Durock T1 vs. Haimu Viola Tricolor

An in-depth look at the Durock T1 and the Haimu Viola Tricolor switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Durock T1 and the Haimu Viola Tricolor are two popular options to consider. The T1 is best known for its super comfortable typing experience, with a medium bump and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. On the other hand, the Viola Tricolor switches are designed to deliver a thuddy and punchy sound profile that adds character to your typing. They offer pronounced tactility without being overly tactile, striking a perfect balance that provides a satisfying feedback. Both switches have their own unique qualities that make them appealing choices. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities, so you can best decide on the switch that suits your preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

Total travel

4.00 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

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Dual-staged gold-plated spring

Housing materials

The Durock T1 and the Haimu Viola Tricolor share similar housing materials in terms of their top housing. Both switches utilize polycarbonate top housing, which results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The stiffness of polycarbonate contributes to a clear and resonant sound, making it an ideal material for switches with RGB lighting. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate enhances its aesthetic appeal. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of sound quality and visual experience when using either the T1 or the Viola Tricolor.

On the other hand, the bottom housing of the T1 and the Viola Tricolor differ in material. The T1 utilizes a nylon bottom housing, while the Viola Tricolor also relies on nylon for its bottom housing. Nylon is known for producing a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing. Its softer nature allows for better sound absorption compared to harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Consequently, both the T1 and the Viola Tricolor offer a similar typing experience in terms of the sound produced by their nylon bottom housing.

When considering the impact of housing materials on the overall sound and feel of the switch, it's important to note that the qualities brought by the top and bottom housing materials are distributed differently. The bottom housing has a more pronounced effect on the bottom-out sound and feel when the switch is pressed down. In contrast, the top housing contributes more to the sound when a key is released. While this differentiation may influence the specific nuances of the sound produced by the T1 and the Viola Tricolor, the general characteristics of the materials used in their housings remain consistent, resulting in comparable experiences for users.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Durock T1 tactile switch and the Haimu Viola Tricolor tactile switch, it is evident that both switches have similar characteristics. Unfortunately, the specific actuation force of both switches is unavailable, but their bottom out forces can be compared. The T1 has a bottom out force of 67 grams, which can be considered medium-heavy. Similarly, the Viola Tricolor has a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, also falling into the medium-heavy category. Therefore, both switches offer a comparable typing experience in terms of the force required to fully press the keys.

Considering weight, it is worth noting that some individuals prefer lighter switches as it allows them to type for extended periods comfortably. This aspect becomes crucial for those who use their keyboards for long work sessions or intensive gaming. On the contrary, others prefer a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience. These users would benefit from switches with heavier forces.

In conclusion, while the actuation forces of the Durock T1 and Haimu Viola Tricolor switches are unknown, their bottom out forces are quite similar, with the T1 being slightly heavier at 67 grams and the Viola Tricolor at 63.5 grams. Thus, both switches offer a comparable typing experience in terms of force requirements. The choice between the two ultimately depends on individual preferences and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The Durock T1 tactile switch has a travel distance of 4.0 mm, while the Haimu Viola Tricolor tactile switch has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.8 mm. Both switches fall within what is considered a traditional travel distance range, with the T1 being slightly longer. Gamers, who value faster response times, may prefer the Viola Tricolor with its shorter travel distance. On the other hand, those who prefer a more pronounced keystroke and a sense of depth may lean towards the T1 with its slightly longer travel distance. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on individual preferences for responsiveness and the feeling of the keystroke.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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.

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

In terms of sound, the Durock T1 switch provides a low-pitched and neutral sound profile. Low-pitched switches typically have a bass-heavy and mellow tone, creating a soothing sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. The neutral sound profile of the T1 makes it versatile and suitable for various typing environments. On the other hand, the Haimu Viola Tricolor switch offers a bassy and low-pitched sound profile. The Viola Tricolor produces a deeper and richer sound during key presses, giving it a distinct character. Both switches offer a pleasant and unique typing experience, with the T1 having a more neutral sound and the Viola Tricolor offering a thuddy and punchy sound profile.

When it comes to feel, the Durock T1 switch is described as a stepped, accented, and polished switch. The stepped design of the T1 provides a moderate tactile experience, with noticeable pre-travel and/or post-travel. The accented tactility of the T1 offers a prominent amount of feedback without being overwhelming or too subtle. Additionally, the polished finish of the T1 switch ensures a smooth and refined typing experience, reducing friction and allowing for smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Haimu Viola Tricolor switch is also described as an accented switch, providing a prominent amount of tactility without being too intense. Furthermore, the Viola Tricolor switch is said to be invigorating, offering a snappy and reactive feel, creating an immersive typing sensation. Both switches provide a satisfying tactile experience, with the T1 having a stepped and polished feel, while the Viola Tricolor offers an invigorating tactile feedback.

To conclude, the Durock T1 and Haimu Viola Tricolor switches have distinct qualities that set them apart. In terms of sound, the T1 has a low-pitched and neutral sound profile resembling rain falling on a window, while the Viola Tricolor offers a bassy and punchy sound profile with added character. When it comes to feel, the T1 has a stepped, accented, and polished design, providing a medium amount of tactility with smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Viola Tricolor switch is also accented and offers an invigorating tactile feedback. While their subjective qualities differ, both switches offer a satisfying typing experience with their unique characteristics. Depending on personal preferences, either switch can provide similar results in terms of comfort and enjoyment during typing sessions.

Conclusion

In closing, when deciding between the Durock T1 tactile switch and the Haimu Viola Tricolor tactile switch, it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences. The T1 provides a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a sound that resembles rain falling on a window. It has a low-pitched sound profile and a stepped feel, offering a more mild tactile experience. On the other hand, the Viola Tricolor offers a thuddy and punchy sound profile, adding character to your typing experience. It has a pronounced tactility without being overly tactile and a low-pitched and bassy sound. The Viola Tricolor has both an accented feel and an invigorating feel, providing pronounced feedback and a reactive sensation. Overall, if you prefer a slightly softer tactile feel and a quieter sound, the T1 may be the better choice for you. If you enjoy a more prominent tactile experience and a sound with depth and richness, the Viola Tricolor would be a great option. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which switch aligns best with your typing preferences and desired experience.

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