The UHK Agent Software

Most new keyboard releases suffer when it comes to software – it often is too simplistic, or buggy, or both. This is definitely not the case for the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard, as the company has clearly spent a lot of time and resources on the delivery of an excellent software suite.

At first sight, the UHK Agent software appears to be very simple. There is a single toolbar to the left that lists all device, layout, macro, and software settings. The device settings are the most simple of all, allowing the user to manipulate mouse settings (only mouse-related functions while using the UHK, it does not affect the actual mouse), and tweak the brightness of the LEDs. We should once again mention that the keyboard has no backlighting and tweaking the brightness of the LEDs only affects the three-character screen at the top left side of the board.

By default, the UHK has six different profiles programmed into it (QWERTY, COLEMAK, and DVORAK for Windows and Mac). Users can easily generate and save new profiles, the number of which is limited only by the (sizable) memory of the keyboard. Each profile has four layers and every key and button of the keyboard can be reprogrammed, allowing absolute programming flexibility. The software even allows for each key to have both a primary and a secondary role per layout, changing its function depending on whether it is being pressed alone or in combination with another key. Although this function probably is far too complex for regular users, experts could work wonders with it.

The Macro programmer of the UHK Agent software is relatively simple but quite powerful. Macros can be programmed to include anything from simple keystrokes to mouse movements, with the software allowing full manipulation of any delays as well. Note that mouse movements currently are limited to relative movements and not absolute coordinates. There is a workaround for that, i.e. experts can set the sensor to jump at an edge of a screen and work their way with relative movements from there, but including absolute movements directly into the software is always a good thing.

  

The only downside with the Agent software is that, for the time being, it does not seem possible for users to manipulate what is being displayed by the three-character LCD on the keyboard. As such, the LCD only indicates which layout is active (QWR for QWERTY, COL for COLEMAK, etc.).

Introduction & Keyboard Layout Per-Key Quality Testing & Hands-On
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  • EmbeddedShire - Thursday, March 12, 2020 - link

    > unbiased user
    "I'm obviously biased", never pretended to be.

    I read the website daily but don't usually comment. Create the randomcommenter account back when I wanted to comment on one article I was interested in but for some reason the posts wouldn't get published in the comments section. Thought the name was too throw-away and got caught by some bot-filter or something so I made this other one.

    Logged in today after ages with my usual email address, posted my first comment - didn't see it go to the 2 second page and remember the previous pain, so I got into this other one. I rarely post stuff online.
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, March 12, 2020 - link

    In that case, please accept my apology for calling you out. I'm naturally suspicious of comments these days so it is easy to get caught up in those sorts of assumptions and then overreact. Reply
  • EmbeddedShire - Thursday, March 12, 2020 - link

    cheers :)
    with the internet brimming with bots and fake accounts, it's normal
    Reply
  • Droekath - Thursday, March 12, 2020 - link

    "The only real issue with the UHK is its unreasonably high price tag. It is currently retailing at $275 plus shipping, and this is without any of its accessories. The palm rest alone costs an additional $75"

    I'm surprised that no one at Anandtech is a r/mk. There's bound to be a few there typing away on their own unique creations. $300 is rather average for a custom-built keyboard. Some of the most expensive go for well over a thousand. Although I will admit that it's a niche hobby.
    Reply
  • p1esk - Sunday, March 15, 2020 - link

    Yes, when I read "exorbitant price" I thought it would be closer to $999. I have Logitech G915 laying around somewhere, which I bought for $250. I have zero problem paying more than that for a great keyboard, even though I'm typing this on a $60 low profile Havit keyboard (chosen as the best out of five different low profile keyboards I tried). Reply
  • Small Bison - Thursday, March 12, 2020 - link

    What's so "unique" about this keyboard to justify the $100 price premium over a Kinesis split keyboard with Cherry switches? Reply
  • Hxx - Thursday, March 12, 2020 - link

    So no rgb I take and no volume rocker ? Lol darn it Reply
  • mgulick - Thursday, March 12, 2020 - link

    I went from using an array of MS Natural keyboards for ~20 years to an ErgoDox EZ to the UHK. I didn't last long on the ErgoDox. Too much customization, and I could never remember the key layout. To be honest, I really like the printed keycaps on the UHK. It made learning to use it much faster. I've customized it a fair bit now, but most of the keycaps can be moved around, so the labels are still mostly correct. Its solid, reliable, and comfortable. The mod key and mouse keys are surprisingly useful. No wrist pain so far after a year and a half on it. It was honestly exactly what I was looking for. If you're used to a traditional split ergonomic keyboard but want the added comfort of mechanical switches, you can't go wrong with the UHK. Reply
  • 1_rick - Thursday, March 12, 2020 - link

    "I didn't last long on the ErgoDox. Too much customization, and I could never remember the key layout. "

    You can get keycaps with labels on the ErgoDox.

    I've got one on order, myself--the Infinity, not the EZ--and a set of keycaps with lettering on most of them. I haven't had a chance to use it yet--I ordered it as a group by from Kono and it's taking forever, and now with COVID-19 I'm looking at at least a couple of extra months.
    Reply
  • mgulick - Friday, March 13, 2020 - link

    I had the ErgoDox with the keycaps, but it was all the other keys that I struggled with, e.g. pgup, pgdown, home, end, insert. Even the lack of printed symbols above the numbers were frustrating, which despite using qwerty keyboards for 25+ years, I still occasionally need to look down for. The UHK not only has a full set of standard keycaps, but many of the special 'mod' mappings are printed on the side of the keycap facing you. There's a lot of attention to detail which I appreciate.

    That said, if I could get an ErgoDox with full printed keycaps, I'd be tempted to try it. I'm also tempted to try the Kinesis Advantage, but the UHK is adequately meeting all my needs right now. Also looking forward to the extra key cluster and trackpoint modules shipping soon.
    Reply

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