Hardware

Review: Kinesis Freestyle Solo VIP keyboard

The Kinesis Freestyle Solo VIP keyboard is miles above the rest in easing stress on the fingers, wrists, arms, and shoulders.

Many business and enterprise workers sit at their desks, pounding away on their keyboards all day. With a fairly high percentage of these users wrist, forearm, elbow, and shoulder issues can arise causing pain, long-term problems, and loss of work. For a company this is costly on many levels: Loss of productivity, loss of employee, loss of bottom line. Because of this, it is often more important to invest in better designed keyboards for those employees prone to carpal tunnel-like issues. One such keyboard, the Kinesis Freestyle Solo VIP keyboard, is miles above the rest in easing stress on the fingers, wrists, arms, and shoulders.

Specifications

  • QWERTY key layout with split keyboard
  • Adjustable slope of 10-15 degrees with VIP
  • USB interface
  • Versions for PC and MAC
  • Works with any OS (driverless hot key support will vary)
  • US price approximately $149.00
  • Additional information from Kinesis

Who's it for?

The Kinesis Freestyle Solo VIP keyboard is for anyone who spends a good deal of their day at a keyboard and is serious about mitigating the long-term effects of improper hand/arm position forced by standard keyboards.

What problem does it solve?

The Kinesis Freestyle Solo VIP keyboard takes a serious stance on reducing strain associated with repetitive motion such as carpal tunnel. The combination of the split keyboard design and the VIP attachment makes the Freestyle incredibly versatile in its ability to accommodate the need for nearly any keyboard position.

Standout features

  • Split keyboard design
  • Driverless hot-keys replace many mouse actions further reducing strain
  • Key-force requiring only 60 grams of force to initiate a key
  • Narrow footprint for small spaces

What's wrong?

The only issue I have found, after using the Freestyle keyboard for three months, is the wrist pads seem a bit on the cheap side. Considering the cost of the keyboard it would be nice if these pieces were a bit sturdier. And, after searching their site, I have yet to find replacement pads.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

I have used plenty of keyboards over the years and I cannot recommend this keyboard any higher. This is the best of the best in its price range. To get a better feeling, performing, and injury-reducing keyboard you will have to be individually fitted and pay a much higher premium. This keyboard is perfect for any business needing to supply their employees with a keyboard that will drastically reduce repetitive stress injuries.

User rating

Have you encountered the Kinesis Freestyle Solo VIP keyboard? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the Kinesis Freestyle keyboard in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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