Monday, October 27, 2008

Kinesis Freestyle Solo Keyboard for Mac

New ergonomic keyboard developed for Mac's ...

"Of all the keyboards we've looked at recently, Kinesis’ Freestyle Solo is the only one with good ergonomics as its primary goal. It largely succeeds in attaining that objective, and adds some unique functionality, although at the expense of a traditional keyboard layout.

Pitch a tent

Mac users have never had many options when it comes to true ergonomic keyboards. While some models made for Windows PCs will work with a Mac, you lose out on all the special keys a Mac-specific keyboard brings (and often have to put up with useless Windows-centric keys in the process). The Freestyle Solo is one of the few Mac-focused ergonomic keyboards, and Kinesis has opted for a modular approach to ergonomics.

The Freestyle is fairly compact at 15.4 by 7.3 by 1.2 inches, but it’s composed of two distinct halves that can be spread outward from a small hinge at the rear of the keyboard in order to keep your wrists in a more natural position—parallel with your forearms rather than bent outwards. (You can remove the hinge completely to position the halves up to eight inches apart.) However, unlike KeyOvation’s Goldtouch Apple Compatible Keyboard, which we reviewed in 2006, the Freestyle’s sections don’t lock into your preferred position; only the rubber feet on the bottom of the keyboard keep the halves from moving.

Unlike many desktop keyboards, which have keys that are higher (relative to your desk) in the back than in the front, the Freestyle is flat; in a properly configured workspace, this approach keeps your wrists from having to bend upwards.

For more healthy-hand goodness, you can separately purchase one of two ergonomic mounts for the Freestyle Solo that raise the middle of the keyboard to a “tented” position so the inside edge of each hand (the thumb side) is tilted upwards. With either accessory, you can still control the outward splay of the keyboard’s halves. The result is that your hands are much closer to their natural position: straight out from your arms and vertical."    (Continued via Macworld,Dan Frakes)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Freestyle Solo keyboard with the optional Incline accessory. - Ergonomics

Freestyle Solo keyboard with the optional Incline accessory.

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