The number one question I hear from customers is “should I buy a Kinesis Freestyle or a Goldtouch Keyboard?” That is a tough question because there is no right answer. While the end result is almost exactly the same, each keyboard goes about it in very different ways.
Goldtouch: The method used for height and angle adjustment is one of the biggest differences in the two keyboards. The Goldtouch V2 Ergonomic Keyboard employs a built in ball joint that allows the user to adjust the keyboard up and down to any point within the range of 0 to 30 degrees. The ball joint quickly adjusts and locks back into place with little effort.
Kinesis: In contrast, the Kinesis Freestyle does not feature height adjustment by itself. Instead users may select from a number of accessory kits that include the VIP (most popular), VM3, Incline and Ascent. Each of these kits change the way that height is adjusted as well as how much range is available. The popular VIP kit and the VM3 have a low, medium and high setting that ranges from 5 to 15 degrees. The difference between the VIP and VM3 is the addition of palm rests on the VIP that adjust up and down with the height of the keyboard. Unique to the Freestyle, users can also select the 20-inch corded Freestyle keyboard along with the Ascent kit, which allows users to adjust the keyboard from 0 to a whopping 90 degrees.
Width and Angle Adjustment
Both keyboards can be adjusted in regards to shoulder width.
Kinesis: The Kinesis Freestyle manages this by actually separating the left and right sides of the keyboard using the standard 8-inch cord or optional 20-inch cord. This design allows users to align each side of the keyboard with their own shoulder width.
Goldtouch: The Goldtouch ergonomic keyboard cannot be separated, but using the ball joint design users can easily angle each side of the keyboard.
Special Note for Mac Users
Both Goldtouch and Kinesis offer PC and Mac versions of their ergonomic keyboards. If you use a PC there is really no operational difference. Simply make a choice based on which feature set you prefer. For Mac users, as I mentioned in a previous post, I prefer Kinesis. The Mac version of the Kinesis Freestyle has an intuitive lay out for users familiar with standard Mac hot-key locations. The Freestyle even includes a few extra hot-keys I found quite helpful at the left side of the main keyboard. Kinesis is also the only manufacturer currently making a Mac compatible 10-key keypad for all of you data entry folks out there.
Ultimately you can’t make a bad choice between the Goldtouch Ergonomic Keyboard and the Kinesis Freestyle. If you’re a Mac user, lean towards Kinesis unless you really want a black keyboard (only available for Mac fromGoldtouch). If you are on PC think about if you would prefer a more customizable range of adjustment (Goldtouch) or the ability to use different kits to add palm rests or a complete vertical angle to your keyboard (Kinesis). Both are good choices, and your body will undoubtedly notice the upgrade from your standard flat keyboard.