Last post I wrote about the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Keyboard, an ergonomic gaming keyboard that is nice but expensive. Know that if you are purchasing the Freestyle Edge, you are paying for the luxury of RGB backlighting. You can see my full review of the Freestyle Edge here. For a more affordable option, consider the Kinesis Freestyle2.
Before I begin, I would like to mention that I am not a doctor, and this review is based on my personal experience. For medical advice, always consult a doctor. This is not a paid review, but I will be using affiliate links to the products. If you choose to purchase anything I recommend, I get a small commission if you buy using my links. It isn’t much, but every little bit helps.
The Kinesis Freestyle2 is a wired split keyboard designed for ergonomics. The keyboard comes in a nine-inch split and a 20-inch split variation. I have the nine-inch split version, and I don’t feel like I need any more. Plan for your setup. I have wide shoulders, and the split design has allowed for a more comfortable position.
My only complaint about the Kinesis split keyboards is that they do not come with the optional tenting kit. Kinesis offers an optional tenting kit for all their split keyboards for a more ergonomic experience. I used the Freestyle2 without the kit, but I am so used to the tilt that I had to buy the kit for this one as well. Most people should be fine using the keyboard without the kit, but personally, the tenting kit makes long typing sessions a lot more comfortable. The Freestyle2 has two options for tenting, a 15-degree variant ($40 on Amazon) and a 90-degree variant ($200 on Amazon). I use the 15-degree variant and think it is perfectly fine, but the 90-degree is a solid option if you prefer a vertical keyboard. I don’t have any experience with the 90-degree version and can’t speak on how sturdy it is.
The main differences between the Freestyle Edge and the Freestyle 2 are the switches and backlight. The Freestyle2 is a membrane keyboard with no backlight and it honestly doesn’t need either. The key presses are soft and responsive, but they aren’t customizable. I have been using this keyboard regularly for two years and haven’t seen any visible signs of wear and tear. Unfortunately, Kinesis doesn’t offer keycap replacements keycaps or mac conversions for this keyboard. The Freestyle2 also comes with a few preprogrammed macro keys for productivity. I haven’t found too much use for these with my workflow.
I used to use a cheap flat keyboard for work that left my hands useless by the end of my shift. There were days when I couldn’t finish my work because the pain would be unbearable. Since making the switch to the Freestyle2, I haven’t had any issues with pain in my hands and wrists. I recommend taking regular breaks and looking into stretches for added comfort. My only other complaint about this keyboard is that there is no number keypad. I don’t really need one for my workflow, the number line works well enough, but the split design makes using numbers a slower experience. It isn’t unmanageable, but people who work with numbers should look into getting a separate keypad. Kinesis offers a Numeric Keypad, currently $35.95 on Amazon, but you can choose your presence.
If you are looking to make your setup a bit more ergonomic, consider the Kinesis Freestyle2 Keyboard, currently $89 on Amazon. This is the perfect option if you don’t care about a backlight, customizations, or key switches. I will be continuing this series with some gaming peripherals that have also helped save my hands a bit more strain. Stay tuned for more.