I mean they couldn't be bothered to throw in even four macOS-specific keys (Command, Option; left and right; Eject; Clear or Help or Power); they do include these keys on Freestyle Pro for Mac. And, ferkrissakes, those macro keys on a stock Edge are HIDEOUS, and those alone demanded replacing so as not to offend respectable humans.
I'm also extremely disappointed they didn't sculpt the Shift and right-Option keys to better tactilely isolate the arrow set. And, yes, it's a lot to ask, but asking Mac users to adapt to the Kinesis way of managing macOS feature keys on the F row after two-plus decades of knowing where the fn media, Expose, Mission Control, etc., keys are, is just another stab at mismatched ugliness; if you choose the Mac layout, you have to move your keys and then the printing doesn't match.
This is before we disagree with each other about the horrifying slick texture of the stock keys, never mind the complete lack of sculpting and row-heights; you may prefer an entire keyboard of R3, but I'm old school, I guess, and like my rows and groups in varied heights for better blind targeting.
So, yeah, I had enough hope that they'd rapidly improve their firmware on this young edition of an already established lineup, and at least include a Mac Eject token; so I ordered a custom $90 Mac-inspired keyset — based on the classic 110 typeface, but optimized for LED backlights — from MaxKeyboards; but of course they don't have an Edge template, so I had to order five more individual custom keys at $7-12 a pop to round it out; and then, because what the hell, right? I ordered their $15 R4 Mac media keys to cover up the aforementioned hideous macro keys; but, that’s not they end of it, because you know you’re going to want to order a few more pricey one-offs once you decide how you’re going to finally configure this new layout to your liking.
I mean, if you're going to commit to learning a new, ultra-compressed layout that is different than the other split ergo you've been using for over twenty years, you may as well go all in, n'est-ce pas?
And you even resign yourself to yet more disappointment when you realize why they printed the stock keycaps in such an ugly, shitty compressed manner on the top center of every keycap, and added white top-print on the lower half of the F keys; the LEDs aren't lensed like other $100 boards that can illuminate the bottom and fronts of your custom keycaps; so you get to live with half-lit keys, wondering if you can mod the board to add an additional LED under the most offensive keys, or if you’re going to go back and redesign your key and give MaxKeyboards even more money.
And, then, oh my, then you *FINALLY* start trying to really program it, and you're driven insane by how long it takes the ludicrously slow V-drive to mount (seriously, is this thing an RS-232 serial connection? My cheapest, oldest, ancient 8MB USB 1.1 thumb drive mounts ten times faster), and then *at least* another 30-60 seconds for the Mac layout app to bounce 100x in the Dock and to actually load (because they couldn't be bothered to create a parallel local editor method that merely syncs the config files) — and, just to make the whole experience truly special, you have to load and unload the V-drive to test any changes on any keys, despite the claim that is only the case for the Macro keys; and that a board refresh will let you test any changed, saved config file with the V-drive mounted. Nope. Just nope.
Then you discover that the Edge starts picking up random settings for keys you didn't even try to program, like an Escape key suddenly producing five up/downstrokes for no apparent reason; or your R key just doesn’t produce an R anymore. Further, you start finding that the Refresh function, even with V-drive dismounted, doesn't really always refresh, so you have to crawl under your desk to unplug/plug the cord first to get it to reset (mostly); or you might even have to hard-reset the board (you did back up your config files, first, right?) So you buy a $30 USB hub with switches and mount it to your keyboard tray so you can either toggle power or perform a hard reset from your chair every time the board borks for no obvious reason, including when you haven’t touched a config file or even switched layouts for days.
Eventually you decide you just cannot stand the multi-minutes round trip cycle to make one tiny adjustment to a macro, so you spend time to build your own syntax editing library so you can just use BBEdit and a triggered shell script to make edits and sync without opening the terrible GUI.
Once you finally have a comfortable editing environment, and keys that you can (begin to) physically fly on without looking at them, you quickly discover that the board isn't as programmable as you were led to believe; it can't even do modifier chording, so you also then quickly realize your fantasy of having a truly portable keyboard for macOS, Windows, and Linux, that will speed up your work on guest machines that you aren't allowed or can't spare the time to add Karabiner and BTT, and equivalent keystroke modifier utilities to and configure those, as well, is just that: a fantasy.
But, hey, on the bright side, Kinesis Support is super quick to answer emails, even on weekends, to offer apologies and lame workarounds for a $200 board that could so easily be great.
Assuming, of course, you are willing to further forgive the cheap, plastic, bigger than a battleship chassis, that, despite its crazy weight, won’t stay put, so now you have to apply friction pads to it, as well; and the extra bulk is just enough to put your other peripherals just that much further away from your hands, requiring even more muscle memory adjustments.
So one is left to wonder if one can get a good price for it on eBay, and whether or not the custom keys can be salvaged on another board, or if that is still more lost investment.
Hence my query above; that layout and slim chassis look like what I want, save for missing F keys. If I could find a pair of single row, eight-ten key macro strips that could be programmed as F/macOS Feature keys, I might learn live with at four-piece keyboard (plus external ten-key).