So I’ve had this keyboard for a while now, the Kinesis Freestyle (I wrote about it a while back). I’ve almost gotten used to it and can now give a decent review of it.
For one, the keys being separated is weird. It truly feels as if each hand is doing its own thing. I mean, they’re doing the same thing if they’d been on a single keyboard piece but for some reason, it feels really weird. It took longer to get used to than I thought. I have slowly been putting them further apart, trying to find that placement as well, but the further I go, the more I have to relocate my hands on the keys. Weird.
Instead of resting on the keyboard like usual, my hands kinda float over them. I really really hate the placement of the backspace and delete key. I’ve slowly gotten used to the backspace location but I have to stop and look to find the delete key. The home and end buttons are odd too but I don’t use them that much. I do miss having a keypad. I’d just started to enjoy it now that I am using a desktop and now it is more like using a laptop again. Sigh. I am a touch typist and have realized, with this keyboard, that I am having to relocate my hands to the proper place. I have gotten into the habit of twitching my index fingers to make sure they are on the F and J keys (the ones with the bumps) whenever I stop to think or first start typing. It is almost like learning to touch type all over again. I am constantly hitting the / key when I want the . one. Which is probably why I know the backspace key location so well!
I’ve also been surprised at the horizontal angle my hands feel the most comfortable with. The left is not much different than before, straight on. A little turn (top toward the right) but not by much. The right one, though, wow, what a tilt. The top is really angled toward the left. That shoulder is my loosest and tends to splay outward so that is probably why. But it is strange to see it revealed this way. The right one is also more forward and the left is closer to my body.
I’ve tried the different ‘tenting’ angles. I don’t like the full one so far but I’ve not used it that much. I switch between the lowest and the mid one. (can’t recall the actual degrees). The left hand likes the midrange tilt. The highest one makes the hand hot faster. And that’s the other thing. My left hand gets very warm the more I type. No clue why. I need to ask my PT friend if she knows. The right one may eventually like the highest tilt but, like I said, I’ve not used it much. I am finally starting to type more lately and will do another review later.
In some ways, the keyboard seems solidly made. But in other ways, it feels cheap. Could just be the keys themselves and how they react to pressure.
I keep the mouse between the two pieces. It fits nicely, even when the pieces are fairly close together.
Overall, I like the keyboard. I like that my hand placement can be nearly anywhere, depending on how I am feeling and how I am using it. Ergonomic? Yes, definitely. Worth the money? Yes, definitely again. Recommend it to others? Only if you touch type. If you use the ‘hunt and peck’ method, you will hate hate hate this keyboard. But then, if you hunt/peck, you don’t need it.