4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A bit disappointing
, 21 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Kinesis USB Advantage Pro Keyboard - Black (Accessory)
The Kinesis keyboard felt nicely made and robust and I particularly liked the smaller function keys and multi purpose keys at the top to maximise the space. The ability to turn the right hand section of keys into a number pad at the touch of a button was also ideal.
The unit also comes with a foot pedal that can be programed to serve whatever function you want. You can also re-code any of the keyboard to change functions or layout, although strangely there is no option to move the keys around to reflect these changes which seems a bit of a wasted opportunity. I would have expected to either be able to move the keys, or at least have a method of re-labelling the keys so you can keep track of the changes you've made.
The keyboard was quite responsive and featured mechanical keys, which I gather are supposed to be more robust and longer lasting than whatever is used on cheaper keyboards. On the negative side, I found this made the keys very loud and "clacky" when in use, especially for heavy handed touch typing. It also led to extra strain on the finger joints as there's no cushion when you fully press the key. I found this a bit odd on a keyboard designed mostly for people with joint/tendon issues of to ensure you don't get those issues.
My other complaint was the location of the thumb key sets. I have relatively small hands and yet the thumb keys were so close to the main key groups that I couldn't twist my thumb close enough to the rest of my hand to use them. I had to move my whole hand further away from the home keys to use the thumb buttons. Again this felt odd for a keyboard that is supposed to be reducing the amount of movement the typist is having to perform and thus reduce the chances of repetitive strain issues.
Also worth noting, the Kinesis is an American keyboard, so the physical keys are placed for an American keyboard. The keyboard can be switched between a Querty and Dvorak layout at the press of two buttons, however the key tops only show the Qwerty layout.
In all, I loved the design and functionality of the Kinesis, but there are a few design issues that need to be addressed to warrant paying close to £300 for a keyboard that limits some of its own features.
If I could make a couple of small tweaks and then merge the keyboard case, function keys and easy access number pad with a Maltron layout, I'd be a very happy typer!
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