Kinesis has been designing and building premium-grade ergonomic keyboards for more than 25 years. The new Advantage2 features our patented Contoured keyboard design and low-force mechanical key switches to address the major risk factors associated with keyboarding for maximum comfort. With the all-new SmartSetTM Programming Engine, Advantage2 features powerful programming tools designed to let you customize the keyboard to boost your productivity.
The Advantage2 features low-force Cherry MX Brown tactile mechanical key swtiches, the rubber function keys (found on the original Advantage) have been replaced with Cherry ML low-force, tactile mechanical key swtiches, and our signature home row keys are in the new Kinesis Blue.
The key wells are scooped into a concave shape to reduce hand and finger extension. Hands rest in a natural, relaxed position, with the fingers curled down to the keys. Keycap heights are varied to match the different lengths of your fingers. The result is less muscle tension and a shorter reach for keys which increases efficiency and reduces fatigue.
Separating the key wells positions the arms at shoulder-width to keep wrists straight and perpendicular to the home row. Typing with straight wrists is essential in avoiding injuries because it reduces abduction and ulnar deviation which can lead to pain and injury.
The thumb keypad includes often used keys such as Enter, Space, Backspace, Delete and the combination keys, Control and Alt on the PC (Command and Option on the Macintosh). This redistributes the workload away from your relatively weaker and overused little fingers to stronger thumbs as well eliminating extension for these more distant keys.
The two key wells are “tented” at an optimal 20 degree angle moderately raising the thumb side of the hand Tenting puts you in a more neutral, “handshake” posture and reduces the stresses caused by forearm pronation and static muscle tension.
The keys are arranged in vertical columns (“orthogonally”) to better reflect the natural motion of your fingers. The staggered keys found on conventional keyboards are just an artifact of the original typewriter design and only serve to slow you down. Vertical keys reduce awkward extension and travel, and they also increase speed, accuracy, and overall comfort.
The integrated palm supports reduce stressful bending of the wrists (extension) and provide a convenient place to rest your hands when you are not actively typing. Self-adhesive, cushioned palm pads (included) can be attached for maximum comfort.
The Advantage2 (KB600 model) utilizes the Cherry MX low-force tactile switch (brown stem). It is a semi-custom low force tactile design created in 1992 to Kinesis’ specifications. “Tactility” is a slightly elevated force around the midpoint of the stroke of the key which lets you know the switch is about to be activated. A tactile response is preferred by many ergonomists, because it cues yourfingers that activation is about to occur and is thought to reduce the likelihood or incidence or “bottoming out” the switch with a hard impact. The peak (tactile) force is ~55gm, following by an activation force of ~45 gm.
Long-time Advantage users will rejoice to learn that we’ve replaced the mushy, rubber function keys with high-performance Cherry ML switches that offer the same low-force and tactile properties of the MX Brown.
The Advantage2 may look big, but it actually has a smaller footprint than a traditional keyboard and even many “ergonomic” keyboards because we eliminated the numeric 10-key. A smaller footprint lets you place the mouse closer to your body, reducing painful “over-reach”. To satisfy number crunchers, we embedded a traditional 10-key in the right key well. We also offer a standalone low-force mechanical keypad which allows you to position it where you want it and move it out of the way when not in use.
We understand that learning a new keyboard can be difficult. That’s why we designed custom “cupped” keycaps for the home row to keep you anchored while typing. And just in case you need a little extra help, we made them in our iconic Kinesis blue for quick visual reference.
To encourage proper typing form, the Advantage2 features an optional electronic “click” that sounds right when a key press is registered. The click trains you not to “bottom-out” on each key press which reduces unnecessary impacts to your fingers. The click sound can be deactivated with the touch of a button.
The fully programmable Advantage2 features Kinesis’s all-new SmartSet Programming Engine that allows you to customize the keyboard’s layout without installing any clunky software or special drivers, or accessing the internet. Record macros, remap keys, and much, much more. SmartSet works on all major operating systems and enables users to easily create, view, edit, share, and backup their custom layouts.
The Advantage2 is designed to work with all major operating systems. Just tap a function key to instantly convert thumb keys for:
Mac Mode: control, alt option, & command (keycaps included)
PC Mode: Ctrl & Alt (keycaps included)
The Advantage2 is fully-programmable meaning that you can remap or copy a key to virtually any location on the keyboard. Escape key too far away… move it to tilde. Need a conventional arrow cluster… build it. Even add keys that aren’t on the Advantage2 using most standard Hex codes. The Advantage2 layout adjusts to you.
Macros are great for eliminating awkward key combinations or repetitive key strokes. The Advantage2 lets you record up to 100 heavy-duty macros (200+ characters) on-the-fly and save them to the keyboard’s onboard memory. You can even pull up the configuration file to view and edit your macros directly.
Build and save dozens of custom layouts in either QWERTY or Dvorak. Each layout also has a 2nd embedded layer which can be remapped independently from the top layer, and accessed with a tap of the Keypad key or via an optional foot pedal.
Switch to the standard Dvorak layout with the touch of a button and create custom Dvorak layouts with remaps and macros that are saved to the keyboard. Switch between QWERTY and Dvorak without losing any settings. All Advantage2 models come with an available Dvorak layout but Dvorak users will want to purchase the Advantage2 QD (black only) for the dual-legended QWERTY/Dvorak keycaps.
Attention current Advantage Dvorak users: You now get all of the same functionality as QWERTY users, and each custom Dvorak layout is saved to the keyboard so it’s easy to move back-and-forth or share your keyboard. And when you’re remapping in Dvorak, you no longer have to translate from QWERTY.
With SmartSet, all your custom layouts are saved and stored as basic .txt files directly to the keyboard. These files can be opened with any text editing program, on any operating systems. Edit your remaps or macros from the text file or insert new actions using the keyboard HID codes. You can also run a quick Status Report to confirm current keyboard settings.
Since each layout on the Advantage2 is stored as a basic text file (typically less than 1KB), they are super easy to save, backup or even share with a friend. The days of rebuilding your custom layout from scratch are over.
A traditional numeric 10-key is located in the embedded keypad layer of the right key well. The 10-key legends are located on the front of the keycaps for your convenience. Use the Keypad key to toggle the embedded layer on and off, or press -and-hold an use an optional Advantage foot pedal to temporarily access it.
When you invest in an expensive keyboard, you expect it to last. Thanks to the SmartSet engine, its easy to upgrade the firmware when new versions become available. And it doesn’t require opening up the keyboard or downloading a scary executable file (.exe) from the internet.
Choose from 9 different macro playback speeds. Set the playback speed globally for all macros or set it for a specific macro to optimize performance. Slow playback down to 4.2 characters per second (“CPS”), or speed it up to a blazing fast 250 CPS- equivalent to typing 3,000 words per minute!
Macros are powerful productivity tools but accidentally triggering an unintended macro is frustrating and can have devastating consequences. That’s why we created an easy keyboard shortcut to temporarily disable all your macros. Macros aren’t deleted, just toggled off.
Volume controls are conveniently located the embedded layer of the function row but can be remapped anywhere on the keyboard. Additional media keys like Play/Pause, Forward and Back can be assigned anywhere through direct programming.
Advantage2 uses generic HID (human interface device) drivers provided by the operating system. It can be operated and programmed without any special drivers in most environments supporting USB devices, including the following operating systems with an available USB port:
Windows 7, Windows 8 & Windows 10
Mac OS 8.6 and higher (Not compatible with non-US layouts)
2 MB onboard (non-volatile) memory.
Supports 100+ macros (200 characters in length)
Unlimited key remapping
Create dozens of custom native QWERTY and Dvorak layouts
Thumb key modes (Windows, Mac and PC)
The Advantage2 is shipped from the factory configured for Windows. Users can instantly change the configuration to a Mac or Non-Windows PC layout. Please click on the appropriate link below to the view the three configurations:
Switch type: Cherry MX brown, tactile mechanical
Peak force: 55 grams
Activation force: 45 grams
Travel distance: 4.1 mm
Switch type: Cherry ML, tactile mechanical
Peak force: 50 grams
Activation force: 45 grams
Travel distance: 3 mm
Width: 16.50 inches
Depth (front-to-back): 8 inches
Max height: 2.875 inches
Distance between F & J Keys: 9 inches
Weight: 2.20 lbs
Shipping weight: 4 lbs
USB cable length: 6 feet 3 inches; 6 feet 1 inch from back edge of keyboard
Warranty: 3 year limited
Quick Start Guide
Self-adhesive palm pads
4 extra keycaps: (2) command, (1) alt/option and (1) Alt key
SKU: KB600 - Black
SKU: KB605 - Silver
SKU: KB600LF - Low Force Black
SKU: KB600QD - QWERTY/Dvork
SKU: KB620-GR - Graphite