As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I went to visit the Kinesis Corporation last week to try out a couple of keyboards (I’ve been meaning to get a new ergonomic keyboard for a while, but since they cost upwards of $300 for the good ones, I wanted to make sure I liked what I got). I was greeted at the door by someone’s Dalmation who was hanging out at the office (he was a little too friendly to be a guard dog). Shortly after, two-legged beings found me and welcomed me.
I was on the way to meet someone, so I didn’t get to stay very long, but everyone was very polite and helpful. It’s actually more of an office than a showroom, with the traditional cubicles and whatnot, but they don’t mind guests–just email or call ahead and make an appointment. They have a side that is kind of a play-with-this-stuff area with several chairs, keyboards, and ergonomic mice set up. The desks are pretty standard office fair, but adjustable keyboard trays allow you to type at just the right height (a keyboard tray is next on my ergonomic shopping list).
I tried the Maxim™ Adjustable Ergonomic Keyboard first. It seemed like a quality piece of equipment, but I had my eye on the Kinesis Contoured Keyboard from the beginning and gravitated toward that one. I saw a keyboard (the Evolution) that was in two halves that mounted on either side of a chair, but I figured I’d have to buy a whole new chair or do some fancy retrofitting to get mine to do that, so I didn’../../../2005/01/igesture_review.html”>iGesture, I wasn’t looking to give that up.
So after playing a bit, I verified that the Contoured Keyboard was the one for me. I really like the way your fingers seem to naturally rest in the concave indentations where the keys are. I’ll post a more thorough review of it later this week, but for now I’ll just say it’../../../2004/07/fingerworks_tou.html”>Touchstream which I never did quite get the hang of. I’m already typing at a normal speed with the Contoured, and it’s quite easy on the hands. I paid about the same price ($300) for the Contoured as for the Touchstream last year. There’s actually a cheaper version of the Contoured (about $250) if you don’t mind a PS2 board. The USB version has a lot of programmable macros and such (I haven’t played with these features yet), so it’s probably worth the extra money for a programmer.
All in all, it was a good trip. If you live in the Seattle area and are looking for a place to try out some office ergonomics stuff (keyboards, trays, chairs, mice), think of visiting the Kinesis folks.