Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Gateron North Pole V2

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron North Pole V2 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch for your typing needs, there are a variety of options available. Two popular choices in the linear switch category are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron North Pole V2. The Ink Yellow is known for its shorter travel distance, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch boasts a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, making it a great choice for those looking for a balanced and polished feel. On the other hand, the North Pole V2 offers a gummy typing experience, characterized by a deep and muted sound profile and a satisfyingly chewy feel. With its creamy and subdued attributes, this switch provides a bouncy typing sensation. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

50g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

65g

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

Ink Housing Material

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron North Pole V2 differ in terms of their characteristics and sound profiles. The Ink Yellow utilizes a proprietary INK blend for both its top and bottom housings, resulting in a satisfying and clacky sound profile that is relatively high-pitched but not overly sharp. On the other hand, the North Pole V2 features polycarbonate housings for both the top and bottom, creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to the stiffer nature of polycarbonate, which enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound.

One area where these housing materials differ is in their aesthetic properties. The North Pole V2's polycarbonate top housing is specifically designed to be translucent, making it an ideal choice for those who plan to use RGB lighting. The transparent nature of polycarbonate allows the lighting to shine through, resulting in a visually appealing experience. In contrast, the Ink Yellow does not have this translucency in its top housing, which may not be as visually impactful for users who prioritize RGB lighting effects.

However, both switches share similarities in terms of their overall sound profile. Despite the differences in their housing materials, both the Ink Yellow and the North Pole V2 provide a relatively high-pitched sound that is described as clacky. This suggests that regardless of the specific housing material used, Gateron switches aim to deliver a satisfying sound experience that is characterized by a pointed and thin profile. Therefore, users can expect similar sound qualities from both switches, even though the specific housing materials may vary.

In summary, the housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron North Pole V2 offer contrasting properties. The Ink Yellow utilizes a proprietary INK blend that provides a clacky sound profile, while the North Pole V2 features polycarbonate housings for a sharper and crisper sound. Additionally, the North Pole V2's polycarbonate top housing offers translucency for enhanced RGB lighting effects. However, both switches share a similar high-pitched and satisfying sound profile. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches may depend on individual preferences for sound, aesthetics, and lighting effects.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron North Pole V2 linear switch, there are some notable differences. The Ink Yellow has a slightly heavier actuation force of 60 grams compared to the North Pole V2's lighter force of 50 grams. This means that the Ink Yellow requires slightly more pressure to register a keystroke. However, both switches have a similar bottom out force, with the Ink Yellow measuring at 67 grams and the North Pole V2 at 65 grams, indicating a medium-heavy resistance when fully pressed.

Depending on personal preference, one may prefer the Ink Yellow for its slightly heavier actuation force, providing a more substantial typing experience for those who enjoy a stronger push feel. On the other hand, the North Pole V2 may be preferred by those who prefer a lighter actuation force, as it allows for longer typing sessions without causing fatigue. Both switches offer a medium-heavy bottom out force, ensuring a satisfying keystroke feel regardless of the choice made.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron North Pole V2 linear switches differ in their actuation forces, but provide a similar experience in terms of bottoming out force. Personal preference will dictate whether the slightly heavier actuation force of the Ink Yellow or the lighter actuation force of the North Pole V2 is preferred, based on the desired typing experience and duration of usage.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron North Pole V2 linear switch have different travel distances. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the North Pole V2 has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of traditional standards, the Ink Yellow falls on the shallower end with its 3.5 mm travel distance, while the North Pole V2 offers a more traditional travel distance of 4 mm. Gamers who prioritize faster response times may prefer the Ink Yellow with its shorter travel distance. On the other hand, those who appreciate a deeper feel when pressing down on a key may opt for the North Pole V2 with its longer travel distance. It is important to consider personal preference and desired responsiveness when deciding between the two switches.

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 North Pole V2 has an MSRP of $6.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the North Pole V2 for $5.70.

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 sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. This means that it produces a sound that is neither too loud nor too soft, making it suitable for most users in various settings. Additionally, it has a clacky characteristic, giving it a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, which adds a crisp and percussive quality to the typing experience. On the other hand, the Gateron North Pole V2 switch produces a more subdued sound. While it is not completely silent, it offers a dampened sound that is more subtle compared to most switches. This creates a deep and muted sound profile, which can be particularly pleasing to those seeking a quieter typing experience. However, 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, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch provides a mild and approachable typing experience. It falls in a safe middle-ground zone, offering a more gentle feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. This makes it suitable for a wide range of users who prefer a comfortable typing experience. Additionally, the Ink Yellow has a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. This enhances the overall feel of the switch, providing a sleek and refined typing experience. On the other hand, the Gateron North Pole V2 switch offers a unique and gummy typing feel. It gives a sensation similar to bottoming out on a trampoline or a gummy bear, which can be enjoyable for those seeking a more tactile and bouncy typing experience. Furthermore, the North Pole V2 switch also has a creamy characteristic, offering a smooth and buttery typing sensation. This is likely due to lubrication applied at the factory or specific materials used in its construction. The combination of a gummy and creamy feel gives the North Pole V2 switch a distinct tactile quality.

Considering all the available information, the Gateron Ink Yellow and Gateron North Pole V2 switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow showcases a shorter travel, providing a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It is known for its clacky sound profile, mild feel, and polished finish. On the other hand, the North Pole V2 offers a deep and muted sound profile, a gummy and creamy typing feel, and a bouncy, polished finish. While both switches have their own unique characteristics, they provide satisfying typing experiences based on individual preferences. If you are looking for a typing experience with similar qualities, you can expect to achieve a smooth, clacky sound and a comfortable, polished feel from either switch.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are someone who prefers a shorter travel and a typing experience similar to that on a laptop, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be a great choice for you. It offers a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, and has a bottom out force of 67 grams. This switch is described as neutral and clacky in terms of sound, making it suitable for most purposes. In terms of feel, the Ink Yellow is mild and polished, offering a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a deep and muted sound profile along with a satisfying chewy typing feel, the Gateron North Pole V2 linear switch would be ideal for you. It has a bottom out force of 65 grams and is described as gummy, creamy, bouncy, and polished. The North Pole V2 provides a unique typing experience similar to bottoming out on a trampoline or a gummy bear. This switch produces a subdued sound when pressed, offering a more subtle sound signature compared to most switches.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and Gateron North Pole V2 switches depends on your preferences for travel distance, typing experience, sound profile, and tactile feel. Consider whether you prefer a shorter travel and laptop-like feel with a clacky sound (Ink Yellow), or a deep and muted typing feel with a gummy and creamy sound (North Pole V2). Both switches offer their own unique qualities, so choose the one that aligns with your typing preferences and overall typing experience.

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