They gave a very thorough overview of the (many, many) challenges involved with "kickstarting" a hardware product - and how they overcame them (from issues with banks to FFC and CE certification). It's a great source of knowledge for anyone who considers doing the same.
Laci also did an AMA on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/3tkyme/iama_l%C3%A1sz...
 http://keyboard.io (If anyone from keyboard.io is looking, please consider enabling TLS on your main domain.)
Hadn't internalized the lack of an ESC key, so they are probably going into a closet.
I'm really happy with my Kinesis Gaming keyboards. Half a dozen of my cow-orkers have bought them based on just a few minutes of using the one on my desk. They're the best keyboards I've used in the last 20 years, since Microsoft's Natural keyboards started to crater in design and build quality.
You should finally have them in about a week or two.
We're catching up, and will deliver every pre-order in about two months. Thanks for your patience!
They both have apps for mapping keys, but the kinesis app is Windows and Mac only, the UHK app runs on Linux (probably those others too. I wouldn't know).
You can fit the two halves of the UHK together to form a regular non-split keyboard. That is impossible with the Kinesis.
I like them both, but the Kinesis just feels so nice and solid. I made the left-side space bar a function key and that makes the function keys and ESC usable enough for me. I'm an emacs user so I don't use those that much anyway.
Was that a typo? Above you said the Kinesis feels pretty cheap.
But seriously, I really enjoy split keyboards. I've got a trackpad in between (!) the keyboard halves, and I really like that kind of setup.
One can drive GUIs with keyboards to an extent, including the escape key to cancel dialogues and pop-up/drop-down menus. This is true for many full-screen TUIs too, including orthodox file managers for starters.
THEN I Use someone eLSEs keyboarD AND...
1) This is a 60% keyboard - an accepted standard.(https://www.keyboardco.com/blog/index.php/2017/08/full-size-...) If you want arrows, F keys, - get a 75%, TKL, or fullsize board.
2) No ESC key? This board is fully programmable. You can make ALL keys to be ESC at the same time! Settings are saved ON THE board , so even if you go anywhere else, you can still use your ESC key.
3) This board is actually shipping. It’s not a Kickstarter “we will make it someday, maybe” thing. Guys did a great job keeping every backer updated on current status in their monthly blog. Read it here, it’s amazing: https://ultimatehackingkeyboard.com/blog
In my opinion, keyboard for hackers should have more keys than regular ones, not fewer. I like what the people at TrulyErgonomic did here, namely put a lot of keys in reach of your thumb and index. If only their support wasn't abysmally bad…
I've so far only used my UHK for "regular text" usage, i.e. writing text, CLI, browsing and some light wasd + trackball gaming...
I've also activated an option for the left Mod key so that pressed alone it gives me a space character but together with other keys it works as Mod.'
I have the brown switches which I find satisfyingly clicky enough and at the same time easy to press.
* arrow keys
are very comfortable with holding my left thumb on Mod down and then using the right fingers for jkl and i (I was a bit skeptical at first but even the left thumb on Mod + left pinky on Ctrl to jump words etc. is working well for my fingers).
In some instances I've also used the right thumb on the frame switch ( Mod; which I find not as comfortable to press as the regular Mod/Space keys but works well enough) plus jkli for one-handed operation.
Also, if you need to do a lot of arrow-work at once you can toggle the Mod key held by double-tapping it (same for the mouse and fn keys).
For applications / games where you use the arrow keys and other keys at the same time a lot and where input speed is critical I would look into creating a custom mapping though, if possible. It's very easy to duplicate an existing layout and modify it with the UHK Agent (and also to switch between layouts. Later on a feature to automatically switch layouts depending on foreground application is planned, IIRC).
left-handed Mod+q has become almost second nature after a few "training" sessions with vim :) and if you don't want the burden to hit the q key exactly, Mod+` (key in the upper left corner) works as well in the standard mapping.
I barely had the need to use them since I switched to the UHK.
I can imagine that it might be an issue in e.g. certain games where you would want to use F1-F12, 1-12 and Ctrl+1-12 and Ctrl+F1-F12 at the same time and quickly.
For the occasional F2 or F4 in htop it is more of a mental hassle (for me) to figure out if the description is supposed to be left or right of the F* label than pressing Mod+number, especially since the F* are printed on the vertical sides of the caps.
Besides, if there was an extra row of keys above the numbers I wouldn't be able to reach them with my fingers anyway without lifting my hands from the (excellent! wooden) palm rest.
* thumbs vs. weak fingers
there are extra switches on the frame right "below" the split mod/space key which you can use or reconfigure the same as any other key (if you don't want to have secondary actions like I have set up with the left Mod key). One of the addons (Key Cluster Module) will also bring extra keys into the split.
Granted, SysRq makes you think a while before you get it right the first time :)
One of the biggest advantages yet for me has been the ability to put my trackball where the numpad used to be and thus have it in an even more comfortable position for my right arm and shoulder. I'm looking forward to the addons though to see if they will obsolete the need for any extra pointing device.
That brings me to my biggest hurdle so far: I've yet to create a numpad-layout to more quickly enter lots of numbers and that will definitely feel just weird on a staggered key layout compared to a regular numpad (after half a decade of very frequent and regular usage). If all attempts to retrain my fingers on that would fail there are still those USB-numpads availble though for the now more occasional number-after-number sessions and it's an expense and inconvenience I am willing to potentially endure for the satisfaction the UHK gives me so far in all other typing and ergonomic aspects.
PS: all and any typing and other errors are mine and not the UHK's ;)
I'm not a mechanical keyboard guy. I much prefer something like the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic ... but it always made me sad that that style of keyboard didn't have more competition.
The enthusiast keyboard scene seems to be mostly mechanical and I kinda want something that feels more "in-between" what I think of as a heavy mechanical and lighter laptop thing...
Not all mechanical keyboard switches have the same feel. The advantage uses cherry brown, which is quiet and requires relatively low force.
There is another advantage to the cherry browns (or mechanical keyboards in general)... they last a LOT longer. I've had my main work Kinesis for 4 years. The key strokes feel the same today as the day I got it. I would burn through an MS natural 4000 at a rate of 1/year; the spacebar & alt/ctrl keys would become too sticky after.
I feel that my UHK keys require less force than the Natural.
My Natural has a bit more prominent click points (which require more bundled force at a certain point) but an overall "stickier/mushy" feeling (to be fair, I hadn't cleaned it a lot :)).
My UHK keys feel more springy and one might not particularly notice the click point but I still get good tactile and auditory feedback.
It took me about 2 days to get comfortable with the new keys. Overall the UHK feels smoother and less strenuous.
I hope you can make some sense out of the above, otherwise please feel free to ask for clarification :)
Some TRON heritage lives on in the Esrille NISSE and the Keyboardio Model 01, although they don't feature Topre switches.
Unfortunately I was not happy with it at all. For some reason I ended up getting hand fatigue. It's probably a combination of usually typing with my wrists on my desk and a habit of bottoming out, and switch type. But I ended up boxing the keyboard back up.
1) Switches can make a huge difference and there are WAY more choices than often implied. Seems almost everyone references 3 types but there are more. I go for a non-clicking, extremely short trigger threshold style because I have typed on laptop keyboards for 20+ years and the light touch is what I know. Specifically, I'm using Cherry RGB Speed Silver.
2) Get a wrist rest. You probably never needed one before but if you have a mechanical with a normal depth of case, it makes a huge difference if you can't adapt easily.
And don't compromise on your layout. If you don't like ergo don't get one. If you NEED certain keys, get them. There are tons of choices out there, many more than you see listed on popular sites or stores. Sometimes you have to partly build them. It's not very hard. There are plenty of kits that don't even require soldering.
In the end I'm running a GK64, with the aforementioned switches, and I've never been happier with a keyboard.
I want an ergonomical keyboard with quiet action. Ideally it would combine the feel of the old Thinkpad keyboards with the ergonomic layout of an ErgoDox keyboard.
I personally like Matias Quiet Click switches for a good feeling, quiet switch. But the keys and keyboards from Matias have a deserved reputation for being finicky.
I have a Matias Ergo Pro - which I otherwise like - but once in a while keys on the left half will chatter until the board is unplugged. https://matias.ca/ergopro/pc/
Also, to add "chickletness", there are XDA and G20 keycap profiles, which are, AFAIK, especially popular to put on "ergonomic" splitted boards.
Cherry MX Brown switches are normally recommended for very light activation pressure and "super-fluid motion". That is an option available.
You can order parts for yourself, make it yourself, and everything. It is opensource hardware, built around the "teensy" opensource controller. But it ends up cheaper just to buy the keyboard unless you want to build something custom.
While it sports up to 32 custom layers, it does lack a dedicated hardware module for a mouse. It is completely programmable.
I only mention it because I love mine.
IMHO Dampened Cherry Red switches configuration is almost as good as Topre if not better.
The ability to program it has been the killer feature for me, I have a layout that works absolutely perfectly for me! f.e. dual function keys! I have ' set as dual function key so if I hold it is Shift, if I just tap it is ', in place of usual Caps Lock location I also have Shift, having moved both Cmd/Win keys to usual Shift location. Home row Shift has improved the typing comfort so much! I also remapped function keys and made many other tweaks.
Also have alt/ctrl mapped with dual key feature to z/ctrl x/alt and ./alt //ctrl, this way all modifier keys are clustered together and easily accessible. I don't think I can ever go back! the mind did get used to switching between the two layouts though, so thankfully I can still use the laptop keyboard on the go :)
For anybody interested you can have a look at their configurator https://configure.ergodox-ez.com/keyboard_layouts/new
I wanted to use dual function keys, but as soon as there is one such key on the keyboard, I feel a delay for all the key presses. It is ok for the dual function key (the firmware needs to wait to decide a tap or hold), but not for all the other keys. So I avoid using this in my layouts.
Maybe this has changed recently? I have not tweaked my layout for about 6 months.
I tried one, but I believe that's the Bluetooth-only version that never quite seemed to work right on MacOS. Pity MS didn't make a wired version.
Back to UHK. The build quality is amazing, and allows me to rebind many of the shortcuts so they work in HW instead of the OS, allowing me to use my favorites on any computer.
If you’re looking for a starter, map your UHK Fn + hjkl to arrows (see Vim), b to home “beginning”, n to end, d to page down, and u to page up. After a week you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Bonus points if you map another to “delete word” by Option+BS or Ctrl+BS depending on your poison.
I would love to hear more about the specific key chords you use and your overall setup! Do you have a blog somewhere?
If you find it interesting and end up poking around to try it, feel free to ask questions and I'll eventually get it updated to my latest.
That said, after learning to touch type, I found some layout decisions surprisingly intuitive.
Most notably, it turned out that having arrow keys on my home row is a great idea. Only after I got used to that did I realize how annoying it is to leave the home row on a normal keyboard.
Still not sold on escape and fn keys. I believe that it would've been better if had an extra row for those, but I might learn to appreciate that too in the future.
Those are the original vi cursor movement keys, so when you're in command mode you can move around without leaving the home row (and I suspect it was originally used on systems without arrow keys...). Tried and true for multiple decades. :)
Edit: Actually, it's not the same as vi cursor movement keys, since it uses i for up, instead of having them all on the home row. I didn't notice that originally, but anamexis comment reminded me. :/
This is correct! The vi editor was originally created on a ADM-3A terminal which had the arrow keys on HJKL.
Chrome changed something a couple months ago and now some of these do the wrong thing so you have to use Safari.
No gimmicks, just compact with the right keys and 3 hardware programmable layers so you don't have to mess with OS specific settings if you don't want to.
I'm an Emacs user, coming from Vim. I think as tons of other. I do not want Vim-in-Emacs (evil-mode) but I do want single-keys commands and modifier+single key commands, no multiple big combinations.
Having function keys only combined with shift, fn etc means that the designer NEVER really use function keys. Missing hyper modifier (that I admit make sense only for Emacs users, but it's support is still there in any GNU/Linux distros, "easy for dummy" included) is another BAD move. Mini-trackball are not IMVHO a good move. In the past we have many trackball/trackstick like solutions, they ALL fail. The sole, lone, survivors are Logitech style, thumb trackballs, and spaceballs (essentially a "hand centered" trackball) only for 3D design.
For now, for me least bad "high-end" keyboard still in production is the freestyle edge. I'd like an ancient keyboard for I do not remember witch vendor with full row of functions keys + a second row of shift+function keys.
I love to have notmuch open with a single key, notmuch-mua-new-mail with a single key or at maximum S-$notmuchSingleKey, a single key for eshell, a single key for a featured terminal emulator, a single key for a browser, single keys for windows manipulation/buffer killing or switching etc. Split, tilting etc are nice layout but I need 150%-200% keyboards, possibly with backlit and custom-printed caps. In the past I love Sun keyboards (type 6 and 7 for most), now I'm struggle to find good o possibly better alternatives.
I do not look for "fast typing", I'm not a machine paid to write fast, but keyboard that enable me to use a real keyboard-based UI with comfort. Software "solution" (like hydra, evil etc) are not good enough.
On remapping: why the hell anyone try to offer application for that. What's wrong with a dirty-cheap flash storage on-board and a text files or few text files and dir in witch you can flash a new fw, remap with simple text config etc?
That's why I say no actual keyboard OEM really use keyboards...
Man, I would love a text-based config! (Especially since one could then put it under version control.) These GUI tools suck.
At least for the VCS part:
The config is saved in ~/.config/uhk-agent in a json file (don't know if the file name there changes though) and there are Export and Import options in the UHK Agent available.
The source for UHK Agent is available at https://github.com/UltimateHackingKeyboard/agent so at some point someone could make some CLI utility to load a pure text config...
That said, the UHK Agent is available as an AppImage and it works astonishingly well for me, even on a non-mainstream Distro (Void Linux).
I simply criticize the resulting product since it does not fit IMVHO any IT professional use case, it may fit well writer's use case, from journalist to bloggers etc, but not people who really want a keyboard-driven comfort UI and so a good keyboard to interact.
Also for me offer things like AppImage, Docker, Snaps, Flatpack is a MINUS, not a plus. As said before a (small) flash memory, easily accessible as USB storage, easily usable with a simple hardware switch/key combination that trigger "apply actual config" or "use previous and reset" is FAR simpler, far less error prone, far comfortable, far easier, far effective and even safe due to a very reduced attack surface. Today we have the REALLY bad habit to follow big-corporation made trend, but those trend are instrumental and useful for them, not for us.
A stupid, on-the-fly example: a simple flesh memory exported ad USB storage, Fat32. A directory named fw_update with a README inside "put new fw in my pwd, hit this key combination and new fw is applied. If id does not work previous one will be restored and here you'll find logs to debug". Another dir named docs with plain text or pdf documentation, a subdir ex_configs and a top level dir. configs in which we simply type with a small DSL our config.
Eventually on their website a webui to do the very same things with a GUI, eventually a local app to do the same, but as wrapper to this barebone, simple interface. Cross platform by it's nature and friendly to any "professional" user and also didactic for dummies. The local apps can be a simple static binary for most common OS (GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Windows, OSX at least), a VERY simple one, with a super-simple web-ui served by a super-simple http server, can be easily done with few SLoC in python or go for instance.
Also I see they offer additional keycaps, very good. But they are the same of the built-in one. You sell a keyboard of this kind without a vast selection of all-the-icons style keycaps and optional custom printed for extra fee? Of course, nearly all vendor do the very same. And it's really a shame IMO, it's clearly depict they do not know their customers or they are not really "keyboards OEMs".
No optional backlit version? If there are cheaper Chinese keyboards for around 10 euros with it and no on a high end devices? Even as paid extra option?
For a high end device an optional secondary USB cable to the computer and a couple of USB (perhaps USB3) port on the keyboard?
For a high end device aiming at IT pro, not gamers, an optional extension with a card reader pcsc compatible?
The world is complex, trying to satisfy anyone it's hard, one size does not fit all, so from a keyboard OEM, not a cheap one, I expect a sort of "modular platform" that can be tuned both for IT pro, gamers and even hard-core typist outside IT world. There are plenty of "high end" keyboard that are substantially the same, trying to being different for the sole reason of business competition not technical reasons.
Many sane assumptions made by qmk wouldn't apply to UHK which is possibly more complicated than a keyboard should be. Keyboard layouts in qmk are hard-coded in firmware and replaced by building a new firmware. That is a reasonable approach for 8-bit AVR MCU supported by qmk, not so much for UHK which has an order of magnitude more resources.
Maintaining all of that in single codebase might be more difficult to maintain for both UHK and qmk developers than doing it separately. Ifdefs all over the code would be a mess (there is not much room for abstractions using 2K of RAM). Testing if the functionality added by UHK developers doesn't break anything on 10-50 keyboards supported by qmk would also be a significant burden.
I’ve seen them in the place of the tab key but never on the home row.
Personally, as a long time Vi user, I think you’re better off mapping the caps key to Ctrl and using C-[ for escape. That leaves you with many more Vim insert mode commands within easy reach.
C-r <buffer> — to put a buffer
C-h — backspace
C-i — tab
C-m — CR
C-xC-f — complete filename
h,j,k & l are really only the simplest od vi navigation keys. Once you know how to, say, jump to 3rd paragraph or to jump or to the middle of the screen you won’t use them anywhere near as much.
Much as I love vi navigation owning a Pok3r keyboard has shown me how annoying it is to not have dedicated cursor keys for GUI applications.
You’re better off using ctrl-[ which is exactly the same as escape in functionality.
(ctrl is useful enough in vim to merit that binding, even if you are a full time vimmer)
Only drawback is you get so used to it you start typing it all the time in editors that don't support vim.jk
All those functions are present, they are accessed by holding down the mouse, mod, or fn keys. That way you don't have to move your hands ever.
Warning: jwz doesn’t care much for HN, so you will be referred to a NSFW image if you follow the above link. I recommend copying & pasting the URL :-)
Franky, the UHK has received extremely positive reviews with the exception of Jamie's.
Or use the opportunity to disable the referer header. In Firefox, it's network.http.sendRefererHeader in about:config.
In case anyone else wondered like me, change to 0 to stop completely, or to 1 to still work on click (no images)
>I'm going to say that again to let it sink in. There is no Esc key. You type Esc by holding Mod and typing tilde.
He is so committed to the glyph painted on the keycap that he made it a major part of his review. That is a wild thing to witness.
All that said, I do think some of these problems should be solved with time. For example, offering long key-caps to span the mod/space and fn switches. Offering a more cushioned hand rest would be nice if it's easy, but I would much rather let them focus on developing core functionality.
On the topic of accessories, I just found this: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/wiki/numpads
Modular is always better.
What I also enjoy is that I can place the halves on both sides of my laptop, with my MacBook in the middle. A very comfortable typing setup.
BTW: Jamie Zawinski writes "I don't know about you, but the frequency with which I change my keymap is: exactly once ever. So I don't really need this thing glowing at me. You can turn the light off, but even when unlit it's still ugly as sin. It begs for a piece of electrical tape over it. Also, I'm baffled that they chose to devote so much physical space to such a useless indicator."
I guess I'm different: I switch keymaps all the time. And this is a killer feature of the UHK: easy management of keymaps, fast switching (using shortcuts which I can define!) and a visible indicator of which keymap is currently active. But then this is a keyboard for hackers, who I'd venture to guess routinely use several computers, right? :)
Aside from that I like the look, the split, especially the trackpoint, then I get to the show stopper. Two micros switches instead of real switches for space and mode so going to be used an awful lot. I once had a keyboard with a few of those on rarely used switches, and despite being expensive it got donated long before the warranty was up. Seems like spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar.
Yes, and usually they all come with their own keyboards. I don't think many are rich and crazy enough to spoil 300-400 Euro per keyboard just to have the same at work, home and for the random access on the go. Not to forgotten that you need to sync the settings for all of them when you change something.
So for me it's a $99 CM Masterkeys Pro M at work, a saved-from-the-trash IBM Model M at home, and a brilliant machine washable Logitech K310 in the garage.
This brought me back to the old days where the sysadmins had a physical knob that would switch their keyboard+CRT between the several different boxen in their office. Thanks for the memory.
I have had a Mistel MD650L for the last 6 weeks, and I didn't notice that it had the same issue as this one -- you need to press a mod key to switch between esc and `~. I use both enough that this is a major PITA. I remapped the "del" key to `~ for a while, but then I started to have to hunt around for that key on my laptop.
We plan to design further UHKs of different form factors. I don't get however why you don't consider the current model compact.
Are you referring to this?
> This is not a portable device.
The way I read it, drewg123 wasn't saying that this particular keyboard is not compact compared to other keyboards. Rather, a keyboard in general doesn't need to be particularly portable, so why attempt to shave an extra inch off by eliminating useful keys?
Had way less of a learning curve than my ergodox.
The big difference to the keyboard you linked, the Ergodox is an ortholinear keyboard. It is to be expected that that comes with a learning curve if you've only typed on a staggered keyboard. I personally think ortholinear is worth the learning curve.
> archaic design, which we fixed
It was fixed a long time ago, by other people.
Maltron keyboard designs have had this since the 1980s. Lillian Malt criticized "[t]he uneven stretches caused by the diagonal slope of the rows of keys on qwerty" in 1977. PCD Maltron's first demo keyboard from 1976 eliminated that slope.
That wasn't a novel criticism even then.
The only misdesign I can think of is that the DEL key should be bigger. (The ESC key is huge and hard to miss, which is fantastic).
Still, It's a wonderful keyboard.
Although I'm intrigued by the integrated pointer options, I don't think I'll make the switch due to the pricetag and 60% form factor.
Maybe VEA is better but good luck finding the first revision and second one is nowhere in sight
BTW, it really exists https://www.ipv6buddy.com/ (but does not have +, - and other traditional numpad keys).
Healthier wrist positions should take precedence?
If you're doing numerical data entry the keypad is a star. If you're doing programming/writing, stick to the number row.
But even if we ignore that omission the lack of F keys is a complete deal breaker. There's a reason I won't touch the new Macbook Pros with Touchbar, this is worse than that.
Its purpose is to give everyone what they need, but without needing them to have a bajillion different physical interfaces on their desk/s.
You want F-keys, someone else wants a numpad, another wants Logitech's G-keys, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
The UHK says enough. You can do it all on one set of buttons.
It may not be your style, but saying it's lacking F-keys is disingenuous.
Absolutely. I will never buy a keyboard with an attached numpad because it splays my mousing hand way out to the right in an very awkward manner. That is one of the reasons I bought the UHK.
One of the really cool features of the UHK I was surprised to discover after I received it is that it can control your mouse cursor and right/left/middle buttons by using the Mod keys and h/j/k/l keys. Yes, I'm sure you can download some utility that enables this on any keyboard but it's nice to have it built into the firmware.
It also seems they flat out ignored the single most beneficial feature for a keyboard on hand ergonomics: having your hands rest at a negative slope. The UHK seems to have this feature.
I'd buy a keyboard from keyboard.io with a less radically different layout. I don't think I could reprogram the existing one to the point where I could retain my current typing speed.
I'll never stop being amazed by how conservative these designs are.
I think I've learned to touch type on a mechanical Olivetti typewriter, the hand stance was different and it required a lot, and I mean it a lot of force applied to the keys to print a character, anyway I probably used to touch type on staggered keyboards for more than 10 years, the transition to columnar keyboards was painless and I'm not going back.
The only two problematic keys are probably Y and B where you can learn to reach both with the same hand (I think my instructor left us freedom and I probably used the right index for both).
I switched 2~3 years ago to Colemak, I thought Dvorak moved too much keys around, and I have the impression that I'm slower than when I was on Qwerty and I still confuse the R with the S (I need to think to press the key instead of simply thinking the word, that is more than a decade of muscle memory) so you have a sample of one that is a weak argument. ^__^;
I know that would be straying from a long-lived standard, but if we’re going to split the middle, why not also go ahead and angle the keys on the left half to the right?
Also a flat keyboard isn't “extremely ergonomic,” because human fingers rotate on joints instead of being extendable and retractable. The keys should form a bowl for each hand, like on Maltron and Kinesis Advantage.
I haven't delved into the software at all - i need to.
I am just happy to have a split keyboard. I've waited yeeaaars for two-halves.
It feels like a very solid product. I like the purposeful click as the two halves join together.
It did take a couple of years, but I was in no hurry. I await my addon-modules.
Oh, and I also got a Das 5Q about the same time. Looks pretty but a very different mechanical feel than the UHK, which I just love.
I have nothing but good things to say about this thing at this point. A joy to type on, with both arms wherever-the-hell i want them.
I'd say it's what makes this keyboard very different from other splits, since all the rest (remappable keys, layers, etc.) are commonly found in keyboards that lack the function row or arrow keys anyways. If it weren't for the ability to carry it easily I would have definitely looked at the competition for other split keyboards.
This. I was actually pretty hyped about the UHK, but seeing the delivery schedule, opted for an ergodox. After a week or two I really started noticing how annoying that shift between the key rows is on a normal keyboard.
The key tactility isn't where I want with the TypeMatrix, but the low profile (as well as good labeling for non a-z keys) design seems to be most comfortable.
(The used market might be a reasonable stand-in for rental, too, once enough of these keyboards get into circulation.)
At the moment I use dvorak and there are some applications that simply refuse to listen to the OS configurations. Especially remote desktop on windows and anything that isn't rdesktop on linux (which like to read direct keycodes an use the guest OS' configuration I guess?).
Having the keyboard handle this in-hardware means the computer can never make these mistakes, it'll just think it's a qwerty. Also in going to other people's desks at work, I can just carry this tiny KB with me instead of switching my brain over back to qwerty on their KBs.
On top of dvorak though, I though to myself "why only move the alpha keys in the name of ergonomics?", so I've also really mangled my non-alpha keys using .Xmodmap and autohotkey for my windows machines.
As ridiculous as it looks this is an amazing setup. Having shift pressed by the thumbs is incredibly easy, especially contrasting it to using the pinkies. Moving backspace and other command keys to the centre was also a really liberating change, I never have do move my hands.
Like dvorak though, using software to implement this is problematic. Autohotkey/windows for instance likes to lock my shift key in occasionally when I use my moved alt key, requiring a logout :/ Having these issues dealt with via a hardware solution is going to be extremely satisfying.
All I came across where huge keyboards, or ones paneled of wood, or some bowl ones and ones where the keys were orthogonal (although I use dvorak and have a trackball, I wasn't ready to completely jump in the deep end and get one of those flight-control looking beasts). The 'programability' was usually in-software like with Logitech's LGS, but it seems if I found this in my search it's what I would've gone with.
Going forward I guess I can be satisfied by the more solid design of the UHK (7segment LED for layout display instead of some lights, a replaceable and much longer cable between the two halves, magnetic rejoining of the halves for transport, and the addition of modules whenever they finish designing those).
Looks like it's not as revolutionary as I thought, but I'm still pretty chuffed with how much of an improvement it seems to be in the evolution of these keyboards. I haven't got mine yet, but I doubt my opinion will sway as I'm yet to read a bad thing about them (that would affect me like 'where are my f-keys' or 'I hate staggered rows') for the people who have received theirs.
I use emacs, vim, visual studio code and intellij with vim plugins on non native vim and the esc / ctrl modifier is great. It's a 1000 times better than the normal ctrl.
One thing that I appreciate the most about the UHK is @mondalaci's drive to make this a brilliant product. From the newsletters to responding almost instantly to any query someone might and even helping me out with my config.
I was starting to get very sore wrists after typing a lot and now, during one of the most intense coding years of my life, no sore wrists!
The UHK is part of my kit now and sure, there are a couple of things to get used to and some things I would have liked to change in beginning but have gotten used to. I really dislike typing without it now
I just figured Bjarne Stroustrup is using it.
(Even a photo of RMS using it in the thread.)
There's also a black version.
(HHKB lite is a complete different thing which I will never buy.)
My first thought is that if they were two wireless pieces, then timing of the receiver could be an issue and it could see key strokes in the wrong order(?)
I guess power is also a thing. Perhaps it would require two usb sticks a receivers?
I've been keeping an eye on these discussions for some time and seeing some that are so close to my vision of a perfect design, the wire in between the two pieces limits one of my use cases.
Noticed mention in the thread about "Let's Split" - a quick search shows some pics that appear to show some without a wire between them, so maybe it's an easily solved issue, or could be trick photography hiding the in between wiring(?)
Glad to see more and more people working on better keyboard layouts!
I doubt that it'd be possible to offer a wireless UHK under $300 if we insisted to our current features and quality standards. The market is limited, it's a huge R&D effort for a small company, and a large company couldn't care less for a niche product like this.
Have you considered adding it to the FAQ? I feel this is a thing many are curious about.
curious about your use case. Would 3 meters of cable help?
I've been wanting to have half a keyboard just below each of my pockets. Maybe with some kind of thigh-holster kind of thing.
So two wireless halves would work, but have a longer cable would also make this possible. I plan to be sitting / lounging when using, not walking, so could be possible.
I think that would be the most comfortable position for typing for me, and keep it fast and for long periods. Hoping to combine with a zero G chair from relax the back store kind of thing and monitors on swing arms up above a bit.
Now to think more seriously about the size, this could work.
The main thing that I notice when I try out split keyboards is that the middle keys on the keyboard are forced to "choose a side". My typing style admits some degree of alternation; I may use my left hand to hit the 'h', especially when my right hand is doing punctuation work on the side of the keyboard.
So my question is why aren't these keys simply replicated. Just have t/y,g/h,v/b/n on both sides of the divide so that you don't have to make a choice; just like the spacebar is replicated.
See, the thing about Repetitive Stress Injury, at least in my experience, is it just starts hurting one day out of the blue, and at that point you are screwed because you can't just "take a break" from using a keyboard/mouse. Every day you just worsen it and freak out wondering if your career is going to be over because it hurts so much to do your job. In my case throwing away corny rainbow-led gaming keyboards/mice and getting a split keyboard & vertical mouse saved my life. But I wish I had never got to that point!
- you need as modifier for esc.
- control is shoved in the corner.
- return is too small
- no easy arrows
I'm sure I could get used to other issues like needing a modifier for function keys, but those three are a real deal breaker.
If you are going to do a hackers keyboard, make it so you don't need shift for the parens, brackets, or other commonly used symbols when coding or at a shell prompt.
(My emacs setup makes heavy use of function keys including modifiers with them so that might actually be a deal breaker too. Having to be a world class pianist to compile doesn't sound like a step up.)
Edit: i hate hn formatting so very much
As someone used to ANSI boards who doesn't use the arrow keys routinely (since I use a LOT of vim binding), it's generally pretty spiffy.
The central feature of the UHK is how extremely easy it is to reprogram, you can put any key anywhere, with 4 layers to work with (normal, fn, mod, and mouse) and borrowings from qmk like different behavior on a key when is tapped vs held, one-shot-mods, and tapdancing.
Tap dancing is when a button does different things for how many times you press it in a row. For example, one of my keyboards has the button to the left of the pinky finger (the one usually labeled "caps lock") with this schema:
double tap: escape
double tap-hold: super
- The lack of an escape key was initially a real pain point, but with agent it was easy to change the backtick key to escape
- The feel of the keys are incredible, but I am coming from a cheap dell keyboard so I don't have a solid basis for comparison
- Mapping mod + hjkl to the arrow keys has been incredibly efficient
- The mouse mode in the keyboard is unusable in its present state, but hopefully the extra modules solve this
Overall I'd give it a solid 9/10, presuming that you remap the keys to fit your individual workflow
A problem I have with all other split layout keyboards is that they place the B key on the left side of the keyboard. However, I type the letter B with my right index finger, not my left. I know this is "incorrect", but it is firmly ingrained in my muscle memory and while I've tried changing it in the past, I've had little success.
I got very excited when I saw the "key cluster" module, since if it were available for the right side, it would allow me to just place my own B key next to N where I want it.
Is this planned? I would buy this in a heartbeat if so.
I also always typed shift with my left pinkie, no matter what the next character was, even A. I also would ALWAYS look when doing numeric keys, and sometimes other combinations. I ended up with blank keycaps, and broke that habit.
You can do it!
It's so close to perfect. Typing feels amazing, it has a really pleasing 'thunk' if you bottom out, the CTRL key is in the correct position, it's almost symmetrical and everything's within reach. When used with a suitable wrist rest I can type for hours on end without complaint.
Worth every penny.
Additionally, I've seen "pimped" versions of the HHKB and it's honestly ridiculous. Why take something beautiful and minimalist and have weird-shaped keys?
I understand it's a must for some people though, it's a good thing that there's plenty of choice these days.
Currently I am using the Microsoft Sculpt keyboard, and I am mostly happy with it, except that the escape/function key row is only half sizes. If it were full sized, I probably would be compeltely happy with it.
I would be willing to shell out serious money for my dream keyboard, but so far the offerings are few and scarce.
Having a separate mouse next to a programmers keyboard sort of defeats the purpose, because it makes you move your hand constantly. But a pointer device is often the most ergonomic option if one of your tools is a browser.
How do people feel about the effect of ortholinearity on ergonomics?
There are a few others (like the GK64 and the Ergodox EZ) that also feature it!
There is allegedly a reason about it...
I was mad when the projected date was missed, but as time went on, I strangely got less mad until I just threw up my hands and said "It'll be here when it's ready." I'm glad they didn't cut any obvious corners trying to get this out to meet angry customers mad about the ship date.
To get to the point: Even as an Emacs user I am missing the arrow keys and Insert and Home. Tenkeyless is better.
So for me the above keyboard wouldn't be the ultimate hacking keyboard.
Typematrix 2030 + Dvorak layout == high accuracy stealth flying experience.
My fingers fly on a Typematrix 2030. Give it a try, you are going to love it!
I’ve a UHK arriving soon, stoked to try it out. It’s been a lot of years and a lot of keyboards (goldtouch split was probably my fav), will the uhk win me over? Time will tell :)
That said - beautiful keyboard.