Are you looking for a competitive edge in your favorite PC games while taking care of your wrists? As gaming continues to grow in popularity, there’s more competition than ever. Kinesis hopes to level the playing field with their innovative new keyboard, the Freestyle Edge RGB.
The Freestyle Edge RGB offers a fresh take on PC gaming. This is largely due to its split ergonomic design, which supports one-handed play and comfortable typing. But Kinesis didn’t stop there. From top to bottom, the Freestyle Edge is loaded with top-tier tech that’s guaranteed to take your performance to the next level.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve used the Freestyle Edge for a range of activities. From gaming, to work, to writing this review, I’ve gained key insights into how this peripheral can boost your everyday performance. If you want to press the advantage and nail down those dubs, you’ve got to keep reading.
Zoom In: Specs
- Dimensions: 1.25″ tall x 15.5″ length x 10.25″ width
- Weight: 3.0 lbs
- Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, & Chrome
- Power: USB w/ 6” Braided Cable
- Switches: Cherry MX Mechanical
- Lighting: Per-Key 16.8M Color RGB
- Modes: NKRO & Game Modes
- Built-In: 9 Programmable Keys, Palm Wrest, & 4MB Onboard Storage
- Game Features: 1ms Response Time & Anti-Ghosting
- Warranty: Two Year
- Quick Start Guide
- Freestyle Edge RGB Keyboard
For most product reviews, the experience doesn’t start until I’ve got the product in hand. But that’s not the case here. That’s because opening the box is an experience in and of itself.
The Freestyle Edge’s packaging is incredibly sharp, as it boasts minimal elements combined with a picture of the keyboard front and center. After running my hands across the raised surface that – from textured to smooth, I knew this was something special.
Removing the outer box leaves you with another flip-top interior box. Open this bad boy up, and the keyboard is front and center, with each side containing one half of the split design. When I took hold of the keyboard for the first time, my heart just about stopped.
The Freestyle Edge RGB is a work of art. At roughly three pounds, this tenkeyless keyboard has a wonderful heft that promises durability and quality components. A quick glance over the top reveals durable keycaps with sharp printed lettering.
Pressing down on the keys renders a lovely click-clack, as the genuine Blue Cherry MX Switches reverberate all around. The tactility is very noticeable, as each cap takes 50g of actuation force. Combined with the audial feedback, the act of pecking away at the keys makes my fingers happy. I’ve always preferred a louder switch, so this was right up my alley.
As for comfort? The Freestyle Edge has a quality wrist rest included. Most keyboards that come one always seem to have added the wrist rest in as an afterthought. The thick cushioned foam combined with the silky soft vinyl-like covering acts like a cloud that keeps my palms ever-so-lightly afloat.
Round all that out with the thick braided cables, and you’ve got a piece of true craftsmanship. Plus, it’s plug-and-play design makes jumping into a quick match of Apex Legends or Fortnite a cinch. That is, once you learn the configuration. It took a full day or so before my hands were used to typing on the split ergonomic design.
It also took quite some time to get my feet under me in Fortnite. It’s a lot of reprogramming, if you will, muscle memory. But once I was acclimated, it was game on. I noticed a slight increase in performance, nothing major, but that’s to be expected with a keyboard upgrade.
Gaining the Upper Hand
The Freestyle Edge RGB offers everything you could hope for in a sexy gaming setup. This includes its compact tenkeyless design, nine gaming keys, and high-tech multimedia controls. Oh, and we can’t forget about the RGB lighting.
The Freestyle Edge RGB boasts nearly 17 million stunning colors out of the box. Switch between Freestyle, Monochrome, Wave, and more – all with just a few taps on the control panel. And if you’re serious about customizing your board’s aesthetics (or gaining a competitive advantage with macros), Kinesis also offers the Smartset Desktop App for PC and Mac.
Perhaps my biggest grievance in the aesthetics department is the braided cable that connects the two sides. Though there is a spacious compartment underneath the keyboard to tuck any excess cable, this is still a bummer, as it adds extra bulkiness to an otherwise perfectly sleek design.
I mean – how cool would it be to have a wireless option that lets you untether the keyboard? That would very well help further assert Freestyle Edge claim as one of the best gaming keyboards on the market.
In terms of ergonomics, the Freestyle Edge RGB shines even brighter than its vivid backlights. The keys press down ever-so-smoothly, and tactility is 100% on point. Moreover, typing away is a dream, as the palm rest provides the perfect cushion for intense gaming sessions.
Speaking of intense gaming, the Freestyle Edge boasts nine gaming keys on the left half of the board. Combine that with the split form factor, and you’ll find that the left side of the Freestyle Edge is ideal as a standalone keypad. Considering the high price points of traditional gaming keypads, this is a nice little bonus.
I feel comfortable saying it: the Freestyle Edge RGB offers the best typing experience I’ve ever had. And as a product reviewer and ergonomics connoisseur, I don’t say that lightly. A big part of this? The split design, which forces you to type correctly and stick to the tried-and-true touch-typing experience. Even after hours of intensive use, my hands feel better than they do after using a traditional board for just a few hours.
With or without the optional lift-kit add-on accessory (which I highly recommend), the keyboard feels like an extension of your body.
Going Over the Edge
As for its performance in-game? Whether you’re using it as a full-size tenkeyless keyboard or a gaming pad, it’s performance is on par with other top gaming keyboards. That’s because this board boasts several gaming keys, anti-ghosting, key rollover, and more. And that’s precisely what you need in today’s competitive landscape. As I mentioned earlier, it does take awhile to pickup and get comfortable with in games, more so than just typing.
With the unique design and all those bells and whistles comes a price — $219, to be exact. The cost is quite exorbitant compared to other high-quality models on the market. That said, there’s nothing else like the Freestyle Edge available in 2019.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Features - 9/10
Aesthetics - 8/10
Performance - 10/10
The Freestyle Edge RGB from Kinesis is hands down one of the best gaming keyboards on the market. It delivers supreme comfort and wins on the ergonomic front — a commonly overlooked factor in gamers’ setups.
- Insanely comfortable split-design and palm rest
- Doubles as a keypad with tons of gaming perks
- Stunning preset and customizable RGB lighting effects
- Lift kit accessory costs extra
- One of the most expensive boards on the market
- Requires bulky center cable, even in full tenkeyless mode