Kinesis split ergonomic keyboard
The Kinesis Freestyle 2 keyboard is hands-down the best ergonomic keyboard I have used, and I have tried several. It is a plugin USB split keyboard in two pieces connected by a wire and a removable pivot. This allows you to position it many ways to prevent hand, arm, wrist, and shoulder strain and avoid repetitive stress injury (RSI). You can…
- Pivot the sections into a V by spreading the lower portions apart. This lets you keep your hands straight relative to your arms.
- Separate the halves by up to 8 inches (200 mm) by disconnecting the pivot, so your arms can go straight forward from your shoulders.
- Tilt each half up in the center by resting them on a book or using the Kinesis VIP3 Tenting Accessory.
I love this thing and use it all the time.
Keyboard plusses: Comfortable, super-ergonomic, you can adjust it many ways to stay comfortable. The pivot locks in, and pops in or out in a couple of seconds. Works great on my Jarvis sit-stand desk.
The Freestyle 2 positions Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, and various shortcut keys on the outer edge of the keyboard. It took a while to retrain myself, but I now use these a lot.
When I sprained my wrists and fractured my elbow in a bad fall, the Kinesesis was the only keyboard I could make comfortable enough to use.
After several years I did have a temporary problem with the left Shift key sticking, but I followed the instructions on help page, blew it out with compressed air, and that fixed it. (I did have to blow it out twice to get ALL the crud out and completely fix the problem.)
Keyboard limitations: It is different enough from a one-piece keyboard that you should expect to spend several days adjusting. Persist and you’ll get it.
It’s too easy to mis-position your hand on one keyboard half without realizing it. That’s because the forefinger keys on the home row are the same texture as the rest, and the bump to let you know you’re on the right key is at the bottom, so it’s easy to miss. My temporary solution was to apply a dot of removable filing label material to each, so I can find them by touch. Eventually I plan to replace it with moleskin.
I found the Freestyle 2 did not work especially well for use in my lap in a recliner chair. The halves tended to move around too much, and maintaining the correct tilt was tricky.
Tip: If you don’t have the attached wrist rests, fold a towel to support your forearms and wrists at the correct height.
Kinesis split keyboard tilt accessory with wrist rests
The Kinesis VIP3 Tenting Accessory attaches to each half of the Kinesis Freestyle 2 keyboard. It lets you independently tilt each half of the keyboard up in the center, to angles 5, 10, or 15 degrees. Includes palm rests.
Limitations: Built for use on a flat surface such as a desk. It did not work well in my lap when I computed in a recliner chair.