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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  • MadAd - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    1. he doesnt ship to my country 2. youre kinda proving my point when the only thing you can find is janky old second hand versions of an old terrible keyboard, I have checked my local Amazon/eBay, zero new ones available, what am I welcoming you for? 3. I thought the article here is a mechanical?
  • Flunk - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    Just dump the whole thing entirely. It just slows you down moving your hands off the home row. It's faster just to type your numbers from the standard position.
  • masouth - Thursday, February 15, 2018 - link

    That depends entirely on what you are using it for, how many numbers you are entering, and your skill level with a ten key. Ten key is a much easier skill to master than typing as a whole and can be much faster for large amounts of numbers and basic math functions.
  • Grahm - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    I don't know why are these keyboards an exact split. Depending on the word I'm typing (and special keys I'm pressing), I'm sometimes reaching the "Y" column with my left hand and "T" column with my right hand. I'd love to see those two columns repeated on some ergonomic designs.

    Or maybe that's just me...
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    Nope, it's not just you. Having the middle keys repeated on each side of the split would be very handy.
  • Ukyo - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    According to seller ErgoWarehouse, the lift kit is not included w/ the MX red version but cost the same. The kit cost an additional $32 with shipping from the same seller.
  • prophet001 - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    This is a pretty horrible design for MMOs.
  • Robotire - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    I’m appalled that Kinesis made a keyboard with a staggered layout. You can’t call this an ergonomic keyboard when you have to twist your fingers in weird ways to type on it.
    The current Planck keyboard offer on massdrop is much more interesting (and ergonomic).
  • alanh - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    My understanding is that the split keyboard design is to keep the wrists straight so that you don't have to bend them to get your fingers on the home row. The Planck is ortho-linear, which is supposed to be better so you don't do sideways reaches as much, but it doesn't do anything about the wrist-tilt, so some would argue that it too is not "ergonomic."
    Split ortho-linear keyboards do exist, and if you like the Planck, you might like the "Let's Split" keyboard design, which is basically like a Planck cut in half. ErgoDox and Kinesis Advantage are also ortho-linear split designs.
  • kmo12345 - Monday, February 5, 2018 - link

    I started using the Freestyle2 (identical layout but membrane switches) because my shoulders were hurting from me having to narrow them in order to type on normal keyboards. I have the version with a 20" tether and usually keep the two halves at least 16" apart. I have no wrist or finger problems. Ergonomic means different things depending on your anatomy.

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