It’s tough to make an ergonomic keyboard feel approachable. The curved design and the angled keys with a split down the middle can take a little time to get used to, and that is time most people don’t want to give up. Kensington’s latest ergonomic board, the Pro Fit Ergo Wireless, can’t eliminate that hesitation, but it seeks to ease it by making it as affordable as possible—it’s only $49.99. In some ways, the Pro Fit Ergo goes toe to toe with more expensive ergonomic keyboards like Logitech’s Ergo K860. In others, including basic build quality, it simply can’t keep up. The Pro Fit Ergo is a solid way to dip your toe in and experiment with a curved ergonomic keyboard without breaking the bank, but it lacks the comfortable typing feel of its more costly competitors.
Available in black or gray, the Kensington Pro Fit Ergo Wireless is a competent keyboard elevated by a solid ergonomic design. The full-size keyboard has a curved chassis, with the primary keyboard layout split in half, separated by a triangular gap. The design is made to reduce the stress of typing on your body. Splitting the keys and tilting them away from center reduces your need to pinch your shoulder blades to push your arms directly in front of you to type. The curved body also eases the need to twist your wrists so your hands line up with flat keys.
The curve of the Pro Fit Ergo feels relatively soft versus other ergonomic keyboards we’ve used. At 1.25 by 18.2 by 7.8 inches, it’s taller than your average productivity keyboard, but not by much. On the one hand, that makes it relatively easy to find your fingering on a curved surface, which always takes a little time. On the other, the ergonomic benefits of the design don’t reach their full potential. At times, you may still turn your wrists very close to flat to reach a far key. It’s definitely an improvement over a standard keyboard, but other ergo models go further to mitigate stress injuries.
That said, the Kensington nails the details. There are a lot of little things that go into making this style of ergo keyboard work well, and the Pro Fit Ergo Wireless has them. The keys near the center of the board that border the split are all different sizes, which keeps the sides even and makes it easier to keep track of the layout. The feet are under the near side of the keyboard, rather than the far side, creating a reverse tilt where the keyboard meets your wrists.
Of course, that feature wouldn’t be helpful if the keyboard didn’t sport a built-in wrist rest. Padded and covered in leatherette, the rest is very comfortable over long typing sessions—though, just so you know, it can get a little sticky when you and/or your typing area heat up.
While its ergonomics are well considered, the Pro Fit Ergo falters on some of the fundamentals. Its membrane keys have decent travel but feel squishy when you press them fully, which is never what you want. Also, the plastic panels that make up the top and bottom of the case creak a little when you put weight on the keyboard or push down on it. While I’m not afraid of the plastic cracking during everyday use, I’m unsure of how it would hold up through a move or a situation where it may get tossed around.
The keyboard’s wireless capabilities generally work pretty well. It supports both Bluetooth and a 2.4GHz radio frequency connection via a USB dongle, both of which generated a stable connection and added a negligible amount of input lag—most of the time. In one instance, the 2.4GHz connection repeatedly lost key inputs over the course of a couple of hours. While frustrating, the issue only occurred once and never returned, so the issue may have been related to my system or otherwise a fluke.
The Pro Fit Ergo Wireless requires a pair of AAA batteries to run. I’m not a fan of disposable batteries because of the waste and the potential to lose power if you don’t have replacements on hand. But, like any good wireless keyboard, the Kensington gets very good battery life. According to the company, a single pair of batteries will last for up to two years using a 2.4GHz connection, and for up to 30 months using Bluetooth. That’s a long time, even among keyboards with similar batteries. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t need to replace the batteries after a week of testing, even though I left the power on overnight.
Soft Curve, Soft Support
With a less than stellar typing feel and no real distinctive features apart from its comfy wrist rest, the primary reason to consider the Pro Fit Ergo Wireless is its price point. At $49.99 (there’s also a wired model for just $39.99), it’s an incredibly affordable way to get access to specialized ergonomic support. That said, there are better options out there. If you’re a Windows user, the newest Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard offers similar support and some useful extra features for just a bit more at $59.99.
More important, if you’re already experiencing pain in your wrists, arms, shoulders, or back when you type, I would urge you to spend significantly more on an ergonomic keyboard that provides more substantial support. Ideally, that means a two-piece keyboard like the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. If you don’t want to take that leap, the $129.99 Logitech Ergo K860 is a more feature-rich and, in my experience, more supportive unibody option.
Kensington Pro Fit Ergo Wireless Keyboard Specs
|Number of Keys||108|
|Interface||Bluetooth, RF Wireless|
|Key Switch Type||Membrane|
|Media Controls||Shared With Other Keys|
|Dedicated Shortcut Keys||No|
|Onboard Profile Storage||No|
|N-Key Rollover Support||No|