KTT Laurel vs. Haimu Viola Tricolor

An in-depth look at the KTT Laurel and the Haimu Viola Tricolor switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

Introducing the KTT Laurel, a smooth and responsive linear switch, and the Haimu Viola Tricolor, a tactile switch with a touch of character! The Laurel switch, with its medium-light weight and full POM housing, strikes the perfect balance of comfort and responsiveness. Its short travel and long pole design make for a satisfying typing experience, accompanied by a subtly low-pitched sound profile. On the other hand, the Viola Tricolor switches offer a pronounced tactility that adds a satisfying feedback to your typing, without being overly tactile. Designed to deliver a thuddy and punchy sound profile, these switches strike a perfect balance between being accented and invigorating, without overwhelming the user. Both switches have their unique qualities that cater to different preferences and typing styles. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your keyboard setup.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

43g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

50g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.80 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

22m spring

Spring

Dual-staged gold-plated spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Laurel and the Haimu Viola Tricolor switches differ significantly. The Laurel uses POM (polyoxymethylene) for both its top and bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and more muted sound profile. In contrast, the Viola Tricolor utilizes polycarbonate for its top housing, creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. While the POM housing of the Laurel provides a unique sound experience, the polycarbonate top housing of the Viola Tricolor is especially suitable for RGB lighting due to its translucency. Therefore, if you are seeking a switch with a more subdued sound, the Laurel's POM housing would be the preferred choice, whereas if you desire a switch with a brighter and more resonant sound profile, the Viola Tricolor's polycarbonate housing is the way to go.

In terms of the bottom housing, both the Laurel and the Viola Tricolor differ once again. The Laurel's POM bottom housing creates a deeper and more muted sound profile, similar to its top housing qualities. On the other hand, the Viola Tricolor features a nylon bottom housing, which generates a fuller and deeper sound. Nylon is known for its ability to absorb more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, if you prefer a switch with a deeper and fuller sound, the Viola Tricolor with its nylon bottom housing would be the better choice, while the Laurel's POM bottom housing offers a more subdued sound experience.

It is worth noting that the impact of each housing material can vary depending on which part of the switch is affected. When pressing down on a switch, the qualities of the bottom housing will be more noticeable, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing will have a greater impact on the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, even if the housing materials differ for the top and bottom of a switch, understanding their respective effects allows users to choose a switch that best suits their preferred sound and typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Haimu Viola Tricolor tactile switch, there are notable differences to consider. Firstly, in terms of weight, the Laurel is lighter than the Viola Tricolor. This lighter weight is advantageous for users who prefer a more lightweight typing experience, enabling them to type for extended periods without fatigue. Additionally, the Laurel's actuation force of 43 grams is lower compared to the unknown actuation force of the Viola Tricolor. However, where the Viola Tricolor excels is in its bottom out force, which measures 63.5 grams, indicating a medium-heavy push feel upon full depression. This heavier force may appeal to individuals who desire a more substantial and satisfying typing experience. Overall, the Laurel offers a lighter actuation force and bottom out force, while the Viola Tricolor provides a slightly heavier bottom out force, allowing users to achieve varying results based on their preference.

Travel distance

When it comes to travel distance, the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Haimu Viola Tricolor tactile switch offer slightly different experiences. The Laurel has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Viola Tricolor has a slightly longer travel distance of 3.8 mm. Although both switches fall within the range of shorter travel distances, it is important to note that even these small differences can affect the feel and responsiveness of the keyboard. Gamers, for example, often prefer shorter travel distances as they allow for faster response times. In this case, the Laurel may be the preferred option. However, some individuals find shorter travel distances to feel too abrupt and prefer a switch that offers a bit more depth. If that is your preference, the Viola Tricolor with its longer travel distance may be the better choice. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches will depend on personal preference and the desired typing 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 Haimu Viola Tricolor has an MSRP of $6.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Viola Tricolor for $3.09.

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, the KTT Laurel linear switch is known for its subtly low-pitched sound profile. This means that the switch produces a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. On the other hand, the Haimu Viola Tricolor tactile switch offers a thuddy and punchy sound profile that adds a touch of character to your typing experience. It has a deeper and richer sound profile due to its bassy nature. Both switches feature a low-pitched sound but have different characteristics, so the choice will depend on personal preference. Additionally, it's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard's construction and the type of keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the KTT Laurel linear switch is described as snappy, which means it is highly responsive. This responsiveness can be attributed to its longer or dual-staged springs, making the typing experience feel more alive. On the other hand, the Haimu Viola Tricolor tactile switch is known for its accented feel. It provides a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or too subtle. It strikes a balance between being tactile and comfortable to use. The Viola Tricolor switch is also described as invigorating, offering pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel. This creates an immersive typing sensation. Both switches offer a satisfying tactile experience, but the Viola Tricolor has a more pronounced tactility compared to the Laurel. Again, personal preference will play a role in deciding which switch to choose.

Taking all the available information into account, the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Haimu Viola Tricolor tactile switch have different subjective qualities. The Laurel offers a subtly low-pitched sound profile and a snappy feel, providing a balance of responsiveness and comfort. Meanwhile, the Viola Tricolor provides a thuddy and punchy sound profile with an accented feel, delivering a satisfying tactile experience without being overly tactile. Choosing between the two switches will depend on the individual's preference for sound and tactility. If you are looking for a linear switch with a low-pitched sound and a snappy feel, the Laurel is a great choice. However, if you prefer a tactile switch with a deeper and richer sound profile and a more pronounced tactility, the Viola Tricolor is the way to go. Whichever switch you choose, both options offer a balanced combination of subjective qualities for an enjoyable typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a medium-light linear switch that offers a perfect balance of responsiveness and comfort, the KTT Laurel is the switch for you. With its light bottom out force of 50 grams and full POM housing, it provides a smooth typing experience. Additionally, the Laurel switch has a subtly low-pitched sound profile, adding to its overall appeal.

On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch that offers a thuddy and punchy sound profile, the Haimu Viola Tricolor is a great choice. With a medium-heavy bottom out force of 63.5 grams, it provides a satisfying feedback without being overly tactile. The Viola Tricolor strikes a perfect balance, offering a sharp sensation and a touch of character to your typing experience.

In terms of sound, the Laurel switch offers a low-pitched tone, providing a more bass-heavy and mellow sound profile. On the other hand, the Viola Tricolor switch offers a bassy sound profile, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones.

When it comes to feel, the Laurel switch is snappy and super responsive, making the typing experience feel more alive. On the other hand, the Viola Tricolor switch is accented, providing a medium tactile switch with a prominent amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. It also offers an invigorating feel, creating an immersive typing sensation.

Ultimately, the decision between the KTT Laurel and the Haimu Viola Tricolor would come down to personal preference. Consider the factors mentioned above, such as bottom out force, sound profile, and feel, to choose the switch that best aligns with your typing preferences and needs.

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