Buying an under desk keyboard tray system for a computer workstation may seem overwhelming at first, but do not worry my friends because the tips and advice found here will lead you straight on your way to choosing the best product for your specific application. When you start searching for adjustable keyboard trays online you soon realize that the options and styles available are endless. This article will focus on “ergonomic” systems which attach to the underside of your worksurface, not the trays or drawers that sit on top of your desk. While those models are useful to some (and usually much less expensive) you really need a full system that you connect to your existing furniture to enhance your comfort while working on the computer (which increases productivity) and also keeps your shoulders, arms, wrists and hands in a more natural (neutral) position, thereby decreasing the risk of developing serious muscular conditions over time. If you’re the type of person who has a hard time seeing the long-term benefits of a product it is OK, because with the right system you’ll immediately feel less strain and fatigue while typing and using a mouse. So, in essence, a high-quality underdesk keyboard platform pays you now AND pays you later.
Tip #1: Measure the dimensions of your computer keyboard and mouse area so that you know how much space you need on your new tray(s) to work comfortably. This will correlate to what size trays you need to buy. Most systems include one platform to hold your keyboard (whether it be a standard or ergonomic split-key model) which usually measures approximately 19″ wide and 7″ to 9″ deep, and a second connected mousing platform that varies in size and shape (8″ to 10″ diameter circular trays are common). There are also other systems that are simply one large keyboard and mouse platform (one single tray, usually rectangular in shape measuring approx. 27″ wide and 7-9″ deep). Properly determining how much surface area you need before buying will prevent you from ordering the wrong size and having to exchange.
Tip #2: Measure the amount of flat, unobstructed space you have on the under-side of your desk. Keyboard systems are attached to desks via steel mounting tracks that are usually 5″ to 7″ wide. Multiple track lengths are normally an option to accommodate for varying furniture builds. Generally, mounting tracks are available in various lengths between 14″ and 27″, with the general standard being between 21″ and 22″. The reason track length is important is because it affects the position of the system when stowed away (retracted under the desk). For most keyboard trays to fully retract underneath your desk when not in use they require a 21-22″ track. Short tracks are usually available (under 21″) if you don’t happen to have enough clearance with your chosen furniture, and longer tracks (up to 27″) are also sometimes offered if you have the extra space and wish to push your system far under the work-surface when stored.
Comfort Zone - $89.95
Humanscale - $299.00