KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard Review

September 24, 2020 review kinesis keyboard [review]

I spend a lot of time typing. When you are an engineer, you would think that you should spend your days drawing diagrams on whiteboards and marinating your brain in creative juices by playing Ping-Pong in a white room. However, in reality it is all about typing out reports, writing documentation, answering email, sending email, and surreptitiously typing blog entries during meetings. Keyboards are the physical object with which you interact with the virtual world and are an extension of your natural body. More so than the mouse thanks to editors like vim and editors that support vmin keybindings. My company even reimburses me for keyboards. I tell all this so that you can see I’m no keyboard illiterate, but rather a sort of aficionado.


The KINESIS Freestyle series is a keyboard for typists, software developers, managers, and all sorts of occupations that require a large amount of typing. The separation of left and right takes some getting used to. However once my brain and hands figured it out, I became more efficient. My hands no longer run into each other and the temptation to look down to hunt and peck is greatly reduced, mostly because it becomes less efficient than typing normally.

Another significant benefit is my upper-body posture is improved. I can put my hands far apart which relieves stress on my shoulders. Also, the ability to angle the keyboard halves outwards to keep my wrists straight and aligned with my arms helps a lot with wrist strain.


Besides announcing to your co-workers that you’re an alpha-peacock, the RGB backlighting is great for the weekends when the lights are off. I’ve also set the per-key lighting to color code the function keys for high stress situations like when my boss walks by and I need to quickly alt-tab from Reddit to PyCharm.


I’ve never used palm cushions with previous keyboards. For one, most keyboards don’t have them integrated and I’d buy them aftermarket. They’d either be too high or too low which makes keyboard use more cumbersome. However, for the KINESIS freestyle they integrate nicely with the keyboard. I can rest my palms on them and easily spread out my fingers to reach all the keys. Unlike my Advantage keyboard which has a hard plastic rest, these are soft and absorb sweat which keeps my hands cool and palms from tiring out.


In my opinion, the biggest drawback of this keyboard is its price, $200 for the Brown switches and $220 for the Blue and Red switches is somewhat exorbitant. On the positive side though is we should acknowledge that KINESIS is a specialty manufacturer and also that this keyboard will last for years. To illustrate - my Advantage keyboard that I bought 10 years ago in 2010, used and on eBay, is still going strong. So, in a way it is a long term investment. If my Freestyle Edge lasts 10 years, then it comes out to just $20 a year for something I use throughout the day. Much cheaper than a cell phone!

Photo of KINESIS Freestyle Edge RGB Keyboard


KINESIS offers a few accessories to go with the Freestyle Edge.

There are two kinds of lift kits to tent up the keyboard. The V3 Pro allow use without the palm rests while the regular Lift Kit have room for the palm rests.

You can get a matching mouse, called the Vektor RGB Mouse. It violates many principles of ergonomics and so doesn’t look like a real KINESIS product. For one the side buttons are tiny. Also it doesn’t look ambidextrous, unless you are a freak whose thumbs were switched at birth. It appears to be a rebrand of another company’s mouse.

Textured WASD and arrow keys are also available. I imagine that in addition to the RGB lighting, they can give a tactile sensation to find the important keys when you’re flailing around in a Microsoft Solitaire speed-run.

Finally, there is a XL mousepad which measures 31.5" x 15.75". All the 5-star reviews I see on Amazon are from Vine Voices - people that got the mousepad for free in exchange for a positive review. So I can’t really see this to be a good product. And to be honest, there is a lot of competition in this space and much better deals to be found. For example, Aukey has an even bigger mousepad sized at 35.4" x 15.75" for just $20 with ~1900 reviews of which 88% are 5-star.