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).

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
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  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    Yes, that would be handy. And a 7 on the left and a 6 on the right half. I have the Freestyle 2 at work. Excellent keyboard, but I find myself hitting the blank space between the halves when doing numbers as I expect the 6 to be on the right half. Even after a few years with the keyboard. And occasionally hit the blank space when trying to hit B with my right hand.

    I'm a touch typist, and a fairly quick one at that (80-90 WPM), but I do not use the "correct" "normal" "this is the the one-true-way" form (I'm more of a 5-finger typist, rarely using my pinkies or my right ring finger).
    Reply
  • alanh - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    I'm typing this on a Matias Ergo Pro (another split keyboard that tries to have a mostly conventional layout), and my only complaint about the layout is that they should have a 6 on both sides so that nobody has an issue about that placement. My previous split keyboards (from both Logitech and Microsoft) both put the 6 on the left-hand side, but it didn't take long to get used to. The Matias also has a non-standard location for Esc, but even though I do spend some time in vim, that reach has never really bothered me. Reply
  • Findecanor - Tuesday, February 06, 2018 - link

    Many years ago Kinesis did have a mechanical keyboard with 6 on both sides: the Kinesis Evolution. It was meant to be mounted in front of the desk, either on a special or on a special chair. It also had a numeric keypad and touch pad Reply
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    Maybe you could just get two minmalist keyboards - one for each hand - and plug them in at the same time.

    I think using the Freestyle wouldn't be a difficult adjustment to make, and doing so might even help your typing speed on conventional keyboards.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    You can retrain habits like that pretty quick. Reply
  • MadAd - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    And still nobody can make a keyboard with a detachable tenkey pad, something FAR more useful (no i dont mean a separate tenkey, I know these are available, I want one keyboard which slots the tenkey into the existing board, or unclips as its own unit) Reply
  • imaheadcase - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    Yes!

    The biggest complaint i have with any keyboard is that part is not detachable, and terrible wrist support.
    Reply
  • masouth - Tuesday, February 06, 2018 - link

    as long as you aren't looking for a super cheap price I can think of a few detachable off the top of my head

    **ASUS ROG Claymore
    **Aorus Thunder K7 (really more of a macro pad with ten key capability, I dont like the layout)
    **Tesora Tizona tenkeyless keyboard with purchasable 10 key pad that attaches to either side.
    Reply
  • redhen - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2...
    You're welcome?
    Reply
  • redhen - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    Microsoft Sidewinder X6. I just plugged mine back in after using a Logitech G710 (cherrymx Blues) for several months and forgot how good of a typing feel it still has for being a membrane keyboard. Reply

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