Something that is most commonly used in the office setting is your computer’s keyboard. You’re pressing those buttons for long hours daily to get your work done. But did you know that even the way you position your hands in your keyboard has a high degree of importance?
It’s a common misconception that only those with hand injuries are the ones who need an ergonomic keyboard. In reality, everyone needs it. Because you’re typing on your keyboard every day for long hours, there’s a high chance you can sustain stress injuries, pains, strains, etc.
That’s why you need an ergonomic keyboard that will keep your hands and fingers comfortable while reducing strain and maintaining healthy hand positioning. In this review, we’re going to dive deep into the features and specifications of the Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical. Could this be the ergonomic accessory for your office?
Why Choose an Ergonomic Split Keyboard?
You might have seen plenty of companies promote split keyboards as opposed to regular ones. The logic behind these product’s design might be hard to understand. After all, isn’t it easier to simply type with a regular keyboard rather than struggle through the learning curve of getting used to a separated one?
However, there are plenty of benefits offered by a split key design. Let’s review some of them:
Reduced Wrist Strain
One pertinent benefit offered by the split design is reduction of what ergonomic experts call “ulnar deviation.” The ulna is a long bone found in our forearm, and ulnar deviation happens when our wrists bend outward in the direction of our little fingers, usually upon trying to reach keys that are right smack in the center of the board. This is an inconvenience we’ve known to tolerate, especially when we’re using a laptop or a smaller-sized keyboard, unaware that we are putting our wrist and ulna in the risk of a serious injury.
However, if we are able to split our keyboards, we can choose to position either side shoulder-width apart so our arms are parallel and our wrists are in a neutral forward stance. This allows our wrists and forearms to relax, letting us work and type longer without fear of discomfort or injury.
Unique Positioning Possibilities
There are plenty of limits to a conventionally designed keyboard that we tend to take for granted. Consider the split design which allows for endlessly unique possibilities for positioning: gamers can reduce mouse reach by placing their mouse in the middle of the two sides; artists can similarly position their tablet in the middle; and those who wish to snack while working can place a small bowl in the extra space.
Reduced Forearm Strain
Having our forearms prone on a flat surface can cause a multitude of wrist and forearm problems. It is because, as ergonomic experts believe, this prolonged position increases undue pressure on the muscles in our arms that eventually leads to fatigue and injury. In worse cases, this uncomfortable position can lead to chronic pain.
One way to avoid this is with the help of keyboard lifts which elevate the center of each half, allowing the thumb to be placed higher above the desk area. This small increase in height is believed to be helpful in de-constricting the blood flow from our hands to our forearms. Without the pressure caused by a stiff and prone forearm position, we can continue typing for long hours at a time without feeling any fatigue, discomfort, or numbness in our muscles.
About the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB
|Model||Freestyle Edge RGB|
|Dimensions||1.25″ tall x 15.5″ wide x 10.25″ deep|
|Connectivity||USB Wired (Single Port, 6″ braided cable)|
|Item Weight||3.0 lbs.|
|Shipping Weight||3.99 lbs.|
Truth be told, the Kinesis Freestyle Edge Split Gaming Keyboard was made for gaming. It was engineered to be an ergonomic and valuable accessory for gamers to use. Considering that they spend long hours in front of computer screens controlling their movements in the game using keyboards, they need high-quality, durable, and ergonomically built ones. A gaming keyboard isn’t like any other: it’s made to withstand intense and prolonged use.
If the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB has proven to be beneficial for gamers who spend long hours playing, how much more for an average office worker who doesn’t use a keyboard as intensely or as often? Who knows, a gaming keyboard might just be what we need in our workspace. After all, the common desker would impose less wear and tear on gaming keyboards.
Looking at the features, the Freestyle Edge RGB looks to be a little intimidating; after all, we aren’t used to keyboards that split into two halves. However, these are claimed to be much safer to use, with the keyboard halves reducing the strain on our elbows. The two halves can be positioned as the user sees fit, allowing for flexibility and better range of motion.
Apart from this, the plug-and-play keyboard also offers a unique typing experience by way of its programmable macro keys and gaming keys, RGB lighting effects, N key rollover feature, toggle switches, and genuine Cherry MX mechanical switches. The product comes with an optional lift kit as well. With all this and more, it definitely sounds like the ideal product to us.
Now, before you disagree, let’s look closer into the features of the Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split.
Kinesis Freestyle Edge Split Gaming Keyboard Features
If you’re the type who finds it more comfortable to use conventional keyboards, you can simply put the two parts together to form one whole. In this scenario, we recommend purchasing the optional lift kit in order to tent the keyboard and avoid forearm pronation.
On the other hand, if you want a wider typing range, you can separate the keyboard as far as you prefer. The best thing about a split design is you won’t have trouble reaching keys even when the keyboard is split into two halves because the distance per key is optimally engineered to be reachable, no matter the average user’s hands size. However, the unique layout has become a point of contention to other users, as the Page Up, Page Down, Print Screen, and other keys are found on the side.
Additionally, the keyboard is built with genuine Cherry MX key switches for better tactility; you have the option to choose between Cherry MX Brown switches, Cherry MX Red, or Cherry MX Blue key switches. Ordinary ergonomic keyboards tend to underestimate this factor, but having mechanical key switches, let alone something as premium as the Cherry MX switches, alleviates much of the hand strain we often accumulate on non-mechanical keyboards.
Kinesis Lift Kit
You can also purchase the Kinesis Lift Kit in case you want to elevate your keyboard for a better typing experience. However, the separate lift kit has become a polarizing feature for many users, as they believe it should be standard and included with the package. However, the keyboard layout without the lift kit can stand on its own and still offer a wide variety of benefits to the user.
Customizable & Unique
By far, one of the most appealing aspects of the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is its customizability. Make this device your own with the 9 programmable game keys found on the lining of the aptly named “Game Bank” on the left side of the keyboard, letting you choose specific functions to suit your daily gaming needs. These macro keys are programmable via the Smartset app. This design is ideal for first-person shooter games, letting the user move the right half out of the way, making more space for the mouse to move freely.
If you’re purchasing this product for gaming purposes, there is also the added function of Game Mode that disables the Windows key so you can freely type without worrying about accidentally leaving in the middle of a gaming session.
Of course, we can’t forget about the multi-color RGB lighting display, a feature found in gaming accessories but is perhaps missing in most office-oriented products. If you’re looking for a twist in your usual workplace setup, then the RGB lighting design feature might just be what you need, and the Freestyle Edge RGB is ready to offer it.
Since the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is wired, one needn’t worry about losing connectivity midway. The 1MS response time is perfect for deskers whose work heavily relies on typing.
For the longest time, we’ve only ever used conventional products. But just because it’s the long-time tradition, not to mention the socially accepted type, doesn’t mean that it’s ideal. Think about it. Are conventional keyboards really optimized ergonomically?
The answer is no. In fact, conventional products pose a lot of problems when it comes to hand positioning, such as:
- Mouse Over-Reach: Conventional keyboards are usually large and full-sized. Because of this, there arises a need for us to reach over the corner to access the mouse. This might be something you normally do, but it actually puts excessive strain on your wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
- Forearm Pronation: When using a standard keyboard, the tendency is for our wrists to face down towards the desktop while typing. Without adequate support, this posture causes the rotation of your ulna and radius bones, increasing pressure on the forearm muscles. In the long run, this pronated posture causes fatigue and repetitive injuries.
- Wrist extension: If you try typing on your conventional keyboard, you’ll notice that your wrists are bent backward due to the keyboard’s slope design. You’ve probably already experienced wrist pain when in this position for long periods of time. If this is prolonged, you’ll run the risk of developing serious wrist injuries.
- Ulnar deviation: The tendency when using regular keyboards is to bend the wrist outward in the direction of your little finger. This happens when you’re trying to reach the outer keys of your keyboard. But this is the most dangerous keyboard posture because it constricts blood flow and creates muscle tension.
Chances are, you never even knew how dangerous run-of-the-mill keyboards can be when it comes to posture. With the split-type build of the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Keyboard, you can have a healthy and ergonomic posture, significantly reducing the risk of pain, strain, and injury.
Palm Support and Wrist Rest
The Kinesis Freestyle Edge Split RGB is designed with thick cushion pads to support your palm and wrists found both on the right half and the left half. The wrist rest gives your hand the foundation and support it needs to withstand long hours of typing. The material of the cushion is moisture-resistant for maximum comfort.
Pros and Cons of the Kinesis Freestyle Edge Split
|✔ Palm supports are detachable |
✔ Braided cables for organization
✔ 1ms response time, which means no delays while typing
|✘ A bit pricey, as you have to buy other accessories separately |
✘ RGB color may not be comfortable to the eyes
What People Are Saying About It
The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Lighting gaming keyboard offers some of the best features in the world of ergonomics and gaming. Combining effortless versatility and a premium typing experience thanks to the Cherry MX switches, the Freestyle Edge RGB seamlessly bridges the gap between an office device and a gaming device. The product is compatible with Windows, Mac & Linux.
Where to Buy the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Split Keyboard
Begin your transition to an ergonomic keyboard. Check the best prices for the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Split Keyboard on Amazon today.
Kinesis Gaming offers a 60-day guarantee beginning on the date of purchase, as well as a 2-year limited warranty and access to US tech support.
Enjoyed this keyboard review and want to check out other brands and models? Take a look at our guide to the best ergonomic accessories in the market. Explore our page for more ergonomic product reviews.