Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Everglide Tourmaline Blue

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

Overview

When choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, it's important to consider your preferences for typing experience and sound profile. Two popular linear switches to consider are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Everglide Tourmaline Blue. The Ink Yellow is known for its shorter travel, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. Its smoothness and clackiness make it a pleasant option for those seeking a balanced typing feel. On the other hand, the Tourmaline Blue stands out with its deep and thocky sound profile, which can truly immerse you in a satisfying typing experience. The lengthened single-stage spring in the Tourmaline Blue gives it a bouncy feel, and its standard spring weight appeals to a wide range of users. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

59g

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

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 Everglide Tourmaline Blue differ in their housing materials, with the Ink Yellow featuring a proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing, while the Tourmaline Blue utilizes polycarbonate for both the top and bottom housing. The INK blend of the Ink Yellow is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile, which is described as clacky. In contrast, the polycarbonate housing of the Tourmaline Blue creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic, resulting in a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for RGB lighting enthusiasts.

Although the housing materials of the Ink Yellow and the Tourmaline Blue differ, both switches offer similar results in terms of their sound profiles. Both switches produce a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound, although the Ink Yellow is characterized as clacky while the Tourmaline Blue has a sharper and crisper sound. This suggests that both switches are suitable for users who prefer a more distinctive and attention-grabbing sound when typing. Additionally, the use of polycarbonate in the top housing of the Tourmaline Blue allows for enhanced RGB lighting effects, making it an appealing choice for those who prioritize aesthetic customization.

When it comes to the impact on sound and feel, the housing materials for the top and bottom of a switch play a significant role. In the case of the Ink Yellow and the Tourmaline Blue, the bottom housing has a greater influence on the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on the switch. Conversely, the top housing is more influential in determining the sound produced when releasing a key. This means that users can anticipate slightly different tactile experiences between the two switches, depending on whether they prioritize the feel of pressing down or the sound produced upon release.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Everglide Tourmaline Blue linear switch, there are some similarities and differences to note. Both switches have a bottom out force of 67 grams, indicating a medium-heavy resistance when fully pressed. However, the actuation force differs slightly. The Gateron Ink Yellow requires 60 grams of force to trigger a keystroke, while the Tourmaline Blue requires 59 grams. This slight difference may not be noticeable to some users, and both switches can provide a similar typing experience in terms of actuation force.

Considering the weight of the switches, the Gateron Ink Yellow is slightly lighter in terms of actuation force. This lighter actuation force may be preferable for those who need to type for longer periods, such as in a work environment or during extended gaming sessions. The slight difference in actuation force may provide a lighter and more effortless typing experience for some users.

However, for those who prefer a more substantial typing experience with a stronger push feel, the Everglide Tourmaline Blue may be a better option. The slightly heavier actuation force of 59 grams can provide a more satisfying and tactile typing feel. This heavier actuation force may be desirable for individuals who enjoy the sensation of a more pronounced key press.

In conclusion, while both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Everglide Tourmaline Blue have a similar bottom out force, the slight difference in actuation force may be a deciding factor for some individuals. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches would depend on personal preferences and the desired typing experience - whether it be a lighter and effortless feel or a more substantial and tactile experience.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Everglide Tourmaline Blue linear switch, it is clear that the Tourmaline Blue has a longer travel distance of 4 mm compared to the Ink Yellow's 3.5 mm. 4.0mm is the most traditional travel distance, while 3.0 mm is the most shallow. However, in recent times, shorter travel distances have become prevalent, especially favored by gamers seeking faster response times. For those looking for a more responsive experience, the Ink Yellow's shorter travel distance would be the preferred choice. On the other hand, individuals who enjoy a deeper keystroke may find the Tourmaline Blue's longer travel distance more satisfying. Ultimately, the choice between these switches would depend on personal preferences for either a quicker response or a deeper key press.

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 Everglide Tourmaline Blue has an MSRP of $6.86 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Tourmaline Blue for $3.89.

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, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Everglide Tourmaline Blue switches fall into the neutral category. This means they have a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, making them suitable for most uses. However, the Ink Yellow switch is known for its clacky sound, which produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. On the other hand, the Tourmaline Blue switch offers a deep and thocky sound profile, immersing the user in a satisfying typing experience. The choice of board and keycaps can also influence the sound of the switches. Overall, both switches provide pleasant sound qualities, with the Ink Yellow being clacky and the Tourmaline Blue offering a deep and thocky sound.

In terms of feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch provides a mild and polished typing experience. Being in the mild category, these switches offer a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users. They have a safe and middle-ground feel that strikes a balance between different switch characteristics. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch features a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. This contributes to a sleek typing experience. On the other hand, the Everglide Tourmaline Blue switch is described as buttery and easy-to-press. This implies a smooth and fluid keystroke experience, with minimal resistance during key presses. The light actuation force of the Tourmaline Blue switch makes typing effortless, comfortable, and reduces finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. The switch falls into the mild category, providing a gentle typing experience that is comfortable for most users. Overall, both switches offer smooth and refined typing experiences, with the Ink Yellow being mild and polished, and the Tourmaline Blue being buttery and easy-to-press.

Considering all the available information, the Gateron Ink Yellow and Everglide Tourmaline Blue switches have their own unique qualities when it comes to sound and feel. The Ink Yellow switch provides a clacky sound, while the Tourmaline Blue switch offers a deep and thocky sound. In terms of feel, the Ink Yellow switch is mild and polished, while the Tourmaline Blue switch is buttery and easy-to-press. Both switches fall into the neutral category in terms of sound, making them suitable for most intents and purposes. Similarly, they both offer a comfortable and approachable typing experience due to their mild characteristics. Therefore, if you are looking for similar sound qualities, the Ink Yellow and Tourmaline Blue switches can deliver satisfying results, albeit with their own unique characteristics.

Conclusion

In closing, if you are looking for a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard, we recommend choosing the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch. With its shorter travel and pleasant smoothness, it provides a unique typing experience. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch offers a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for various environments. On the other hand, if you prefer a deep and thocky sound profile and a bouncy feel with each keystroke, the Everglide Tourmaline Blue linear switch is the way to go. Its standard spring weight strikes a balance, making it enjoyable for a wide range of users. Both switches offer a satisfying typing experience with their respective qualities. Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and Everglide Tourmaline Blue switches will depend on your personal preferences and the typing experience you desire.

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