Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Durock POM T1 (Sunflower)

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) offer distinct experiences. The Ink Yellow, a linear switch, stands out for its shorter travel, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It boasts a pleasant smoothness and clackiness that many typists enjoy. On the other hand, the POM T1 (Sunflower), a tactile switch, delivers maximum tactility, making it a perfect choice for those who prefer a punchy feel while typing. This switch offers sharp tactility and a satisfying clean clack. While these general descriptions give you an idea of what to expect from each switch, it's important to delve deeper into their specific qualities to determine the best fit for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

67g

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

No

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

Proprietary

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

POM

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) use different materials for their top and bottom housings, resulting in distinct sound profiles. The Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend for both the top and bottom housing. This blend creates a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, described as clacky. In contrast, the POM T1 features a POM top housing and a POM bottom housing. POM housings produce a deeper and relatively more muted sound. While both switches offer satisfying keystrokes, the Ink Yellow leans towards a thinner and higher-pitched sound, while the POM T1 provides a unique deeper tone.

When it comes to the feel and sound of the bottom-out action, the housing material of the bottom housing plays a significant role. In the case of the Ink Yellow, the proprietary INK blend in the bottom housing contributes to the switch's pointed and high-pitched sound profile. Meanwhile, the POM bottom housing of the POM T1 creates a slightly deeper sound during bottom-out, resulting in a different auditory experience. However, both switches are likely to provide a satisfying and impactful feel when pressed down, making them viable options for tactile typing enthusiasts.

In terms of the sound when releasing a key, the housing material of the top housing becomes more influential. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend top housing produces a relatively high-pitched and clacky sound when a key is released. On the other hand, the POM top housing of the POM T1 enhances the switch's sound profile on the deeper side, resulting in a more muted release sound. Despite these differences, both switches offer a pleasing sound experience when letting go of a key, showcasing the unique qualities of their respective housing materials.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) tactile switch, it is important to consider the weight of these switches. The Gateron Ink Yellow switch has an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, which falls into the medium-heavy category. On the other hand, the actuation force of the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) switch is not available, but it also has a bottom out force of 67 grams, making it comparable in terms of heaviness.

Weight can be a significant factor for keyboard enthusiasts, as it influences the typing experience. Some individuals prefer lighter switches as it allows them to type for longer periods of time without experiencing fatigue. This makes them ideal for keyboards that are used for work or long gaming sessions. On the contrary, there are those who prefer a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience. For these individuals, selecting switches with heavier forces is more suitable.

In terms of actuation force, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch requires 60 grams of force to trigger a keystroke, while the actuation force of the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) switch is unknown. However, both switches share the same bottom out force of 67 grams, making them similar in terms of overall heaviness. Therefore, if an individual is seeking a heavier tactile typing experience, either of these switches would provide similar results.

Travel distance

In comparing and contrasting the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) tactile switch, it is evident that the Ink Yellow has a shorter travel distance of 3.5mm, while the POM T1 boasts a longer travel distance of 4mm. The Ink Yellow falls into the category of shorter travel distances, which has become increasingly popular, especially among gamers seeking faster response times. On the other hand, the POM T1 suits individuals who prefer a deeper and more substantial keypress due to its longer travel distance. Whether one chooses the Ink Yellow or the POM T1, both options provide a distinct tactile experience, albeit with varying degrees of travel distance.

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 Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) has an MSRP of $7.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the POM T1 (Sunflower) for $5.57.

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 is considered to have a neutral and clacky profile. This means that it produces a moderate and crisp sound when pressed, giving it a sharp and snappy feel. On the other hand, the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) is described as having a resonant and neutral sound profile. This means that it creates a higher-pitched and clean sound, providing an immersive auditory experience. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors like the keyboard and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow is characterized as having a mild and polished experience. This means that it offers a gentle typing sensation and a smooth key travel due to materials used or factory lubing. It stands in a safe middle-ground zone, making it approachable for most users. On the other hand, the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) is known for its sharp, accented, snappy, and invigorating feel. This switch provides a strong and crisp tactile bump, responsive and lively typing experience, without overwhelming tactility.

Considering the available information, the Gateron Ink Yellow and Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow provides a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, with a neutral and clacky sound profile, and a mild and polished feel. It is a suitable choice if you desire a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. On the other hand, the POM T1 (Sunflower) offers a punchy switch with sharp tactility and a satisfying clack sound. Its accented, snappy, and invigorating feel provides maximum tactility for those seeking a pronounced tactile experience. Both switches have a neutral sound profile, making them versatile for various purposes. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preferences and typing preferences for a particular experience.

Conclusion

To conclude, if you are looking for a typing experience that falls between a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard, with a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is the way to go. With its medium-heavy bottom out force and clacky sound profile, this switch offers a neutral sound and a polished feel, providing a middle-ground experience that is approachable to most users.

On the other hand, if you value maximum tactility and a satisfying clean clack, the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) tactile switch is the better choice. With the same medium-heavy bottom out force as the Ink Yellow, this switch offers a sharp tactility and a resonant sound profile, providing an invigorating and immersive typing sensation. Additionally, the POM T1 (Sunflower) offers an accented tactile feel and is snappy and responsive, making the typing experience feel more alive.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock POM T1 (Sunflower) tactile switch depends on your personal preferences. If you prefer a smoother, clacky linear switch, the Ink Yellow is the way to go. If you prioritize maximum tactility and an invigorating typing experience, the POM T1 (Sunflower) is the better option. Either way, both switches offer a medium-heavy bottom out force, making them suitable for most intents and purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you plan to use them at home or work.

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