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).
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
Chapbass - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link"This will just not work for people who need to be using more than one keyboard during the day. Perhaps someone who is using the Freestyle Edge alongside with a typical keyboard for weeks in parallel can get used to using both of them at the same time, but that will undoubtedly take several weeks of training."
The first part of this quote simply isn't true. I use the Advantage keyboard, which is SIGNIFICANTLY "different" than the freestyle, and I can go back and forth between that and a normal keyboard, laptop keyboard, Microsoft ergonomic, etc, with ease. Yes, it took a few weeks to be perfectly comfortable, but saying that it "will just not work" is just not true.
kmo12345 - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkI agree. I am typing on a Freestyle2 right now (non-gaming version of the reviewed keyboard) but will soon be heading to work where I have a Microsoft Natural. When I'm travelling I type on a Thinkpad X1 Carbon... I can switch between all three with no issues.
voicequal - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkGive it 2-3 weeks and don't switch keyboards right before a deadline or competitive gaming session.
wujj123456 - Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - linkI also agree. The major part of keyboard is same as traditional layout and that made my transition quite easy. When I am on laptop, my brain immediately knows to not use any of the macros somehow and I had no problem switching between them. That has been said, I still switched to Freestyle Edge for both my work and home since that's the only decent programmable split keyboard I found so far. I will give UHK a shot once all their modules are out, but they are constantly delaying.
mode_13h - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - linkI also have an Advantage2 never saw any major "portability" problems.
Split keyboards are the way to go, ergonomically. It's a shame that so many fancy, expensive mechanical keyboards, that are so in vogue these days, suffer from the same layout problems that have plagued keyboards since the days of typewriters.
PeachNCream - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkThe anger management lessons thing made this review for me.
It's nice to see there still split keyboard development happening out there. My poor little arm and hand tendons like the idea of improved ergonomics.
mode_13h - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - linkYou might do well to check out their Advantage2 keyboard.
Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkIf they would just put a Y on the left side and a B on the right side...
I cannot be the only potential customer they're missing out on because they are a good, fast typist but not a strict, "Mavis Beacon teaches" typist.
negusp - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkSorry to say, but you're in a vast minority.
Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Monday, February 5, 2018 - linkSorry to say, but you're trolling with no source and the guy who responded below you is anecdotal evidence that you don't know what you're talking about.