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Ultimate Hacking Keyboard compromises style for coding comfort

While a diverse catalog of mechanical keyboards has arisen lately for gaming, there’s been a notable shortage of keyboards that reinvent the concept for people who spend more time working than playing. That’s where the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard plans to come in.

The fully programmable mechanical keyboard may look strange due to its split design, but its creator, Ultimate Gadget Laboratories, feels this is a necessary concession for users seeking ergonomics and productivity. Its widespread support on Crowd Supply shows that consumers agree.

Since launching its crowdfunding campaign back in October, the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard has garnered the attention of over 1,300 supporters, and has just recently achieved its $200,000 funding goal.

The keyboard features Cherry MX-style switches with a plethora of customization options. You can get your key switches in one of six different colors, and the keys themselves differ depending on the operating system you intend on using them with. You can get the keycaps printed in Windows, Mac, or Linux flavors, with a blank option for those looking to add their own custom lettering. Depending on your nationality, you can also decide between an ANSI or ISO layout.

What’s clear just from looking at it is that the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard is designed to be ergonomic rather than fashionable. It’s not sleek or modern in its appearance. In fact, the company was quick to compare its keyboard to that of the IBM Thinkpad thanks to the optional Trackpoint add-on, which is included as part of a $50 module pack.

Additionally, the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard bears an LED display, where you can see the status of Caps Lock, and Agent, which is the configuration software that lets you create app-specific keymaps to your liking. There’s even an indicator that says whether adaptive mode, which auto-switches keymaps depending on the application in use, is enabled or not. The three-letter initials of the keymap name are also projected.

All of this and more is made possible by the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard, which UGL says will be available to ship come July 30, 2016. At that time, you’ll be able to pick one up at a $250 price tag. For $50 less, however, you can place your order now by pledging on Crowd Supply. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the early bird sale, you’ll want to act quickly before the crowdfunding campaign comes to a close next Monday.