Kinesis Advantage360 Keyboard Review
The Kinesis Advantage360 comes with wired and wireless (professional) versions. Check out this review to know why everyone is keen to own one!
Typing on your keyboard for hours can be unhealthy. Standard keyboards' “fixed” position can cause discomfort, wrist strain, back pain, and exhaustion. This hampers your efficiency and productivity at work.
What you need is a keyboard that encourages a healthy typing posture by allowing you to adjust its position. The keyboard should also be designed to mirror the natural motions and positions of the human body.
The Kinesis Advantage 360 ergonomic split keyboard is something that you should consider. As its name implies, it splits in half to allow you to position the peripheral in a way that’s most comfortable to you.
What is a Split Keyboard
A split keyboard is a type of computer keyboard that splits in the middle of the home keys. This allows you to position both halves of the keyboard to your typing position preference. By doing so, you’ll be able to type in a more natural and ergonomic position.
The layout of a split keyboard may be standard or tenkeyless. Most of us are familiar with the former. The latter is a keyboard type that doesn’t have a 10-key numeric keypad, which is usually included in the former’s design, thus the name “tenkeyless.”
A split keyboard may feature either membrane switches or mechanical switches. Check the mechanical keyboard benefits to learn more.
The Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard is an ergonomic split tenkeyless keyboard that is made to fit any user’s typing style and purpose. It’s an improved version of its predecessor, the Advantage 2.
Check out some of the keyboard’s top features:
- ergonomic design
- can be split into two halves
- thick magnetic palm rests for typing comfort (sold separately)
- 0, 4, or 7-degree integrated tenting capability on both halves
- low-force Gateron KS-9 brown mechanical switches
- 6 assignable hot keys
- 1500 maH rechargeable battery
- with GitHub actions workflow
- integrated ZMK open-source firmware for the Kinesis Advantage360 Professional, allowing you to customize keycaps
- Bluetooth connectivity for the Advantage 360 Pro, enabling a fully wireless experience
- package includes the keyboard, bridge connector, extra keycaps, keycap puller, cables, and quick start guide
- The Kinesis Advantage 360 Pro is the most ordered version, which is expected because of its wireless feature.
How We Tested the Keyboard
We tested the wired Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard using the provided cables, which we connected to our PC. We also attached separately purchased palm rests on evaluating the product’s typing comfort. We utilized a large worktable, the purpose of which was to assess the minimum and maximum amount of space required for using the product comfortably.
Testing proper was done by copying a few pages of a manuscript for a medical journal. We also played an FPS computer game to check if it’s an ideal keyboard for gamers.
Pros and Cons
After testing, we listed down the advantages and disadvantages of the Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard.
- The compact design allows you to work in workstations with limited space.
- The split design and the curved contours make the keyboard extremely ergonomic, allowing you to work in your most comfortable position. This means you can type with your arms at shoulder width, eliminating cramping and wrist strain.
- Vertical key configuration reflects the natural motion of your fingers as you type.
- Combined with the tilting feature and the thick palm cushions (sold separately), the Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard is very comfortable to type on.
- Peripherals and other gadgets can be placed between the halves due to the unit’s split design.
- The low-force Gateron KS-9 brown mechanical switches allow more accurate typing due to the tactile “bump” feel. The keys are also quieter than red switches. You can, however, choose the mechanical keys of your preference when you order the product.
- Frequently pressed keys such as the Space Bar, Backspace, and Enter are positioned at the lower-middle part of the keyboard, allowing you to use your stronger thumbs than weaker pinkies when pressing these keys.
- A bridge connector allows you to link both halves if you’re not opting for full adjustability. With the bridge connector attached, the keyboard feels like typing on an Advantage 2.
- Onboard programming and customization can be done with the downloadable SmartSet App (for both Windows and Mac). 8 programmable layouts, one-touch onboard remapping, and macros allow considerable versatility. Programming is also fast and easy.
- For the Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard Pro, the open-source ZMK firmware allows you to customize your keys.
- The Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard Pro uses Bluetooth connection for wireless linking. The Bluetooth multi-channel feature also allows you to pair up to 5 devices with the keyboard.
- Bright LED lights indicate which functions are activated.
- The battery goes to standby mode after 30 seconds of inactivity, allowing you to save power.
- The keyboard halves of the standard model are connected with a short cable. This limits how far you can separate the two halves of the keyboard. Together with the to-PC cable, this may create tangles and clutter in your work area. However, you can choose to buy the professional version, which is wireless.
- Using the keyboard with its vertical key configuration and uneven key placement takes time to get used to. This is true even for those who are used to typing on split keyboards.
- There are no function keys. This may feel unnatural, especially if you’re using function keys quite a lot in your work.
- Function keys are integrated into the number keys, so you have to press a layer key to use the function keys. In addition, the legend makes it confusing. For example, the F5 key is located on the 4 key. This won’t feel intuitive for many users.
- The layout of the keys, all bunched together, is not intuitive.
- There are 3 function layers. Figuring out these layers is a minor challenge.
- The magnets on the optional palm supports need to be stronger. The palm support keeps sliding off the keyboard.
Recommendation and Final Conclusion
The Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard is great if you’re looking for ergonomics, comfort, and small-space utilization. You can customize the position to fit your preference.
Because it’s equipped with mechanical keys, the Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard is durable and can easily be cleaned. Typing on the keyboard is fast, accurate, and reasonably quiet. The programmable keys are also a boon, offering a lot of customization options.
With no numeric keypad, the Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard is not suited for accounting, numeric encoding, computing, and other number-heavy work. The split design, contouring, uneven vertical keys configuration, and multi-layer functionality make using the keyboard unintuitive. It will take some time to get used to its configuration and functionalities.
Nevertheless, the Kinesis Advantage 360 Keyboard is ideal for writers, developers, marketers, and other professionals who want a peripheral that allows them healthier and better typing.