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As the market leader in computer ergonomics, Kinesis has been designing and building premium-grade ergonomic keyboards for more than 25 years. The new Advantage2 features our patented Contoured keyboardTM 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 QD is designed specifically for typists who use the alternate Dvorak key layout. It has an onboard Dvorak mode that can be accessed with a simple shortcut and Qwerty-Dvorak dual-legend keycaps for easy reference. The QD model also features Cherry MX Brown low-force, tactile mechanical key switches for the full-size keys, new Cherry ML low-force, tactile mechanical key switches in the Function Row, and the new Kinesis Blue home row keycaps.
Split Key Wells
Split key wells position hands and arms at shoulder width to reduce ulnar deviation.
Tenting elevates the thumbs slightly higher than the pinkies to reduce forearm pronation.
Concave Key Wells
Concave key wells place hands and fingers in a natural, relaxed position to reduce over-extension.
Thumb keypads transfer repetitive key strokes from the weaker pinkies to the stronger thumbs.
Vertical key layout mirrors the natural motion of your fingers to increase speed and comfort.
A smaller footprint reduces painful mouse over-reach. Numeric 10-key embedded in the right key well.
Low-force key switches provide amazing feel and durability. Choose linear Reds or tactile Browns.
Concave key wells
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.
Separate key wells for each hand
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.
Separate thumb keys
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.
20-degrees of tenting
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.
Vertical key layout
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.
Cherry MX (Brown) Low-force, tactile key switches
The Advantage2 Silver (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.
Cherry ML mechanical function keys
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.
Sculpted home row
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:
Windows Mode: Ctrl, Alt, & Windows Key
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.
Macro, macros, macros!
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.
Custom Layouts with 2 layers
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.
View and edit layouts
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 remapsor 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.
Share and backup layouts
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 fromscratch are over.
Embedded numeric 10-key
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.
Adjust macro playback speed
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.
Kinesis Advantage2 QD Black (PC & Mac) Technical Specifications
Advantage2 Black (KB600QD)
Compatible operating systems
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:
Non-Windows PC configuration
(100% Cherry Mechanical)
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
Dimensions & warranty
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
Package contents include:
Quick Start Guide
Self-adhesive palm pads
4 extra keycaps: (2) command, (1) alt/option and (1) Alt key
Kinesis Advantage2 QD Contured Keyboard Features Video
Kinesis Advantage2 QD ergonomic keyboard for PC & Mac
Kinesis Mechanical Keyswitch Comparison
Tactile versus Linear Feel Switch
Cherry MX Low-force (Brown Stem) Tactile Switch
The standard Advantage contoured keyboard 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 your fingers 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.
Cherry MX Low-force (Red Stem) Linear Feel Switch
The Advantage LF (Linear Feel) contoured keyboard utilizes the Cherry MX Red linear switch. It is virtually identical to the brown-stem switch except for the absence of a “tactile peak.” There is a consistent force throughout the full stroke of the key so there is no tactile feedback unless the switch bottoms out. Many gamers and heavy typists prefer the Cherry Red’s due to their “smoother” feel. Since there is no “peak” or tactile force, the total effort required to reach the activation force of 45 gm is slightly less than with the tactile (brown stem) switch. In tens of thousands of keystrokes per hour, those small differences can add up.
1) Cherry ML mechanical function keys
Original Advantage: Mushy rubber function keys.
Advantage2: You asked for it and we delivered. The function key row now features low-force Cherry ML mechanical key switches that offer a satisying, tactile key press plus unmatched reliability and durability.
2) Whopping 2 MB of onboard memory
Original Advantage: 2 KB of onboard memory (Advantage Pro had 4 KB).
Advantage2: The Advantage2 has 2 MB of memory, as in megabytes, which is 1000x more memory than the standard Advantage. Now you have an enormous amount of space to record macros and build custom layouts.
3) Heavy duty macros & increased capacity
Original Advantage: Up to 48 “short” macros (28 characters or less) or 24 “long” macros (58 characters or less)
Advantage2: Each custom layout built with the SmartSet engine can now support 100+ “heavy-duty” macros of more than 200+ characters in each. SmartSet allows you to create even more powerful macros through the direct editing process. Insert delays into macro playback of either 125ms or 500ms, or trigger different actions on the press and release of a given macro trigger.
4) View and edit layouts
Original Advantage: When you remapped a key or recorded a macro you had no easy way to track you changes or perform any updates.
Advantage2: With SmartSet, all layouts are saved and stored as basic .txt files which can be opened with any text editing program on any operating systems. Open the text file and directly edit your remaps or macros. Even insert new actions using many standard USB hex codes.
5) Share and backup layouts
Original Advantage: There was no way to share or backup layouts. You had to keep a separate crib sheet if you ever wanted to rebuild your custom layout.
Advantage2: Each layout is stored as a basic text file making them easy to save, backup or even share with a friend. The days of rebuilding your custom layout from scratch are over.
6) Status Report
Original Advantage: It was easy to forget which layout was active, which thumb key mode you were in and other keyboard settings.
Advantage2: Thanks to the new Status Report feature, you can quickly “print-to-screen” a Status Report showing you basic information about the active layout include the number of key remaps and macros, and your thumb key mode.
7) Adjust macro playback speed
Original Advantage: All macros played back at one speed.
Advantage2: Choose from 9 different macro playback speeds. Set the playback speed globally for all macros or set it individually 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!
8) Hotkey layouts
Original Advantage: Only supported one custom layout.
Advantage2: With the Advantage2, you can now create dozens of custom hotkey layouts for either QWERTY or Dvorak and access them with a simple 2-key combination: Program + the assigned hotkey.
9) Native Dvorak
Original Advantage: When you switched out of Dvorak you lost your settings. When you remapped keys in your Dvorak layout you did so in QWERTY.
Advantage2: Dvorak is no longer a second-class citizen. Dvorak users get all 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.
10) Easy firmware upgrades
Original Advantage: Firmware was not upgradable.
Advantage2: When you invest in an expensive keyboard, you expect it to last. Thanks to the SmartSet engine you can upgrade the firmware when new versions become available. Firmware updates take only seconds and don’t require opening up the keyboard or downloading a scary executable file (.exe) from the internet.
11) Kinesis Blue Home Row
Advantage2 features a more vibrant, modern home row accented in Kinesis Blue.
What is the warranty?
All Kinesis manufactured products come with a two-year limited warranty to the original purchaser.