Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Gateron Quinn

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Two switches that stand out among the rest are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron Quinn. The Gateron Ink Yellow is a linear switch that offers a shorter travel distance, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch is praised for its smoothness and satisfying clackiness. On the other hand, the Gateron Quinn is a tactile switch that offers a unique combination of crisp, light switch-like tactility and a deep, resonant sound profile. With each keystroke, users are treated to a rich and immersive sound that adds a touch of character to the typing experience. The Quinn switch also delivers a precise and clean tactile bump. Both switches offer their own distinct advantages, however, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

59g

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

3.40 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

22mm double-stage gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron Quinn exhibit notable differences. The Ink Yellow features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. The sound is described as clacky and satisfying. In contrast, the Quinn utilizes a nylon top housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is due to nylon's characteristic of being a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, users can expect a more distinct and sharp sound from the Ink Yellow, while the Quinn offers a mellower and richer auditory experience.

Similarities can be found in the bottom housing of both switches. Despite having different top housing materials, both switches utilize the same proprietary INK blend for the bottom housing. Consequently, users can expect similar sound profiles when bottoming out the switches. The INK blend in the bottom housing contributes to the pointed and high-pitched sound, delivering a satisfying clacky sensation for both the Ink Yellow and the Quinn. Therefore, although the top housing materials may differ, the bottom-out sound and feel will remain consistent.

When it comes to the overall impact on the sound, the top and bottom housing materials play distinct roles. The bottom housing has a more significant effect on the bottom-out sound and feel, meaning that the material used for the bottom housing will largely determine the overall tactile experience when pressing the switches. Conversely, the top housing material influences the sound produced when releasing a key. Thus, the differences in housing materials between the Ink Yellow and the Quinn will manifest in how the switches sound both when pressing down and when releasing, providing users with a comprehensive auditory experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Quinn tactile switch, it is apparent that both switches offer similar results.

The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch has an actuation force of 60 grams, which means that a moderate amount of pressure is required to trigger a keystroke. Additionally, it has a bottom out force of 67 grams, indicating that it provides a medium-heavy resistance when fully pressed.

Similarly, the Gateron Quinn tactile switch has an actuation force of 59 grams, slightly lighter than the Ink Yellow, but still within the same range. Its bottom out force is also 67 grams, showcasing the same level of resistance as the Ink Yellow.

Choosing between these two switches would essentially come down to personal preference. Those who prefer a lighter typing experience may opt for the Quinn switch due to its slightly lower actuation force. On the other hand, individuals who seek a more substantial typing feel may lean towards the Ink Yellow switch with its marginally heavier actuation force.

In conclusion, both the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Quinn tactile switch offer similar actuation forces and bottom out forces, providing comparable typing experiences. The only difference lies in the slight variation in actuation force, which can cater to individual preferences.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Quinn tactile switch have different travel distances. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Quinn has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.4 mm. Both switches fall within the range of shorter travel distances, which are becoming more popular, especially among gamers who seek faster response times. If you are someone who values quick responsiveness, the Ink Yellow with its slightly longer travel distance may be a better choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a bit more depth and a less abrupt feel, the Quinn with its slightly shorter travel distance might be more to your liking. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches will come down to individual preferences and the desired typing experience.

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 Quinn comes in at $6.00 per 10 switches.

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 is known for its neutral and clacky profile. The neutral sound profile of the Ink Yellow makes it versatile and suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, and whether you plan to use the switch at home or work. The clacky nature of the switch produces a sharp and percussive sound when pressed, which adds a crisp and bright quality to the typing experience.

On the other hand, the Gateron Quinn switch offers a bassy and resonant sound profile. The bassy nature of the switch provides a deeper and richer sound during key presses, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. This adds a touch of character and immersion to the typing experience. Additionally, the Quinn switch is described as resonant, which means it produces a higher-pitched sound profile that is clean and sharp.

In terms of feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch is described as mild and polished. The mild nature of the switch offers a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users. It falls in a safe middle-ground zone in terms of its characteristics. The polished finish of the switch contributes to a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Similarly, the Gateron Quinn switch is also described as polished, providing a refined and smooth typing experience. Additionally, it is mentioned that the Quinn switch is snappy, offering a super responsive typing sensation. This responsiveness is attributed to longer or dual-staged springs, which make the typing experience feel more alive. The Quinn switch is also described as bouncy, providing a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation that gives the keys a lively feel and rebound when pressed. Lastly, the description mentions that the Quinn switch is accented, meaning it offers a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow and Gateron Quinn switches have different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow provides a neutral and clacky sound profile with a mild and polished feel, while the Quinn offers a bassy and resonant sound profile with a polished, snappy, and bouncy feel. Overall, both switches offer unique typing experiences, and while they differ in certain aspects, they share similarities in terms of being polished and contributing to a 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 would be a great choice for you. With its shorter travel and pleasant smoothness, this switch offers a unique feel that is comfortable for typing tasks. Additionally, the Ink Yellow provides a neutral sound profile with a clacky sound, making it suitable for most environments.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more tactile and immersive typing experience, the Gateron Quinn tactile switch is the way to go. With its specially designed nylon housings, the Quinn switch offers a crisp and clean tactile bump, adding a touch of character to your typing. Furthermore, the Quinn switch produces a deep and resonant sound, with a bassy and low-pitched profile that enhances the auditory experience.

Ultimately, your choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and Gateron Quinn switches depends on your personal preferences for typing experience. If you prioritize a smooth and clacky linear switch, the Ink Yellow would be the better option. However, if you prefer a tactile switch with a unique sound profile, the Quinn switch would be more suitable. Both switches offer their own strengths and qualities, so it's important to consider your preferences and requirements when making your decision. Overall, Gateron provides quality switches that cater to a variety of typing preferences.

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