Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Jwick Semi-Silent Linear

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear 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 Jwick Semi-Silent Linear. The Gateron Ink Yellow is a linear switch that offers a unique typing experience. With its shorter travel, it provides a balance between the typing experience on a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch also stands out for its pleasant smoothness and clackiness. On the other hand, the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear is also a linear switch but is praised for its innovation. It features a semi-silent design, which means it produces a whisper-quiet topping-out sound while maintaining a clacky bottom-out sound. In terms of type feel, it is silky smooth without being over-polished. Both switches have their own unique qualities and characteristics. However, let's dive deeper beyond these generalities so you can make the best decision on which switch suits your preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

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

3.70 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

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 used in the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear switches have distinct differences in terms of sound profiles and typewriter-like feel. The Gateron Ink Yellow utilizes their proprietary INK blend for both the top and bottom housing. This blend creates a satisfying thin and higher-pitched clacky sound profile. On the other hand, the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear features a polycarbonate top housing, which produces a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The use of polycarbonate as a relatively stiffer plastic enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound. In terms of aesthetics, the polycarbonate top housing allows for better RGB lighting effects. While both switches offer a similar high-pitched sound, the Ink Yellow is slightly less sharp compared to the Semi-Silent Linear.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the Ink Yellow and the Semi-Silent Linear differ significantly. The Ink Yellow utilizes the same proprietary INK blend for the bottom housing, resulting in a thin and higher-pitched clacky sound profile. On the other hand, the Semi-Silent Linear incorporates a nylon bottom housing, which creates a deeper and fuller sound when typing. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound profile. This difference in housing materials translates into a distinct auditory experience when using these switches.

Considering the split between the top and bottom housings, the qualities brought by each housing material are distributed differently. When pressing down on the switch, the bottom housing's characteristics will be more prominent, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, when releasing a key, the top housing will have a greater impact on the sound produced. Therefore, users can expect variations in sound profiles and typewriter-like feels between the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear based on the material composition of their respective top and bottom housings.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force between the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear linear switch, there are a few notable differences. The Ink Yellow switch has an actuation force of 60 grams, while the Semi-Silent Linear's actuation force is unavailable, making it unknown. In terms of bottom out force, the Ink Yellow requires 67 grams to fully press down, classified as medium-heavy. On the other hand, the Semi-Silent Linear switch has a bottom out force of 62 grams, which falls under the medium category.

Considering weight is an important factor when selecting a switch, preferences may differ based on individual typing needs. Those who prefer lighter switches may opt for the Ink Yellow, as it allows for longer typing sessions without causing fatigue. This is especially beneficial for individuals using the keyboard for work or engaging in extended gaming sessions. In contrast, those who prefer a more substantial and pronounced typing experience might lean towards switches with a heavier actuation force.

Although the actuation force of the Semi-Silent Linear switch is unavailable in the given information, it is difficult to draw a direct comparison to the Ink Yellow in terms of actuation force. However, based on the provided data, it is clear that the Ink Yellow switch requires a slightly stronger push to trigger a keystroke compared to the Semi-Silent Linear switch. As for the bottom out force, both switches have comparable weights, with the Ink Yellow being slightly heavier at 67 grams and the Semi-Silent Linear at 62 grams. This means that regardless of the unknown actuation force for the Semi-Silent Linear, both switches offer a similar level of resistance when fully pressed down.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear linear switch, it is evident that there is a slight difference between the two. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Semi-Silent Linear has a travel distance of 3.7 mm. Although these variances may seem negligible, they can still impact the overall typing experience. 4.0 mm is considered the most traditional travel distance, while 3.0 mm is the shallowest. However, with the rise of shorter travel distances, gamers often opt for switches with quicker response times. In this case, the Ink Yellow switch with its shorter travel distance would be the preferable choice. On the other hand, some individuals find the abruptness of short travel distances uncomfortable. For those who prefer a deeper key press, the Semi-Silent Linear with its slightly longer travel distance would be more suitable. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches will come down to personal preference 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 Jwick Semi-Silent Linear has an MSRP of $6.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Semi-Silent Linear for $5.27.

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 linear switch offers a neutral sound profile with a clacky bottom-out sound. When pressed, this switch produces a crisp, bright, and percussive sound, which adds a satisfying tactile experience to typing. On the other hand, the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear switch has a subdued sound profile. While it is not completely silent, it offers a more subtle sound signature compared to most switches. With a whisper-quiet topping-out sound and a clacky bottom-out sound, this switch strikes a balance between providing a quieter typing experience and retaining some level of tactility. It is ideal for those who prefer a quieter environment without sacrificing that satisfying clackiness. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to the feel, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear switches fall into the mild category. This means that they offer a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users. The Ink Yellow switch is characterized by a smooth and clacky feel, providing a pleasant typing sensation. It is designed with a shorter travel distance, offering a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. On the other hand, the Semi-Silent Linear switch provides a silky smooth type feel that is not over-polished. It achieves this through longer or dual-staged springs, making the typing experience feel more alive and responsive. Additionally, both switches feature a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. This enhances the overall typing experience by providing a sleek and refined feel.

In summary, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear linear switch offer distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow switch provides a neutral sound profile with a clacky bottom-out sound, accompanied by a smooth and clacky feel. It is recommended for those who seek a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. On the other hand, the Semi-Silent Linear switch offers a more subdued sound profile with a whisper-quiet topping-out sound and a clacky bottom-out sound. It provides a silky smooth type feel with a responsive and lively sensation, thanks to longer or dual-staged springs. Both switches have a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on individual preferences for sound and feel, as well as the desired 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 suitable choice for you. It has a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, providing a slightly more tactile feel. This switch is characterized by a shorter travel and offers a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. In terms of sound, the Ink Yellow switch is described as neutral and clacky, producing a moderate and crisp sound when pressed. As for the feel, it is considered mild and polished, offering a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more innovative and semi-silent switch, the Jwick Semi-Silent Linear would be a great option. With a bottom out force of 62 grams, it provides a medium typing feel. This switch stands out for its whisper-quiet topping-out sound while maintaining a clacky bottom-out sound. The Semi-Silent Linear offers a silky smooth type feel that is not over-polished. In terms of sound, it is described as subdued and neutral, providing a more dampened and subtle sound signature compared to most switches. Regarding the feel, it shares the same mild and polished characteristics as the Ink Yellow, but also offers a snappy and buttery typing sensation.

Ultimately, your choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and Jwick Semi-Silent Linear switches depends on your preference for typing experience and sound. If you want a slightly more tactile feel and appreciate a crisp sound, the Ink Yellow is a suitable option. On the other hand, if you value innovation, prefer a semi-silent switch, and enjoy a more subdued sound, the Semi-Silent Linear would be a great fit. Both switches provide a mild and polished feel, ensuring a comfortable and smooth typing experience overall.

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