Kinesis keyboard review

I was going to wait until the 4 week mark for my Kinesis keyboard review, but I’ve already made up my mind after 2 weeks.

First, a bit of backstory. I am an idiot. I type around 4k a day, four days a week, and up until now, I’ve done so on my Macbook Pro keyboard. In April, I had a bonkers stint and wrote the first draft of my New Shiny – 78k – in sixteen days.

After that, my wrists and fingers were sore. It got quite bad. I couldn’t write more than 500 words without stopping at one point. But the worst thing was how it affected my handwriting too – I couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t. My wrist would go weak and click and spaz out if I tried to pick up a pen.

Ladies and gents, let me tell you… RSI sucks. Big time.

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Enter the Kinesis keyboard. Now. These bad boys retail at a ridiculous price. Like £280 or more, new. Just researching them made my eyes start to stream. But then, I got lucky. I found a poor defective mite on eBay with two ‘b’ keys for a fraction of the price. Um – SOLD. I could touch-type anyway, right? They could all be ‘b’ keys for all I care.

Well… not quite. Turns out, I couldn’t touch-type as well as I thought, and I’d urge anyone looking into buying one of these keyboards to evaluate their skill level. For instance, I used to (used to! Not anymore! I’m tapping away like a BOSS on the Kinesis right the hell now) type the ‘t’ key with my right hand, and the beloved ‘b’ key as well. This is impossible on the Kinesis, for obvious reasons.

I took a little diary of my first few sessions with the Kinesis. I’ll type that out now for your viewing pleasure.

Kinesis keyboard review: DAY ONE

I WANT TO KILL SOMEONE. I want to kill someone with this keyboard. That way I can simultaneously take away my frustration and the cause of my frustration in one handy death-blow. ARRRRGHHHHHH. So hard. SO. Not. Cool.

(I spent an hour doing online touch-typing lessons, which I’d highly recommend, it got me out of bad habits quick.)

Kinesis keyboard review: DAY 2

Much better! Sleep-brain has processed all my hard work and I’m getting better. I have moments where I feel like a BOSS… and moments where I keep making the same mistakes, over and over – the ‘b’ and ‘q’ and ‘z’ – basically my entire left hand. My left hand sucks. Ironically, my left hand is hurting more today than when I was on the other keyboard. But I must have patience. People say this is a one month learning curve… so I must carry on.

Kinesis keyboard review: DAY 3

Getting better. Still slow. Like SLOW. It’s the punctuation keys that are screwing me over now. And OH GREAT – I just tried to use the Mac keyboard, and I can’t even use that right anymore! I’m in keyboard limbo! Nooooooo.

Kinesis keyboard review: DAY 4

I don’t know if it’s because I’m typing slower, but my wrist pain has gone. Like… gone. It got so bad B.K. (Before Kinesis) that I couldn’t even hold a cold glass without getting shooting pains up my arms. I was even trying to learn how to steer my damn car with just my left hand because gripping the steering wheel hurt. But this morning… it seems fine! I wrote 4k today, which is about my usual output, but a bit slower than the norm. Less mistakes. More speed. YAY!!

Kinesis keyboard review: DAY 5

god

I AM A BOSS. I AM A BOSS CONTROLLING A SPACESHIP WITH MY FUTURISTIC SOOPER COOL KEYBOARD. ARRRRHHH! COME AT ME, WORDS! And the clicking. I love the clicking. Click click click. Weeeee!

Kinesis keyboard review: DAY 6

This is… almost normal. Not quite as fast as I was, but honestly, not far behind at all. I wrote 3k today with no issues. Only my mouse finger is kicking my arse now, because I can’t use my Magic Trackpad thingie on the Mac. I’ll have to buy an external one. This is wonderful. BEST BUY EVER.

Conclusion

If you write a lot and suffer from RSI – or even just want to protect yourself – get this damn keyboard. Yes, it is clicky. No, it doesn’t have a backlight. No it won’t control your music. But it might save your damn career. I honestly think it’s saved mine.

The learning curve does suck, and in all honesty I struggle with “normal” keyboards still, but it’s a small price to pay.

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look at that photo for a minute. Humans ain’t meant to be in that position for a long period of time. It’s silly!

It is expensive, but so is buying voice-recignition software (or hiring a tappy-tappy slave) because you’ve SCREWED UP YOUR WRISTS. Look on eBay for defective bargains if you’re a cheapskate like me. Oh, and don’t bother only looking at the new versions, I’m told the Kinesis layout hasn’t changed in a decade, so old ones will be just as good and less cash.

I just want to add that the keyboard isn’t a miracle cure – it says so on the box, actually, which made me laugh. But it does take you a long way in the right direction. My posture is better because my hands are apart, too, so no more neck or back ache. I love this keyboard so so much. I can’t imagine using another one ever again for my big writing sessions.

ALLOFTHE stars for Kinesis Keyboard.

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  1. Pingback: All the gadgets you’ll never need to be a writer | Emily Lowrey

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