Ergonomics is not a word that is ever heard when someone mentions gaming peripherals. Sure, some of them are comfortable and could even come with wrist rests or slightly tilted angles to make it feel a little better, but nothing has actually come in the way of true ergonomics until now.
Kinesis is a well-known technology brand that specialises in ergonomics and taking a look at its website will show you as much. They have keyboards, keypads, mice, foot pedals and accessories all available that are designed to improve your posture and comfort, working with the human body to boost productivity.
This is where Kinesis Gaming comes in. Immediately from the site, you’ll see that things have changed somewhat. It’s no longer the plain white, calming office website that you first stumbled upon, but is now filled with competitions, splash images, and gamers. This is where we take our look at the Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB, a truly ergonomic gaming keyboard.
Comfort & Design
The FreeStyle Edge RGB keyboard is hands-down, one of the most comfortable keyboards I’ve ever used, but bear in mind, it does take some getting used to. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the keyboard is split into two. If you’re someone who doesn’t type “the correct way”, you’ll probably run into issues at the start. The separation in the middle keeps the “T”, “G” and “B” keys on the left.
Each side is connected by a braided cable that has a set spot of storage underneath the keyboard, allowing you to adjust just how far away you want to keep the halves. The Freestyle Edge solves four issues with traditional keyboard and mouse setups. It reduces mouse overreach, causing users to stretch too far when they have keyboards in front of them.
It reduces forearm pronation and wrist extension, two things that traditional keyboards are guilty of, keeping your hands and arms flat, with an upward slope of the wrist. And finally, ulnar deviation, something that affects a lot of people, having your wrists bent outwards, as you assume the natural typing position.
It takes some time to get used to it. Although, I’m lucky enough to have the Lift Kit that fits into the bottom of the keyboard, tenting each side of the keyboard by three different adjustable heights. So, the keyboard actually has you sitting in front of it as if you are relaxing your hands on a table in front of you. It’s perhaps the most natural feeling thing that I have at my workstation.
Look & Feel
The Freestyle Edge RGB looks sleek and ready for games. There are a lot of customisations that can be made on the keyboard, such as dynamic backlighting, disabling of the Windows key and even remapping any keyboard you like. There are 8 programmable macro keys on the left side of the keyboard, and to keep things even, Kinesis has disposed of any kind of numpad. The keyboard also sports a 1ms response time with 100% anti-ghosting and 4MB onboard memory to store those customisable profiles.
The keyboard also has multimedia controls built into the F-range of keys, with the use of the Function button, and finally, the SmartSet programming app for Windows and Mac, something to configure and customise to your heart’s content, without bogging up your system with bloated software.
With the comfortably thick, cushioned pads the palm support is incredible, and you’re able to keep the halves of the keyboard as close or as far away as you like. Kinesis also allows you to choose the type of Cherry MX mechanical switches you’d like to have in your keyboard, giving you the option to choose from Red, Blue, Brown, and Silver.
Don’t forget, the Freestyle Edge RGB has no numpad!
All of this doesn’t come cheap. You should be expecting to pay far more than what you’ve paid for your current keyboard, but should you actually take the plunge and get the Kinesis Gaming Freestyle RGB, you’re in for a treat.
It’s by far one of the most comfortable and easy to use keyboards that’s we’ve ever tested, and this is head and shoulders above most gaming keyboards, including the boards from brands such as Razer, Corsair, CoolerMaster, Logitech, and Roccat. Should you wish to purchase something like this, you’ll find the US price as standard is $219. We would also recommend that you opt for the Lift Kit, adding another $24.95. Let’s not forget, Kinesis Gaming also has a mouse, mouse pad, keycaps and more to add in, but we haven’t been able to give any of those a try yet.
We also spoke to the UK distributor for Kinesis Gaming, a company that isn’t involved in gaming at all, and were quoted an outlandish price, which only made it cheaper to order from the US store, including customs duties. All said and done, the price to get the keyboard from Kinesis in the US to our door in the UK, was well over $300.
After having used it as a primary keyboard for the last six months, I can honestly say, I’d pay that price again and again.