Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3)

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3). Both switches fall under the linear category, providing a smooth and consistent keystroke experience. The Ink Yellow stands out for its shorter travel distance, offering a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It is known for its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, making it ideal for those who enjoy a more tactile feel. On the other hand, the Milky Yellow Pro is often celebrated as a classic budget switch. It embodies a buttery smoothness, accompanied by a satisfyingly thick resistance, resulting in a "thocky" sound that adds a pleasant texture to each keypress. This all-rounder switch excels both in gaming and typing, making it a versatile choice for all-purpose use. However, let's dive deeper beyond these generalities to help you make the best decision regarding which switch suits your preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

50g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

62g

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 Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) differ in terms of their sound profile. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend top housing is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, which is often described as clacky. On the other hand, the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3)'s nylon top housing creates a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, those who prefer a sharper and clackier sound may lean towards the Ink Yellow, while those who prefer a deeper and fuller sound may prefer the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3).

Similarly, the bottom housings of the Ink Yellow and the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) also have different sound profiles. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend bottom housing presents a pointed and high-pitched sound, similar to its top housing. On the other hand, the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3)'s nylon bottom housing contributes to a deeper and fuller sound overall. The bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, so those who prioritize the feedback and sensation when pressing down on the keys may find the differences between the two housings more noticeable.

In summary, the housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) offer distinct sound profiles. The proprietary INK blend top and bottom housings of the Ink Yellow produce a pointed and relatively high-pitched clacky sound. In contrast, the nylon top and bottom housings of the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) create a deeper and fuller sound due to the softer plastic that absorbs more sound. However, it is important to note that both switches still share similarities in terms of their top and bottom housing materials. Both switches exhibit a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound, although the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) may provide a slightly rounder and duller sound due to the nylon housing material.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) linear switch, there are some notable similarities and differences. The Ink Yellow has a heavier actuation force of 60 grams compared to the Milky Yellow Pro's 50 grams, making the Ink Yellow slightly heavier to trigger a keystroke. However, both switches have a similar medium bottom out force, with the Ink Yellow requiring 67 grams and the Milky Yellow Pro needing 62 grams.

In terms of weight, those who prefer a lighter typing experience might lean towards the Milky Yellow Pro switch, as its lower actuation force allows for easier keystrokes, ideal for longer typing sessions or extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more substantial typing experience might prefer the Ink Yellow switch with its slightly heavier actuation force, which can provide a stronger push feel. Both switches offer a medium bottom out force, allowing for a consistent typing experience in terms of pressing all the way down.

Overall, while the Ink Yellow is slightly heavier in terms of actuation force, the similarities in bottom out force between the two switches ensure that users can achieve similar results in terms of the typing experience. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and whether one values a lighter keystroke or a stronger push feel.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) linear switch, it is evident that there is a difference in their respective distances. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of length, the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) has the longer travel distance.

Traditionally, a travel distance of 4.0 mm is the most common, providing a standard depth that many people are accustomed to. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow with a shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm would be more suitable for those who prefer a quicker response time, such as gamers. With a shorter travel distance, keystrokes can be executed faster, allowing for improved gaming performance. However, individuals who prefer a more substantial feel when typing or pressing keys may find the longer travel distance of the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) to be more satisfying.

Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and individual needs. If a swift response is paramount, the Ink Yellow with its shorter travel distance may be the preferred choice. However, if a deeper key press and more tactile experience is desired, the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) with its longer travel distance may be the suitable option. Regardless of the distance, both switches are capable of providing a satisfactory typing or gaming experience, ensuring that users will obtain similar results in terms of functionality.

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 Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) has an MSRP of $2.33 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) for $2.30.

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 offers a neutral and clacky experience. The switch has a moderate actuation force requirement, making it suitable for various purposes and user levels. It produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, characterized by its crisp, bright, and percussive nature. On the other hand, the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) switch delivers a bassy and low-pitched sound profile. With its deeper and richer tonality, it resembles the depth and richness associated with bass tones. Additionally, it also has a thocky quality, resulting in a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when pressed. It's worth noting that the actual sound produced by these switches can be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch provides a mild and polished typing experience. It offers a more gentle typing sensation compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. The switch's sound and feel fall within a safe, middle-ground zone that most users will find approachable. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch has a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. The Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) switch, on the other hand, is described as buttery and textured. The switch offers a smooth and fluid keystroke experience, providing a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. However, it may also have noticeable friction when pressed, offering a textured feel that some users prefer, while others prefer a smoother, friction-free typing experience.

Based on the available information, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch and the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) switch offer distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow switch showcases a shorter travel, smoothness, and clackiness, providing a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. On the other hand, the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) switch is known for its budget-friendly, all-purpose nature, excelling in both gaming and typing. It offers a low-pitched, thocky sound and a buttery, textured feel. These switches cater to different preferences, with the Ink Yellow switch providing a more moderate and polished experience, while the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) switch offers a deeper and richer sound profile with a smooth keystroke sensation. However, it's important to consider that individual preferences may vary, and the choice of keyboard board and keycaps will also affect the overall typing experience. Ultimately, both switches deliver satisfying results in their respective qualities, offering similar experiences to those seeking specific sound profiles and typing sensations.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are someone who wants a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, then the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is the ideal choice for you. It offers a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams and provides a pleasant smoothness and clackiness during key presses. On the other hand, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option that excels in both gaming and typing, the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) linear switch is the way to go. With a medium bottom out force of 62 grams, this switch embodies smoothness and buttery goodness. It produces a low-pitched, "thocky" sound that is satisfyingly thick. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches depends on whether you prioritize the shorter travel and clacky sound of the Ink Yellow, or the budget-friendly, low-pitched, and buttery feel of the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3).

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