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Kinesis Advantage Keyboard Looks Weird, Feels Right, Priced Wrong

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I’ve never used one of Kinesis‘ keyboards so I can’t say for sure if they’re worth the price, but Cool Tool‘s Dylan Greene swears by the Kinesis Advantage, and so did most of the people who commented on Greene’s post. The USB keyboard features a contoured layout that minimizes the pains of prolonged typing. It also has 2 USB ports and can be customized for Mac or Windows; there’s also a slightly more expensive version that can be switched to the Dvorak keyboard layout.

Kinesis advantage keyboard black

No product is perfect, and just by looking at the Advantage I can already see a couple of problems with it. First of all, it’s butt ugly. Second, the keys on the top row are too small for my comfort. Cool Tools commenters also complained about the hard and loud keys.

Kinesis advantage keyboard white

If the Advantage was reasonably priced I could overlook all of those complaints. Unfortunately, Kinesis is selling the keyboard for $300 (USD). The model with the switchable layout is priced at $325. Right now Kinesis is offering a 10% discount for online purchases, reducing the Advantage’s price to $270, but still. Kinesis should work on improving the keyboard’s aesthetics or at least the quality of the keys.







Comments (3):

  1. Pablo says:

    That’s a hell of a lot of money for any keyboard. It better come with a happy ending for that price.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyeemtS1jII

  2. Lori says:

    I read a lot of customer reviews before I bought mine and they are universally delighted with this keyboard. All report pain relief and many report a faster typing speed. I can’t speak for others but if I can work faster AND avoid pain, then I work smarter, make more money and this keyboard pays for itself and some. I got mine here – http://www.thehumansolution.com/kinesis-advantage.html

  3. Mike H says:

    Strange review… found this as a first-page search hit while looking to download another copy of the manual for my keyboard.

    Since this is such a prominent page, I’ll respond:

    - re: the price, you either see the value in spending a few hours’ wages on the right tool for the job, or you don’t. This may not be the right tool for everyone, but knocking something on price in a review always makes it sound like the author is attempting to override the market. Kinesis has been selling these keyboards for many years at this price point, so the market must be saying to them that it’s the right price.

    - re: the small function keys, yeah, it’s a design tradeoff. Those are the least frequently-used keys in many workflows. When you do need them, they’re there, and big enough that fingers can remember where they are and hit them reliably. As you can see from the thumb-clusters (most frequently-used keys put big and under the thumbs), the designers were mindful of the implications of key size and placement.

    - re: the “ugliness”, you’ve already noted the high price. The fundamentals of the design dictate the general shape and layout (it’s designed around healthy hand placement re: thoracic outlet and other nerve channel compression, and the robustness characteristics of your various fingers), which already puts it at a seemingly-high price. I personally find the form-follows-function results to be beautiful, but maybe you have qualms with the color choices etc., to which I raise the “you’ve already noted the high price” point: they probably didn’t spend development resources on additional design beyond the already demanding requirements.

    I’ve been using these keyboards since 2005, after years of other ergo keyboards, and with many opportunities to compare since. As a professional software developer, I would never again use a computer without a programmable, rugged, thoughtfully-designed input device such as this.

    Hope this review and my comment will serve to make more people aware of the benefits this device has provided to those of us with frail bodies and obsessive work habits.

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