The Kinesis Freestyle Edge Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review: Split Ends For Combined Comfortby E. Fylladitakis on February 5, 2018 2:00 PM EST
Kinesis is a company known for their ergonomic input device products. They are one of the pioneers in the field, with their first ergonomic keyboard dating back to 1992. Over this time, the company gained a significant number of loyal followers, which mostly are professionals that work long hours using their input devices. The company has not released a very long list of products since its founding, yet each and every one of them has been successful and quite memorable.
A few month ago, Kinesis made a very surprising move and started a crowdfunding campaign for an ergonomic mechanical gaming keyboard. The campaign was a success and, short thereafter, the Kinesis Freestyle Edge was born. The Freestyle Edge is based on the split-board design of the Freestyle series keyboard that the company released back in 2007, which the company has redesigned as a mechanical keyboard and added a great number of new features. As best as we can tell, this appears to be the world’s first ergonomic gaming mechanical keyboard. We are having a thorough look at its features and hands-on performance in this review.
Packaging and Bundle
We received the Kinesis Freestyle Edge in a well-designed cardboard box, the artwork of which is centered on the keyboard and its most prominent features. The company has provided us with the optional Lift Kit as well, which we will examine alongside with the keyboard. Inside the box, we found the keyboard very well protected with layers upon layers of cardboard packaging, plus nylon bags.
Inside the box we found only a very basic user’s guide and two soft palm cushions. The palm cushions are very, very comfortable, but their installation is virtually permanent and, most likely, they will get dirty rather quickly. It will not be very long before a heavy user needs a replacement.
The optional lift kit allows for the keyboard to “tent”. Although the mechanisms are large and mostly plastic (ABS), they are very well made. Their movements are very smooth, and their construction is very solid. Still, they are unlikely to survive excessive mechanical shock, like a rage punch on the keyboard while it is fully elevated. Short-tempered users are advised to steer away from the lift kit (or take anger management lessons).
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MadAd - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link1. he doesnt ship to my country 2. youre kinda proving my point when the only thing you can find is janky old second hand versions of an old terrible keyboard, I have checked my local Amazon/eBay, zero new ones available, what am I welcoming you for? 3. I thought the article here is a mechanical?
Flunk - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkJust dump the whole thing entirely. It just slows you down moving your hands off the home row. It's faster just to type your numbers from the standard position.
masouth - Thursday, February 15, 2018 - linkThat depends entirely on what you are using it for, how many numbers you are entering, and your skill level with a ten key. Ten key is a much easier skill to master than typing as a whole and can be much faster for large amounts of numbers and basic math functions.
Grahm - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkI don't know why are these keyboards an exact split. Depending on the word I'm typing (and special keys I'm pressing), I'm sometimes reaching the "Y" column with my left hand and "T" column with my right hand. I'd love to see those two columns repeated on some ergonomic designs.
Or maybe that's just me...
phoenix_rizzen - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkNope, it's not just you. Having the middle keys repeated on each side of the split would be very handy.
Ukyo - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkAccording to seller ErgoWarehouse, the lift kit is not included w/ the MX red version but cost the same. The kit cost an additional $32 with shipping from the same seller.
prophet001 - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkThis is a pretty horrible design for MMOs.
Robotire - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkI’m appalled that Kinesis made a keyboard with a staggered layout. You can’t call this an ergonomic keyboard when you have to twist your fingers in weird ways to type on it.
The current Planck keyboard offer on massdrop is much more interesting (and ergonomic).
alanh - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkMy understanding is that the split keyboard design is to keep the wrists straight so that you don't have to bend them to get your fingers on the home row. The Planck is ortho-linear, which is supposed to be better so you don't do sideways reaches as much, but it doesn't do anything about the wrist-tilt, so some would argue that it too is not "ergonomic."
Split ortho-linear keyboards do exist, and if you like the Planck, you might like the "Let's Split" keyboard design, which is basically like a Planck cut in half. ErgoDox and Kinesis Advantage are also ortho-linear split designs.
kmo12345 - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkI started using the Freestyle2 (identical layout but membrane switches) because my shoulders were hurting from me having to narrow them in order to type on normal keyboards. I have the version with a 20" tether and usually keep the two halves at least 16" apart. I have no wrist or finger problems. Ergonomic means different things depending on your anatomy.