Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Aug 02, 2021 at 04:34 pm
Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Picture
9.0
Gaming
3.2
Mobile/Tablet
8.3
Office
8.0
Programming
5.0
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wired
Size
TenKeyLess (80%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is a fantastic gaming keyboard with a unique design. It's a fully split keyboard, meaning it has two halves that you can place however you like, as long as they're within 20 inches of each other because that's how long the connecting cable is. Thanks to this, it has excellent ergonomics, but it doesn't come with any incline settings; you can buy a 'Lift Kit' separately. It has many features found in standard gaming keyboards, like macro-programmable keys and RGB lighting, and although it has low latency, it's slightly higher than some other options. It's available with Cherry MX Brown, Blue, and Red switches, so you can easily get the ones you prefer.

Our Verdict

9.0 Gaming

The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge is a fantastic gaming keyboard. It features Cherry MX Brown switches and RGB lighting, but you can also get it with Cherry MX Red or Blue switches. The keyboard is solid and feels sturdy, and you can reprogram every key, including the dedicated macro keys. Its latency is also low enough for responsive gaming, but it's higher than other gaming keyboards.

Pros
  • All keys are macro-programmable, including dedicated macro keys.
  • You can place each half where you like.
  • Full RGB lighting with individually lit keys.
  • Available in Cherry MX Brown, Red, or Blue switches.
Cons
  • No incline settings; must be purchased separately.
3.2 Mobile/Tablet

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge isn't designed to be used with mobile devices.

8.3 Office

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge is a great office keyboard, thanks to its excellent ergonomics. You can position the two halves in whichever way feels comfortable. It also has a comfortable wrist rest for each half, but you'll have to purchase the incline settings separately. On the upside, typing on it is quiet enough for an open-office environment unless you choose to get the MX Blue clicky switches, which will be louder.

Pros
  • You can place each half where you like.
  • Available in Cherry MX Brown, Red, or Blue switches.
  • Great typing quality.
Cons
  • No incline settings; must be purchased separately.
  • May take time getting used to split design.
8.0 Programming

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge is a great programming keyboard. It offers a great typing experience and is available in a few Cherry MX switch variants. It has backlighting if you need to work in a dark environment or late at night, and its excellent ergonomics allow you to type comfortably for long sessions. Programmers should also enjoy the ability to reprogram each key, including the dedicated macro keys.

Pros
  • All keys are macro-programmable, including dedicated macro keys.
  • You can place each half where you like.
  • Full RGB lighting with individually lit keys.
Cons
  • No incline settings; must be purchased separately.
  • May take time getting used to split design.
5.0 Entertainment / HTPC

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge isn't for home theater PC use, so it's poor for that. It can't connect to the TV wirelessly, so you have to run the cable along the ground to directly connect to the TV. It doesn't have a trackpad, but it still has dedicated media keys and RGB backlighting.

Pros
  • Full RGB lighting with individually lit keys.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Lack of trackpad.
  • 9.0 Gaming
  • 3.2 Mobile/Tablet
  • 8.3 Office
  • 8.0 Programming
  • 5.0 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Apr 21, 2021: Fixed error with minimum incline.
  2. Updated Apr 07, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  3. Updated Mar 03, 2020: Review published.
  4. Updated Feb 26, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.1" (2.7 cm)
Width 15.4" (39.1 cm)
Depth
7.2" (18.3 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
10.1" (25.6 cm)
Weight
2.65 lbs (1.200 kg)

This TenKeyLess (TKL) keyboard is rather large and can take even more space if you decide to split the two halves. Just like the Kinesis Freestyle Pro, the cable between both halves is 20" (50.8 cm) long.

7.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge has good build quality. The base plate and top frame are both plastic, but they feel solid with only a small amount of flex that won't be noticeable during regular use. The matte finish helps give the keyboard a bit of grip, and it's resistant to oil shine from your fingers. The ABS keycaps also have the same matte coating, so there's some grip. The keys feel stable during actuation, but there's still some wobble and rattling that you can feel, especially with the larger keys like the Spacebar. Also, the larger keys make a cracking noise when actuated. Each side of the keyboard has five rubber feet underneath to hold them in place during use, so they shouldn't slide around easily. Overall, the keys could feel more stable, but there aren't any glaring issues.

8.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Ergonomical
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
N/A
Wrist Rest Detachable

Update 04/21/2021: We updated the minimum incline to 0° since it was incorrectly listed as N/A.

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge is a truly split keyboard, enabling you to position each half the way you want. The keyboard also comes with nice and plushy wrist rests, which attach to the keyboard magnetically. You can even remove the pads on the wrist rests to clean underneath. Unfortunately, it doesn't have included incline settings, but you can purchase a 'Lift Kit' separately. It may take time to get used to the split design, but once you do, your wrists should feel comfortable. For an even better ergonomic keyboard, check out the ErgoDox EZ or the ZSA Moonlander.

9.9
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Good
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge has fantastic backlighting with individually lit keys, which is helpful if you play games late at night or in a dark environment. It features RGB lighting, and multiple presets are also available. Also, you can control the brightness level directly on the keyboard, but it doesn't get extremely bright. It's good at color mixing, but there's a slight blue hue to it.

Design
Cable & Connector
Detachable
No
Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Not Detachable

This wired-only keyboard has braided cables, which is a nice improvement over the Kinesis Freestyle Pro. The cable that connects to the PC comes out from the right side.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge is wired-only, and you can't use it wirelessly.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
No
Lock Indicator Caps & Scroll Lock

There are a few extra features. You can use media keys via the use of hotkeys. You can also program all keys, whether inside the software or directly on the board. There are dedicated macro keys on the left side, and you can save up to nine profiles with 100 macros saved on each profile.

Design
In The Box

  • Freestyle Edge RGB keyboard
  • Manual

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Cherry MX Brown
Feel
Tactile
Operating Force
53 gf
Actuation Force
44 gf
Pre-Travel
2.0 mm
Total Travel
4.0 mm

With Cherry MX Brown switches, the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB's keystroke offers tactile feedback with a very small bump, and the overall feeling remains light. It's available with Cherry MX linear Red or clicky Blue switches, so your experience will depend on the switches you get.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB offers a great overall typing quality. It's very similar to the Kinesis Freestyle Pro, but the nicer texture of the keycaps of the Freestyle Edge feels better. The typing is light enough and offers good tactile feedback without being too noisy. Typing for long sessions doesn't get too fatiguing, and the wrist rest is quite comfortable, but you may need time to get used to the split design first. Also, our unit has Cherry MX Brown switches, but it's also available with Cherry MX Red and Blue switches, so typing will feel different on those.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

Thanks to the Cherry MX Brown switches, typing isn't too noisy for an open-office environment. However, it will be louder if you go with the clicky Cherry MX Blue switches.

7.6
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
9.5 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge has low latency. It's a bit higher than some other gaming keyboards, but you can still use it for competitive gaming. You won't notice any delay when using it for office work.

Software and Operating System
9.8
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name RGB SmartSet
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
Software and Onboard
Ease Of Use
Okay
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes

The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge is compatible with the RGB SmartSet software. You can create up to nine profiles with different keybinds and lighting effects. However, the software can feel laggy at times or freeze. The keyboard also has 'tap-and-hold key actions', which means each key can support two different actions: one triggered by a quick tap and another by a press-and-hold action.

7.6
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Full
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge has very good compatibility with computers, but it doesn't work with mobile devices. It's fully compatible with Windows and Linux, and only the Pause key doesn't work on macOS.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB with Cherry MX Brown switches, and it's also available with Cherry MX Blue or Red switches. Your typing experience will be different if you get the other sizes. This is a full-size keyboard and there aren't any variants for it.

If you have the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB and it's different from ours, let us know, and we'll update the review.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is unique thanks to its split design. It has many of the same features and performance as other standard mechanical gaming keyboards with RGB lighting and macro-programmable keys, but it has much better ergonomics. It may not be as customizable as the ErgoDox EZ, but it's still great. It feels like an upgrade over the Kinesis Freestyle Pro, which doesn't have backlighting and doesn't come with a wrist rest.

Also see our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and the best wireless keyboards.

Kinesis Freestyle Pro

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is better than the Kinesis Freestyle Pro. The Edge comes with a wrist rest, RGB lighting, and an ever-so-slightly better build quality. If you're simply looking for an office keyboard, go for the Freestyle Pro, but if you game for long periods, especially at night, the Edge RGB is the better option.

ZSA Moonlander

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB and the ZSA Moonlander are both fully split mechanical keyboards, but the ZSA has better ergonomics since it has incline feet that let you angle the board in whichever way you feel most comfortable. The Kinesis is available with Cherry MX Brown, Blue, and Red switches, and the ZSA is available with Cherry MX Brown, Blue, and a variety of Kailh switches. Also, the ZSA is hot-swappable, so you can use any switch you like. However, while all of the keys on both boards are macro-programmable, there's a limit of five key sequences on the ZSA, which may be annoying if you need longer strings. The ZSA has a much higher latency, so the Kinesis might be a better choice for gaming.

Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard

The Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard is a better ergonomic keyboard for the office than the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. It has negative incline settings, while the Kinesis doesn't have any unless you buy accessories separately. However, the Edge has mechanical switches and RGB lighting, which some may like.

Matias Ergo Pro

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is a better gaming keyboard than the Matias Ergo Pro. The Kinesis features mechanical Cherry MX switches, while the Matias has proprietary Matias Quiet Click switches. You can't program keys on the Matias, while you can on the Kinesis, and you even have access to 9 dedicated macro keys. You also have RGB lighting on the Kinesis, while the Matias lacks any type of backlighting.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a better gaming keyboard than the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. You can customize its linear switches' pre-travel distance to better suit your preference. On the other hand, the Kinesis is available in a wider range of switches, and you can use just the left half of the split keyboard to make more room for your mouse.

ErgoDox EZ

The ErgoDox EZ is a better ergonomic keyboard than the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB thanks to its better ergonomics, build quality and wider selection of switches. The ErgoDox also has a lot more customization options but might be a lot harder to learn. The Kinesis has RGB lighting, while our unit of the ErgoDox doesn't have any, although there are variants that have it.

Dygma Raise

The Dygma Raise is slightly better than the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. The Dygma provides better ergonomics and typing experience, and it feels better built. However, the Kinesis has a customization software that feels more complete, and it has dedicated macro keys for MMO games.

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