Gateron Black

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Switch Specifications:
Linear | 4.0mm Travel | 60g Acuation | Plate Mount

Disclaimer: This review will only cover the switch in its stock configuration. My switch reviews will never consist of me lubing, replacing the springs, stems, housings etc. But I clean dirty switches if they come from a heavily used keyboard.

“Value” is the keyword for this switch. From the get-go, these were made to compete with more expensive Cherry switches. It’s common to find these for less than $3.00 for 10 switches; Cherry switches cost between $4.00 – $4.50 for the same quantity. But, as with any switch, there is more to it than just its raw value.


Here’s the video review if you prefer watching content:


Smoothness: 6/10

THE GOOD POINTS: These are smoother than any modern Cherry switch, without a doubt. However, more expensive linear switches such as the NovelKeys Cream and Gateron Black Ink are far smoother.
THE BAD POINTS: Off-center keypresses still present noticeable amounts of scratchiness. Some keys also are scratchier than others indicating quality inconsistency.


Gateron black switches in different angles.
The switches in diffferent angles.

Weighting: 8/10

THE GOOD POINTS: These are the heaviest linear switch in Gateron’s lineup, but as a Kailh Box Pink user myself, I would class the Gateron Black to be ‘medium weighted’. But if you’re coming from a much lighter switch – say Cherry MX Red, you may class these as “heavy switches”.
THE BAD POINTS: I made slightly more typos with this switch compared to a tactile or clicky switch despite there only being a 5g actuation force difference with my Kailh Box Pinks.

Sound: 5/10

THE GOOD POINTS: It’s not horrible.
THE BAD POINTS: This is where this switch loses a lot of points. It’s a linear switch after all. Sound definitely wasn’t the main focus when designing this switch, but that’s not why you buy it anyway.

Typing Performance: 6/10

THE GOOD POINTS: If you find other linear switches to be too light to actuate and/or you make typos with those, then this may be for you.
THE BAD POINTS: Similar to the BAD POINTS I made in the Weighting category. I wouldn’t pick this switch for typing.


The switches zoomed-in
The switches zoomed-in

Gaming Performance: 8/10

THE GOOD POINTS: It’s almost as this is an upgrade from a Cherry MX Red or from any lighter, scratchier linear switch. In fact, I preferred to use these whilst gaming compared to any other switch made by Cherry.
THE BAD POINTS: For being a cheap linear switch, this is great, but if you have deeper pockets and want an even smoother switch, there are other options available for you.

Final Score = 66/100

 

Places to purchase this switch:

NovelKeys | KBDfans | Optic Boards

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