Gateron Ink Yellow vs. KTT Strawberry

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options that frequently come up in discussions are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the KTT Strawberry. The Ink Yellow, a linear switch, is known for its shorter travel distance, offering a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, it provides a unique sensation for those who enjoy a tactile feel while typing. On the other hand, the Strawberry, another linear switch, charms users with its delectable pink and clear housings. What sets it apart is its smooth actuation, comfortable feel, and reliable performance. With its low-pitched sound and frictionless operation, the Strawberry offers a silky and buttery typing experience. Both switches have their own unique characteristics and advantages, making them appealing options for different individuals. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your personal preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

43g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

62g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 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

Polycarbonate

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Yellow and the KTT Strawberry differ in their housing materials, with the Ink Yellow featuring a proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing, while the Strawberry utilizes polycarbonate for both its top and bottom housing. In terms of sound profile, both switches offer a higher-pitched and clacky sound. However, the Strawberry's polycarbonate housing provides a sharper and crisper sound due to its stiffer plastic composition. Additionally, the clear nature of polycarbonate allows for better light transmission, making it ideal for switches with RGB lighting.

While the Ink Yellow and the Strawberry have different housing materials, they share some similarities. Both switches produce a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound, although the Strawberry's polycarbonate housing enhances these qualities further. Both switches also excel in providing a clacky sound profile, although the Strawberry's sharper and crisper sound is attributed to its polycarbonate housing's stiffness. However, in terms of aesthetics, the Strawberry's clear polycarbonate housing allows for more vibrant RGB lighting effects, whereas the Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing adds a unique visual element to the switch.

The housing of a switch plays a significant role in determining the sound and feel of each keystroke. In the case of the Ink Yellow and the Strawberry, the qualities of their respective housing materials are divided between the top and bottom housings. When pressing down on either switch, the bottom housing will have more influence on the bottom-out sound and feel. However, upon releasing a key, the qualities of the top housing become more apparent in shaping the sound. Thus, understanding the impact of each housing material can provide insights into the tactile and auditory experience of using these switches.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the KTT Strawberry linear switch, there are noticeable differences. The Ink Yellow has a slightly heavier actuation force of 60 grams, while the Strawberry requires a lighter force of 43 grams to trigger a keystroke. This means that the Ink Yellow switch may provide a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger push feel. However, when it comes to bottoming out, the Strawberry switch requires a force of 62 grams, whereas the Ink Yellow switch has a slightly higher bottom out force of 67 grams. Despite these differences, both switches fall within the medium range in terms of bottom out forces. This means that users can expect similar results in terms of the overall weight and feel of the switches. Therefore, if weight is a consideration, individuals looking for a lighter switch that allows for longer typing periods may lean towards the KTT Strawberry. However, for those who prefer a heavier and more substantial typing experience, the Gateron Ink Yellow may be the preferable choice.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the KTT Strawberry linear switch, it is clear that the Strawberry has a longer travel distance of 4 mm, while the Ink Yellow has a slightly shorter distance of 3.5 mm. The Strawberry falls into the more traditional range of travel distances, providing a deeper and more substantial feeling when pressing down on a key. In contrast, the Ink Yellow offers a slightly shallower experience, which may be preferred by gamers looking for a faster response time. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference, with the Ink Yellow providing a shorter and more responsive feel, while the Strawberry offers a longer and more substantial depth.

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 KTT Strawberry comes in at $4.91 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 comparing the sound qualities of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the KTT Strawberry, the Ink Yellow is described as having a neutral and clacky sound profile. With a moderate actuation force requirement, this switch is suitable for various purposes, including both beginner and advanced users, and can be used in both home and work settings. The clacky sound it produces is sharp, crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, the Strawberry has a low-pitched sound, which means it offers a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the Ink Yellow is described as offering a mild and polished typing experience. The mild characteristics of this switch provide a gentle typing experience that most users will find approachable. It strikes a balance between various qualities, making it suitable for a wide range of users. Additionally, the polished finish of the switch, either due to materials used or factory lubing, results in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Similarly, the Strawberry is described as frictionless, silky, buttery, and polished. These qualities indicate that the Strawberry switch offers an exceptionally smooth and effortless typing experience. It minimizes resistance and provides a fluid travel, enhancing the overall smoothness of the typing feel. It also achieves reduced friction and smooth key travel through its polished finish.

In conclusion, while the Gateron Ink Yellow and the KTT Strawberry have some differences in their sound and feel qualities, they both offer smooth typing experiences. The Ink Yellow provides a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, making it suitable for those looking for a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It has a neutral sound profile and a mild feel, with a polished finish. On the other hand, the Strawberry has a low-pitched sound with attractive pink and clear housings. It offers a frictionless, silky, and buttery typing experience, resulting in a smooth and effortless feel. Ultimately, both switches provide satisfying typing experiences, though with slight variations in sound and feel.

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 medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, you can expect a pleasant smoothness and clackiness as you type. The Ink Yellow also offers a neutral sound profile, suitable for both beginners and advanced users, and it has a mild feel with a polished finish for a sleek and refined typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a lower bottom out force of 62 grams and a smooth actuation, the KTT Strawberry linear switch would be an excellent option. Known for its attractive pink and clear housings, the Strawberry switch provides a comfortable feel and reliable performance. It has a low-pitched sound profile, offering a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. Additionally, the Strawberry switch offers a frictionless and silky typing experience, making it effortless and smooth.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and the KTT Strawberry linear switches depends on your personal preferences and the typing experience you are seeking. Whether you prioritize a medium-heavy switch with a clacky sound and a polished feel, or a switch with a lower bottom out force, low-pitched sound, and a buttery-smooth typing experience, both switches have their own unique advantages. Consider your preferences for force, sound, and feel, and choose the switch that aligns best with your desired typing experience.

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