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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  • mgulick - Friday, March 13, 2020 - link

    Oh yeah, I forgot one major point, which was probably the biggest reason I didn't keep the ErgoDox. I tent the keyboard inward (so it is angled up toward the center). Oh the UHK, the wrist rests are attached to the keyboard, so they move with it. On the ErgoDox EZ, they are separate. I tried all manner of jury-rigging the EZ's wrist rest and it was never comfortable. I did see a few builds of the ErgoDox Infinity which had full wrist rests, but you couldn't "just buy" one. They were always group buys which had ended.
  • mode_13h - Friday, March 13, 2020 - link

    If you're willing to spend this kind of money on a keyboard and are really serious about typing, I think a better option would be to spend a bit more and go with Kinesis' Advantage 2.

    This has too many gimmicks. If it didn't have the whole business with the modifiers and alternate key functions, I think the reviewer's preoccupation with backlighting would be almost silly. However, they kind of painted themselves into a corner, by adding so much complexity that it'd be hard to use its full capabilities *without* being able to clearly see the keycaps.
  • yetanotherhuman - Friday, March 13, 2020 - link

    It's not that unique though, is it?
    When I think of unique, I think of boards that have gone out of their way to be better in some unique manner.. Truly Ergonomic, for example, Kinesis and so on. This is just a small split keyboard with programmable functionality.
  • ender8282 - Friday, March 13, 2020 - link

    In future reviews like it would be great to know what OSs the configuration software supports. I'm pretty unlikely to get a keyboard that I can't configure without buying into e.g. Windows.
  • sygreenblum - Friday, March 13, 2020 - link

    I always wanted a keyboard that lacks all special keys but takes up just as much room as a more useful keyboard.
  • Forexdied - Saturday, March 14, 2020 - link

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  • maximuss2225 - Sunday, March 15, 2020 - link

    I tried these when they first started popping up years ago. Never really got why people like them. It messes with my touch typing.
  • mhb - Monday, March 16, 2020 - link

    Great keyboard. I have one for office and one for home. Sturdy as. Pleasure to type on. Took some learning to get used to. But worth it. The suppliers are good to deal with. Agent software to customize keyboard is pretty functional.

    This review by Brett Terpstra is what got me interested
  • tty4 - Thursday, March 19, 2020 - link

    I pre-ordered one and am really happy with it, I don’t get why so many people are so negative?
    The build-quality is great and the materials are of much higher quality than the HHKB, which is not cheap either.
    If you are not into high-end keyboards, fine, but no reason to specifically pick on this one.
    Maybe Anandtech should have more keyboard reviews, so people learn about it. Maybe a review of the new HHKB would be a nice start. (hint, hint)
  • CorbaTheGeek - Thursday, March 19, 2020 - link

    This keyboard reminds me of my favorite programming keyboard, the GoldTouch Ergonomic Series.
    Not only do they split, like the UHK, but they are "tilt-able" for better typing comfort.
    And the price is more around the $100-$150 range.

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