There are plenty of ergonomic keyboards you can use when you need something that won’t put as much stress on the joints of your arms and wrists. Split keyboards, though, with their configurable positions, just take customizing for comfort a whole other level. If you feel like it’s time to upgrade to a split-type peripheral, the Kinesis Freestyle Pro should offer an interesting option.
An updated version of the outfit’s popular Freestyle 2 keyboard, the peripheral takes the same ergonomic elements as it predecessor, but makes it more programmable than ever. Whether you spend your office hours typing thousands of words on a word processor, analyzing spreadsheet data, or playing games on the sly, the ergonomic design and programmability of this keyboard should allow you to customize your work for maximum efficiency.
The Kinesis Freestyle Pro is a plug-and-play keyboard with a split form factor that separates the keys into two boards which are connected by a wire that measures 21.5 inches long. We know, 21.5 inches of cable sounds like an ugly mess, but some of it can be tucked into the keyboard such that only 12 inches of its length is exposed. Because of that split design, the two halves can be positioned in the most comfortable angle for the way you prefer to position your arms, whether you like your elbows at different lengths from the desk, wide apart on either side, or set down comfortably on the arm rests of your favorite office chair, regardless of your height, arm length, or body type.
To ensure efficient typing, the keyboard is equipped with brown Cherry MX keys, which brings silent travel, a tactile shape, and a medium actuation force that strikes an ideal balance for both productivity and gaming, as well as a perfectly flat profile (no slope) to keep your wrists in a neutral position. In case you prefer your keyboards at a sloping angle from the center, they offer an optional accessory that can tent it in one of three angles (5, 10, or 15 degrees). Do note, it sports a standard keyboard layout without the number pad, so if that grid of numbers on the right is critical to your typing tasks, this may not prove to be the best fit.
The Kinesis Freestyle Pro’s biggest update, though, is its programmability, as the keyboard is equipped with 4MB of onboard storage for storing all your custom settings. Out of the box, it comes with editable layout settings for Windows, MacOS, and Dvorak, as well as six other slots for custom layouts, with each layout able to store 16 macros apiece. Special keys on the keyboard allow you to bring up each layout and macro in just a few clicks, with no need to launch a special program to move from to the other. When you need to create a custom layout or a macro, simply click the SmartSet key on the keyboard, which launches the customization app that’s stored on the keyboard itself, so there’s no need to install anything on your machine.
The Kinesis Freestyle Pro is available now.