<< Tactile thoughts

2022-07-18

I've been trying out more tactile switch options on my 40% keyboard layout. I was somewhat dissatisfied with the Gateron Browns, which didn't have enough of a tactile bump for me. I really like a solid feedback (or whatever it's called) to let me know I pressed the key down.

Anyways, I'm liking the experience of trying out new switches and experimenting with feel and sound1. Switches tend to be the cheapest change you can make to a keyboard (bar the super expensive switches which I'm not too interested in), and there seem to be great budget options out there. With my hotswap PCBs, trying out a new switch is easy.

I recently ordered some Akko Lavenders. They're a nice looking switch and very affordable. The tactile bump was much more noticeable, and the typing experience was a lot more solid imo. I put these in my Boardsource 4x12.

I next ordered some Gazzew Boba U4 silent tactiles with the 62g springs, and put them in my BM40 (PCB mounted). I think I prefer the lighter springs so I don't have to exert too much force. I think the Akko Lavenders have a ~55g bottom out compared to the 62g bottom out on the Boba U4 tactiles, so it requires a bit more force. But like sound, I'm not really able to tell too much of a difference, but maybe after using either for more extended periods of time I'll develop a better sense of that. Regardless, I enjoyed the quiet nature of these switches. They were also very comfortable to type on. I did pick up a switch tester with the regular Boba U4T on it, which are much louder. I might consider picking up these another time.

I think I'm somewhat satisfied for now. I'd like to experiment with more tactiles and linears in the future. I also wonder what a good clicky switch would be like, but I'm holding off on that.


1

To be honest, I'm not really a sound connoisseur; most switches really sound the same or similar to my ear, so I care more about the "typing experience".