Best Keyboard Trays 2018
What is a Keyboard Tray?
A keyboard tray is a unit you install beneath your desktop to allow your keyboard and mouse to be positioned and adjusted independently from your desk surface.
Why use one?
A keyboard tray it a great compliment to both standing and sitting desks. Installing a keyboard tray can dramatically improve your work or home office ergonomics. Keyboard trays offer the ability to separate your keyboard from the confines of your desktop both in height and tilt. This benefit enables you to raise your desk and monitors to the right position for viewing while still not compromising your typing position or posture.
- Adjustability - keyboard trays need to have a range of adjustability both in height and angle. We created our list with the expectation that almost anyone should be able to adjust the tray without limitation. This comes into play especially if you are someone that is either tall or short of having a long or short torso as your typing position relative to your desk and monitors will be different.
- Size - Many, if not all keyboard trays are designed to enable the use of a full keyboard with number pad, however, this may compromise the space of your mouse. Depending on how much space you need for mouse movement you may want to pay attention to the width of the tray.
- Stability - This is a key factor in purchasing a keyboard tray. While typing on a desktop placed keyboard will always offer the most stability, we judged each tray on its stability, especially it’s lateral(side to side) stability. As you type and use the mouse you’re applying pressure to different areas of the tray and it can become frustrating if the tray wobbles, gives under normal use or feels flimsy.
- Mouse surface area - Some keyboard trays have very slick surfaces making the use of a mouse without a mousepad not possible.
- Quality and Design - We look at the design and quality of construction in every product we review. A keyboard tray is going to get extensive use and be very visible. You’ll want to buy one that will hold up long term and look good.
- Value for Money - There is a spectrum of keyboard tray prices and the value for money will differ from tray to tray. We’ll point out which option we think is the best value for money.
Best All Around Keyboard Tray: Vivo
The Vivo Keyboard Tray (model: MOUNT-KB01) is our best value choice in ergonomic focused keyboard trays and it is among the best options regardless of price around. Vivo has taken a proven design and refined it in many ways. It’s sturdy construction, large mounting bracket, well-designed hinges and moving parts, and smart keyboard surface seriously impressed us. Many other keyboard trays, at this price point and above, suffer from poor designs, bulky hinges, and worse, wobbling (lateral and vertical).
In addition to design and quality, the Vivo is excellent in ergonomics and range of adjustability. Due to the large height, tilt and swivel ranges we think anyone would be able to find their ideal posture relative to their desk. Like many other keyboard tray designs, it also features a sliding action which allows it to be slid out of view when desired.Vivo Tray on Amazon
Best Standing Desk Keyboard Tray: Uncaged Ergonomics
The Uncaged Ergonomics (model: KT1-b) has taken the traditional keyboard tray design and added an excellent feature: a mouse surface that can be adjusted independently from the keyboard. This is especially important to those of us using standing desks. If you’re standing you’re more likely to want a downward tilt on your keyboard. Many keyboard trays offer a significant downward tilting adjustability but it may be frustrating to have your mouse surface at the same angle, constantly sliding forward. The uncaged ergonomics design is great since you can independently adjust them. Keep in mind, this tray does have a bulky hinge. If you’re tall or have long legs you’re likely to hit your knees when sitting. Obviously, there is no issue if you’re standing.Uncaged Ergonomics Tray on Amazon
Best High-End Keyboard Tray – 3M with Easy Adjust
3M offers a range of options with their most popular keyboard tray but we’re talking about the tray that features the Adjustable Platform and Easy Adjust options. This tray features everything you’re looking for in a quality keyboard tray. At just over $200, or double the price of others on this list, it needs to be good, and it is.
Like the Uncaged Ergonomics Tray, the 3M tray features an independently adjustable mouse surface which will make it great for standing and sitting alike. This mouse surface can also be moved to the left side for left-handed users. What is unique about the 3M tray is its horizontal adjustment. With this adjustment, you can move the keyboard and mouse platform side to side independently. This can aid in finding the ideal keyboard and mouse position, especially for broad shouldered or individuals that may want their mouse surface a few inches away from the keyboard tray.
Finding the right keyboard height and tilt position is a breeze on the 3M with optional Easy Adjust. There are tilt and height indicators that can help you easily return to prior settings without trial and error. This feature is great for standing desks as you’re likely to make adjustments to the keyboard between sitting and standing.
In terms of quality and design, the 3M tray is top-notch. The frame and hinges carry a lifetime warranty and the 23” mounting surface will ensure an extremely rigid installation. The overall fit and finish is excellent, which is what we’ve come to expect from a variety of 3M office products.3M Tray on Amazon
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