Episode 1. Kinesis Freestyle

I was desperate. I google’d a lot. Ergonomic keyboards reminded me of keyboards like the Microsoft Sculpt. And I did not want to end up with something bulky like that.

Wirecutter’s article on keyboards recommended the Kinesis Freestyle Edge with tenting kit.

I ordered one and gave it a try.

Split

The Freestyle is a split keyboard, which means the two sides of the keyboard are not attached.

This took a little getting used to. I would often type the “B” key with my right hand, but this was now far away from my right. However, it was worth it for the almost immediate benefits of the tenting.

Tenting

The Freestyle has a tenting add-on. The tenting kit angles the two halves of the keyboard up towards the center, like this: / \. This allows the wrists to rest at a natural angle.

The Freestyle’s tenting kit felt very sturdy to me. Not every tenting kit out there feels sturdy, as I would later learn.

The best part? My wrists felt relief.

Browns

The Freestyle has three options for key switches: red (linear), brown (tactile), blue (clicky). I wanted to try out the browns.

The browns tired out my fingers. My fingers would build up strength and adapt, but overall, they were not my favorite.

The key switches were soldered on, meaning, I couldn’t try out different key switches on the same keyboard.

Size

The keyboard was a bit big for my taste. It had full function keys. It had several programmable keys, which I never tried because I did not want to deal with their app to program them.

Also the Freestyle had large wrist pads, that nicely fit the size of the keyboard. The wrist pads prevented my arms from awkwardly drooping down off of the keyboard.

Conclusion

This was a fantastic first purchase. It helped me get used to a split keyboard. And the tenting relieved my wrist pain almost immediately.

This keyboard was an anchor of relief that let me explore other options, knowing that I had this board to fall back on.

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