Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Jwick Taro

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

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard switch, you may be considering the Gateron Ink Yellow, a linear switch, or the Jwick Taro, a tactile switch. Each switch offers its own unique advantages, making them suitable for different preferences and needs. The Ink Yellow is characterized by its shorter travel distance, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, this switch offers a satisfying keystroke. On the other hand, the Taro switch offers a cozy typing experience with its snappy, medium-level of tactility. The acute and crisp clacks it produces contribute to its overall appeal. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can decide which switch is truly the best fit 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

3.70 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

No

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 of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Jwick Taro switches have distinct characteristics that contribute to their overall sound profiles. The Gateron Ink Yellow utilizes a proprietary INK blend top housing, which offers a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound that is often described as clacky. In contrast, the Taro switch features a polycarbonate top housing that creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Both materials contribute to a clear and resonant sound, making them suitable for users who prioritize sound quality.

In terms of bottom housing, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Jwick Taro switches differ once again. The INK blend bottom housing of the Ink Yellow provides a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile, similar to its top housing. On the other hand, the Taro switch utilizes a nylon bottom housing. Nylon is known for producing a deeper and fuller sound due to its softer nature, which absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics. This results in a duller and rounder sound profile, offering a contrasting experience to the Ink Yellow's bottom housing.

When considering the overall performance and feel of the switches, the housing materials play a significant role. The choice of top and bottom housing materials contributes to the sound produced during both the press and the release of a key. The Gateron Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend materials provide a pointed and high-pitched sound throughout, while the Jwick Taro split its material characteristics between the top and bottom housing. Pressing down on the Taro switch emphasizes the impact of its nylon bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound. Conversely, the sound when releasing a key is influenced by the polycarbonate top housing, adding a sharper and crisper element. Ultimately, users can expect different sound profiles and tactile experiences based on the housing materials used in each switch.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Jwick Taro tactile switch, there are some noticeable similarities and differences. The Gateron Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, which places it in the medium-heavy range. On the other hand, the actuation force of the Jwick Taro is unknown, but it also has a bottom out force of 67 grams, which again falls under the medium-heavy category.

Considering weight, some users may prefer a lighter switch like the Ink Yellow, as it allows for comfortable typing for longer durations, making it ideal for office use or extended gaming sessions. Alternatively, those who seek a more robust typing experience may lean towards a switch with a heavier actuation force. In this case, since the actuation force of the Taro is unavailable, it is uncertain how it compares in terms of weight to the Ink Yellow.

In summary, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch has a known actuation force of 60 grams, which is medium-heavy, while the Jwick Taro tactile switch has an unknown actuation force. However, both switches share the same bottom out force of 67 grams, making them similar in their tactile feedback when fully pressed.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Jwick Taro tactile switch have different travel distances. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Taro has a slightly longer travel distance of 3.7 mm. Both switches fall within the range of shorter travel distances, which are becoming increasingly popular in recent times. Gamers, in particular, tend to prefer shorter travel distances as they offer 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 option for you. However, it is important to note that some individuals find shorter travel distances to feel abrupt, and prefer a more substantial depth. In this case, the Taro with its slightly longer travel distance might be a more suitable choice. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches will depend on your personal preference and typing style.

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 Taro has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Taro for $4.25.

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 and Jwick Taro switches both fall under the neutral category, meaning they have a moderate actuation force requirement and sound profile. This makes them suitable for most purposes, whether you're a beginner or advanced user and whether you plan to use them at home or work. The Ink Yellow switch is also described as clacky, producing a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. On the other hand, the Taro switch does not have a specific descriptor for its sound, so we can assume it has a more generic neutral sound. 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 feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch provides a mild typing experience. This means it offers a more gentle and approachable feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch is described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish that results in a sleek typing experience. This can be attributed to the materials used or the factory lubing, which reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Jwick Taro switch is described as buttery, implying a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. The Taro switches provide a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. It is also worth noting that the Taro switch has a stepped feel, meaning it has two stages in its tactility. This makes it feel more mild compared to switches with a larger tactile bump where the whole keystroke is one noticeable bump.

In conclusion, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and Jwick Taro switches offer their own unique subjective qualities. The Ink Yellow switch provides a shorter travel and a pleasant smoothness with clackiness. It has a neutral and clacky sound with a mild and polished feel. On the other hand, the Taro switch offers a cozy typing experience with snappy medium-level tactility and acute crisp clacks. It has a neutral sound and a buttery feel with a stepped tactile sensation. While they differ in some aspects, both switches fall under the neutral category for sound and provide a pleasant typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preference and the specific requirements of the user.

Conclusion

To wrap up, if you are looking for a smooth and clacky typing experience that falls between a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be a great choice for you. With a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, this switch provides a pleasant smoothness and crisp clacks. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch offers a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for various purposes, whether you're a beginner or advanced user, and whether you plan to use it at home or work. In terms of feel, the Ink Yellow switch is described as mild and polished, offering a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch with a cozy typing experience, the Jwick Taro switch would be a suitable option. With the same bottom out force of 67 grams, this tactile switch provides a snappy, medium-level of tactility and acute, crisp clacks. The Taro switch also offers a neutral sound profile, making it versatile for different users and environments.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Jwick Taro tactile switch depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritize a smooth and clacky typing experience, go for the Ink Yellow switch. If you prefer a tactile typing feel and cozy clacks, the Taro switch would be a better fit. Regardless of your choice, both switches offer a medium-heavy bottom out force and can provide an enjoyable typing experience.

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