The Freestyle Pro Keyboard from Kinesis Corporation integrates proven ergonomics and TenKeyLess design in a mechanical keyboard packed with the latest in custom programmability and performance. The result is a keyboard that offers the advanced functionality that high performance users demand while providing the same ergonomic benefits that tens of thousands of everyday computer users have enjoyed for years.
Based on the proven ergonomic design of the Freestyle2 and its predecessor, the Freestyle Solo, the Freestyle Pro is an adjustable, separated keyboard offering considerable ergonomic benefits. The Freestyle Pro Keyboard is divided into two separate modules. The two sides are connected by an adjustable linking cable that can be adjusted in length from 10" to 20". This separation allows users to position the left and right sides of the keyboard shoulder width apart, allowing the shoulders, elbows, arms and wrists to relax in an anatomically neutral position. This greatly improves posture and blood flow in the upper body, prevents undesirable rotation at the shoulders, and eliminates ulnar deviation at the wrist.
The symmetrical, compact design (achieved by eliminating the 10-key numeric pad) reduces the reach for the mouse for both left- and right-handed users while still providing numeric keypad entry via the embedded numeric keypad. Users who want a stand-alone numeric keyboard have the option of adding either the Low Force Tactile Numeric Keypad or the Freestyle2 Keypad for PC.
The Freestyle Pro Keyboard is available with two styles of Cherry MX Keyswitches. The Cherry MX Brown are tactile mechanical keyswitches that have an activation force rating of 45 grams. The tactility, combined with the audible click on activation, is intended to assist users in reducing the degree of unnecessary force and overall effort by notifying them when downward movement is no longer required. The Cherry MX "Quiet" Red Linear switch also has a 45 gram activation force but has no tactile or audible indicators to notify users that switch activation has occurred. Users need to "learn" the point at which activation occurs and adjust their finger action and force levels accordingly. While not totally silent the "Quiet" Red switches generate noticeably less noise than the the Brown.
The feature-rich Freestyle Pro Keyboard is packed with power. The SmartSet Programming Engine supports on-the-fly remapping of any key and the 4 MB onboard memory (the v-Drive) can store up to 9 dual-layer fully programmable layouts for instant access or program-specific commands. The left hand module also features a convenient bank of 8 pre-programmed keys for one-touch access to common shortcut and navigation commands. High speed typists will appreciate the full NKRO mode and 100% Anti-Ghosting design that means no lost keystrokes or commands. A 1 ms response time (1000 mhz polling) means instant response for the performance-minded. Media controls are easily accessed via the embedded FN layer that remains available regardless of which custom layout you are currently working with.
The Freestyle Pro Keyboard will fully function with Windows 7-10, Mac OSX v10.6+, Chrome OS, or Linux and comes pre-programmed in default QWERTY layout. As a bonus both Mac and Dvorak secondary layouts are also pre-programmed and ready for access. Mac users will appreciate the option of creating a true "Mac" layout using the 4 included Mac keycaps. The included keycap puller will make keyboard customization to Dvorak or custom layouts quick and easy.
Easily Accommodates Individual Needs and Body Types - The Freestyle Pro Keyboard can be configured to meet the unique needs and preferences of most individuals, whether tall or short, broad-shouldered or of slight build.
Facilitates Relaxed Position with Maximum Circulation - Complete separation of both left and right keyboard modules enables anatomically neutral and relaxed position of the shoulders, elbow, arms and wrists, greatly reducing the risk of pain and discomfort caused by shoulder rotation, elbow abduction, and ulnar deviation. Learn More About Ergonomic Risk Factors and Sources of Injury.
Eliminates Overreaching for the Mouse - The Freestyle Pro Keyboard allows users to keep the mouse or other pointing device right beside the right or left edge of the keyboard. Users who separate the halves may even find that placing their mousing device centrally encourages more balanced ambidextrous usage. By keeping the mouse well within the comfort zone, users can reduce the potential for shoulder, neck and wrist pain arising from repeatedly reaching over the number pad for the mouse. (A right-handed user with a conventional keyboard often must reach 12" for the mouse. The symmetrical, compact design of the Freestyle Pro reduces this reach to under 6" for both left- and right-handed users.) Learn More About Overreaching.
Reduces Wrist Extension - Most standard, and even many ergonomic, keyboards are positively inclined (i.e. the number row is higher than the space bar). A positive incline forces the user to lift the hands by bending up at the wrists. Maintaining the hands in this position strains the wrists and the muscles along the top of the hands and the forearms. The Freestyle Pro Keyboard has a neutral, low-profile design with 0° slope. The keycaps are negatively inclined at 10°. The result is an overall negative slope that helps to reduce wrist (and finger) extension when using this keyboard. Learn More About Wrist Extension.
Reduces Finger Strain and Fatigue - Premium Cherry MX Mechanical Keyswitches offer a 45 gram activation force for consistent performance and load reduction on the fingers. The Freestyle PRO is available with two styles of switches. The Cherry MX Brown switches offer an audible click and a tactile activation point to notify people that downward force is no longer required. For users who prefer a quieter key and are willing to "learn" where the activation point is, the MX Silent Red Linear switch model may be preferred.
Can Eliminate Wrist Extension - Optional Palm Supports are available to eliminate the potential for wrist extension, whether the keyboard is used flat or tented (using the optional VIP3 Pro Accessory). Learn More About Correct Usage of Palm Supports.
Can Decrease Forearm and Wrist Pronation - With the optional VIP3 Pro or V3 Pro accessories attached the Freestyle Pro Keyboard gives users the option of typing with the palms slightly facing each other, rather than in the traditional "palms down" position that can often lead to fatigue or pain in the hands, wrists, elbows and arms. These kits raise the inside edge of each keyboard module, offering tented angles of 5°, 10° and 15°. Learn More About Pronation.
Premium Cherry MX Mechanical Key Switches: The Freestyle Pro Keyboard is equipped with high quality Cherry MX mechanical keyswitches. One model employs the Cherry Brown MX mechanical switches that offer a 45 gram tactile activation with audible click. The second model offers the option of the Cherry MX Silent Red Linear switch, also with a 45 gram activation but without either a tactile or audible notification of the activation point. Users who prefer other styles of mechanical switch have the option of considering either the Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Gaming Keyboard or the Freestyle Edge Gaming Keyboard which are available with MX Brown (45 gram tactile activation with audible click), MX Blue (50 gram tactile activation with high audible click), MX Red (45 gram linear activation), and the Cherry SILVER (quick actuation short travel rated at 45 grams). This gives each user the freedom to choose the feel that best meets their requirements.
Pre-Programmed Layouts for Plug-and-Play Functionality: The Freestyle Pro Keyboard comes pre-programmed for the Standard QWERTY layout as well as two secondary layers programmed for immediate access to Mac and Dvorak layouts.
FULLY Programmable: The Freestyle Pro Keyboard can be fully reprogrammed for custom applications. The on-board memory is capable of storing 9 dual-layer (95 keys per layer) fully programmed layouts (effectively 18 custom layers).
Programming Cluster & Indicators: The 4-key programming cluster is located at the top of the right hand keyboard module. The LAYOUT key provides quick access to the 3 primary layouts (1, 2, & 3), the MACRO key controls the on-the-fly Macro recording, and the REMAP key controls the onboard remapping. The 4th key is the SMARTSET key which controls all onboard programming shortcuts. The accompanying LEDs advise which primary layout is currently active, whether Macro programming is active (flashing), and whether Key Remapping is in progress. The SmartSet LED flashes to confirm specific programming commands.
On-The-Fly Remapping: Key remapping is available directly from the keyboard and requires just 3 keystrokes (Remap Key, Source Key, Destination Key). All keys are remappable, even between the dual layers.
Driverless HotKeys: A convenient set of 8 pre-programmed HotKeys are positioned on the left side of the left hand module. Conveniently located for quick access, these keys offer one-touch access to common editing and navigation functions.
Onboard Multimedia Controls: The F1 - F6 keys provide Fn key access to full multimedia controls. All of these available functions can also be reassigned to any key using the Onboard Programming or the SmartSet App for Windows.
Multi OS Programming: The Freestyle Pro Keyboard supports Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Programming can easily be performed as Onboard Programming in all OS or Direct Programming - also in all OS. Windows and Mac users have the added option of using the SmartSet Programming App.
On-Board SmartSet Programming Engine: The Freestyle Pro Keyboard features a 4 MB on-board v-drive that retains all custom programming. The SmartSet Programming Engine is always available because it is permanently stored on the v-drive. This eliminates the need of installing programming software to the computer. Rather, the software travels wherever the keyboard goes.
SmartSet APP Programming: This feature-loaded graphical interface App for Windows (pre-loaded) and Mac (pre-loaded) offers all the functions of the SmartSet Programming Engine with additional functionality for power users.
Macro Recording: Each layout can store up to 24 macros and each macro can be up to 300 characters long. Macros can be assigned to trigger by a single key or by a 2-key combination.
Special Actions Option: There is a menu of non-standard "Special Actions" available for programming. These can be programmed either directly or through the SmartSet App.
Full NKRO: The Freestyle Pro is equipped for FULL NKRO (n-key rollover) which is easily activated via the onboard shortcut. Once activated the NKRO mode remains active until the onboard v-drive is opened or the keyboard is unplugged.
Variable Speed Macro Playback: Macro playback of text and key action macros is speed adjustable via the Macro shortcut, with 9 speed levels available. These speed settings range from 4 APS (actions per second) and 48 words per WPM (words per minute) up to an amazing 250 APS and 3,000 WPM. The keyboard default is a reasonable 35 APM and 420 WPM. The SmartSet App or Direct Programming support the application of custom speeds to any of the nine available settings. It is also possible to temporarily disable all macro playback without losing macro data.
Convenient STATUS Report Shortcut: The Freestyle Pro features an onboard shortcut for viewing a quick keyboard Status Report in any text-editing program.
RESET Options: Two methods of RESET are available. A SOFT Reset will erase all custom remaps and macros in both layers of the active layout. A HARD Reset will erase all nine layouts and reset the Freestyle Pro Keyboard to the factory default settings. To ensure that soft resets are not activated unintentionally this shortcut requires a unique 3-key combination. Activation of a Hard reset requires that a 2-key shortcut be performed while plugging the keyboard in, also ensuring that completion of a hard reset is an intentional action.
Familiar Key Layout: Standard TenKeyLess layout means minimal adaptation time for experienced typists.
Variable Separation: The two modules of the Freestyle Pro Keyboard can be separated up to 20" apart, a range which is ample for the majority of users. The length of the joining cable is adjustable, with a convenient compartment in the left module for storage of the excess cable.
Sleek, Negative Slope Profile Design: The Freestyle Pro Keyboard features an integrated negative slope design which encourages improved finger and wrist positioning. Rather than the keycap tops being level each row is slightly tilted toward the rear. This feature can be enhanced by the addition of either the optional Palm Supports Pro Accessory or the more advanced VIP3 Pro Accessory which offers tenting of 5°, 10° and 15° combined with Palm Supports.
Optional Accessories: Users have the option of purchasing the VIP3 PRO (with included Palm Supports) or V3 PRO (tenting option only) Accessory Kits which offer tenting (outward angling) of 5°, 10° and 15° to reduce wrist and forearm pronation. The Pro Palm Supports Accessory is available for users who desire palm supports without the need of tenting. Cushioned Palm Pads can also be purchased for installation on the VIP3 Pro and Palm Support accessories.
Note: The VIP3 Pro and V3 Pro Accessory kits are ONLY compatible with the Freestyle Pro and Edge Keyboards and cannot be used with Freestyle Solo and Freestyle2 Models.
Images (Click on any thumbnail to view larger image)
Freestyle Pro Keyboard
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - Splayed
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - Side Profile with Palm Support Accessory
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - Preprogrammed Hot Key Bank
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - Programming Cluster
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - Layout
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - Spreads up to 20"
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - With V3 Pro Tenting Accessory
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - Palm Support Accessory Pack
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - VIP3 Pro Tenting and Palm Support Kit
Freestyle Pro Keyboard - V3 Pro Tenting Accessory Kit
Make sure the keyboard is properly positioned. Sit in your usual position at your desk and gently square your shoulders. Allow your upper arms to relax to your waist. Lift your forearms at the elbow and extend your fingers so that there is a straight line from your elbow through the centre of your wrist to your middle finger. Place the two halves of the keyboard on your desk or keyboard tray such that your arms and hands can maintain this position as you type. The modules should be shoulder width apart.
Place the mouse on the side of your dominant hand. For most people, the compact design of the keyboard will bring the mouse close enough to the body. However, if your pain is more severe, you can prevent even more movement at the affected shoulder by positioning the mousing side of the keyboard closer to the centre of your body, and then turning it slightly so that your arm doesn't reach past perpendicular to your shoulder when you reach for the mouse. You will then be able to reach the mouse with very limited involvement of the shoulder muscles.
If you need to tent the keyboard you may wish to purchase one of the accessory kits which enable you to "tent" the keyboard modules by 5°, 10° or 15°. There are two kits available; the V3 Pro kit offers the basic tenting function while the VIP3 Pro is a combination Tenting with Integrated Palm Supports accessory. Many users prefer the VIP3 Pro option because the integrated palm supports reduce the risk of the wrists dropping into extension.