This in-depth Gateron Ink black switch review features the product’s critical specs and features and explains the most sophisticated technologies. All Gateron Ink switches have unique special properties, but the black series is ideal for prolonged gaming, and typing sessions for your next computer build.
As a result, customers no longer have to search for the best gaming switch set for their mechanical keyboard, although more premium and less affordable buttons exist. Therefore, continue reading our complete Gateron switches review that will help you understand the black series’ fundamental capabilities and benefits.
Pros and Cons Table
|The Gateron black Ink buttons are extremely smooth during typing||Similar Gateron buttons are more affordable than the Ink black switches|
|This series of linear switches have a neat bassy sound on heavy impact||The Ink black switches feel incredibly scratchy and wobbly out of the box|
|They have a smaller-sized stem that is smooth, unlike the Novelkeys Cream controls||This set has a heavier actuation force and linear actuation during casual use|
|Customers should not apply much lube to the black Inks before use|
Although the former table explained the product’s most prominent strengths and weaknesses, it is inadequate to make you an expert on the black series. Henceforth, we highly recommend scanning through the following bullet list because it contains the set’s basic specifications and highlights:
- Manufacturer: Cuxiukeys
- Compatible devices: Mechanical keyboards
- Connectivity technology: USB Type-C
- Switch type: Mechanical units
- Color: Black
- Number of keys: 90 pieces
- Actuation force: 60g
- Actuation distance: 4 mm
- Sockets: PCB mount
- Product weight: 5.9 ounces
Gateron Ink Black Switch Review
Our experts provided the critical criteria ratings, and as you can see, the Gateron Ink black controls receive superb ratings on nearly all criteria, proving their capabilities. The black Gateron keys have a clean design without extra detail, making them ideal for futuristic office or home gaming setups. In addition, these impressive buttons have a translucent case that helps the RGB LED backlighting to quickly penetrate the keyboard, similar to the Gateron yellow units. As a result, these Gateron linear switches receive a final rating of 9.5 out of 10 for the design criterion, a fraction of a perfect score.
The black Gateron controls do not score as high for the number of switch criteria, but that does not make them a terrible choice. For example, customers can purchase a set of 90 black Gateron units, which is insufficient for a full-sized keyboard because they have over 100 keys, missing only a dozen units. Furthermore, although users can buy replacement kits and controls, they are challenging to find everywhere, especially in small stores or online. Therefore, our team decided to provide this article’s joint lowest rating of 8.5 out of 10 for the number of vital switch criteria.
Professional keyboards and premium switches must have superior actuation force and keystroke sensitivity to fit everyone’s needs and requirements, similar to the Cherry MX. For example, Gateron Ink switches have an average actuation force of 60g, which is preferred by professional gamers, but it might be challenging for beginners. Furthermore, unlike most linear units, our experts do not recommend the black Gateron buttons for prolonged typing because they feel still and have a loud tactile bump. Henceforth, the keystroke sensitivity criterion gets an 8.5 out of 10 final rating for the keystroke sensitivity property.
If you love hearing the clicky sound after every keystroke, then these switches are one of the best options available. The black Gateron controls produce a clean bassy sound on the impact that results in an audible click, ideal for customers who want to experience the keyboard truly. So, our team believes the final rating of 9 out of 10 for the travel criterion is well deserved.
Therefore, the black Gateron buttons are the most refined choice for professional gamers and performance enthusiasts because they have a higher actuation force. Customers can also use these switches for typing, but they might take longer to get accustomed to the feel and sound. In addition, we recommend purchasing two sets because the 90 black Gateron units are insufficient for full-sized gaming keyboards.
How Has This Product Evolved?
The black Gateron switches have mostly improved their actuation force and translucent design, although the actuation distance sustained severe changes. Professional regulators do not always get upgrades because manufacturers produce new units, but this was not the case with the latest black Gateron units. They have similar properties to the Gateron silent black units with an actuation force of 60g, which experts believe is a gaming standard. Consequently, casual and professional gamers will enjoy the latest benefits.
The typical actuation force of typing switches is 45g, so a significant difference exists with the black Gateron units. Although customers can lube the switches and smoothen the overall feel, changing the operating force is impossible because they cannot alter the properties. Another significant upgrade is the translucent case, ideal for dark computer settings and RGB LED lighting. The case lets most of the RGB LED lights through, although the switches have a black tone, which works excellently with keycaps with translucent symbols and legends.
Manufacturers also changed the actuation distance because the black Gateron units require less space to work, unlike previous versions. As a result, the black Gateron set works excellently with low-profile keycaps and keyboard cases because the switches will work with the slightest touch, which is different than tactile buttons. Therefore, many professional gamers prefer these switches because they have standard pins and work with hot-swappable sockets. Purchasing them might be the best decision for your gaming setup.
Product Features Breakdown
The black Gateron controls have top specs and features, as thoroughly explained in the previous sections and paragraphs. However, customers are yet to discover these switches’ real-life benefits and capabilities, which are essential to beginners and less experienced users. Therefore, we highly recommend reading the following parts because this article will make you a pro and help you discover the actual benefits, so stick around for more.
A Clean Overall Feel
All linear controls have a nice feel during professional and casual use, and the black Gateron units are no exception. So, customers get quiet and tough switches with supreme properties, but they must consider several things before purchasing the black Gateron set. These switches have a little stem wobble that most similar Gateron products have due to the imprecise tolerance and smaller-sized stem, unlike similar Cherry buttons, but this should not be a huge problem. Customers will quickly get accustomed to the different feel no matter how shaky the black set feels.
On the flip side, the smaller-sized stem provides different benefits, such as the smoother keystroke, which is vital during long and extreme gaming sessions. Considering the black Gateron units’ cost, we are positive customers should not complain about anything, let alone the slight wobble. Moreover, customers can limit the wobble and stabilize the switches by installing the switching film that improves the plate-installed units by boosting stability. Although changing the stem is impossible, the switching film is an excellent choice for professional writers because it helps them lower the noise.
The black Gateron units feel scratchy and stiff out of the box, so lubing them might be necessary if you want to use them immediately. However, you can use any lube available, which helps the switches’ overall feel and acoustics, especially in silent office setups. Our experts recommend using a thick lube such as the Krytox 205g0, but you can opt for a different product.
An Intriguing Sound
Linear units are not meant to be loud and sharp, unlike tactile switches with a significant bump during everyday use. However, the black Gateron units are not similar to most linear buttons because they have a distinct sound, although manufacturers did not do this intentionally when developing the controls. Also, as explained previously, the black Gateron controls feel scratchy out of the box, but customers can quickly fix this by applying lube. Nevertheless, the sharp sound will not disappear because the stem keeps the acoustics to a moderate level.
Our team recommends putting lube on the stem, spring, and upper and lower housing to boost the switches’ acoustics and sharp sound. Although this might seem challenging for beginners and less experienced users, we are confident they will not experience issues because the developers explained everything in the provided manual. The Inks sound amazing because they produce a bassy click noise different from the higher pitched noise on a non-Ink gaming unit. In addition, the lack of change between pre-lubed and post-lube buttons makes them unique.
Customers should not worry about the bounce back after applying lube because the spring is stiff, stable, and does not move much due to the smaller stem. Consequently, although we do not recommend these switches for tranquil rooms, they exceeded our expectations so that they might work well for every keyboard. So, these are the perfect switches if you need linear units for your keyboard.
The Unique Smoky Black Style
Truly experiencing an RGB LED backlit keyboard without appropriate switches and keycaps is impossible, especially for small units. For instance, many keyboards have an aluminum top plate that keeps the switches in place but also prevents the RGB LED lighting from reaching the customer’s vision. The black Gateron controls do not have this problem because the case is translucent and vital for professional computer builds. Although the switch case’s color is smoky black, the overall design is suitable for most settings.
On the flip side, the stem is black, unlike the other components, so it stands out the most and makes the overall appearance much darker than it really is. Although many customers reported the black Gateron units do not look as exciting as the yellow, red, or blue design, we are confident users will love them too. Another significant benefit you can experience from the black controls is the stealthy appearance that works best with black keyboards.
For example, customers wanting to build all-black gaming setups should opt for these switches because they will blend in with the other components. However, these units tend to get dirtier than paler switches, so cleaning them would be best. So, nothing should stop you from purchasing the black Gateron units and their impressive smoky black style.
Standard Pins and Hot-Swappable Sockets
The last benefits customers must know before buying the black Gateron set are standard pins and hot-swappable sockets. However, what is their significance, and what makes them better than similar units without typical pins and hot-swappable sockets? The most prominent benefit is that customers can use these switches on almost any modern gaming keyboard, which is vital to know if you want to use the black set on more keyboards. As a result, you can change broken units quickly without damaging the keyboard or keycaps.
Having gaming products with hot-swappable sockets means that customers should not solder or desolder the switches, which is challenging if you are not an expert. Therefore, the Inks support and are compatible with hot-swappable sockets, so customers should not worry about their compatibility and connectivity. In addition, these units will work with all modern keyboards, significantly less affordable units with premium components. So, these switches might be the solution to all your gaming keyboard troubles.
The Gateron Ink black switches are one of the best sets you can buy for your following computer setup, thanks to their unique and advanced specs and properties. For example, these buttons have a great actuation force and travel, feel excellent during long gaming sessions, and look beautiful, thanks to the smoky black and translucent case.
The black Gateron controls are also perfect for modern gaming and typing keyboards because they have typical pins and hot-swappable sockets, essential to current gaming standards. Although several drawbacks exist, customers can quickly overcome them by using thick lube inside the switches to remove the scratchy and sharp sound. Therefore, we highly recommend these controls because they will last a lifetime and are more affordable than similar high-end products.