I was always frustrated when using keyboards. At one point I started to seriously look for alternatives and after hours of research, I ended up buying the Kinesis advantage pro. At that time I was still a student, and spending $350 was a big deal, but it turned out that buying this keyboard was one of the best professionnal investment I’ve made so far!
Keys are arranged in a grid and are matching the curves of your hands. Your fingers are moving naturally between rows, making you forget these unpleasant experiences of hitting on edges. Each keys are made of mechanical switches and there are several types of them, see exhaustive list there. I first used brown switches and then upgraded for red ones (linear), I find them more relaxing. It literally feels like typing on a pillow. Important keys such as control, command, enter, space, delete, alt, etc come right underneath thumbs of your hands. This finger is strong and less stressful to use for repetitive actions. As you can see bellow the keys are split in two different groups spaced by few inches, this arrangement is opening your arms and considerably releasing stress on your shoulders.
There is an option to use external pedal pad with single, double, or triple foot switches. This can be extremely useful for keys that you are constantly pressing (space, enter, shift, etc…). I am using Triple foot switch for a while, I use it in different configuration, most of the time to make repetitive strokes. It is very useful under certain circumstances, for instance when refactoring my code, I use a combination of (cmd+backspace, backspace, enter) which make me rest my hands. Using these switch on the long run can be exhausting as they require to have a proper precise position and are sensible to pressure, you cannot rest your feet on them. The feeling of the stroke is soft and had an haptic feedback of clicking.
Of course you can configure it to use different layouts like Dvorak. The keyboard have severals programable macros. You can override keys by assigning a set of actions on any keys. This is also possible to do on the foot switch.
This product brings me lot of benefits but can still be improve. On pure ergonomic side, one improvement could be to have a keyboard in two parts for left and right hand. Even though actual distance is already sufficient for experiencing positive effects, having complete freedom of where to put your arms would definitely bring that experience to another level. The keys are too loud when typing, this could be tricky if you are working in a quiet open space. If you are a frequent traveller you’ll be disappointed because this keyboard is unpractical to carry on. The weight is low but it’s taking so much space…
On the overall, I’m having a high level of satisfaction with this product. Priced at $350 seems to be a lot comparing to standard solution but it really worth the money on the long run. I strongly recommend it!