New Toy – Keyboard At Last

Several years ago (2005) I wrote an article on alternative keyboards. In that article, I briefly talk about a lot of different keyboards and the various options available. I also say that I will get the Kinesis Evolution with the desk mount option. Sadly, that particular keyboard was discontinued a short time later. However, Kinesis has several other very ergodynamic keyboards now.

First there’s the tried and true Contoured. Very similar to the Maltron ($825), the Countoured ($399) keyboards are very popular. But without being able to try one, I wasn’t willing to spend that amount of money.

I revisited the Kinesis website and was pleased to see that their Freestyle and Maxim were still being produced. I wandered over to The Human Solution website and did some more research. I was stuck between the Freestyle (true split keyboard) vs the Maxim/Goldtouch (split but attached to a base). I found an article about just that sort of decision and, based on that and in discussions with Elena, I decided to buy the Freestyle with the V3 riser thingy and the 20″ extension.

And it came today!

I have the riser thing on and I’m not quite sure if I like it. I didn’t go with the other kit, the VIP, because I knew that plastic on my wrists was going to kill me this summer. I have it on the 2nd setting (10 deg). My right shoulder is pitching a fit lately so I’m not sure which is to blame for the uncomfortable-ness. It will take a while to get used to it. I am a touch typist which helps I’m sure! Hunt/peck method with the keyboard split apart would be a major pain in the ass.

I just switched to the highest incline (15 degrees) and while my left arm is still quite comfortable, my right is not. I am fairly certain it is the shoulder and not the keyboard.

Anyway, there’s a few different things (besides the fact it is in 2 pcs on purpose?) about this keyboard.

It has some built-in macros. For example, it has cut, paste, and copy buttons on the left side. But I’ve used the right click and the Ctrl C/V/X for so long, I doubt I will easily switch to a button format.

It doesn’t have a keypad. It has a function key to access a keypad like setup (just like most laptops). Twice now I have hit that Fn key instead of the Ctrl key. Kinesis sells a “low force” keypad. But the price ($54) is outrageous compared to the $19.99 one I can pick up at BestBuy.

The Delete key (a writer’s most used key, second only to the Backspace) is oddly located. It is way up on the top row, well out of easy reach. That’s going to take some getting used to. On the left, with the copy and paste bound keys, is another Delete key. The Escape key is way up there as well but everyone is used to that.

I’ll use it for a few days then let y’all know what I think. And let me know if you want more or different photos of it.

(click image for larger version)


  1. I’ll be interested in hearing about it when it straddles you while you’re lying down.

  2. I’m going to try that tomorrow I think. Hook it to the laptop.

    I just played several hours of WoW and my hands hurt. They’re hot and achy. Not sure if it’s the keyboard or the weather.

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