KTT Laurel vs. Gateron New North Pole V2

An in-depth look at the KTT Laurel and the Gateron New North Pole V2 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the KTT Laurel and the Gateron New North Pole V2. The Laurel is a medium-light linear switch that offers a perfect balance of responsiveness and comfort. With its full POM housing, short travel, and long pole design, it provides a smooth typing experience. Additionally, the Laurel emits a subtly low-pitched sound profile. On the other hand, the New North Pole V2 from Gateron is known for its crisper typing experience. Unlike its predecessor, it no longer has a rubber dampener, allowing for a more tactile feel. Despite this change, Gateron has maintained the smooth glide and seamless typing experience that users have come to love with the North Pole lineup. Categorized as polished, creamy, and frictionless, the New North Pole V2 offers a unique typing feel. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

43g

Actuation force

50g

Bottom-out force

50g

Bottom-out force

62.5g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

Ink Housing Material

Top housing material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

22m spring

Spring

Gold-plated 15.4mm

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Laurel and the Gateron New North Pole V2 differ in terms of sound profile and aesthetic appeal. The Laurel utilizes POM (Polyoxymethylene) for both its top and bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and more muted sound profile. In contrast, the New North Pole V2 features polycarbonate for both the top and bottom housing, producing a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is predominantly due to polycarbonate's stiffness, which enhances clarity and resonance. Aesthetically, a clear housing indicates polycarbonate, making it particularly advantageous for switch lighting purposes.

However, it is worth noting that if the top and bottom housings are different, which is not the case for either of these switches, the qualities of each material will be divided between the top and bottom of the switch. The bottom housing primarily affects the bottom-out sound and feel when a key is pressed, while the top housing predominantly influences the sound when a key is released.

Despite their differences, these housing materials ultimately serve the same purpose of enclosing the internal components of the switch. Both POM and polycarbonate offer durability and protection, ensuring the switch functions properly and remains intact over time. Therefore, while the Laurel and New North Pole V2 differ in their sound profiles and aesthetics, they both provide reliable housing materials for mechanical switches.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch, there are notable differences. The Laurel has a relatively light actuation force of 43 grams, while the New North Pole V2 requires 50 grams to register a keystroke, making it slightly heavier. Similarly, when it comes to bottoming out, the Laurel has a force of 50 grams, whereas the New North Pole V2 has a higher force of 62.5 grams. This means that the Laurel switch offers a lighter typing experience overall, making it suitable for those who enjoy a more effortless keystroke. On the other hand, the New North Pole V2 provides a slightly firmer and more substantial typing feel, appealing to individuals who prefer a stronger push while typing. Both switches offer their own advantages based on personal preferences. For those seeking a lighter typing experience for extended periods, the Laurel switch would be a suitable choice, while those desiring a more forceful and impactful keystroke may lean towards the New North Pole V2 switch.

Travel distance

The KTT Laurel linear switch and the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch have different travel distances. The Laurel has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the New North Pole V2 has a travel distance of 4 mm. Therefore, the New North Pole V2 has a slightly longer travel distance compared to the Laurel. In terms of preferences, the 4.0mm travel distance of the New North Pole V2 falls into the traditional range, while the 3.5mm travel distance of the Laurel is on the shorter side. Gamers often prefer shorter travel distances for quicker response times, making the Laurel a suitable option. However, for individuals who prefer a deeper and more substantial keypress, the longer travel distance of the New North Pole V2 may be more satisfying. In either case, both switches offer options that cater to different preferences, ensuring that users can find a suitable switch for their desired typing or gaming experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Laurel has an MSRP of $4.42 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Laurel for $3.95.

The Gateron New North Pole V2 has an MSRP of $6.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the New North Pole V2 for $5.70.

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 KTT Laurel linear switch is best known for its subtly low-pitched sound profile. This means that when typing on a keyboard with Laurel switches, you can expect a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. On the other hand, the sound characteristics of the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch are not described in the given information. However, it's important to note that the sound produced by a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used, so the specific sound of the New North Pole V2 may vary.

When it comes to feel, the KTT Laurel switch is described as snappy. This means that the switch is super responsive and provides a typing experience that feels more alive. The snappiness of the switch can be attributed to its longer or dual-staged springs, which enhance the tactile feedback and responsiveness. In contrast, the Gateron New North Pole V2 switch is described as polished, creamy, and frictionless. A polished switch refers to a switch that has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. A creamy switch offers a smooth and buttery typing experience, similar to gliding your fingers across the keys with ease. Lastly, a frictionless switch provides an extremely smooth and effortless typing experience, minimizing any sense of resistance or friction when pressing the keys.

Based on the available information, the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch offer different subjective qualities. The Laurel switch provides a low-pitched sound profile and a snappy typing feel. On the other hand, the New North Pole V2 switch offers a subjective sound experience that is unknown and a polished, creamy, and frictionless typing feel. While both switches have their own unique qualities, it's important to consider personal preferences and other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used to ensure a satisfying typing experience.

Conclusion

In summary, if you are looking for a medium-light linear switch with a balance of responsiveness and comfort, the KTT Laurel is an excellent choice. With its full POM housing and short travel, you can expect a snappy and low-pitched typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a crisper typing experience and a frictionless feel, the Gateron New North Pole V2 is the way to go. Despite the removal of the rubber dampener, it still maintains the seamless glide and smoothness that Gateron switches are known for. Moreover, the New North Pole V2 offers a polished, creamy, and frictionless typing experience. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches depends on your preferences for bottom out force, sound profile, and typing feel. Consider your priorities and choose the switch that best suits your needs.

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