Last Updated on September 7, 2023
In the vast and ever-evolving landscape of mechanical keyboards, enthusiasts and typists alike constantly seek the perfect switch that combines comfort, durability, and aesthetics. Among the myriad of options available, the Outemu Red Panda switch has garnered attention for its unique features and characteristics.
In this comprehensive article, we will delve deep into the world of mechanical keyboard switches, specifically focusing on the Outemu Red Panda switch. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a thorough understanding of these switches and whether they are the right fit for your typing needs.
Outemu Red Panda Specifications at a Glance
- Type: Tactile
- Operating Force: 50gf
- Bottom Out Force: 65gf
- Pre-travel: 0.5mm
- Total Travel: 3.30mm
- Base Material: Nylon
- Cover Material: PC
- Stem Material: POM
- Factory Lubed: No
The Outemu Red Panda switch is classified as a tactile switch, which means it provides a noticeable bump when you press a key. This tactile feedback can enhance your typing experience, providing a sense of confirmation with each keypress. Let’s break down the key specifications of these switches and explore what sets them apart from the competition.
Tactility: A Unique Typing Experience
One of the defining features of the Outemu Red Panda switch is its tactile feedback. When you press a key, you’ll feel a distinct ‘bump’ at the beginning of the downstroke. This bump is a key part of the tactile typing experience and can help typists avoid accidental key presses. Furthermore, the switch quickly snaps back to its initial position during the upstroke, preparing you for the next keystroke.
Enhanced RGB Lighting
If you’re a fan of RGB lighting on your mechanical keyboard, the Outemu Red Panda has something special to offer. The top shell of these switches is transparent, allowing for a more vibrant and eye-catching RGB lighting effect compared to other switches, such as the Holly Panda switch. This means your keyboard can not only feel great to type on but also look stunning as you type away in the dark.
Lubrication: The Smooth Operator
While the Outemu Red Panda switch comes with a small amount of factory lubrication, it is not extensively factory lubed. This can be seen as an advantage for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts who prefer to have control over the lubrication process. Having the option to customize the lubrication of your switches allows for a more tailored typing experience.
Durability and Longevity
Durability is a crucial factor to consider when choosing mechanical switches. Outemu Red Pandas are designed to withstand the test of time. Each box of these switches contains 35 units, and with an impressive durability rating of 50 million click times per switch, you can rest assured that they will serve you well for years to come. Their IP40 dust-proof features further enhance their longevity and stability.
One of the advantages of the Outemu Red Panda switch is its compatibility with a wide range of mechanical keyboards. These switches feature an advanced mainstream 3-pin configuration, making them compatible with most hot-swappable mechanical gaming keyboards or custom build keyboards. This versatility ensures that you can easily integrate them into your preferred keyboard setup without compatibility issues.
While the technical specifications of mechanical switches may initially seem complex, they play a crucial role in determining the feel and sound of your keyboard. Let’s take a closer look at these specifications and how they impact your typing experience.
Actuation Force: 50g
The actuation force of a switch refers to the amount of force required to trigger a keystroke. In the case of the Outemu Red Panda, an actuation force of 50 grams is needed. This places these switches in the lighter category compared to other switches on the market. A lower actuation force can lead to faster and more effortless typing, making it suitable for those who prefer a lighter touch.
Bottom-Out Force: 60g
Bottoming out occurs when you press a key all the way down until it hits the bottom. For the Outemu Red Panda switch, a bottom-out force of 60 grams is required. This places them in the mediumweight category. If you’re someone who tends to type with a bit more force or prefers a slightly heavier keypress, these switches strike a balance between tactile feedback and resistance.
Actuation vs. Bottom-Out Force
The choice between actuation force and bottom-out force largely depends on your typing style. If you find yourself naturally bottoming out keys as you type, the bottom-out force becomes more relevant to your experience. On the other hand, if you have a lighter typing touch and prefer not to bottom out, the actuation force is the key parameter to consider.
Top Housing: Polycarbonate
The top housing of the Outemu Red Panda switch is constructed from polycarbonate (PC). Polycarbonate is known for creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This unique sound signature is a result of polycarbonate being a relatively stiff plastic, which enhances the clarity and resonance of the keystrokes. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches with RGB lighting, as it allows the lighting to shine through, creating a visually stunning effect.
Bottom Housing: Nylon
In contrast to the top housing, the bottom housing of the Outemu Red Panda switch is made of nylon. Nylon is a classic choice for switch housing material. Typing on switches with nylon housings elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon is a relatively softer plastic that absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. The combination of polycarbonate top housing and nylon bottom housing creates a unique auditory experience when typing on these switches.
The Impact of Housing Materials
It’s important to note that the choice of housing materials in a mechanical switch has a significant impact on the typing experience. When you press down on a key, you primarily feel the qualities of the bottom housing. The bottom housing influences the bottom-out sound and feel of the keypress. Conversely, the top housing has a more pronounced impact on the sound when you release the key, often referred to as the “top-out” sound.
Mount Type: Plate (3-pin)
The Outemu Red Panda switch is designed with a Plate (3-pin) mount, which offers maximum compatibility with a wide range of mechanical keyboards. Plate mount, also known as 3-pin, switches are known for their versatility and ease of integration. Whether you’re building a custom keyboard or upgrading your existing one, these switches are likely to be compatible with your PCB (printed circuit board).
Stem Construction: Partial Box
Switches with a partial box stem, like the Outemu Red Panda, address the issue of wobble in two ways. Firstly, they improve the aesthetics of your keyboard by reducing resting state wobble. This results in straighter gaps between keycaps, providing a cleaner and more visually appealing look.
Secondly, box stems are known for their stricter x and y-axis tolerances when you press down on a key. This means that your keypresses are more stable and less likely to wobble or tilt during use. Additionally, switches with box-shaped stems offer improved dust and water resistance, although the practical significance of these features can vary depending on your usage.
The Key Characteristics
Now that we’ve examined the technical details of the Outemu Red Panda switch, it’s important to consider how these specifications translate into actual typing experience. Let’s delve into some key characteristics to help you understand whether these switches are a good fit for your needs.
Thocky Typing Experience
A thocky keyboard switch typically produces a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when pressed. Think of it as a deep “thud” or a soft “knock” when the key is pressed and released. The combination of the Outemu Red Panda’s polycarbonate top housing and nylon bottom housing creates a unique thocky sound profile. If you enjoy a tactile typing experience with a pronounced sound, these switches may be right up your alley.
Mild Typing Sensation
On the other end of the spectrum, a mild mechanical keyboard switch offers a gentler typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. With these switches, the sound and feel fall into a safe, middle-ground zone that is approachable to most typists. If you prefer a less pronounced tactile bump and a quieter typing experience, the Outemu Red Panda strikes a balance between tactility and comfort.
Are Outemu Red Pandas Any Good for You?
In conclusion, the Outemu Red Panda switches offer a unique and versatile typing experience. Their tactile feedback, enhanced RGB lighting capabilities, and compatibility with various mechanical keyboards make them a compelling choice for enthusiasts and casual typists alike. However, whether they are “good” for you depends on your personal preferences and requirements.
If you enjoy a tactile typing experience with customizable lubrication options, the Outemu Red Panda switch is worth considering. Their durability, compatibility, and distinct housing materials set them apart in the world of mechanical switches. Whether you prefer a thocky or mild typing experience, these switches cater to a range of preferences.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to your typing style, sound preferences, and whether you appreciate the ability to fine-tune your switches. If you value these qualities, the Outemu Red Panda may be an excellent addition to your mechanical keyboard setup.
In the ever-evolving world of mechanical keyboards, finding the perfect switch is a journey filled with experimentation and discovery. The Outemu Red Panda switch is a unique stop on that journey, offering a balance of tactile feedback, sound, and customization options. As you continue to explore the world of mechanical keyboards, you’ll find that the quest for the ideal switch is as much about personal preference as it is about technical specifications. So, are Outemu Red Pandas any good? The answer may lie in the satisfying thock of your next keypress.
Kizaru is a fan, collector, and has a huge addiction to mechanical keyboards. Kizaru has a collection of dozens of mechanical keyboards that come in different sizes and use different switches. He also frequently contributes to various forums that discuss keyboards such as Reddit and GeekHack.