Kinesis Freestyle Edge gaming keyboard is ready for action

Some very active typists swear by split-style keyboards for maintaining posture and reducing the impact of repetitive stress. These folks have mostly been left out of the conversation when it comes to keyboards crammed with clicky switches, though. The barren harvest of split boards with Cherry MX switches ends now that Kinesis' Freestyle Edge keyboard is available for preorder. The standard tenkeyless layout has 87 keys, though this board's eight macro keys swell the total to 95. The company's Kickstarter campaign from March generated enough interest to get the Freestyle Edge a fixed spot in the company's lineup.

Buyers can choose between Cherry MX Blue, Brown, or Red switches, but the backlighting is blue regardless of switch choice. The lighting has nine selectable brightness levels, a breathing effect, and it can be left off entirely. The left edge of the board sports eight programmable macro keys. Like most gaming keyboards, the Freestyle Edge has anti-ghosting functionality, an N-key rollover mode, and a 1-ms response time. Kinesis' SmartSet programming utility requires Windows, but the keyboard works with all modern operating systems. The board has a rather large 4 MB of onboard memory. We figure that the SmartSet utility might live in this space.

The two sides of the board are connected by a braided cable that allows up to 20" (51 cm) of separation between the halves. The assembly connects to the host system with a 6' (1.8 m) USB cable. The keyboard itself measures 15.5" wide, 7.25" deep, and 1.25" tall (39 cm x 18 cm x 3.2 cm) and weighs in at 2.8 lbs (1.3 kg). The included palm rests add another 3" (7.6 cm) to the depth. Available options include palm pads and a lift kit for users that want to customize the keyboard further.

Kinesis expects retail availability of the Freestyle Edge to begin in November of this year. The board costs a rather stiff $219, but the coupon code NEWSLETTER will take 20% off the price for the time being, chopping $44 off for a sale price of $175. The manufacturer backs the keyboard with a two-year warranty.

Comments closed
    • sophiacharles
    • 2 years ago

    I have previous and newest version both, but I love to use previous version because it doesn’t have the mechanical switches but is an excellent keyboard though [url<][/url<] .Sadly the newest version doesn't fit their vertical stand.

    • thorz
    • 2 years ago

    I have the normal version of the Kinesis at work. It doesn’t have the mechanical switches but is an excellent keyboard though.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    I’d love it if someone made the old Microsoft Natural Keyboard with MX switches;

    It was the perfect, compact, fuss-free layout and extremely comfortable, for a old beige PS/2 keyboard. There was briefly a black version but not in the UK/EU layout 🙁

    • kcarlile
    • 2 years ago

    I have the previous version of this, with membrane style keys, which I use in a vertical configuration. Much easier on the wrists. Sadly, this one doesn’t fit their vertical stand, so it’s right out for me. (or at least it didn’t during the kickstarter)

    • reckless76
    • 2 years ago

    That actually seems pretty nice, though I wonder how well the pieces stick to the desk and if I’d find myself constantly readjusting the positioning.
    I think if they offer a 10-key accessory, or a version with the 10-key, I might consider getting one for work.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 2 years ago

      I’ll tell you before long. I’m planning to review one. Nothing’s set in stone yet, but watch the site in the coming month or so.

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