The KinesisGaming SmartSet App

One of the prime features of the Freestyle Edge Gaming keyboard is the SmartSet application. The application itself is not particularly flexible and/or feature-packed, but there is one particular thing that it makes it very unique: it is a portable application that is stored inside the keyboard’s memory. To access it, the user has to press and hold the SmartSet button, then press F8. This keystroke combination will connect the “vDrive” to the system, which essentially is a small flash memory module that is inside the keyboard. The system reacts just as if a USB flash disk has been connected to it and will pop a new drive folder that includes the SmartSet application, the keyboard’s settings/firmware files, and the full user’s manual.

The SmartSet application runs directly from the included flash memory, no installation is needed. This gives the Freestyle Edge keyboard a very distinct advantage, as nothing is being stored in the OS/system - any and all programmed changes are stored directly in the keyboard’s flash memory and follow the keyboard. Any profile/layout changes are bound to the keyboard and it will not matter if the keyboard is connected to another PC, not even the OS that the other PC may be running. The SmartSet application is currently compatible with Windows and Mac only, but any changes already made to the keyboard’s settings appear to be functioning under Linux and Android as well.

The SmartSet application is relatively simple. It is a single-page configuration screen that allows the user to reprogram any key, on both the top and the Fn layer, of the currently active Layout. The keyboard supports up to nine layouts, all with two layers each.

Advanced programming capabilities are relatively limited. For example, the user can use multimedia functions, such as volume and playback controls, access special characters, and launch basic system applications, such as the calculator. Advanced commands, such as launching specific applications, are not available. This feature could cause issues, considering that the command would be stored in the keyboard and the external application to be launched would be installed into a specific system. Mouse clicks also are available, but mouse movements commands are not.

The Macro recorder is quite basic and virtually limited to simple keystroke combinations. Advanced commands, such as mouse movements, cannot be programmed into the macro command. This may be a problem for users who need to use complex macros, as it is not possible to call upon external executable files either, so using third-party applications to compile executable macro files will not help. On the upside, the unique firmware of the Freestyle Edge allows it to store up to three macros per key. Each of the programmed macros can be assigned a “trigger” key, which is one of the Shift, Alt, or Ctrl keys. It is possible to store up to three different macros into any single key, as long as they use a different trigger. 

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Per-Key Quality Testing & Hands-On
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  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    Yes, that would be handy. And a 7 on the left and a 6 on the right half. I have the Freestyle 2 at work. Excellent keyboard, but I find myself hitting the blank space between the halves when doing numbers as I expect the 6 to be on the right half. Even after a few years with the keyboard. And occasionally hit the blank space when trying to hit B with my right hand.

    I'm a touch typist, and a fairly quick one at that (80-90 WPM), but I do not use the "correct" "normal" "this is the the one-true-way" form (I'm more of a 5-finger typist, rarely using my pinkies or my right ring finger).
  • alanh - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    I'm typing this on a Matias Ergo Pro (another split keyboard that tries to have a mostly conventional layout), and my only complaint about the layout is that they should have a 6 on both sides so that nobody has an issue about that placement. My previous split keyboards (from both Logitech and Microsoft) both put the 6 on the left-hand side, but it didn't take long to get used to. The Matias also has a non-standard location for Esc, but even though I do spend some time in vim, that reach has never really bothered me.
  • Findecanor - Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - link

    Many years ago Kinesis did have a mechanical keyboard with 6 on both sides: the Kinesis Evolution. It was meant to be mounted in front of the desk, either on a special or on a special chair. It also had a numeric keypad and touch pad
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - link

    Maybe you could just get two minmalist keyboards - one for each hand - and plug them in at the same time.

    I think using the Freestyle wouldn't be a difficult adjustment to make, and doing so might even help your typing speed on conventional keyboards.
  • Flunk - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    You can retrain habits like that pretty quick.
  • MadAd - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    And still nobody can make a keyboard with a detachable tenkey pad, something FAR more useful (no i dont mean a separate tenkey, I know these are available, I want one keyboard which slots the tenkey into the existing board, or unclips as its own unit)
  • imaheadcase - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link


    The biggest complaint i have with any keyboard is that part is not detachable, and terrible wrist support.
  • masouth - Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - link

    as long as you aren't looking for a super cheap price I can think of a few detachable off the top of my head

    **ASUS ROG Claymore
    **Aorus Thunder K7 (really more of a macro pad with ten key capability, I dont like the layout)
    **Tesora Tizona tenkeyless keyboard with purchasable 10 key pad that attaches to either side.
  • redhen - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link
    You're welcome?
  • redhen - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    Microsoft Sidewinder X6. I just plugged mine back in after using a Logitech G710 (cherrymx Blues) for several months and forgot how good of a typing feel it still has for being a membrane keyboard.

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