SP-Star Polaris Purple vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the SP-Star Polaris Purple and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options worth considering are the SP-Star Polaris Purple and the Durock T1. Starting with the Polaris Purple, it is renowned for its exhilarating tactile typing experience, thanks to its big tactile bump. The sound profile of this switch is snappy, which adds to the overall typing satisfaction. On the other hand, the Durock T1 offers a super comfortable typing experience, with a medium bump upon pressing down. The sound it produces is reminiscent of rain falling on a window, creating a soothing atmosphere. Both switches have their unique qualities that make them appealing. However, let's delve deeper and explore their characteristics in more detail, so you can make the most informed decision and find the best switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the SP-Star Polaris Purple and the Durock T1 share many similarities. Both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top housings, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The relatively stiffer nature of polycarbonate contributes to a more clear and resonant sound, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a distinct typing experience. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for the effective use of RGB lighting, further enhancing the overall aesthetics of the switches.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the two switches differ in their choice of material. The Polaris Purple features a polycarbonate bottom housing, which provides similar sound characteristics as the top housing. On the other hand, the Durock T1 utilizes a nylon bottom housing. This material choice brings about a deeper and fuller sound profile due to nylon's relatively softer nature. Nylon absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound that some typists may prefer.

Interestingly, the distinction between the top and bottom housing materials brings unique qualities to each switch. When pressing down on a key, the impact and sound of the bottom housing will be more noticeable. This means that the housing material of the Polaris Purple's bottom contributes to the switch's bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing has a greater influence on the sound produced when a key is released. Therefore, while the Polaris Purple and Durock T1 share similar qualities in their top housing material, the differing bottom housings bring about distinct experiences in typing.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, we find that both switches have an actuation force that is unavailable in terms of grams. This means that the exact force required to trigger a keystroke is unknown for both switches. However, they both have a bottom out force of 67 grams, which is classified as medium-heavy.

Considering weight as a factor is important for individuals who prioritize typing for extended periods or engage in long gaming sessions. For those who prefer a lighter feel, which allows for prolonged typing, the Polaris Purple may be the ideal choice. On the contrary, some users prefer a stronger push feel to have a more substantial typing experience. These users would opt for options with heavier forces.

In terms of weight, it is difficult to determine which switch is lighter or heavier as the actuation force is unavailable for both switches. However, we can conclude that the actuation force for both switches is similar, thus providing similar results in terms of triggering a keystroke. The bottom out force for both switches is identical at 67 grams, meaning that users who prefer a medium-heavy typing experience can expect similar results from either the Polaris Purple or the T1 switch.

Travel distance

Both the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either of these switches, you will feel the same distance of travel. The Polaris Purple and the T1 switches offer a consistent tactile feedback and actuation point, ensuring a satisfying typing experience. Whether you choose the Polaris Purple or the T1, you can expect a similar amount of key travel, resulting in a comfortable and responsive typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star Polaris Purple has an MSRP of $5.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Polaris Purple for $5.00.

The Durock T1 has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the T1 for $4.90.

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 Polaris Purple provides a snappy sound profile. It falls into the category of a neutral switch, meaning it has a moderate sound profile that is suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you plan to use it at home or work. On the other hand, the T1 switch has a low-pitched sound profile, which gives it a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Similar to the Polaris Purple, it is also considered a neutral switch, making it versatile for various typing preferences and environments. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Polaris Purple is described as providing a mild and polished typing experience. Being a mild switch, it offers a gentle typing experience that is approachable for most users. The sound and feel of these switches fall within a safe and middle-ground zone. Additionally, the Polaris Purple has a polished finish, which contributes to smooth and refined key travel with reduced friction. Similarly, the T1 switch has a stepped and accented feel. Being a stepped switch, it provides a two-stage tactile feel, with some pre-travel and/or post-travel sensations. The accented nature of the T1 switch describes a medium tactile experience that offers a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. Like the Polaris Purple, the T1 switch also features a polished finish, resulting in a sleek and smooth typing experience.

Considering all the available information, it is evident that both the SP-Star Polaris Purple and the Durock T1 tactile switches offer satisfying tactile experiences. While the Polaris Purple provides a big and exhilarating tactile bump, the T1 offers a medium bump during keypress. Both switches have their own unique sound profiles, with the Polaris Purple having a snappy sound and the T1 having a low-pitched sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. In terms of feel, the Polaris Purple offers a mild and polished typing experience, while the T1 provides a stepped and accented feel. Both switches feature a polished finish, ensuring smooth key travel and reduced friction. Ultimately, whether you choose the Polaris Purple or the T1, you can expect a satisfying tactile typing experience, although with slight variations in sound and feel.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you are looking for a medium-heavy switch with a big tactile bump and a snappy sound profile, the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch is a great choice for you. It offers an exhilarating typing experience and has a neutral sound profile that suits most purposes. Additionally, the Polaris Purple has a mild feel with a polished finish, providing a gentle and smooth typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a switch that is super comfortable to type on with a medium bump and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window, the Durock T1 tactile switch would be more suitable for you. It also has a neutral sound profile, making it versatile for various usage scenarios. The T1 has a stepped feel, giving it a mild tactile sensation with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Like the Polaris Purple, it also has a polished finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, the choice between the SP-Star Polaris Purple and the Durock T1 tactile switch depends on your personal preferences. Consider factors such as the level of tactile feedback, sound profile, and typing feel that align with your typing style and preferences. Both switches offer unique qualities that can enhance your typing experience, so choose the one that resonates with you the most.

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