Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp)

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options that come to mind are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp). While the Ink Yellow is a linear switch, offering a shorter travel and a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Silent T1 (Shrimp) is a tactile switch that provides both a satisfying bump and a silenced operation, making it perfect for noise-sensitive environments. The Ink Yellow is praised for its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, while the Silent T1 offers a medium bump, padded bottom-out feel, and subdued audio feedback. Both switches offer a polished typing experience, but with different characteristics. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

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

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

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

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) differ in terms of their sound profile and aesthetics. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing contribute to a pointed and high-pitched sound profile that is described as clacky. In contrast, the Silent T1 (Shrimp) features a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic that produces a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, if you prefer RGB lighting, the translucent polycarbonate top housing of the Silent T1 is a beneficial choice.

On the other hand, the bottom housing of both switches deviates in material. The Ink Yellow utilizes its proprietary INK blend, which delivers a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound. Alternatively, the Silent T1 incorporates a nylon bottom housing that elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound and produces a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, if you prioritize a switch with a richer sound experience, the Silent T1's nylon bottom housing may be more suitable.

It is essential to note that the top and bottom housing materials influence different aspects of the switch's sound and feel. When pressing down on the switch, the qualities of the bottom housing become evident as it affects the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing plays a greater role in the sound produced when releasing a key. Although the materials may differ, both switches offer distinct sound profiles through their housing materials, allowing users to achieve similar results depending on their preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) tactile switch, it becomes apparent that both switches have a bottom out force of 67 grams, making them both medium-heavy in terms of the force required for a keystroke to reach the bottom. However, there is a notable difference in their actuation forces. The Gateron Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams, while the actuation force for the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) is unspecified. Therefore, it is unclear how the actuation force of the Silent T1 (Shrimp) compares to the Gateron Ink Yellow.

Considering the impact of weight, some individuals prefer lighter switches as it allows them to type for longer durations without experiencing fatigue. This lighter weight is especially beneficial for those who bring their keyboards to work or engage in long gaming sessions. On the other hand, there are users who prefer a stronger push feel that provides a more substantial typing experience. For such individuals, opting for switches with heavier forces would be more suitable.

In conclusion, while the bottom out force for both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) is the same, with both switches requiring 67 grams of force, the actuation force of the Silent T1 (Shrimp) remains unknown. Consequently, it is difficult to make a direct comparison between the two in terms of actuation force. However, individuals seeking a lighter typing experience may prefer the Gateron Ink Yellow, whereas those desiring a stronger push feel may lean towards the Silent T1 (Shrimp) if its actuation force aligns with their preferences.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distances of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) tactile switch, it is clear that there is a difference between the two. The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, whereas the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) tactile switch has a slightly longer travel distance of 4 mm. This means that the Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch offers a deeper key press experience compared to the Ink Yellow.

In general, a travel distance of 4.0 mm is considered more traditional, while a 3.0 mm travel distance is considered shallower. However, there is increasing popularity for shorter travel distances, particularly among gamers who prioritize faster response times. If you are someone who values quick and responsive keystrokes, the Ink Yellow with its shorter travel distance may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more substantial and satisfying key press may find the Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch with its longer travel distance more suitable.

Ultimately, the decision between these two switches should be based on personal preference and typing style. While the Ink Yellow offers a shorter travel distance for quicker responses, the Silent T1 (Shrimp) provides a deeper and potentially more satisfying key press. Regardless of which switch is chosen, both options are capable of delivering excellent results, albeit with slightly different tactile experiences.

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 Silent T1 (Shrimp) has an MSRP of $7.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Silent T1 (Shrimp) 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 switch offers a neutral sound profile with moderate actuation force requirements. This makes it suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you plan to use it at home or in the workplace. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch has a clacky sound characteristic, providing a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. On the other hand, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch is known for its muted sound. It produces a softer and quieter sound compared to regular or clacky switches, making it ideal for noise-sensitive environments. It's important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Moving on to feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch offers a mild typing experience. It falls in a safe, middle-ground zone, providing a gentle feel for most users. Additionally, the switch is polished, resulting in a smooth and refined finish. This leads to reduced friction and smooth key travel, enhancing the overall typing experience. Similarly, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch offers a stepped feel. This means that it has two stages of tactile feedback, allowing users to feel some pre-travel and/or post-travel. It is also described as accented, providing a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. Like the Ink Yellow, the Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch is also polished, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Taking all the available information into consideration, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) tactile switch offer distinct subjective qualities. The Ink Yellow excels in providing a shorter travel, smoothness, and clackiness in sound. It offers a mild and polished feel, suitable for those seeking a typing experience similar to that of a laptop but with the benefits of a standard mechanical keyboard. On the other hand, the Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch caters to individuals who desire a tactile and silenced switch. It boasts a medium bump, padded bottom-out feel, and subdued audio feedback. Both switches provide different experiences and it ultimately comes down to personal preference in terms of sound and feel. However, if you are looking for a similar typing experience to that provided by the Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch, you can achieve it with the Ink Yellow switch by using additional dampening materials or by lubing the switch to reduce its sound profile.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a keyboard switch with a shorter travel and 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. It offers a medium-heavy bottom out force, pleasant smoothness, and a clacky sound profile, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users in various environments.

On the other hand, if you prioritize a tactile and silenced switch, especially for noise-sensitive environments, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) tactile switch is the perfect option. With the same medium-heavy bottom out force as the Ink Yellow, this switch provides a medium bump, padded bottom-out feel, and subdued audio feedback. Its muted sound profile minimizes the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards, creating a quieter typing experience.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your preferences and specific needs. Consider whether you prefer a linear switch or a tactile one, the desired sound profile (neutral and clacky for the Ink Yellow, or muted for the Silent T1), and the level of tactile feedback you desire (stepped and accented for the Silent T1). Both switches offer a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In the end, both the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) tactile switch have their unique features and are suitable for different typing preferences and environments. Whether you prioritize the travel distance, sound, or tactile feedback, these switches provide excellent options for customizing your mechanical keyboard experience.

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