The YOK Purple Trash Panda is the tactile (and purple) edition of the YOK Trash Panda, a linear switch which is made to be a base in the Frankenstein switch, the Holy Panda.
What sparked my interest about the YOK Purple Trash Panda - which I will be referring to as the Purple Panda - is that the product description across NovelKeys and mykeyboard.eu as well as other keyboard forums was that they described the Purple Panda as having the same actuation and tactility traits as the famous boutique switch, the Zealios V2. You can read my review of the Zealios V2 by clicking here.
On the left is the Purple Panda's stem, and on the right is the Zealios V2's stem. At first glance, you really do see striking similarities between the two switches, such as the stem legs and the color. It's like YOK were intentionally replicate the Zealios V2 and it shows below.
The main difference to both stems is the material, the Purple Panda is extremely rough to the touch as well as lubing, the material feels so unfinished and it's such a shame as it makes the switch so scratchy so use. I had to heavily lube the switch with Krytox 205g0 thick lube in order to solve the scratchiness and spring ping, and even then it didn't even rival an unlubed Zealios. The Purple Panda feels like it was sent one production line early and just isn't as polished as I feel it could've been. It's far too scratchy no matter what.
If there's any redeeming qualities about the switch - which are minimal and already listed to begin with - it's that the tactility is awesome. The tactile bump at 67g feels great if not more sharp than the Zealios V2 at 62g and 67g weights. The Polar Panda's leaf in the housing is responsible for this trait which is why the YOK Panda line's switches, specifically the housings, are so sought after to create Holy Pandas. The housing is the best part of this switch unfortunately.
I totally know what this switch is not best used as is and is best used to create the Holy Pandas, but I wanted to judge the switch as it is due to the fact that it is a purple variant of the YOK Trash Panda, and why would YOK create an alternate stemmed Trash Panda if the Panda housings are made to create Holy Pandas? Unfortunately in my use case, that's been answered by the fact that the stem is so scratchy and irritable that you shouldn't used these switches in the first place.
It's not a bad switch by any means, and for the $0.60 per switch it retails for on your average mechanical keyboards online retailer, it's a great tactile switch that beats the Gateron Brown easily. The stand-out problem with these switches is how scratchy, unkempt, and rough the stem is, it pales in comparison to the Zealios V2 which is so what it tries to replicate, and falls flat on its face due to the low quality of the stem.
Overall, it's a tactile switch that I'd take over an MX Brown, but nothing I would actively go after due to how rough and dry the switch feels to use.
The NovelKeys Creams are a linear switch made by NovelKeys in partnership with Kailh. This switch is the first of its for Kailh as it features a traditional MX stem and MX-style latching for the housing, and I'd say Kailh have done fairy well.
These switches are made using an al-POM housing - that's DuPont POM Plastics - and also for the stem. POM has been used in this switch as it is often referred to as self-lubricating, which due to the nature of lubing, means that it will naturally be super smooth. I've used these switches for a month in my 60% keyboard and here's my experience of it.
Believe it or not, this was my first linear switch I had ever used in my mechanical keyboard life, so I was on neutral ground for what to expect. For context, I was using the Kailh Box Jades, so transitioning from those heavy clicky switches to the NovelKeys Creams was quite the leap.
I found the stock experience to be a nice one, being that it was my fitst linear switch. I found the POM material to be satisfyingly smooth to type on, and they sounded nice as well stock. They sound like pressing on soft, fine powder. The 'self-lubricating' deal appeared to be a true statement.
The stem of the NovelKeys Cream is a standard linear stem, with the legs being fairly cut and dry in design, and the slider also sharing the same design as many other stems. The bottom of the slider was chamfered rather than right-angled, which interestingly made the bottom-out less harsh and more soft compared to most other linears such as Gateron Reds or Tealios. The POM material was an excellent choice by NovelKeys as it creates a nice stock experience.
Unfortunately for the NovelKeys Cream, it is not kind to lube at all, no matter lubed with thick or thin lubes. I lubed the Cream with both Tribosys 3204 in a thin layer and then a noticeably thicker layer, but the Creams do not play well with thin lube at all, and the lube will often slip around rather than adhering to the POM material.
The same story goes for Krytox 205g0, which is a thicker lube than Tribosys 3204. I also applied an appropriately-thin amount as well as a thick film of lube, still no avail.
It it such a shame that the Creams don't do well with lube, as I'm a linear keyswitch enthusiast who lubes all her linears, and I mean all, so the Creams remaining unlubed puts them a peg down from my lubed linears. I prefer lubed Gateron Reds/Yellows to the NovelKeys Creams because of this lube issue.
Overall, I'd say while the NovelKeys Creams aren't good with lube, I would say they are an excellent, if not the best stock linear stock for any mechanical keyboard enthusiast. The POM material is excellent and it makes for a nice stock switch experience. I would say NovelKeys Creams are like if you took a linear switch like a Gateron Yellow lubed, but the lube is substituted with a lot of powder. It is a very different kind of typing experience and feel.
While the Creams are fairly expensive at $6.50 for a pack of 10 over at NovelKeys' website, they are a definite top 2 stock linear switch.