Gateron Ink Yellow vs. Gazzew U4Tx

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gazzew U4Tx switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are a wide variety of options to choose from. Two popular choices are the Gateron Ink Yellow, a linear switch, and the Gazzew U4Tx, a tactile switch. The Ink Yellow is best known for its shorter travel, which provides a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. With a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, this switch offers a neutral feel with a mild and polished touch. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4Tx switches marry the best of both worlds. Designed for a cleaner and refined sound profile, these switches provide a deep, resonant "thock" when bottoming out, coupled with a whisper-quiet stealth when topping out. Each press delivers a sharp and satisfying tactile bump, ensuring a luxurious typing experience that's as acoustically pleasing as it is tactile. The U4Tx is categorized as bassy, muted, and sharp. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

62.5g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Partial box

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 Korean spring

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gazzew U4Tx switches have different housing materials that contribute to their unique sound profiles. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend top housing is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, which gives it a satisfying "clacky" feel. In contrast, the U4Tx's proprietary Gazzew blend top housing, referred to as "boba plastic," produces a deep and rich sound due to its softness. While they differ in sound characteristics, both switches offer a distinct auditory experience that enhances typing or gaming.

Similarly, the bottom housing materials of the Ink Yellow and the U4Tx switches are also different. The Ink Yellow's INK blend bottom housing contributes to its pointed and high-pitched sound profile, resulting in a clacky sensation when bottoming out a key. On the other hand, the U4Tx's Gazzew blend bottom housing, made of softer "boba plastic," delivers a rich and deeper sound when pressing down keys. This distinction in bottom housing materials affects the overall sound and feel of the switch, as it plays a vital role in determining the bottom-out sound and sensation.

Despite the differences in top and bottom housing materials, the overall typing experience of both switches can yield similarities. While the Ink Yellow's top and bottom housing contribute to a sharp and clacky sound, the U4Tx's housing materials create a rich and deep sound when pressing or releasing keys. Both switches offer an impressive auditory feedback that ensures an enjoyable typing or gaming experience. Additionally, the divergence in top and bottom housing materials allows for a versatile range of sound profiles, providing users with options depending on their personal preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gazzew U4Tx tactile switch, there are both similarities and differences to consider. Starting with the differences, the Ink Yellow has a known actuation force of 60 grams, whereas the actuation force for the U4Tx is unavailable. However, both switches have a bottom out force of 65 grams, which falls under the category of medium-heavy.

In terms of weight, the lighter option would be the Gateron Ink Yellow. This lighter actuation force may appeal to those who prefer a lighter touch, as it allows for smoother and faster typing, making it suitable for extended typing sessions or marathon gaming sessions. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4Tx offers a potentially heavier actuation force, which could provide a more substantial and satisfying typing experience.

While the actuation force for the U4Tx remains unknown, it is worth noting that both switches have a similar bottom out force, indicating that the overall typing experience in terms of resistance when pressing all the way down will be similar. Therefore, if a heavier force is desired, both the Ink Yellow and U4Tx switches are likely to deliver comparable results.

In summary, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch offers a known actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, while the actuation force for the Gazzew U4Tx tactile switch is unavailable, but it also has a bottom out force of 65 grams. The Ink Yellow is lighter, making it suitable for extended periods of typing or gaming, while the U4Tx potentially provides a heavier and more substantial typing experience. However, both switches are likely to yield similar bottom out forces, ensuring a comparable level of resistance when fully pressing the keys.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Gazzew U4Tx tactile switch have slightly different travel distances. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the U4Tx has a travel distance of 3.6 mm. Although the difference is minimal, it is worth noting. For those who prefer a shorter travel distance, the Ink Yellow may be the better choice with its 3.5 mm. This shorter travel distance can provide a faster response time, which is often favored by gamers. On the other hand, the U4Tx offers a slightly longer travel distance of 3.6 mm. This additional 0.1 mm may result in a more pronounced tactile feel and a deeper keystroke for those who prefer a more substantial typing experience. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches will depend on individual preferences for responsiveness or 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 Gazzew U4Tx 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

In terms of sound, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch has a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. This means it produces a moderate sound that is suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you will be using the switch at home or at work. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch has a clacky sound, which means it produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, giving it a crisp, bright, and percussive sound.

On the other hand, the Gazzew U4Tx switch has a bassy sound profile that offers a deeper and richer sound during key presses. This sound can be characterized by a lower frequency range, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. The U4Tx switch also has a muted sound, which means it produces a softer and quieter sound compared to regular or clacky switches. This feature minimizes the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards, providing a more subtle and refined sound experience.

When it comes to feel, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch provides a mild typing experience, offering a gentle feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Its qualities stand in a safe, middle-ground zone, making it approachable for most users. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch has a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. This can be attributed to the materials used and/or factory lubing, reducing friction and ensuring smooth key travel.

On the other hand, the Gazzew U4Tx switch is characterized by a sharp tactile bump. These switches have a high feedback intensity, providing a strong and crisp tactile bump that can be distinctly felt with each and every keypress. This feature enhances the tactile feel of the switch, offering a satisfying typing experience for those who enjoy prominent tactile feedback.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow and Gazzew U4Tx switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow switch provides a neutral and clacky sound profile, with a mild and polished feel. On the other hand, the U4Tx switch offers a bassy and muted sound profile, with a sharp tactile feel. Depending on your preference, both switches can provide a luxurious typing experience. However, it's important to consider other factors such as your choice of keyboard board and keycaps, as they can also influence the overall sound and feel.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you're looking for a smoother, clackier typing experience in a switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be an excellent choice. With its shorter travel and pleasant smoothness, this switch offers a typing experience that is similar to a laptop keyboard but with the satisfying feel of a standard mechanical keyboard. On the other hand, if you desire a cleaner and refined sound profile, along with a luxurious typing experience that's both acoustically pleasing and tactile, then the Gazzew U4Tx tactile switch is the way to go. Its deep, resonant "thock" when bottoming out and the whisper-quiet stealth when topping out provide a satisfying, immersive typing experience. Additionally, this switch features a sharp and satisfying tactile bump, making each keypress stand out. Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Gazzew U4Tx depends on your preference for sound and feel, and both switches offer unique and enjoyable typing experiences.

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