Review: Keyboard UHK2


Great keyboard, but maybe not for everybody.


  • great hardware
  • ergonomic split design
  • very easy re-programmable from any os (win/mac/linux)
  • looks great


  • very expensive
  • relearn some keys

I’ll describe cool default features and some workarounds.

keyboard image


As a software developer, I have always found the numpad on keyboards useless. In addition, the numpad makes it harder to reach the mouse. Welcome to the world of Ten-Key-Less (TKL) keyboards! Once you start researching TKL keyboards, you will stumble upon the term “ergonomic keyboards” and “split keyboards”. Most ergonomic split keyboards are custom-made DIY projects. And are expensive.

Only few companies provide ready-to-use keyboards in this market segment.

I picked the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard V2 (UHK) because I didn’t want to relearn every key. And I didn’t want to Do-It-Myself.

Also the “reprogramming software” works on Windows/Linux/Mac, and is very easy to use. The software works flawlessly with X11 and Wayland. It’s called agent. The configuration is stored as a plain text JSON file.

This review by Nazmul was also very influential on my decision: Mechanical Keyboard Review - UHK V1…


So, I bought the keyboard at

From ordering, until having it on my desk: more than 12 months passed. But this was clear from the get-go, so it’s ok.

The manufacturing process is very clearly communicated: I received a monthly mail with my OrderId shown in the pipeline.

Cool default features

Others have written detailed reviews about this keyboard. I just want to highlight some features which stood out to me.

There is a new key: Mod

It’s located at the left thumb position (used to be where I pressed spacebar).

Here are my favorite features:

Browser features

Simple, easy to use:

  • previous tab: Mod+w (same as Ctrl+Shift+Tab)
  • next tab: Mod+r (same as Ctrl+Tab)
  • close tab: Mod+c (same as Ctrl+w)
  • new tab: Mod+e (same as Ctrl+t)

Alt Tab

Alternative to Alt+Tab: Mod+d. Often used, easier to type.

Relearning - less keys

Missing keys are accessed by different modifier keys (similar to shift, alt, control). The UHK introduces a new Mod key.


Even if your not a VIM user: Esq is the key to abort most stuff and closing popups in just about any application (not just within a browser).

Default: Mod+q

Really convenient!

Space on right thumb

Took me a couple of weeks, but is fine.

No numpad

Obviously this was the easiest, since I never used these keys.

Missing F-Keys

Also not a problem. The Mod-Key plus number is easy to learn and easy to use. I mostly use these keys in the IDE/browser for debugging (debug, step-into, step-out). Also no problem with Shift modifier (i.e. Shift-F11).

Missing pgUp/pgDown

I don’t need these keys often: No problem. (Mapped to Mod+y/Mod+h by default)

Missing print

I don’t need this key often: No problem. (Mapped to Mod+[ by default)

Missing arrow keys and ins/del/home/end

Not having arrow keys and ins/del/home/end is my main painpoint.

Having to press a modifier key to use these keys is ok when only navigating the cursor.

It becomes a pain when trying to Shift+Alt+Ctrl select.

I’ll explain my workaround below.

My customizations

I try to keep customizations to a minimum, because I work with different keyboards.

Mouse (Caps-Lock)

Caps-Lock is the most useless key on a keyboard when used as CAPS-LOCK (IMHO). And it is easy to reach (aka ergonomic). It should always be remapped to something useful.

By default, UHK maps the Caps-Lock key as a Mouse Modifier.

Being able to control the mouse using the keyboard is a nice feature. But, I don’t need it.

I duplicated the Super key (aka Windows-Key) to the Mouse key. And moved the Mouse function to the right Shift key, because I have never used that key.

Having the Caps-Lock aka Mouse key behave like the Super key is great when working with a tiling window manager like i3wm or swaywm.

Side note: You can configure different profiles for the keyboard layout: “Gnome”, “Windows”, “Dvorak”, “Sway”. And easily switch between them.

Swap Fn and Alt

I need the Alt key frequently. Not so the Fn key.

Swapping the keys made the Alt key easier to reach by the left thumb. I also swapped the physical keys, which thankfully, have the same size.

Arrow keys 1/2

Since I never use the bottom right modifier keys on any keyboard, I remapped them to the arrow keys.

  • Right-Fn -> left
  • Right-Alt -> down
  • Right-Super -> up
  • Right-Ctrl -> right

This way I can use muscle memory when using Ctrl+Shift+arrow left/down/up/right

The default arrow navigation from UHK is still in place.

Arrow keys 2/2

Another workaround for using the arrow keys: Double tap the Mod key to activate the mod-layer: This way I don’t have to keep the mod-key pressed during Ctrl+Shift+arrow left/down/up/right.

Once Double-Tap for the Mod-Key is activated, it is also indicated on the keyboard, which is nice!

Surprisingly, this is easier to use than the previous solution.


I am 100% satisfied with this keyboard!

The defaults are great, and the leftover painpoints are easy to fix.

If you have the chance: go for it!

And if you have any tipps for me: I’m all ears!

You can find my configs described in this post at:

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