meteor White utilizes nylon for both. In terms of sound profile, the Ink Yellow's INK blend produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound that is described as clacky. On the other hand, the Meteor White's nylon housing creates a deeper and fuller sound profile due to its relatively softer plastic that absorbs more sound. Therefore, typing on the Ink Yellow switches may result in a thinner and higher-pitched clacky sound, while typing on the Meteor White switches may produce a deeper and fuller sound.

Despite their differences in housing materials, both the Ink Yellow and the Meteor White share similarities in certain aspects. For instance, both housing materials absorb sound to some degree. However, due to the softer nature of nylon, the Meteor White is likely to absorb more sound than the INK blend used in the Ink Yellow. This results in a duller and rounder sound profile for the Meteor White switches. Additionally, both the top and bottom housings of each switch play a role in the overall sound experience. The bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing influences the sound when the key is released. Therefore, both switches offer a satisfying sound experience, albeit with different nuances.

In terms of feel, the Ink Yellow's INK blend and the Meteor White's nylon offer distinct tactile sensations. The INK blend used in the Ink Yellow is characterized by a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile, giving it a clacky feel. On the other hand, the nylon housing of the Meteor White creates a deeper and fuller sound, resulting in a potentially smoother and more cushioned typing feel. While the Ink Yellow may provide a sharper and crisper tactile feedback, the Meteor White can offer a softer and more gentle typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on personal preference for sound and feel, as well as the intended use case.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow and SP-Star Meteor White linear switches, there are noticeable differences between the two. The Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams, providing a medium-heavy push feel to trigger a keystroke, while the Meteor White's actuation force remains unavailable. However, for bottoming out, the Ink Yellow requires a force of 67 grams, making it slightly heavier. In contrast, the Meteor White has a bottom out force of 57 grams, indicating a medium-light force requirement.

Considering weight as an important factor, individuals who prefer lighter switches for prolonged typing sessions or extensive gaming may find the Ink Yellow to be more suitable. Its lighter actuation force could facilitate longer and effortless keystrokes, reducing hand fatigue. Conversely, those seeking a more substantial typing experience or a stronger push feel might lean towards switches with heavier forces. In this case, the Meteor White's slightly lighter bottom out force could provide a satisfying typing experience with a noticeable but manageable push feel. Although the exact actuation force remains unknown for the Meteor White, it can be inferred that it falls within a range similar to the Ink Yellow, ensuring comparable results for triggering keystrokes.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the SP-Star Meteor White linear switch have different travel distances. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Meteor White has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of comparison, the Ink Yellow offers a slightly shorter travel distance compared to the Meteor White. The Ink Yellow's 3.5 mm travel distance falls on the shorter end of the spectrum, making it a preferred choice for gamers who prioritize faster response times. On the other hand, the Meteor White's 4 mm travel distance provides a slightly deeper feel when pressing down on a key, which some users may find more comfortable and satisfying. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on personal preference; if you prefer shorter travel distances and quicker responses, the Ink Yellow is the better option. However, if you enjoy a more pronounced depth when typing, the Meteor White is the way to go.

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 White has an MSRP of $5.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Meteor White 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.

Typing experience

In terms of sound, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch is known for its neutral sound profile with a clacky characteristic. When pressed, it produces a crisp, bright, and percussive sound. On the other hand, the SP-Star Meteor White switch also has a neutral sound profile but with a thocky characteristic. It produces a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when pressed, resembling a deep "thud" or a soft "knock." It's important to note that the sound of a switch is influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. However, based on the provided information, both switches offer relatively pleasant and soft sound profiles, with the Ink Yellow being clacky and the Meteor White being thocky.

In terms of feel, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor White switches provide a mild and approachable typing experience. This means that the typing experience with these switches is more gentle compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. They both fall into a safe middle-ground zone, making them suitable for most users. Additionally, both switches have a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. This polish can be the result of materials used or factory lubing, enhancing the switches' friction reduction and smooth key travel. Therefore, both switches offer a smooth and polished feel.

Overall, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Meteor White switches share some similarities in terms of sound and feel. They both offer a neutral sound profile, with the Ink Yellow being clacky and the Meteor White being thocky. Additionally, they provide a mild typing experience and feature a polished finish for smooth key travel. These switches cater to individuals who prefer a softer sound and a gentle typing experience. While they may differ slightly in their specific sound and feel characteristics, both switches can provide comparable results for users seeking a pleasant and smooth typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is a great choice. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it provides a medium-heavy feel. This switch offers a smooth and clacky typing experience, making it enjoyable to type on. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subdued typing experience, the SP-Star Meteor White linear switch is the way to go. With a bottom out force of 57 grams, it provides a medium-light feel. This switch is easy to push and produces a gentle pitter-patter sound profile, giving a soft and satisfying typing experience. Both switches have a neutral sound profile and a mild feel, making them suitable for most intents and purposes. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your preference for typing experience and sound profile.

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