Gateron Ink Yellowvs. SP-Star Duck
When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options to consider are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Duck. Both switches offer unique features that cater to different typing preferences. The Gateron Ink Yellow is a linear switch known for its shorter travel distance, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With its smoothness and clackiness, this switch offers a satisfying and pleasant typing experience. On the other hand, the SP-Star Duck is a tactile switch designed for those seeking a more subtle tactile typing experience. Typing on these switches offers a gentle tactility, accompanied by a clean and crispy sound profile. Both switches are categorized as having a neutral feeling and a polished finish. However, let's dive deeper beyond these generalities to help you make the best choice for your needs.
By the numbers
$7.35 per 10 switches
$5.40 per 10 switches
Top housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Top housing material
Bottom housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Bottom housing material
When comparing the housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Duck switches, there are some notable differences. The Ink Yellow features a proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing, which gives it a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. This creates a satisfying thin and clacky sound when typing. On the other hand, the Duck switch utilizes polycarbonate for both its top and bottom housing. The use of polycarbonate results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. It also offers the advantage of translucency, making it ideal for switches that incorporate RGB lighting.
The difference in housing materials directly impacts the sound produced by these switches. While both the Ink Yellow and the Duck switches have a higher-pitched sound, the Ink Yellow's proprietary blend gives it a unique character that is not overly sharp. In contrast, the Duck switch with its polycarbonate housing creates a crisper and more resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of the polycarbonate housing enhances RGB lighting effects, making it a popular choice for those who prioritize aesthetics and customization.
Despite these differences, the impact of the housing materials is similar in both switches. The bottom housing plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on a key. The choice of material for the bottom housing shapes the overall typing experience by influencing the tactile feedback and the sound when the key is fully pressed. Conversely, the top housing primarily affects the sound when a key is released. By selecting different housing materials, both the Ink Yellow and the Duck switches offer distinct sound profiles and experiences for typists.
In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Duck switches offer distinct sound profiles due to their different housing materials. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend provides a pointed and high-pitched sound, while the Duck switch with its polycarbonate housing delivers a crisper and more resonant sound. The choice of housing material also affects the overall typing experience, with the bottom housing influencing the bottom-out sound and feel, and the top housing impacting the sound upon key release. However, both switches share the common characteristic of higher-pitched sound profiles, with the Duck's polycarbonate housing additionally offering the advantage of translucency for RGB lighting effects.
When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch, there are noticeable differences. The Gateron Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams, making it lighter than the Duck, for which the force is unavailable. In terms of bottom out force, the Ink Yellow requires 67 grams of force, which is heavier than the Duck's 58 grams. This means that the Ink Yellow provides a more substantial typing experience with a stronger push feel, whereas the Duck offers a lighter typing experience. However, if the actuation force of the Duck is similar to the Ink Yellow or falls within a comparable range, users can expect similar results in terms of triggering keystrokes. Considering the weight of the switches is important as it can impact typing endurance and overall comfort for different individuals during extended typing or gaming sessions.
The travel distances of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch differ slightly. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Duck has a slightly longer travel distance of 4 mm. The Ink Yellow falls on the shorter side of the spectrum, making it a preferable choice for gamers who prioritize faster response times. Its shorter travel distance allows for quicker key presses, giving gamers an advantage. On the other hand, the Duck offers a longer travel distance, which may be more appealing to individuals who prefer a deeper and more substantial feel when pressing down on a key. Both switches offer unique experiences based on their travel distances, and the choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences and the desired typing or gaming experience.
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 SP-Star Duck has an MSRP of $5.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Duck for $5.40.
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.
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In terms of sound, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Duck switches have a neutral sound profile. This means that they have a moderate level of sound, making them suitable for most purposes. However, the Ink Yellow switch is also described as clacky, producing a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. On the other hand, the Duck switch has a clean and crispy sound profile. Keep in mind that the sound of a switch is influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.
When it comes to feel, both switches offer a mild typing experience. This means that they provide a gentler sensation compared to switches with more noticeable characteristics. The Ink Yellow switch is also described as polished, which means it has a smooth and refined finish. This results in reduced friction and a sleek typing experience. Similarly, the Duck switch is described as buttery, indicating a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. It provides a seamless and effortless typing sensation. Additionally, the Duck switch is also described as polished, suggesting a smooth and refined finish.
Overall, the Ink Yellow switch offers a shorter travel distance, providing a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It has a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, making it a popular choice for typists. On the other hand, the Duck switch offers a more subtle tactile typing experience, with a gentle tactility and clean and crispy sound profile. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement, suitable for most users. If you're looking for similar qualities, such as a neutral sound profile and a mild typing experience, both switches can deliver satisfying results. Ultimately, the choice between the two would depend on personal preference and the specific characteristics one is seeking in a mechanical keyboard switch.
Try switches before you buy them
We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.
You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.
Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.
We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.
The try at-home program costs only $15, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.
To sum up, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is a great choice for those who want a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a medium-heavy feel. The Ink Yellow is best known for its smoothness and clackiness, providing a satisfying tactile experience. In terms of sound, it is described as neutral and clacky, delivering a crisp and percussive sound when pressed. The feel of the Ink Yellow is mild and polished, offering reduced friction and smooth key travel.
On the other hand, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch is perfect if you prefer a more subtle and gentle tactile typing experience. With a bottom out force of 58 grams, it offers a medium feel. The Duck is best known for its clean and crispy sound profile. Described as neutral, it is suitable for both beginners and advanced users. The feel of the Duck switch is mild, buttery, and polished, providing a seamless and uniform typing sensation.
Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and the SP-Star Duck will depend on your personal preferences. If you prefer a smoother and clackier typing experience with a medium-heavy feel, the Ink Yellow is the way to go. However, if you prefer a more subtle and gentle tactile feel with a clean and crispy sound profile, the Duck switch is the better option. Consider your typing style and preferences to make the decision that suits you best.