Author Topic: Zealio Switches (Zeal's Custom 62g, 65g, and 67g Tactile + 62g Linear Gateron)  (Read 53768 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CPTBadAss

  • Woke up like this
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 14364
    • Tactile Zine

WellÖmore like Zealio MX-mount but close enough right? I didnít have enough letters :(


Hereís the saddest :( keycap tester ever. I was fortunate enough to populate it with some Zealio switches courtesy of Zeal himself himself. The tester is made from a Pure CNC case and a 60% plate from LeandreN.  Here are the switches on the tester:

  • Stock 62g Zealio switch
  • Stock 65g Zealio switch
  • Stock 67g Zealio switch
  • Lubed 62g Zealio switch
  • Lubed 65g Zealio switch
  • Lubed 67g Zealio switch
  • Stock Clear stem Gateron with 62g spring
  • Modified Zealio switch with MX Black springs, no lube

Just in case you didnít know Zeal worked with Gateron to create the Zealio switch. He had special molds made with Gateron and specially sourced gold-plated springs.  The switches also have unique clear housings. Some more information can be found in Zealís thread here

Zeal gave out some test samples to a few Geekhackers and I was lucky enough to get a few. Previously I gave my first impressions on the switches but I thought Iíd write a longer review. Thanks for the hookup Zeal :D.




This tester is really sad :(. But the Zealio switches are happiness donít worry.


First Iíll start off by saying that I actually think that the lubed switches are too smooth. Iím realizing more and more than Gaterons donít really need lubricants. I feel like all of the wonderfully huge tactile bumps I feel with the stock switches are muted and the rebound isnít as strong as Iíd like it. If I had to pick a switch to lube, I think the 67g benefits the most. The 62g really makes the spring weight apparent and itís too light. Itís not terrible on the 65g but there isnít enough benefit for my tastes to warrant going through the whole process.

But I think this is something really special: I donít have to lube switches anymore. Iím now at the point where I can buy stock switches and just slap them into a build with zero modifications. Itís amazing. I donít **** with switch stickers. Theyíre a collosal waste of time and I sure as hell am not going to open switches up just for stickers. So now I can just slap switches into a build and be really happy with the results!

Next I feel like the worn MX Clears I have on my Leeku 1800 at work feel almost exactly like the stock 67g Zealio switches. Theyíre heavy and the tactile bump is very apparent but I feel like the rebound is a touch sluggish; almost slightly muted. Not nearly as muted as the lubed switches but still apparent to me.  Thatís definitely not a bad thing though as I use the Leeku at work exclusively and I love that board. But I really like a crisp rebound that Iím getting with the other switches. Also I found that an MX black spring in a Zealio switch feels exactly like a 67g Zealio.

Both the 62g and 65g Zealio have this wonderful tactile bump going down. Itís almost like when youíre checking the ripeness of a peach and you accidently squish too far and bruise it. But on the upstroke, I feel like the switches almost pop and rebound snappily. Itís a subtle twist on the MX Clear experience that I really enjoy. I found that newer MX Clears had the same feeling and I wonder if these switches would also wear down the same way. Honestly I hope they donít change too much.

So then it just comes down to the spring weight. Iíve always liked the 65g spring and Iím going to stick with it here. I think itís got the perfect balance of pressing down force, tactile-bumpy-ness, and snappy return. The 62g version feels a touch lighter and softer. If youíve ever had the chance to compare Gateron Blacks to MX Blacks or Nixdorf MX Blacks to MX Blacks or even lubed MX Blacks vs stock MX Blacks, itís like that.

What didnít really excite me was the 62g linear. I donít really get them. Theyíre linear and smooth like Gateron linears. Iíd rather just get the regular Gateron Blacks. Looks nice though.

So with this sample of Zealio, along with my samples of Greetech, Iíve really become excited about MX-mount stuff again. Iíve been kinda counting MX out lately and this switch alone has rekindled my interest.  I honestly feel that Zealio, Gaterons, and Greetechs have replaced Cherry MX for me. Especially the Zealio and Gateron switches. My review notes say that, ďI moaned in happiness when I typed on the 65g Zealio rowĒ the first time. Competition is definitely not a bad thing.

Oh and before I forget, the Gateron clear tops and the Zealio switches played nicely with no issues. And the Gateron tops feel very secure. When I tap em on the table, they sound a touch hollower than the stock tops but I didnít notice any other difference.

But Iíll probably still stick to Alps and buckling spring :P.




No Be@rbrick, Iím trying to work. We canít play Clacks right now.


Picture in Picture of Be@rbrick and I cheffing up this review in the (messy) lab


If you want to read more, hereís some reading material:
Zealio thread
Zealio GB thread with some review links from jdcarpe and Zeal in the OP
The homie livingspeedbumpís review at Keychatter.com
The homie LastPilotís FIRE pictures
Zealís Macro shots of the switches disassembled
« Last Edit: Thu, 17 September 2015, 10:08:05 by CPTBadAss »

Offline njbair

  • Posts: 2825
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • I love the Powerglove. It's so bad.
    • nickbair.net
My favorite part of this is when you determined that some of these are too smooth for their own good. It really does seem like these things are going to be a game changer.

Alpine Winter GB | My Personal TMK Firmware Repo
IBM Rubber Band "Floss" Mod | Click Modding Alps 101 | Flame-Polishing Cherry MX Stems
Review: hasu's USB to USB converter
My boards:
More
AEKII 60% | Alps64 HHKB | Ducky Shine 3, MX Blues | IBM Model M #1391401, Nov. 1990 | IBM SSK #1391472, Nov. 1987, screw modded, rubber-band modded | Noppoo EC108-Pro, 45g | Infinity 60% v2 Hacker, Matias Quiet Pros | Infinity 60% v2 Standard, MX Browns | Cherry G80-1800LPCEU-2, MX Blacks | Cherry G80-1813 (Dolch), MX Blues | Unicomp M-122, ANSI-modded | Unicomp M-122 (Unsaver mod in progress) | 2x Unitek K-258, White Alps | Apple boards (IIGS, AEKII) | Varmilo VA87MR, Gateron Blacks | Filco Zero TKL, Fukka White Alps | Planck, Gateron Browns | Monarch, click-modded Cream Alps

Offline Zeal

  • Actually the King of Green Tea Kit-Kats
  • * Vendor
  • Posts: 2798
  • Location: BC, Canada
    • Zeal Generation Inc.
...and you accidently squish too far and bruise it.

Mental note: do not send more 65g Zealios to CPT to abuse. Switch abuser spotted. Just look at all the sad faces. :(

Thanks for the write up, CPT! :)

My favorite part of this is when you determined that some of these are too smooth for their own good. It really does seem like these things are going to be a game changer.

Haha, indeed! It may have had to do with how I lubed the Zealios...Maybe if I wipe off the stock leg lube and don't add Krytox on the legs? Lots of experimenting to be done...

        "Bird have wing, bird will fly. Henry had wings.  Henry now fly." -Sent

Offline CPTBadAss

  • Woke up like this
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 14364
    • Tactile Zine
In my defense, the 65g row was all the GH caps.

Offline Sed8op8

  • * Exquisite Elder
  • Posts: 2336
  • Location: Burrrrrlington VT
  • Keyboard Padawan
Lovely read Cptn  :thumb: you write so pertty  :))
Looking for Black KMAC 2 or KMAC LE Preferably unbuilt kit but will consider an assembled board with clears Please PM me if you can help 8) Always on the lookout for KBK/KWK Bro Reapers,V2s and Clack factory skulls have lots of caps for trade

Offline njbair

  • Posts: 2825
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • I love the Powerglove. It's so bad.
    • nickbair.net
Haha, indeed! It may have had to do with how I lubed the Zealios...Maybe if I wipe off the stock leg lube and don't add Krytox on the legs? Lots of experimenting to be done...

Or just accept the fact that you have created the endgame switch.

Alpine Winter GB | My Personal TMK Firmware Repo
IBM Rubber Band "Floss" Mod | Click Modding Alps 101 | Flame-Polishing Cherry MX Stems
Review: hasu's USB to USB converter
My boards:
More
AEKII 60% | Alps64 HHKB | Ducky Shine 3, MX Blues | IBM Model M #1391401, Nov. 1990 | IBM SSK #1391472, Nov. 1987, screw modded, rubber-band modded | Noppoo EC108-Pro, 45g | Infinity 60% v2 Hacker, Matias Quiet Pros | Infinity 60% v2 Standard, MX Browns | Cherry G80-1800LPCEU-2, MX Blacks | Cherry G80-1813 (Dolch), MX Blues | Unicomp M-122, ANSI-modded | Unicomp M-122 (Unsaver mod in progress) | 2x Unitek K-258, White Alps | Apple boards (IIGS, AEKII) | Varmilo VA87MR, Gateron Blacks | Filco Zero TKL, Fukka White Alps | Planck, Gateron Browns | Monarch, click-modded Cream Alps

Offline Zeal

  • Actually the King of Green Tea Kit-Kats
  • * Vendor
  • Posts: 2798
  • Location: BC, Canada
    • Zeal Generation Inc.
In my defense, the 65g row was all the GH caps.

...I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. :rolleyes:

Haha, indeed! It may have had to do with how I lubed the Zealios...Maybe if I wipe off the stock leg lube and don't add Krytox on the legs? Lots of experimenting to be done...

Or just accept the fact that you have created the endgame switch.

 ^-^ ^-^ ^-^ ^-^

Also need to keep this for future reference:
“I moaned in happiness when I typed on the 65g Zealio row”


        "Bird have wing, bird will fly. Henry had wings.  Henry now fly." -Sent

Offline thaddeus

  • Posts: 57
  • Location: OR
Your "bruised peach" reference pushed me over the edge. ;D

The MX Browns I use at work lack the slight resistance/tactility I was looking for when I bought my first mech. The 65g interests me, and it hear a lot of buzz that these are the "goldeelox" switches. Still, I'm so curious to know how the 67g compares. Either way, I want to use these switches for my first 60%.

Very bummed that I won't be in the running for a Binge cap. Such a beautiful combo


Offline Oobly

  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3929
  • Location: Finland
Great review!

Confirms I chose well... Can't wait for my switches to arrive so I can do my own testing. I'm going to try a number of spring types also, but I suspect I'll come to the same conclusion. I'll still trampoline and latex mod mine, but not having to sticker or lube them is a BIG plus.
Buying more keycaps,
it really hacks my wallet,
but I must have them.

Offline 3K

  • Posts: 279
  • Location: Germany
Quite an enjoyable review to read! Makes me looking forward to the arrival of my zealios.

                   Model M '88    | Model M SSK '87 | HHKB P2  | Zowie FK1

Offline derezzed

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 298
Re: Zealio Switches (Zeal's Custom 62g, 65g, and 67g Tactile + 62g Linear Gateron)
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 17 September 2015, 21:05:30 »
Thanks for the review.  I'm going to try hard to join the Zealios group buy but I have a couple questions for you.

Tom's Hardware compares Cherry MX Clears to rubberdomes, saying: " give a feeling that approaches that of a rubber dome keyboard. Keyboards based on the Cherry MX Clears are seldom seen because they offer little advantage over devices with cheaper rubber dome switches."

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mechanical-switch-keyboard,2955-3.html

Is this a fair assessment, and if so, how do Zealios compare to rubberdomes?

How do Zealios compare to Matias Quiet Click tactile switches?

Offline CPTBadAss

  • Woke up like this
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 14364
    • Tactile Zine
Re: Zealio Switches (Zeal's Custom 62g, 65g, and 67g Tactile + 62g Linear Gateron)
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 17 September 2015, 21:35:27 »
Clearly Tom's Hardware doesn't play in the same space as GHers. Tom's Hardware probably only looks at stock, unmodified boards. If you take a quick look anywhere on GH, you'll see how popular MX Clears are.

MX Clears definitely do not feel like rubber domes. That's a pretty absurd statement to me.

Generic rubber domes (think Dell keyboards) feel mushy, almost linear, with almost no feedback. I just gave you almost 1000 words on how I think Zealio switches feel.

Quiet Clicks have a higher actuation point and are a bit lighter than Zealio. In general, I dislike comparing across switch types though as I don't think they feel the same. Here's a thread you might like. And here's a review on the V80 with Matias Quiets and other switches.

Edit: Also added some more thoughts to the Quiet Click vs Zealio switches
« Last Edit: Fri, 18 September 2015, 08:59:53 by CPTBadAss »

Offline RenegadeParadox

  • Posts: 44
  • Location: Buffalo, NY
Really loved the review, I just got my DHL shipment email today for my 65g Tactile. I'm super happy your conclusion was the 65 was the sweet spot. After reading a few different reviews I pulled the trigger on them but was really unsure if I should of gone for 67 or not. I figured that the lube would not be needed for these after everyone saying how smooth they were.

Offline sitch

  • Posts: 259
  • Location: Malaysia
How does this feel compared to ergo clear switches 62g?

Offline ripwallet

  • Posts: 68
  • Location: Texas
With the help of this review i think i've decided to go with the 65g in my next build :D can't wait to join team zealios

Offline gadzkun

  • Posts: 555
ahhh this is what i need.. ty for amazing review  :thumb:

Offline Kliwon

  • Posts: 59
  • Location: zzzz......
nice review CPT
still waiting for these switches come.. :D

Offline CPTBadAss

  • Woke up like this
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 14364
    • Tactile Zine
How does this feel compared to ergo clear switches 62g?

I've had a mixed experience with 62g clears. I'd say 80% I've tried felt fine. 20% had issues with the switches in some form. Sometimes the spring falls into the low end of the tolerance range and so it doesn't rebound correctly. I've found my experience with Zealio switches much more consistent and smoother.



I should also point out in light of recent information that I did not solder these switches into place so I haven't experienced any of the issues others have had with soldering. I did not experience any issues with the molding either.

Offline Altis

  • Posts: 974
  • Location: Canada
Still can't decide between 62g and 65g. I suppose I won't really know until I try both...
WhiteFox (Gateron Brown) -- Realforce 87U 45g -- Realforce 104UG (Hi Pro 45g) -- Realforce 108US 30g JIS -- HHKB Pro 2 -- IBM Model M ('90) -- IBM Model M SSK ('87) -- NMB RT-101 & RT-8255C+ (Hi-Tek Space Invaders) -- Chicony KB-5181 (Monterey Blue Alps) -- KPT-102 (KPT Alps) -- KUL ES-87 (62/65g Purple Zealios) -- CM QFR (MX Red) -- Apple Aluminum BT -- Realforce 23u Numpad -- Logitech K740 -- QSENN DT-35 -- Zenith Z-150 (Green Alps)

Offline ika

  • Posts: 668
  • Location: NE Ohio
Still can't decide between 62g and 65g. I suppose I won't really know until I try both...

IMO the difference is not that big. I mixed up a bunch of my 62s and 67s and had a relatively hard time picking them out. Got 4 out of 5 identified by hand first try but it was pretty tough, I don't know if I would have noticed if I was typing on the things. The natural variability of the springs/leaf/lubing can cover up the difference.

Offline yowaffle

  • Posts: 81
  • Location: Virginia
Great review! I love my 65g switches. I've been playing around with the idea of lubing them and you've saved me a great deal of time :D
V60 [MQC] | KC60 [Zealiostotles] | Leopold FC660c [Topre] |  Ducky Shine 4 [MX Brown] | MiniVan [Zealios]

Offline Hypersphere

  • Posts: 1886
  • Location: USA
Your review helped me decide to order some 65g purple Zealios, although I also appreciated your positive comments about Alps-mount switches, including those by Matias.

Offline venyv

  • Posts: 51
  • Location: The Beach
I have been on the fence about getting some Zealio switches and this just pushed me over the edge. I decided to go with Zealio purples on my ergodox build. Thanks for the detailed review.

Offline iLLucionist

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 2734
  • Location: Netherlands
  • Topre is Love.
Nice review, I would be curious to know a little more about how zealio 65g compares and differs from mx clears in terms of their feel. Are there any other differences besides actuation force and the snappiness on the upstroke?
MJT2 Browns o-rings - HHKB White - ES-87 Smoke White Clears - 87UB 55g

Offline chyros

  • a.k.a. Thomas
  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 3477
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Hello and welcome.
Btw, are these available loose maybe? I'm curious to see how these hold up :) .
Check my keyboard video reviews: