I have had my Kinesis keyboard for over a month now. It is a good time to sum up my experience with it so far.
The model I have is called Ergo Elan with Swedish language layout. Overall, I like this keyboard because of its contoured design. The ergnomic design makes it easier on the hands. That is the main reason I got it in the first place. I figured that I will be spending a significant amount of time of my life in front of a computer. So it is important to have the tools that I feel comfortable with. As a matter of fact, when I use the traditional keyboard at home, I can feel the strain it imposes on my hands and wrists easily.
Another thing I like is the ability to remap keys, customize, and have your own keyboard macro. For example, I have remapped the Caps Lock key to :, since it never got used and I use : a lot because of VI. I also got my own macros going. Below is my mapping:
Caps Lock : (Mainly for VI) F6 Ctrl-A Ctrl-C F7 Ctrl-C F8 Ctrl-V F9 Ctrl-T (Firefox new tab and Result in Text in SSMS) F10 Ctrl-L (Firefox address bar) F11 Windows key F12 Ctrl-N (VI completion and Open new document in many apps) PrintScr Shift-Del (When I delete, I delete permanently) ScrLock Ctrl-A PasBrk Ctrl-X
My keyboard also comes with a foot switch. When you press it, by default, it turns on the Keypad, which is really a number pad under your right hand. It allows fast number entry. I don’t use it that much, probably because I am still getting used to it.
I don’t think I can type as fast as I can on a traditional keyboard. But typing productivity lost maybe made up by productivity increase due to the remapped keys and macros. In due time, hopefully my typing speed will increase.
One thing that affects my typing speed is that my desktop is a little too high for me. Therefore, I have to pull up my shoulders, so to speak. I will have an adjustable keyboard tray soon. It will be attached on the down side of the desktop surface. That will put my arms and shoulders in a more natural position. I think that will help my speed and make it less tiresome.
I am thinking of buying another one for home use. If I do, I think I will buy it from eBay. I will probably get it cheaper that way. I bought the one I have now from Kinesis website. It cost more than 300 dollars.