The KinesisGaming SmartSet App

One of the prime features of the Freestyle Edge Gaming keyboard is the SmartSet application. The application itself is not particularly flexible and/or feature-packed, but there is one particular thing that it makes it very unique: it is a portable application that is stored inside the keyboard’s memory. To access it, the user has to press and hold the SmartSet button, then press F8. This keystroke combination will connect the “vDrive” to the system, which essentially is a small flash memory module that is inside the keyboard. The system reacts just as if a USB flash disk has been connected to it and will pop a new drive folder that includes the SmartSet application, the keyboard’s settings/firmware files, and the full user’s manual.

The SmartSet application runs directly from the included flash memory, no installation is needed. This gives the Freestyle Edge keyboard a very distinct advantage, as nothing is being stored in the OS/system - any and all programmed changes are stored directly in the keyboard’s flash memory and follow the keyboard. Any profile/layout changes are bound to the keyboard and it will not matter if the keyboard is connected to another PC, not even the OS that the other PC may be running. The SmartSet application is currently compatible with Windows and Mac only, but any changes already made to the keyboard’s settings appear to be functioning under Linux and Android as well.

The SmartSet application is relatively simple. It is a single-page configuration screen that allows the user to reprogram any key, on both the top and the Fn layer, of the currently active Layout. The keyboard supports up to nine layouts, all with two layers each.

Advanced programming capabilities are relatively limited. For example, the user can use multimedia functions, such as volume and playback controls, access special characters, and launch basic system applications, such as the calculator. Advanced commands, such as launching specific applications, are not available. This feature could cause issues, considering that the command would be stored in the keyboard and the external application to be launched would be installed into a specific system. Mouse clicks also are available, but mouse movements commands are not.

The Macro recorder is quite basic and virtually limited to simple keystroke combinations. Advanced commands, such as mouse movements, cannot be programmed into the macro command. This may be a problem for users who need to use complex macros, as it is not possible to call upon external executable files either, so using third-party applications to compile executable macro files will not help. On the upside, the unique firmware of the Freestyle Edge allows it to store up to three macros per key. Each of the programmed macros can be assigned a “trigger” key, which is one of the Shift, Alt, or Ctrl keys. It is possible to store up to three different macros into any single key, as long as they use a different trigger. 

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Per-Key Quality Testing & Hands-On
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  • Chapbass - Monday, February 05, 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.
    Reply
  • kmo12345 - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    I 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. Reply
  • voicequal - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    Give it 2-3 weeks and don't switch keyboards right before a deadline or competitive gaming session. Reply
  • wujj123456 - Tuesday, February 06, 2018 - link

    I 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. Reply
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    I 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.
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    The 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.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    You might do well to check out their Advantage2 keyboard. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    If 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.
    Reply
  • negusp - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    Sorry to say, but you're in a vast minority. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    Sorry 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. Reply

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