Freestyle2 Keyboard For Microscopes: Pathspective Review

by | Feb 22, 2018 | Reviews | 2 comments

While doing an away rotation at University of California San Francisco, I noticed Dr. Jeffery North had a unique keyboard that split down the middle and extended to either side of his microscope.  At first glance, it seemed like a really good way to improve ergonomics for data entry while using a microscope. A few years of residency went by and, as I became more familiar with the daily activities of an anatomic pathologist, I realized two different data entry solutions (transcription and voice recognition) seemed to make a good keyboard a thing of the past.  I hardly need a keyboard if I dictate everything, right?

No Transcription? No Voice Recognition? No Problem!

I sure was surprised when I first found out the lab I’m working at doesn’t have transcription or voice recognition!  I would have to type everything out myself.  I freaked out for about 2 hours.  I actually didn’t have anything to worry about, in fact, I soon realized that the work flow was pretty slick once I learned how to use their LIS (InteliPath).  I still had to go back and forth from the microscope to the keyboard a lot which was a bit awkward for.  I remembered that fancy keyboard from a few years ago and decided to give it a try!

Freestyle2 Blue by Kinesis

What I Like About It

  • It’s great for ergonomics! I don’t need to rotate back and forth or reach my hand around the front of the microscope every time I want to type something.  You can buy an attachment that takes ergonomics to the extreme too by holding the keyboard at even more comfortable angles.
  • Weight of the keys is comfortable.  Some keyboards keys are too stiff or too soft.  This one has a good balanced feel.
  • Wireless! I purchased the bluetooth version, which allows me to use it with a standing desk and not worry about long cables.


  • No Enter Key On Right Side: I may be the only one that does this but I prefer the enter key on the right side of a standard keyboard because it’s easy to find with my right thumb without having to look down at the keyboard.
  • No numeric keypad: This quickly became an issue when I answered the phone one day and wanted to type in the accession number of a case.  Since I only had one hand, I had to jump back and forth from each side of the microscope.  A numeric keypad attachment is available for purchase from Kinesis, which I think I’m going to try out in the near future.  The trouble is with the attachment, the keyboard, plus mouse, plus 10-key, all that stuff starts to take up a lot of desk real estate gets pretty wide.

Who Should Buy It?

Anyone who uses a microscope and uses a keyboard for primary data entry.

Who Should Not Buy It?

If you use voice recognition or transcriptionists then you probably won’t find this keyboard useful.

Do you have one?  Are there other solutions out there for using a keyboard and microscope at the same time?  Let me know in the comments!