I own three of these keyboards, one at work and two at home. I have been using them for over ten years.
I am a software developer and I spend a lot of time using computers -- a LOT of time, both at work and at home. I started experiencing mild discomfort in my wrists and I bought these hoping they would prevent the development of a repetitive strain injury. I still experience mild discomfort sometimes. Would it be better, would it be worse -- I don't know.
My review is going to mostly focus on the gotchas because I think that's where most of the value in my long term perspective comes from. It's going to make this seem like a negative review. However, I've clocked a lot of hours on these keyboards and I'm still using them. Just keep in mind, this is a four star review. I think I'll be using these keyboards for the rest of my life. They're just too comfortable.
As someone who has owned and operated a few of these keyboards for over a decade, I can say that the con that seems the biggest to me is that the function keys are not actually keys -- they are rubber buttons and they are prone to breaking. I have had to repair the button strips three times in one keyboard or another. This is a built-in flaw. However the last time it happened, I talked to Kinesis and they said they plan sometime this year (2015) to switch the rubber buttons out for hard ones with real Cherry keyswitches as are used on the rest of the board. That should eliminate this issue.
This keyboard is very different from other keyboards. It has to be -- I mean, that is the whole point. However that makes adjusting to the keyboard a pretty painful process. When you first start using it you're going to wonder if you've just made a huge mistake because you are going to be typing very, very slowly. It's normal. It's going to take time for you to adjust. Don't expect to be back at your normal speed after the first week, maybe not even after the first month (I don't think I was). Especially as a programmer, some of the keys (such as the braces) we use a lot are in places that are very, very different from their location on a regular keyboard. You have to retrain your fingers and it takes a while. In a way it makes buying this keyboard a risky proposition because you're taking a chance on something and you can't tell right away if the experience is going to be what you need it to be. It worked out for me but maybe it wouldn't for everyone. And the keyboard is pretty expensive. It's not for dilettantes. It takes a commitment.
And even myself ... I don't know if I can say with certainty that I am back to my pre-Kinesis typing speed. I'm close, but I'm not sure if I'm actually there. On the other hand that may just be because I'm aging. I don't know. People who come into my office to speak to me and see me type still ask me if I am actually typing or just randomly hitting keys because I'm going what they perceive as "very fast". It's not as if I'm handicapped. I'm just communicating this in the interest of full disclosure. You may want to take typing tests before switching so that you can measure your performance against a baseline.
The other thing is ... in order to get the form factor they are after, Kinesis had to make this keyboard with fewer keys than a normal keyboard has. Sometimes, it just doesn't seem like enough. Kinesis recommends mapping one of the alt keys to the Windows key ... I can't do that because I need to use alt sequences on both halves of the keyboard. Instead, I mapped the Windows key to the international key. It works OK for me because I don't need a compose key.
But the big kicker for me has always been the insert key. There just isn't any place for it on the main "layer" of the keyboard. Accessing the embedded layer with the keypad button is a nuisance so I long ago purchased a foot switch pretty much for the sole purpose of getting access to this one key. I don't use the insert key enough to make this a very fluid operation though ... when I need to use it, I generally need to move my foot to the foot switch because I don't have my foot on it most of the time.
I recently started using software that requires much more frequent use of the insert key and so I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to make this work better. Finally I hit upon the idea of mapping the insert key to the Caps Lock key. I hardly ever use the Caps Lock key, and if I ever needed to, I could just hold down the shift key on my foot switch instead. So far it is working fairly well. This trick is what motivated me to write this review. The Caps Lock key is almost useless -- use it!
The keyboard is programmable. You can remap keys almost arbitrarily. You can program macros into it. I use both of these features.
The keyboard has no discrete keypad section -- instead, the keypad is on the embedded layer on the right half of the keyboard. This is a huge, huge win in terms of making the keyboard more ergonomic. With a regular keyboard, you have to reach past the keypad to use the mouse. It was actually making my elbow hurt a bit. This keeps your hands closer to your body when using the mouse. It's much better. I know some people who start mousing with their left hand for this specific reason. That's something I would never be able to adjust to.
Personally, I really like the layout this keyboard has, where the keys are lined up in rows and columns. The "e" is directly above the "d", which is directly above the "c". The key rows aren't offset as they are on a regular keyboard. It's part of what makes the keyboard take a while to get used to. It seems superior to me, especially for gaming. WASD just never made much sense to me. I end up remapping my keys for almost every game. If a game doesn't support keyboard remapping (and some still don't), it can be a huge pain, since you have to either take your hand off the mouse or reach your left hand across to the right half of the keyboard which is a very awkward maneuver.
The fact that the keyboard HAS an embedded layer can be considered a pretty big win too, because it gives you access to more keys. In my opinion, this feature is pretty unusable if you don't have the foot switch, because it is going to absolutely ruin your typing speed to be using the keypad button to switch modes. If you do end up getting a foot switch, I really recommend the triple-action switch, even if you only intend to use one of them. This is three foot switches mounted on a heavy metal plate. That heavy plate makes the switches stay put a lot better. You don't want to have to fish around under your desk with your foot trying to find the thing, trust me.
The keys take less force to activate. When I started using the keyboard I never thought that was a big deal. But I had to use my old Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard for about a week a couple of months ago when one of my keyboards was waiting for a part for repair and I was amazed at how hard I had to push the keys to engage them. I kept missing keys.
That's about it ... I mean there are plenty of other reviews out there talking about this keyboard and you should read them. I would buy it again. I don't see myself using a "normal" keyboard again except under protest.
|製品サイズ||20.32 x 41.91 x 7.3 cm; 1.1 Kg|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||いいえ|
|商品の寸法 幅 × 高さ||20.3 x 41.9 x 7.3 cm|