Kinesis Advantage 2
February 25, 2020
As someone that has used an ergonomic keyboard for 17 years, this is a very different experience, but that is not a bad thing. While I like this keyboard for general typing, it has some drawbacks if you are used to a normal keyboard. I have been using this as my primary work keyboard for almost a year, and it really helps.
Some background on why I decided to try this keyboard: I typically type a lot daily just responding to emails and Skype messaging co-workers. Over time, this has put a serious strain on my forearms, especially the right one. Typically, if I have a heavy typing day, my right forearm is sore by the end of the day. Since I like to teach myself coding, I want to be able to type in the evening or on the weekends too. Even using a traditional ergo keyboard, that was beginning to be a problem.
My search for a better ergo keyboard led me to the Kinesis Advantage 2. The keyboard wells make reaching for the keys minimal. I am able to type quickly and for a longer period of time without the soreness. A lot of the keys that normally hit by a pinky finger are moved to a center location where the stronger thumb finger strikes it. This is a huge help, but over time I could see if putting more strain on the muscles the operate the thumb.
The keyboard some with Cherry MX switches, which provide deep travel; I purchased the more expensive one with the quiet switches. And while the keyboard is made totally of plastic and sometimes feels light and cheap, it is solid and does not feel like it will break or wear out.
Where this keyboard falls short for me is in coding. Because of the difference in where certain keys are placed when compared to a normal keyboard, I have a hard time coding for web development on it. Normal typing for work is fine, but when I am using the special character that are common for coding, it becomes a major pain. If I used it for that all the time, I would probably become used to it, but I use it at work, and not at home. For the general typing that I do for work, it is great. I would not use this for coding, and I always switch back to a more traditional ergo keyboard when coding.
If you really need an ergo keyboard, and a normal one is not working, then this keyboard will likely help. While $350 is a lot for a keyboard, anyone with repetitive stress strains and injuries will tell you, there is no price that can be placed on not having to have surgery or keep from having an injury in the first place.