| Usage Tips |
The innovative three-dimensional design of this contoured keyboard delivers unparalleled levels of comfort and productivity for touch typists. This keyboard ensures a neutral ergonomic interface for a wide range of individuals, regardless of whether you are 6' 4" or 4' 6". All touch typists should consider this keyboard, as it is the only keyboard which goes beyond the wrist and addresses the ergonomics at the level of the fingers, intelligently redistributing the repetitive activity associated with typing to minimize the potential of fatigue. This keyboard is especially popular with keyboard intensive users including programmers, transcriptionists, writers and web content developers.
This is the most popular model of the Kinesis Contoured keyboard line, and uses a USB interface with integrated two-port USB hub. It is fully compatible with both PCs and Macs, and includes hard-wired features such as unlimited key remapping, macro programming, DVORAK switchability and more.
Based on years of research the Kinesis Contoured keyboard was designed not only to reduce the known risk factors associated with repetitive stress injuries but also to provide a more comfortable and productive interface than other keyboards. Its unique contoured design reduces the force and stressful postures that contribute to discomfort and limit productivity. Since its introduction in 1992, this keyboard has undergone extensive independent testing and has proven superior in both comfort and productivity when compared to traditional and other alternative keyboards.
The Kinesis Contoured keyboard allows users to retain their familiar QWERTY layout while incorporating a comprehensive collection of ergonomic features as indicated below:
Separate Thumb Keypads
- The thumb keypad includes high frequency keys, such as "Enter", "Space", "Backspace", "Delete", and modifier keys, such as "Control" and "Alt" on the PC ("Command" and "Option" on the Macintosh). This redistributes the workload from the relatively weaker and overused 4th and 5th fingers to stronger thumbs. Combination keystrokes are effortlessly generated without the requirement to leave the home row with either hand.
Separate Keywells for Each Hand
- These keywells minimize strain and stretching by positioning the arms approximately at shoulder width and eliminate the need to twist one's wrists while keyboarding. This separated design greatly minimizes elbow abduction as well as ulnar deviation (twisting out) at the wrist through the elimination of the requirement for users to reach in to the midline of their body to the keyboard. It also largely reduces radial deviation (twisting in) at the wrist when reaching for the mouse as the mouse can be located immediately to the left or right of the home row (unlike on traditional keyboards). These non-neutral postures have been shown to lead to repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, which is why addressing them is an obvious ergonomic benefit.
- The keys are located within curved depressions which vary in depth for each finger and reduce and usually eliminate hand and finger extension. The non-neutral posture of extension occurs when the joints in the fingers curl up and extend forward from the hands rather than relaxing down slightly in the direction of the palms. A flat typing surface assumes that all fingers are of the same length, forcing the longer fingers to arch up over the keys, which inclines the hands up at the wrist. The positive incline of standard keyboards forces the hands to incline upwards at the wrist, resulting in further wrist extension. The result is wrist (and finger) extension which adversely impacts and can result in inflammation in muscles and tendons. The fingers then are prevented from operating at maximum efficiency and this will generally lead to more rapid fatigue, discomfort and pain. Concave keywells reduce extension by accommodating the various lengths of fingers and placing the hands and fingers in a more relaxed and neutral position.
- Keys on a conventional keyboard are arranged on a flat 2-dimensional surface, resulting in the same piston-like firing action by each finger every time a key is actuated. The only variance is the position of the hand over the keyboard; the muscle action and orientation of the fingers is unchanged regardless of the key being targeted. The 3-dimensional layout of this keyboard encourages distinct key travel movement (i.e. angle and orientation) for the finger when pressing each key. Consequently, different muscles and tendon sheaths in the fingers are used with every keystroke. Instead of a repetitive action which soon fatigues muscles and leads to strain, the fingers get a mini-calisthenic workout which increases blood flow and eliminates actual repetitive actions.
Vertical Key Layout
- Keys are arranged orthogonally in vertical columns to reflect natural motions of the fingers and reduce the reach between keys. Traditional keyboards use rows offset from each other which result in unequal finger travel and unnecessary hand and wrist movement. This orthogonal matrix layout increases typing accuracy and decreases the wrist distortion. The embedded numeric keypad is in a familiar grid pattern and benefits from the same 3-dimensional concave design noted above.
Closer Placement of Function Keys
- Soft-touch tactile elastomer function keys are located closer to the alphanumeric keys to reduce awkward motions and reach, particularly for key combinations involving thumb keys (Control and Alt, for example).
20° Lateral Tilt Design
- This design orients the user's hands in a 'thumbs up' posture such that the hands are at an approximately 20° angle with thumbs higher than pinky fingers. This design helps to minimize stresses associated with pronation and static muscle tension while enabling maximum keying productivity.
Integrated Palm Support
- The built-in palm support with optional self-adhesive Lycra pads enhances comfort and prevents wrist extension. This provides a place to rest your palms during periods of inactivity on the keyboard.
Low-Force, Tactile Mechanical Keyswitches
- The low-force (45 grams) tactile mechanical keyswitches are engineered to provide both tactile and audible feedback. They are full travel (4 mm) and activate at approximately 2 mm, which allows the user to reduce the likelihood of experiencing regular jarring impacts when 'bottoming out" at the end of every keystroke. The final 2 mm of key travel can be used as a braking area for the fingers. The peak force (57 grams) prior to activation provides a subtle tactile indication of the fire point, providing users a clear indication of how much force and travel is required to generate keystrokes.
Low-Force, Linear Mechanical Keyswitches
- The low-force (45 grams) linear mechanical keyswitches are engineered to provide no tactile or audible feedback. They are full travel (4 mm) and activate at approximately 2 mm, however unlike the standard model which offers a slight increase in force to provide tactility, the force curve on the special order LF model of the keyboard is linear. Some individuals prefer to sacrifice tactility in order to have a silent, non-tactile keyboard although evidence has shown that without tactility, the amount of effort exerted when typing is higher due to a lack of feedback and the difficulty in creating 'muscle memory'.
For a comparison of the above two mechanical keyswitch types, see our Comparison Table
Embedded 10-Key Layout
- A traditional numeric (10-key) keypad is embedded into the right alphanumeric keywell, which provides ergonomic advantages for number-intensive operations. The 10-key legends are located at the top of the front facing edge of the key caps. The 10-key can also be manually programmed to operate from the left keywell.
- Individual keys can be re-mapped or copied to other key locations. As a result, the user can create their own custom layout to optimize the keyboard for specific work patterns, applications and keying frequency.
- Up to 48 macros can be programmed and stored in the on-board memory of the keyboard. Macros are ideal for eliminating awkward key combinations or for minimizing the repetitive action associated with typing the same word or phrase repeatedly.
- Up to three footswitches can be used to perform keystrokes, redistributing a portion of the workload away from the hands. For instance, a foot switch can be used to activate the embedded 10-key pad or "Shift" key.
- This keyboard is smaller than a traditional keyboard, and is 16.625" Wide x 8.125" Deep x 3" High. This smaller footprint reduces the reach for the mouse by allowing the pointing device to be located much closer to the user. While on traditional keyboards the reach from the right hand home row to the mouse is on average 12", with the Contoured it is reduced to an average of 5".
- Powerful Programming features (stored in on-board non-volatile memory):
- Remap: Any or all keys, including the embedded layers (numeric keypad and multimedia).
- Macros: Select one of three memory configurations: 24 macros (max of 56 characters per macro), 36 macros (max of 38 per macro), or 48 macros (max of 28 per macro).
- Hardwired QWERTY/DVORAK Toggle: Instantly switch between QWERTY and DVORAK layouts.
- Modifier Keys Can Be 'Sticky': If required, make multi-key combinations involving CTRL, ALT and SHIFT easier with sticky keys.
- Upgradable: Need more memory? The Advantage is field-upgradable to the Advantage Pro.
- Audible Clicks and Tones: The user can toggle on and off audible key clicks (for all keys) and audible tones (for change-of-state keys such as Caps Lock, Num Lock, Keypad, Scoll Lock and Insert).
- Integrated 2 port USB hub: Plug in any standard USB compatible device such as your mouse.
- Supports Footswitch Accessories: The keyboard includes a RJ11 connector which permits you to connect a 'dumb' single, dual or triple action footswitch and map any desired high-frequency keyboard action (including toggling on the numeric keypad) to any of the footswitch pedals. Models supported include the Single (FS007-RJ11), Dual (FS007-DAF) and Triple (FS007-TAF) footswitch accessories.
- Dual Legended Models: Looking for dual legends? Buy a "QD" Qwerty-Dvorak dual-legended model or if you want to upgrade later, buy a keycap upgrade kit. Sorry, but Dvorak-only legends are not available.
- Embedded Keypad: The embedded keypad offers maximum productivity and comfort for 10-key users, especially using a footswitch.
- Cupped Home Row Keys: The home row keys are cupped with a special sculpting to aid in finger locating and positioning.
|Images (Click on any thumbnail to view larger image)|
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - white model
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - black model
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - top view with hand positioning
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Closer placement of function keys
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Vertical key layout
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - 20 degree lateral tilt design
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Embedded 10 key layout
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Concave keywells
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Separate thumb keypads
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Low force tactile mechanical keyswitches
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Small footprint
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Single action footswitch
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Remapping capabilities
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - Macro programming options
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - QWERTY layout
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - DVORAK layout
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - QWERTY/DVORAK layout
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - PC mode
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - MAC configuration
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - embedded key actions
Advantage Contoured Keyboard - numeric pad
Kinesis Advantage Contoured Keyboard Keyforce Diagrams
New 3D Interactive Virtual Product
- Width: 16.5" (41.9 cm)
- Depth (front-to-back): 8.0" (20.3 cm)
- Height: 2.9" (7.4 cm)
- Weight: 2.5 lbs (1,134 grams)
- Center Separation: 6.75" (17.1 cm)
- Front Slope: 10°
- Lateral Tilt: 20° ("thumbs up")
- Keyswitch Type: Cherry MX Low-Force Tactile Mechanical Switch (Brown Stem) or Cherry MX Low-Force Linear Mechanical Switch (Red Stem).
For a comparison of the above two mechanical keyswitch types, see our Comparison Table.
- Number of Keys: 86
- Actuation Force: 45 grams (1.59 oz)
- Peak Force: Tactile - 55 grams (1.94 oz) or Linear - 45 grams (1.59 oz).
For a comparison of the above two mechanical keyswitch types, see our Comparison Table.
- Pre-travel: 2 mm
- Total Travel: 4 mm
- Keyswitch Rating: 50 million actuations
- Audible or Silent Click Mode: Available by toggle
- Function keys:
- Elastomeric Keyswitches: 18
- Embedded Key Actions:
- Numeric Keypad Actions: 18
- Windows Key Actions: 3
- International Key Actions: 2
- Other Programmable Key Actions: 60
- Footswitches (Optional; single and triple available):
- Default is 'Keypad Shift' (numeric keypad mode is enabled until footswitch is released)
- Second default footswitch action is 'Shift'
- Compatibility: Instant configuration for Mac, PC and Non-Windows PC environments, including Mac and Windows Legended keycaps. No drivers required, only requirement is one free USB port.
- PC - All versions of Windows - NOTE: Potential Incompatibility on Windows 7/8/10 on computers with USB 3.0.
- Mac - Supports Mac OS 8.6 and higher.
- Other - Supports non-Windows PC operating environments (e.g. Free BSD, LINUX, etc.)
- Interface: USB only (will not work
with a USB to PS/2
- Included in the Box:
- User's Manual
- Adaptation Materials
- Self-adhesive Silver (for White Models) or Black (for Black models) Palm Pads
- Layout Options for the Advantage Contoured Keyboard:
- All Advantage keyboards models can switch between QWERTY and DVORAK key layouts with a combination keystroke. Here are the three configurations available for this keyboard in QWERTY (when switched to DVORAK only letters and core symbols are altered)
- Dual Legend Model: QWERTY-DVORAK
- Embedded Numeric Keypad: The embedded keypad offers maximum productivity and comfort for 10-key users, especially using a footswitch.
- Windows Keys: The Windows keys are easily accessed by pressing the embedded function key assigned to them.
- Warranty: 2 year limited warranty
- Legends: Pad Printed with a clear extra-durable UV coating
|For pricing, availability or to order this product, visit our online store.|
|KB500USB-BLK|| Black model|
|KB500USB-WHT|| White model|
|KB500USB-QD-BLK|| QWERTY-DVORAK Dual Legended model, black|
|KB500USB-BLK-LF|| Black model with linear force mechanical keyswitches instead of tactile mechanical keyswitches.|
|AC210USB-BLK|| Mechanical Keypad for PC, Black, for PC|
|AC210MUSB-WHT|| Low Force Tactile Numeric Keypad, White, for Mac|
|FS007-RJ11|| Advantage Single Foot Switch Accessory|
|FS007-TAF|| Advantage Triple Foot Switch Accessory|
|AC005PP-BLK|| Advantage Palm Pads Accessory Kit, One Pair, Black|
|KC020QD-BLK|| Advantage QWERTY/DVORAK dual
legends Keycaps set,
|FS011FS3|| Three-way splitter required to connect 2 or 3 single action foot switches. For new contoured keyboards with US layout (connector extends 3" from back of keyboard)|