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Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for PC (9" or 20" Separation) (9" Separation)
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- AWARD-WINNING SPLIT DESIGN: Unlike fixed ergonomic keyboards, the Freestyle2 allows you to rotate and separate the key modules up to 9" to achieve natural hand, wrist and forearm positions for your specific body type and preferences.
- STANDARD WINDOWS LAYOUT: The Freestyle2 for PC features a standard Windows layout with hotkeys like Cut, Copy, Paste, multimedia keys, and an embedded numeric 10-key to boost your productivity. No software or special drivers required.
- LOW-FORCE KEY SWITCHES: The Freestyle2 uses a custom membrane key switch that features a low-activation force and tactile feedback to reduce finger fatigue, impact and strain.
- WHAT'S IN THE BOX: Freestyle2 USB Wired keyboard with a standard Windows Layout, detachable pivot tether for adjustable splay, and Quick Start Guide. Plug-and-Play for Windows 7-10.
- PLUG-AND-PLAY: Windows 7-10, Linux, and Chrome. No software or special drivers required.
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The Freestyle2 is the most versatile ergonomic keyboard on the market and is designed to adapt to your body type and preferences to increase your comfort and boost your productivity. Customize the position of the keyboard modules with adjustable split, splay and tenting to achieve natural positions for your hands, wrists, and forearms to reduce static muscle tension and strain.
Adjustable split boosts comfort and productivity for all body types
Separate and splay the modules to shoulder-width to keep wrists straight. Choose the standard 9 inch or the extended 20 inch separation model.
Tenting enables 5, 10, and 15 degrees to reduce forearm pronation caused by flat keyboards. Chose the VIP3 (with Palm Supports) or V3 Accessory (without Palm Supports).
Zero-degree slope and available cushioned Palm Supports Accessory eliminate harmful wrist extension.
Tenkeyless layout results in a smaller footprint for closer mouse placement to reduce over-reach
Kinesis Corporation- The leaders in computer ergonomics since 1992
Freestyle2 tents up to 90 degrees with the Ascent Accessory
Kinesis Corporation was founded in 1991 with the objective of developing the first computer keyboard optimized for comfort and productivity. After extensive research, the first Kinesis contoured keyboard, the Model 100, was launched commercially in 1992. The success of the Kinesis contoured keyboard in solving intractable RSI problems has been remarkable and unprecedented.
Twenty-seven years later and Kinesis is still creating innovative ergonomic keyboards for work and recreation.
- Seattle, Washington USA
- Liftetime Tech Support
The Freestyle design is backed by extensive research and testing
For 7 months the Atlas IPS firm conducted an independent study investigating the impact of the Freestyle keyboard’s unique split design on posture, comfort, and performance with 80 employees at a large U.S. software company.
- 100% were back to full productivity after a brief adaption period
- 96% preferred the Freestyle over their conventional keyboard
- 79% experienced a decrease in neck discomfort
- 50% experienced a decrease in ulnar deviation
Kinesis Freestyle2 Keyboard for PC
- Width: Min: 15.4 inches; Max: 23.5 inches
- Depth: 7.1 inches
- Height: 0.9
- Connection: USB Wired
- USB Cable Length: 6 feet
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Numeric 10 Keypad in Embedded Layer
Other members of the award-winning Freestyle split keyboard family:
- Wireless Bluetooth, Mac models, and International layouts of the Freestyle2 are available.
- For mechanical key switches and programmability choose the Freestyle Pro.
- For mechanical key switches, programmability, and backlighting choose the Freestyle Edge.
Standard Layout No Learning Curve
Choose 9" or 20" Linking Cable
- Windows 7-10, Linux, Chrome
Low-Force, Tactile Key Switches
- Peak force: 44 grams
- Activation force: 35 grams
- Travel distance: 3.9 mm
- Switch type: Rubber dome, membrane
Optional tenting accessories reduce painful forearm pronation caused by conventional flat keyboards
VIP3 at 5 Degrees
Unsnap legs and fold flat
VIP3 at 10 Degrees
Snap legs and flip in
VIP3 at 15 Degrees
Snap legs and flip out
Compare with similar items
Kinesis VIP3 Tenting Accessory for Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard (AC820)
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business (5KV-00001 )
Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard w/ VIP3 Lifters for Mac (9" Separation)
Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet Ergonomic Split Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry MX Silent Red Switches)
Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard for PC (9" Separation)
|Sold By||ErgoWarehouse||ErgoWarehouse||ARF Tech||Scharf Industries LLC||Amazon.com||ErgoWarehouse|
|Are batteries included?||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Are batteries required?||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Color||9 Inch Separation||VIP3||Without Mouse||—||Cherry Mx "Quiet" Red||Dark Gray|
|Hardware Interface||USB||USB 2.0||USB 2.0||USB||USB||Bluetooth|
|Item Dimensions||15.94 x 9.25 x 1.26 inches||9.75 x 2.75 x 2.75 inches||9.00 x 16.00 x 2.48 inches||15.40 x 7.10 x 0.90 inches||7.25 x 15.50 x 1.25 inches||15.40 x 0.90 x 7.10 inches|
|Item Weight||2.20 lbs||0.50 lbs||2.00 lbs||2.00 lbs||2.60 lbs||2.00 lbs|
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At this point, i should be clear: I do recommend this keyboard (see above). Despite its shortcomings, i bought a second, and i would buy a third if i had a third location of on-site programming work. But for the remainder of this review, i will be lambasting the designers for some unfortunate decisions that cause me daily grief. Given the attention that Kinesis gave to most areas of this keyboard, i find it perplexing that they included some truly brain-dead "features" for a modern piece of equipment.
Firstly, the placements of several keys are questionable. The escape key may as well be in the upper atmosphere -- it's large, but i have to completely remove my hand from the keyboard and issue a shoulder movement to be able to reach it. As a programmer and a vim user, i press the escape key a lot. This keyboard has forced me to remap it to another key. The 'home', 'end', 'page up', 'page down', and 'delete' keys are nearly impossible to navigate efficiently without looking down at the keyboard. Somehow, 'insert' wound up as a function key (that is, you have to use the Fn-modifier to access it), along with 'scroll lock' and 'num lock', whereas 'pause/break' and 'printscreen' get center stage. Was this keyboard designed in the late '80s?
Speaking of the Fn-modifier, the Fn key is a locking modifier. You can't hold it and press the key you want (e.g. 'insert') -- when you press Fn, the keyboard locks in Fn mode, and you have to press Fn again afterwards to revert. I get that they're trying to make life easier for people who use number pads a lot (which, um, you need Fn mode to access, even with 'num lock' on), but i can't imagine that it would have taken more than ten seconds' thought to realize that this would be a bad idea.
The "convenience keys" (web keys, copy/cut/paste keys, etc.) are also poorly placed. I'm constantly accidentally hitting them, either at random or when i mean to press, say, the 'grave' key for a backtick or tilde (as a programmer, i use these a lot as well). This is frustrating, yes, but i could have easily disabled them or remapped them to something more benign, were it not for my next, and perhaps biggest, complaint.
The "convenience keys" are not actually media keys. They cannot be remapped, because Kinesis made assumptions about your running operating system and hard-coded them as key combinations. I practically excreted a brick upon discovering this.
A little background (skip this paragraph if you know how key events are handled by the OS):
On a typical keyboard, if you press 'a', the operating system receives an event with a certain keycode. Your operating system knows that, since you told it you have a US keyboard, this keycode is associated with the letter 'a', per the US qwerty keyboard map. Typical US keyboard maps have keycodes for media keys, as well, which are interpreted as special key symbols. When you press a "web forward" key, the OS would look at the keymap and see that it lines up with the WebForward event. If a web browser then sees that you pressed WebForward, it knows how to handle it. Similarly, there's a WebHomePage event, a VolumeUp event, MediaPause, etc.. I use Linux/X, so my events are called things like 'XF86Forward', 'XF86HomePage', 'XF86AudioRaiseVolume', and others, respectively, but it's the same idea. Even if you buy a special keyboard with some newfangled media key that has no entry in your operating system's keyboard map, you can still map the key to do whatever you want, because a unique keycode is issued when you press it.
That is, except on this keyboard. Here, the 'web forward' key does not issue its own (standard!) keycode, but instead issues an "alt+right arrow" key combination. 'Web backward', similarly, issues "alt+left arrow". "Web home" issues "alt+home". "Copy" issues "control+c" and "paste" issues "control+v". Actually, since it issues them by keycode, and i switched the 'control' and 'caps lock' keys in my keymap, for me, these latter events issue "capslock-c" and "capslock-v", instead.
In what seems to have been an effort to combat what they knew was horrible placement for these failures of convenience keys, they put raised ridges on them (and on the home/end/pgup/pgdn keys) , so you can tell what key you're on. You know, like the raised ridges on the 'f' and 'j' keys. However, they put these ridges on _all_ of the right-edge keys, so they don't help you know which key you're fingering _at all_. The ridges are thus completely useless, since you already know that your fingers are at the rightmost edge of a column of keys with a gap beside it due to, well, the gap that's beside it. This last point feels like a nitpick in comparison to my previous complaint, but since it's also related, i'm including it as well.
The day that someone comes along with something comparable, without the stupidity listed above, i will buy it. The day that Kinesis releases a Freestyle3 that's identical to this one, but fixes all of the above, i'll buy two. But until that day, this is, begrudgingly, my keyboard of choice.
1) The F7 key is on the left side, and it doesn't make sense for it being there. I'm used to F6 being the last key I could reach with my left finger, so it has thrown me off when I need to press F keys. I'm used to pressing F5 when refreshing a page without looking, now I have to take an extra second to look or feel the F7 key.
2) There are two additional columns of keys to the left edge of the keyboard. I don't know why they are there, but this has completely messed up my shortcut presses such as doing quick ctrl-c to copy, ctrl-v to paste, alt-tab through windows, etc.. All of my quick no look functions are now delayed due to the extra keys. It's frustrating because I've mastered quick shortcut keys with my left hand resting on the left edge of the keyboard, but I can no longer do that.
Honestly I wish they would make a version of this keyboard without the 2 extra columns of keys on the left, and F7 key on the right side. I would gladly buy it if they came out with it. Again, great keyboard, you get to make the keyboard fit your own posture and your hand's positioning, which is very nice. But the two issues I mentioned above have hurt my productivity. The extra keys on the left side of the keyboard don't help at all, I make more mistakes with them there, they just tend to get in the way.
For reference, I've used MS Natural Keyboard for the longest time. It worked well for me for 20 years, but it isn't totally ergonomic. Having a long keyboard with keypad attached, it means you have to stretch your mouse further to your right. This puts strains on your right shoulder & arm over time. For a keyboard to be truly ergonomic, it can't have the keypad. Which is why I loved this product when I saw it. I just wish they stayed true to keyboard design by not having the F7 key on the left side, and not have the extra 2 columns of keys on the left edge of the keyboard.
And now typing on my laptop. I'm not picky about keyboards. I used one where half the labeled letters were missing/worn off and it slowly deteriorated and broke. I was ok with that (and had other keyboards through multiple computers and laptops at work, school, etc). I finally splurged on a replacement, the most expensive keyboard I've ever bought (the previous was a goldtouch split keyboard), and it's utter trash.
For $115 - I got a split 20" keyboard that did reduce wrist pain. And it's the WORST keyboard I've ever used. The split design is nice. But if I can't even type without correcting each sentence with 10x the amount of time i took to type the sentence, the keyboard is USELESS. Because as you can guess, as you're trying to correct the crazy looking sentences, your corrections have just as many typos. Typing harder, softer, slower, faster doesn't change this.
I see other reviews with this same issue. Look at this product and click on the 1-2 star reviews. If I could give it negative stars, I would. I don't know if it's a quality assurance issue where some keyboards are like this and they didn't figure it out. 5 seconds of QA testing this keyboard would've caught the issue, as any high-caliber company does for expensive products. I can't imagine anybody giving this product 3-5 stars unless they didn't have this problem. If I type a 4 letter word and turns into 10 letters of garbage, it WILL NOT WORK. This keyboard is garbage and induced so much disappointment over the 2 days I tried to use it with "accessibility" features to turn off sticky keys, tried to vary how I typed, etc. And to be clear, i corrected almost nothing in the rest of this review while using my laptop keyboard.
PLEASE DO NOT BUY or be prepared to return it if you get a dud like I did.
Top international reviews
The review that complains about typing odd letters is written by someone who has not realised that one of the function keys is on. The extra function keys are really useful and make work more efficient, if you take the trouble to give them a careful once over before you start using them.
You can place the two panels anywhere, at any angle to suit the typing style.
Keys are nice, soft-press adding to the joy. It is one of the best ergonomic keyboards
One can go for 9" version of this keyboard also. I have purchased 20", not sure if it was
worth spending extra money. Generally too much separation of two panels is not needed.
Only reason I am not giving 5th star is unfortunate placement of keys. Key placement has been
altered from standard schemes which does not go well with most of the programming applications.
It takes time to get used to new layout after that using this keyboard is smooth and fun. But some keys
are hard to get used to. My favorite is 'insert' key which has to be used with Fn button. As if this was not
irritant enough Fn is not a toggle key, once pressed it remains activated. This does not work well with the
Linux based coding environment (VI, bash etc) that I have.
I adjusted to the split of the 2 sides within 1-2 days. There will be an adjustment period as the keys are slightly different than a regular keyboard (home/end/page up are on the right hand side where numeric keys should be). If you are an accountant and need numeric keys, you would have to buy the attachment or get used to the Fn (function) key.
Next step is a standing desk.
In my opinion, traditional keyboards should be ditched in favor of split keyboards.