Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Mar 03, 2020 at 08:10 am
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 designed to be an ergonomic, split, mechanical gaming keyboard. It features Cherry MX switches, which you can choose between MX Red, Brown, Blue, and Speed Silver, although we tested the Brown switches. The board is well-built and is an overall small improvement over the very similar Kinesis Freestyle Pro. It also has RGB lighting and included wrist rests on the two halves of the keyboard.

Our Verdict

9.0 Gaming

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge is an excellent gaming keyboard. It features Cherry MX mechanical switches and RGB lighting. The board is solid and feels sturdy, and you have can reprogram every key, including the nine dedicated macro keys.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • Excellent ergonomics.
  • Available in multiple mechanical switches.
Cons
  • Awkward to use at first.
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 amazing ergonomics. You can split the two halves the way you want and position them to be 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 fairly quiet enough for an open-office, unless you choose to get the MX Blue clicky switches, which will be louder.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • Excellent ergonomics.
  • Available in multiple mechanical switches.
Cons
  • Awkward to use at first.
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 for 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 nine dedicated macro keys.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • Excellent ergonomics.
  • Available in multiple mechanical switches.
Cons
  • Awkward to use at first.
5.0 Entertainment / HTPC

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • Excellent ergonomics.
  • Available in multiple mechanical switches.
Cons
  • Awkward to use at first.
  • 9.0 Gaming
  • 3.2 Mobile/Tablet
  • 8.3 Office
  • 8.0 Programming
  • 5.0 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Apr 07, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.

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 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 inches (50.8cm) long. On the other hand, you can also easily only use the left half if you play FPS, and move the right half away to have more room for your mouse. However, the cable that's connected to the PC is on the right half.

7.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The build quality of the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is good and quite similar to the Kinesis Freestyle Pro, but with slight improvements. The board doesn't have any flex and the keys are stable. The keycaps also feel a bit more textured, and don't feel too cheap. The cable is also braided and feels durable.

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

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Gaming keyboard enables you to position each half the way you want. The board also comes with a nice and plushy wrist rest, which can be detached. However, it doesn't have included incline settings, but you can purchase a 'Lift Kit' separately. 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

This keyboard has great backlighting, which is useful 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 board.

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.

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

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is wired-only and can't be used 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

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB has a fairly limited amount of extra features. You can use media keys via the use of hot keys. You can also program all keys, whether inside the software or directly on the board. You also have a few dedicated macro keys on the left side.

Design
In The Box

  • Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Gaming 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 a small tactile feedback with a very small bump. These are rather typical mechanical switches. The board is also available with Cherry MX Linear Red, Clicky Blue, and Linear Speed Silver switches.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB offers a great overall typing quality. It's very similar to the 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.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

Thanks to the Cherry MX Brown switches, typing offers tactile feedback without being too noisy for an open-office. However, it will be louder if you choose to 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
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

This keyboard is compatible with the RGB SmartSet software. You can create up to nine profiles with different keybinds and lighting effects. The board 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

This keyboard has very good compatibility with computers, but 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

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Gaming keyboard is available in a few different switches: Cherry MX Brown, Red, Blue, and Silver. We reviewed the variant with Cherry MX Brown switches, but we expect most of the review to be valid for the others. However, expect a different overall typing experience depending on the switches you go with.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Gaming keyboard is quite unique. We haven't reviewed many mechanical ergonomic keyboards, and even less that are geared towards gaming and features RGB lighting. It feels like an upgrade over the Kinesis Freestyle Pro, which doesn't have backlighting and doesn't come with a wrist rest. See our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and if you're looking to reduce the cable clutter on your desk, check out our choices for the best wireless keyboards.

Kinesis Freestyle Pro

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is better than the 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.

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.

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 even put the right half of its split keyboard away to make more room for your mouse.

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.

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