Spending the whole day on a regular keyboard can cause repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) and lead to long term aches and pains. Ergonomic keyboards try to fix this problem by having more natural shapes.
Computer and gaming gear has seen drastic changes in the last few years, but keyboards have generally kept the same shape and functions. Regular keyboards are all about straight lines that go against peoples’ natural posture. They force you to bend your wrists at an unnatural angle and make you sit with your shoulders hunched instead of having your chest out.
Ergonomic keyboards attempt to correct the flaws of standard keyboards. Some are curved, and others are split so that you keep your hands at a natural resting place that’s lined up with your shoulders. The goal of all ergonomic keyboards is to make your body as comfortable as possible and to reduce the risk of injury while you type.
Most of us are so used to conventional keyboards that ergonomic keyboards can seem outlandishly designed and uncomfortable. However, ergonomic keyboards are a great option for those who want to try something new and invest in their health.
Here are the best ergonomic keyboards for gaming.
The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split is a high-end keyboard with outstanding functionality. Buyers get to choose between Cherry MX Red, Blue, or Brown mechanical switches. Nine dedicated macro keys can be programmed to various game functions. This keyboard also has per-key RGB lighting, and it can be easily configured in up to nine profiles using the Kinesis SmartSet App.
The Kinesis Freestyle Edge comes with a split design with two halves connected by a braided cable. This design is meant to keep your arms in a more natural position at your sides instead of in front of you. You can also add an optional lift kit that fits under both sections and elevates them to a tent-shape. Another comfort feature is the massive wrist rest with soft padding. It will probably take you a while to adjust to this keyboard, but it’s a worthy endeavor. Gamers can use the WASD cluster side and store the keyboard’s right side to free up some desk space.
The Cloud Nine C989M is another split keyboard with impressive features. Like the Kinesis Freestyle Edge, the C989M comes in Cherry MX Red, Blue, and Brown variants. There’s also per-key RGB lighting, ten programmable macro keys, and three onboard memory profiles. When you’re playing games like Apex Legends or DOTA 2, you can configure different keys to light up.
Because of the split shape, this keyboard is bulky, and users will want to make sure they have enough desk space for this board and their mouse. The massive volume knob on the center of the keyboard looks out of place and gimmicky. The C989M has a similar tenting feature to the Kinesis that becomes more comfortable after a few days of use.
The Adesso Tru-Form is a more familiar ergonomic keyboard that’s easier to get the hang of using. Compared to the other keyboards we’ve mentioned, this board comes in a traditional single-piece form with the keys placed ergonomically. The Tru-Form features a curved shape with the main keys set in a V-shape to align with your wrists’ natural shape. The arrow keys and number pad are located further down the curve and are easy to reach.
Another terrific feature is the large wrist pad, which is comfortable but contributes to the keyboard’s bulky size. There is no per-key RGB lighting, but you can choose between red, green, and blue backlighting. The membrane keys may turn some people off, but that’s the trade-off with a budget keyboard. The Adesso Tru-Form has great value and is an easy way into the world of ergonomic keyboards.
The Mistel Barocco MD770 is another split keyboard with mechanical switches. It doesn’t have a number pad or large wrist pad, so it’s compact size is perfect for smaller desks. Like the Kinesis, users can choose between several different switch options. Gamers might prefer the responsive Cherry MX Red or Silent Red switches, while typists might prefer the tactile Blue variants.
This keyboard also has doubleshot keycaps and RGB lighting. The lighting isn’t per-key like some of the other keyboards we’ve mentioned, but you can configure presets like a breathing effect.
If you want a hassle-free transition to an ergonomic keyboard, the Logitech Ergo K860 is a great option. The keys have a conventional layout, but they are split in the middle with a slight curve. There’s also slight tenting toward the center of the keyboard, so you don’t have to twist your wrists to press the keys. One of the standout features is the massive, padded wrist rest. It provides excellent cushioning and support for your wrists during marathon gaming sessions.
The Ergo K860 uses Logitech’s Unifying dongle, so you can use it for other devices like a wireless mouse without taking up another USB port. You can also use the Options software to configure shortcuts and add functions for certain apps. Aside from its large size and lack of backlighting, the Ergo K860 is practical and comfortable for everyday use.
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