September 5, 2017 // 9 a.m.
Ergonomic input specialist Kinesis has announced that it is going after the lucrative gamer market with a variant of its Freestyle split keyboard dubbed the Freestyle Edge.
Kinesis' Freestyle family of keyboards is what you get if you ask the question 'what would happen if we hacksawed a keyboard in half and it still worked?' At first glance the keyboard seems to have a relatively standard layout but split into two halves which can be separated and held at angles which, the company claims, reduce strain on tendons and joints during prolonged typing sessions.
The Freestyle Edge, though, takes the company's existing design and switches it from targeting professional office workers to high-end gamers. The membrane switches of the existing designs have been replaced with a choice of Cherry MX Blue, Brown, or Red - the latter, with its rapid actuation, being a popular switch type for twitch gamers - while a single-colour backlighting system has also been installed. The keyboard also features an eight-key programmable macro area, again missing from its more office-friendly predecessors.
One thing that hasn't changed in the Freestyle Edge is the split layout: As with its predecessors, the Edge includes two main bodies connected by a cable and which can be placed up to 50cm apart and independently tilted (or, as Kinesis has it, 'tented') at 5, 10, and 15 degree angles - and, Kinesis points out, can even be set up so only the half you actually need for your game is within arm's reach, or with a joystick or mouse in between the two halves.
Kinesis has set a US recommended retail price for the Freestyle Edge of $219 (around £169 excluding taxes) with the optional lift kit and palm pad accessories adding $24.95 and $12 respectively to the price (around £19 and £9 respectively, excluding taxes.) More information is available on the company's official product page, with shipping scheduled for November.