Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Gazzew U4T

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gazzew U4T switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gazzew U4T. The Ink Yellow is a linear switch that offers a shorter travel distance, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. Its notable smoothness and clackiness make it quite satisfying to use. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T is a tactile switch that boasts a unique combination of thockiness and sharp tactility. With its bassy 'thock' sound profile and assertive tactile feedback, every keystroke delivers both auditory and tactile satisfaction. While each switch has its own distinct characteristics, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

65g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

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

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Stainless steel 17.5mm Korean spring

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gazzew U4T differ in their housing materials, resulting in distinct sound profiles. The Ink Yellow features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which produces a pointed and high-pitched sound that is described as clacky. In contrast, the U4T utilizes a proprietary Gazzew blend top housing, also known as "boba plastic," that delivers a rich and deep sound due to its softness. While both materials provide unique sound characteristics, the Ink Yellow's top housing emphasizes a sharper and thinner sound, whereas the U4T's top housing promotes a more resonant and rounded tone.

Similarly, the bottom housings of the Ink Yellow and the U4T showcase contrasting qualities. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend bottom housing contributes to its pointed and high-pitched sound profile, again described as clacky. On the other hand, the U4T's Gazzew blend bottom housing, referred to as "boba plastic," adds a sense of softness and depth to the sound. These differences in housing materials result in distinct bottom-out sounds and overall feel when pressing down on the switch.

However, it is important to note that when comparing the two switches, the impact of the top and bottom housings may not be equal. While the bottom housing has a greater influence on the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, the top housing plays a more significant role in the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, while the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gazzew U4T may have differences in their housing materials, they both provide similar results in terms of keystroke feel and sound production during key release.

Weight

When comparing the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch, it is important to consider their actuation force and bottom out force. The Gateron Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams, which means that this is the amount of force required to trigger a keystroke. In comparison, the actuation force of the Gazzew U4T is unavailable, so it remains unknown. Moving on to the bottom out force, the Gateron Ink Yellow has a bottom out force of 67 grams, indicating that a slightly heavier force is required to fully press down the key. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T has a bottom out force of 62 grams, which is lighter in comparison.

Considering weight is crucial as it impacts typing experience and preferences. Those who prefer a lighter feel will appreciate the Gateron Ink Yellow, as it allows for more comfortable typing over extended periods, making it suitable for work or long gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who desire a firmer and more substantial typing experience may prefer switches with heavier forces. Although the actuation force of the Gazzew U4T is unknown in this case, it possesses a lighter bottom out force of 62 grams, indicating that it provides a relatively lighter typing experience compared to the Gateron Ink Yellow. Thus, if someone desires a lighter typing experience, they may achieve similar results with both switches, while those seeking a heavier feel should opt for the Gateron Ink Yellow.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch, we find that the Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the U4T has a travel distance of 4 mm. Both of these distances fall within the range of what is considered normal for switch travel distances. The Ink Yellow, with its shorter travel distance, may be preferred by gamers who value faster response times. On the other hand, the U4T, with its slightly longer travel distance, may appeal to those who prefer a more substantial key press. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will come down to personal preference and whether you prioritize responsiveness or a deeper 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 Gazzew U4T comes in at $6.50 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

The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is characterized by a shorter travel distance, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. It offers a pleasant smoothness and a clacky sound profile when pressed. The Ink Yellow is considered to be a neutral switch, suitable for various purposes and skill levels. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T tactile switch embodies a harmony of thockiness and sharp tactility. It produces a bassy 'thock' sound profile, accompanied by a strong and assertive tactile feedback. This switch is known for providing both auditory and tactile satisfaction with each keystroke.

When it comes to sound, the Ink Yellow switch has a neutral sound profile, offering a moderate level of actuation force requirement and sound intensity. It produces a clacky sound that is described as sharp, crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, the U4T switch has a bassy sound profile, characterized by a deeper and richer sound during key presses. It has a lower frequency range, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. The U4T switch is also known for its thocky sound, providing a deep, rich, and satisfying auditory experience when pressed and released. However, it's important to note that the sound produced by the switches can be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Ink Yellow switch offers a mild typing experience. It falls on the gentler side, providing a more approachable feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. It also has a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. The reduced friction and smooth key travel add to the overall polished feel of this switch. On the other hand, the U4T switch offers a sharp tactile feedback. Its tactile bump is strong and crisp, giving a distinctly felt tactile feedback with each keypress.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch offer distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow switch provides a clacky sound and a mild, polished feel, offering a typing experience that falls between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. Meanwhile, the U4T switch offers a bassy thock sound and a sharp tactile feedback, providing an assertive and satisfying typing experience. While they have different characteristics, both switches offer unique qualities that cater to different preferences. Depending on your personal preference for sound and feel, either of these switches can provide a pleasurable typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a typing experience that falls between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, with a smooth and clacky feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is an excellent choice. It has a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, making it suitable for most intents and purposes. Additionally, it offers a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you prioritize auditory and tactile satisfaction, the Gazzew U4T tactile switch would be a great option. With its harmonious fusion of thockiness and sharp tactility, it provides a bassy 'thock' sound profile and assertive tactile feedback. The U4T has a medium bottom out force of 62 grams, providing a comfortable typing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and Gazzew U4T switches depends on your personal preferences and priorities. If you value a smoother and clackier feel with a medium-heavy bottom out force, go for the Ink Yellow. If you prefer a stronger tactile feedback and a bassy thock sound, the U4T is the way to go. Both switches offer excellent options for different typing experiences, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

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