Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great keyboard!
I got one of these about 18 months ago, luckily I managed to convince my company it'd be a good idea for them to buy me one. I'd been suffering from really achey knuckles after prolonged keyboard use - I work in IT as a software developer, so had it got worse it could have been a career-ender.

Positives:
- No more achey knuckles, which means my career can...
Published 20 months ago by David Stephens

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Smaller hands will have a better time of it
The keyboard works well, but there are a number of faults.
1. The shaping is too deep. If you have larger hands the radius of the dips is just too tight. Smaller hands will have a better time of it.
2. It's not suitable for programming where the language uses braces *unless* you reprogram some of the keys. The brace keys are just too badly placed for general...
Published 10 days ago by Aeomer


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great keyboard!, 22 Nov 2012
By 
David Stephens (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
I got one of these about 18 months ago, luckily I managed to convince my company it'd be a good idea for them to buy me one. I'd been suffering from really achey knuckles after prolonged keyboard use - I work in IT as a software developer, so had it got worse it could have been a career-ender.

Positives:
- No more achey knuckles, which means my career can continue. Win!
- I can type something in the region of 15% faster when using the Kinesis. This will be partially due to typing "properly" (ie correct fingers on correct keys rather than the self taught touch-typing hackery I was doing previously), but it's also down to the quality of the switches underneath the keys.
- Keys are re-mappable, should you want to move things around.
- Acts as a good deterrent to stop people using your PC when you're away from the office...

Negatives:
- The rubbery F-keys are a bit crap, and not touch-typeable. Rather bizarrely the manual says "you shouldn't touch-type F-keys" which seems a bit like an excuse for crappy F-key design, but whatever, I don't use them that often so not a major issue. If you're a serial F-keyer, you may want to consider this before taking the plunge.
- My hands ached a fair bit when I first started using the Kinesis - according to the manual this is normal and clears up after a week or so - and it was right.
- The palm pads that come with it look gross after 6 months of use, but it is possible to replace them. I actually took them off and never bothered to replace them.
- The black colour really shows up the scuzz that you drop into/onto your keyboard. Make sure you have one of those 1990's desk hoovers to clean it out every so often otherwise you might get known around the office as "Dirty Keyboard Dave".
- Why isn't the Kinesis Advantage label in the middle, or on the edge out of the way? And why is it right near where your hands rest, so that it collects various hand-related scuzz?

I've read other reviews on here of people complaining about the price - whilst I didn't pay for mine myself I've since bought a second one for home. £250-300 is not really a lot to pay if you factor in that you can't work without it - seems like a no-brainer to me?!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 23 April 2012
By 
This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
A great ergonomic keyboard.
The keys are placed on either side of the keyboard in a curved hollow (as you can see from the photo), which means your hands are roughly shoulder-length apart when typing, which feels very natural. The keys feel nice when pressed, they're not too hard or too soft. The keys are easily reachable from one another, which means your fingers don't move around a lot when you're typing.
The key layout differs slightly from a standard keyboard, but only took me a week or so to adjust to. It has the ability to re-map keys (the Windows key requires more than one keypress, so I remapped "Alt Gr" to the Windows key), as well as to program macros (I haven't used the latter feature).
I've had mine for two years, and no longer get shoulder pain when typing. I also suffer from occasional wrist pain, and this hasn't eliminated that. All the same, I'd recommend it, especially for those with shoulder pain.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Smaller hands will have a better time of it, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
The keyboard works well, but there are a number of faults.
1. The shaping is too deep. If you have larger hands the radius of the dips is just too tight. Smaller hands will have a better time of it.
2. It's not suitable for programming where the language uses braces *unless* you reprogram some of the keys. The brace keys are just too badly placed for general use.
3. The function keys are terrible - for the price they should also be Cherry switches.
4. Kinesis chose Cherry Brown switches, this is a major mistake. For general use they should have been Cherry Blue.

I know the last point is often considered personal; Cherry Brown switches are very high quality, too. However, to me the Brown's are too much like a membrane keyboard. Others will certainly disagree on this point. As I said, it's a personal choice, but everyone I have let try two keyboards, one with Brown and one with Blue keys, have said the Blue's feel better. Noisier but better.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible engineering, 4 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
My problem was RSI (at 26!), as well as incredibly painful fingers when I typed. This keyboard, in conjunction with the DVORAK layout has DRAMATICALLY reduced my symptoms. I couldn't possibly be more thrilled.

Feel free to ask me more specific questions in the comments to this review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable keyboard, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
I've been looking for an ergonomic keyboard for quite some time and this one seemed to fit the bill perfectly, except for the price of course. £275+ is a lot to pay for a keyboard, but it is a delight to use once you get used to it. If you are not a touch-typist then you will need to either learn or look elsewhere. Then again, if you are not a touch typist you might struggle to use any other ergonomic keyboard anyway.

The keys are of very high quality and feel they will last a lifetime. I know others have complained about the rubbery function keys but that doesn't bother me as they are used so infrequently anyway. I think they actually compliment the design and feel of the keyboard nicely.

The keyboard itself is comfortable to use all day long and as well as being nice to use it's also nice to look at. I use this keyboard with a Mac and it was simplicity itself to put the keyboard into 'Mac Mode' and change over a couple of the key-caps using the supplied tool.

Despite the high price tag I've given it 5 stars, if you can live with paying as much for a keyboard as you would for a cheap laptop then you won't be disappointed - but it does take a little bit of getting used to if coming from a 'normal' keyboard or even a different ergonomic design.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Give yourself 2 weeks to adjust and then never go back., 7 Mar 2014
By 
Stancu Mara Sorin (Adliswil, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
I used this keyboard before. I'm a programmer and I write a lot. It's hard to casually switch to it. But if you take about 1-2 weeks to train using normal touch-type techniquest you'll start typing faster and be more comfortable doing it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kinesis Advantage, 4 Nov 2013
By 
Mr. Rt Moody - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
I've just ordered my second one of these, so that I can have one at work and one at home. As someone who writes code for a living and games in their spare time, I spend most of my waking hours at a keyboard. Rest assured, I don't take switching keyboards lightly.

The height of the keys are offset to match the differing lengths of your fingers. This means you will be moving your hands very little if you touch type (Which I'd consider almost a must to use this keyboard effectively). If you don't already touch-type, there are some fantastic free resources online; it's really not as hard as it used to be. I learned to easily type above average WPM (40) within 2 weeks, using a completely different layout. As this keyboard is fully programmable, you are free to use any layout you want. Personally, I use Workman layout but almost all modern layouts have substantial advantages over qwerty. It's worth checking out if you are into that sort of thing.

To reprogram the keys, you hold down a key combination and then you can assign any default key to a location. It's impossible to lose keys because it always uses the default layout for reference. I would say this has many positives over other programmable keyboards that use software to assign the remap. Since the remapping is not in firmware, there is no risk of bricking your keyboard when you change layout. This also means you don't need to install any software, so it's easy to change keys around if you are at work or whatever.

Using this keyboard will take a fairly sizeable upfront investment, both with it being quite costly and learning the new design. I can say that it will be thoroughly worth it in the long run and your wrists will thank you. This may seem fairly expensive but the extra years of work you can do from not having RSI will more than pay for it. In terms of time, I'm already 10 WPM faster than my previous keyboard after 3 days BUT I did move from a similar design (With straight vertical columns / Matrix) so your mileage may vary.

The keys use Cherry MX browns which are a type of mechanical keyboard switch. They have low activation (easy to press) and are similar to Cherry MX blues. Since they don't have the click like blues, they are a lot quieter. However, the keyboard itself is quite hollow, so you do generate a fair bit of sound if you bottom out (Push the keys all the way into the board) - a bad habit that is not necessary to activate mechanical key switches. I will be buying Cherry MX Rubber O-Ring Switch Dampeners to put underneath the caps, to reduce the noise at work. There is also an optional buzzer inside the case which creates a pleasant clicking sound upon activating the keys. This can be switched off with a simple key combination (See the manual).

The F keys and ESC are actually rubber but they don't annoy me as much as I expected they would. It is infact more convenient, since they are smaller and closer together, you won't have to stretch your hand as much. The rubber keys stick out from the board, they are very easy to press. There is a built in numpad which activates under the right hand when the numlock (Called Keypad) is active. You can also use this to create another layer! All the keys become assignable as a different layer when the numlock is active. There is a built in macro system which you can use without software and key combinations to switch between a Windows and OSX layout mode.

It's worth noting that gamers may need to remap some keys, as otherwise WASD will be underneath your weakest fingers and it feels very weird to put different fingers there due to the key height differences. If your game doesn't support remapping, it might be worth using a controller or a separate keyboard for gaming. I would consider this the only (and very small) detractor of this product. This keyboard is really designed for typing so it's perfect for its intended use. If you really need a flat board but you want a similar design, consider the Ergodox.

Inside the box, you will get a couple of option keys and a key cap remover. This is actually really useful, as most people are unlikely to have one of these tools. There is also a set of wrist rest pads with adhesive backing. The fabric on these is very decent, similar to high end mouse pad. I would caution you about resting your wrists during typing (As comfortable as this keyboard is!), as this is considered bad posture and can contribute to RSI (It will also make you slower at typing!). It is fine to rest there whilst not typing of course.

Good luck and happy typing!

ps. For those complaining about the price, it's probably worth noting that this is half the price of similar keyboards such as the Maltron.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd hoped for; questionable value, layout won't suit everyone, 27 Aug 2013
By 
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This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
I could have spent a great deal of time explaining the pros and cons of this keyboard, but it occurred that the effectiveness of ergonomic products such as the Advantage is so often down to individual needs. So I'll explain those instead to see if my grievances are relevant to you.

I write software for a living and the problem I need to overcome is a mixture of thumbs and wrists, though predominantly the former. My thumbs over time have become restricted in their scope of movement, and are now accompanied by pain when opening jars or bottles or anything requiring a steely grip. The problem is worsened by hours sat using a PC.

In this regard the Advantage is totally unsuitable. It places new emphasis on thumbs and thumb movement by giving them twelve buttons to navigate between, whereas now there's one big button, the space bar. In addition the thumb groups have been raised to the same level as the palms, which only exacerbates the aches. If I hold out my hands naturally my innermost digits rest lower than any other and the design decision to reverse that is bad news for me at least.

Okay, sure, I guess I could have foreseen these things had I researched the keyboard more thoroughly, and examined photographs more closely, but as anyone with aches and pains will tell you, you become willing to give anything a shot.

Lesser problems include the positioning of keys such as the cursor arrows (which are not only tucked out of sight on the bottom row, but are split between left and right hands - there is no longer anything instinctive about their use) and brackets (again, tucked out of site on the bottom row) which for writing code makes the thing a pain in every sense. And you can forget games. If you're a touch typist doing secretarial work you may fly along nicely, but for me it's hard work and poor value.

The reason I've given it two rather than three stars is because in addition to everything I've mentioned above, the steep price simply does not reflect the quality. I can see that the rubbery function keys get regular mentions in reviews, but I must emphasise just how terrible they are. This is an old keyboard in every regard: the look, feel, layout and even the OEM style plain packaging hark back to the 1990s. It is in desperate need of an update.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ergonomiv, but costly and in need of design improbement, 30 May 2012
By 
Quy Vang Le (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
I decided to buy this keyboard after having read reviews here and there. I got it delivered today May 30, 2012. I am tyoping this review with the keyboard after reading short manual, the online manual and 20 minutes of practicing.
Firstly about the good things:
I can feel that it really help to reduce my wrist pain problem by turning my palms totally down while typing. The splited design also helps to straighten from my elbows till my palms. The relocation of several keys (backspace, delete, space, cotrols, etc) to two thumb-key groups is also a very good idea.

Secondly, some not so good things:
Obviously the price tag is crazily prohibiting: £249.99. I can buy a good RAID storage array for home and small office with this money. Buying this keyboard is like I come to get help from a doctor and get his insults at the same time! I don't think a humble keyboard should deserve this price. For the keyboard layout, I still have not found where the Ctrl key(s) is while in the 'Mac' mode. I have frequent typos for left-index-finger keys like "V,B" and mixing "C" and "V" while using this keyboard. This is a minor problem though, I van train myself through it. The function keys may look too small at first, but it is Ok like that actually. But here comes the design fault I don't like the most: I can clearly see the electronic circuits below the thumb keys. The edges surrounding keys for other four fingers is also deep and big. These means dust and water and get in easily. So do not drinking coffee and joke with your wife or colleagues near the keyboard! Maybe better cover the keyboard with waterproof cover whenever not us. Sound nonsense? No, only that way can it meet the status of this keyboard that you paid for.

The bottom line: I only recommend to buy this product if you do not mind its fearsome price and you know how to deal with dust and liquid hazards, may pay another one after some time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for those with RSI but numerous frustrating flaws, 4 Oct 2012
By 
Mr. James Pike (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kinesis Advantage Ergonomic Contoured Keyboard USB - Black (Accessory)
After suffering from RSI for years and it interfering with my ability to work this keyboard was a lifesaver. I can finally go back to 10 hour code marathons (with sensible regular breaks of course) without screwing my wrist up so badly I can't type the next day.

However there are a number of unfortunate flaws with this keyboard:

1. Despite switching caps-lock with control (surely common amongst ergonomic users) the caps lock will still occasionally switch on! Then the only way you can turn it off is by plugging the keyboard out and in.
2. The keyboard is programmable with macros (which are essential to get access to keys that by default require two presses) but get used to re-entering them, it randomly forgets them.
3. The keyboard randomly stops working altogether, again I have to plug it out and in to get it working again.
4. The function keys and escape key are rubbery and very poor quality.
5. I've had to use masking tape to tape my keyboard wire to the body due to it constantly reconnecting. I believe this is due to a heavy cylinder (a USB power transformer or something) about 10cm along the USB wire that connects to the keyboard body. This would probably be less of an issue with those who use a desk rather than a lap desk (to allow the transformer to rest on a surface and thus not tug at the body).

This is a great keyboard, you just have to get used to unplugging it and plugging it back in (I'd say I have to do it about 5 times per day). I suggest using masking tape to fix the USB cable to the body before using it firsts, else you may risk damaging your very expensive keyboard within the first few months of owning it.

If it weren't for this being the best ergonomic keyboard I would certainly be searching for one without all the annoying flaws, but after trying pretty much every sub-£300 keyboard on the market I realise I'm stuck with this one flaws and all.
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