Mechanical keyboards are definitely all the rage these days. They’ve been popular with gamers for years, but have even made it to retro/wireless levels recently. The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge is a mechanical keyboard built for gaming with one huge difference… the huge split that makes this keyboard more versatile than most anything else out there.
With the ability to create up to a 20″ split between the two sides of the keyboard, the available options are pretty great. You can spread the keys out a bit to be at shoulder width for added comfort, you can tilt one side slightly if that works better for you, you can move the right side of the keyboard out of the way entirely to be closer to your mouse, the list goes on and on. If you’re a streamer, or run on a podcast, you can easily put your mic between the side of the keyboard, keeping it close to your mouth while you play/talk. Laptop gamers who like to use a separate keyboard can put their laptop right in the middle, keeping the screen a bit closer to them while gaming.
Now, that huge split is a pretty big selling point, but it’s not all the Freestyle Edge has going for it. Mechanical keyboards mean mechanical switches, obviously, and Kinesis is working with some of the best known switches out there: Cherry MX. Available in Blue (clicky), Brown (less clicky with lower tactile feedback), or Red (less clicky, linear feel/feedback) there are options for how you prefer to play.
You’ll also have full customization over every aspect of the keyboard. The Layout, Macro, Remap, and Smartset keys allow you to tweak all kinds of settings directly from the keyboard with no software install required. The keyboard includes 4MB of internal memory to hold on to your saved settings. If you prefer a graphical interface, the keyboard carries its own on board, no install required. The SmartSet app lives directly on the keyboard and will allow you to see a graphical representation of the keyboard if you’d prefer when making your changes.
A few more included features are:
- Palm Supports: Every Freestyle Edge comes with palm supports. They easily snap on/off depending on your preference. They can even be paired with our optional cushioned palm pads for maximum comfort.
- 100% Anti-Ghosting: Because every key switch has its own diode, you’ll never get any “phantom” presses like with some cheaper keyboards.
- Multimedia Controls: Control your music using F1-F6 in the embedded layer. Not convenient enough, just remap those key actions even closer. Maybe in the Game Bank?
- NKRO Mode: 6-key rollover is good enough for most folks. But if you’re building the ultimate split gaming keyboard, its gotta have NKRO! Simply use the onboard shortcut to toggle the keyboard into NKRO-over-USB mode. We made NKRO a separate mode to ensure you wouldn’t have any issues accessing your BIOS.
- 1MS Response Time: The Freestyle Edge reports keystrokes 1000 times per second (aka “1000hz polling”), just like other top gaming keyboards.
- 4MB Onboard Memory: Each Freestyle Edge has a whopping 4MB of onboard memory to store custom layouts, macros, keyboard settings and the SmartSet App. Just don’t use it to smuggle any top secret documents…
- Game Mode: Temporarily disables all Windows key actions and combinations so you don’t accidentally exit out of your game. Trust us, you want this.
- Braided Cables: Premium braided cables feel great and are extra sturdy. When you’re constantly repositioning the keyboard you need a linking cable that can stand up to a little abuse.
The Freestyle Edge mechanical keyboard is currently funding on Kickstarter, though production is already underway, with “First Edition” backers receiving their keyboards in the July-August timeframe. Mass production will begin in September, with remaining backers getting their keyboard sometime around October. Kinesis has been making premium mechanical keyboards for over 25 years, so this is an established company that has a pretty good idea of what they’re doing.
The Freestyle Edge mechanical keyboard is currently just over 50% funded ($25,334 of their $50,000 goal) with 29 days to go. There are still a few “First Edition” keyboards available for $125 with either Red or Blue switches. The Kickstarter price after the First Edition keyboards are all taken is $150. Take a look at the video below, and if you like what you see, head on over to the source link and back this project.
What do you think about the Kinesis Gaming keyboard? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Source: Kickstarter