Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Gateron Silent Ink Black

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron Silent Ink Black 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 Gateron Silent Ink Black. Both switches fall under the linear switch category, offering a smooth typing experience without any tactile feedback. The Ink Yellow stands out for its shorter travel, making it an ideal choice for those who want a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. It also boasts a pleasant smoothness and a satisfying clackiness. On the other hand, the Silent Ink Black is the silenced version of the Ink Black switch. It is perfect for environments that require quieter typing, offering a cushion-like bottom-out feel and minimal audio feedback. While these general pointers can assist in your decision-making process, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can discern which switch is best suited for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

70g

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

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Color coated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and Gateron Silent Ink Black switches are essentially the same. Both switches feature a proprietary INK blend top housing that is characterized by a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. This results in a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound, often described as being clacky. The top housing plays a significant role in the sound produced when releasing a key, giving both switches a similar sound profile when keys are let go.

While the top housings are identical, the bottom housings of the Ink Yellow and Silent Ink Black switches also share the same proprietary INK blend material. These bottom housings contribute to the bottom-out sound and feel when you press down on a key. With both switches utilizing the same material for their bottom housings, users can expect a similar tactile experience and impact when typing on either switch. This consistency in the bottom housings adds to the overall similarity in the typing feel between the Ink Yellow and Silent Ink Black.

In summary, the housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and Gateron Silent Ink Black switches are nearly identical, aside from the split distribution between top and bottom housings. Both switches feature the same proprietary INK blend material, resulting in a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound profile when typing. While the bottom housing influences the bottom-out sound and feel, the top housing plays a greater role in the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, users can expect a similar typing experience with slight variations in sound depending on which switch they choose.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Silent Ink Black linear switch, it is clear that they have similarities in terms of actuation force, both requiring 60 grams of force to trigger a keystroke. This means that users can expect a similar level of sensitivity and responsiveness when using either of these switches. However, when it comes to the bottom out force, there is a slight difference. The Gateron Ink Yellow has a bottom out force of 67 grams, while the Gateron Silent Ink Black has a slightly higher bottom out force of 70 grams. This means that the Silent Ink Black switch may provide a slightly heavier and more substantial typing experience compared to the Ink Yellow. For individuals who prefer a lighter switch to type for longer periods or engage in extensive gaming sessions, the Ink Yellow would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, for those who enjoy a stronger push feel and desire a more substantial typing experience, the Silent Ink Black with its slightly heavier bottom out force may be the preferable option.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Silent Ink Black linear switch, there is a notable difference. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Silent Ink Black has a travel distance of 4 mm. With the traditional travel distance being 4.0mm, the Silent Ink Black aligns with this more typical measurement. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow offers a shorter travel distance, which is favored by gamers seeking faster response times. Opting for the Ink Yellow would provide a more responsive typing experience. However, if you prefer a deeper press, the Silent Ink Black with its longer travel distance would be the better choice. Ultimately, the decision between these switches comes down to individual preference and whether one prefers a shorter or longer 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 Gateron Silent Ink Black has an MSRP of $8.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Silent Ink Black for $8.35.

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 is characterized by a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. This makes it suitable for most intents and purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced, and whether you plan to use it at home or work. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch produces a clacky sound when pressed, which can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, the Gateron Silent Ink Black offers a muted sound compared to a regular or clacky switch. It produces a softer and quieter sound, minimizing the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards. It is particularly suitable for environments that require quieter typing. It's 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, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gateron Silent Ink Black have a polished finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. This can be attributed to the materials used or factory lubing, which reduces friction and provides smooth key travel. The Ink Yellow switch offers a mild typing experience, falling in a safe middle-ground zone in terms of its characteristics. It provides a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users. On the other hand, the Silent Ink Black switch offers a silky typing experience, enhancing the overall smoothness of the typing feel. It minimizes resistance when pressing and releasing keys, providing a satisfyingly smooth typing experience.

Overall, if you are looking for a switch with a shorter travel and a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow is a great choice. It offers a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, with a neutral sound profile and a mild feel. However, if you require quieter typing in your environment, the Gateron Silent Ink Black would be a better option. It provides a cushiony, pillow-like bottom-out feel and produces a muted sound, making it ideal for quieter settings. Regardless of your choice, both switches offer a polished finish for smooth key travel. Whether you opt for the Ink Yellow or the Silent Ink Black, you can expect a satisfying and high-quality typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you're looking for a switch with a shorter travel and a typing experience that falls between a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is a great choice. It offers a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, providing a satisfying typing experience. On the other hand, if you require a quieter typing experience, the Gateron Silent Ink Black linear switch is the way to go. It offers a cushion-like bottom-out feel and minimal audio feedback, making it ideal for environments that prioritize noise reduction. In terms of sound, the Ink Yellow switch has a neutral and clacky profile, suitable for a wide range of uses, while the Silent Ink Black switch produces a softer and quieter sound, thanks to its muted characteristic. When it comes to feel, the Ink Yellow switch offers a mild and polished experience, combining approachability and reduced friction, while the Silent Ink Black switch provides a silky and polished feel, prioritizing smoothness and minimal resistance. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on your specific preferences and requirements - whether it's a balance between smoothness and sound or the need for a quieter typing experience. In the end, both switches have their unique strengths, and you can't go wrong with either choice.

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