Ergonomic Office Tips & Information | Blog
Humanscale Keyboard Trays: Deciphering the Choices
With most desks, you have two choices as far as keyboard placement goes. You can either place the keyboard on the desktop and reach up all day long to type, or you can go with the fixed-height pull-out tray that is rarely at the correct height. The obvious solution is to upgrade to a keyboard tray, and Humanscale keyboard trays are so customizable that you're almost certain to find a configuration that will work with your desk, whether you are sitting only, or going from sitting to standing at your adjustable height desk.
Choosing the correct keyboard tray for your specific needs can seem like a daunting task at first glance, though. With nine mechanisms, seven track lengths, ten trays and various other accessories, it can he hard to even know where to start. To make the process easier, this post will allow you to compare the various options at a glance.
There are ten different Humanscale keyboard platforms from which you can choose. The one that you choose will depend on whether you want an integrated or separate mousing surface, and the size and shape of your desk. The mousing platform is an option on all trays except the 400, 500, and 550 models, which are wide enough to hold a keyboard and mouse. (The larger work surface on these would force users to reach too far outside their neutral reach zone if a mouse platform was attached to the edge.)
Keyboard Platform Choices:
- 900: The Humanscale 900 tray is a rectangular tray with dimensions 19" W x 10.625" D. This is our most popular Humanscale keyboard tray.
- 950: The Humanscale 950 tray is a rectangular tray with dimensions 19" W x 8.4" D. The 950 is the same width as the 900, but the 900 is about two inches deeper.
- 500: The Humanscale 500 Big Board is a rectangular tray with dimensions 27" W x 10.625" D. This is the second widest Humanscale tray that we offer.
- 550: The Humanscale 550 Big Compact Platform is a rectangular tray with dimensions 25" W x 10.625" D. This is the third widest Humanscale tray that we offer.
- 100: The Humanscale 100 Platform is a curved tray with dimensions 20.5" W x 10.48" D. Because of the curved front, it is 13.24" D at the deepest point. This design supports natural or wave ergonomic keyboards.
- 300: The Humanscale 300 Platform is a curved tray with dimensions 20.75" W x 9.5" D. The 300 board will not fit many of the new Microsoft contoured keyboards; please measure carefully. We recommend the Humanscale 100 Combo Keyboard Tray instead.
- 400: The Humanscale 400 Big Diagonal Platform is a diagonal tray with dimensions 27.5" W x 11.5" D. This is the widest Humanscale tray that we carry. (Because the 400, 500, and 550 platforms are wide enough to hold a keyboard and a mouse, there are no mousing platform options on these systems.)
- 600: The Humanscale 600 Extender Platform is a rectangular tray that has an extended edge at the back, with dimensions 19" W x 14.75" D. This tray fits neatly into a 90-degree or sharply radiused corner, and is the deepest tray that we offer.
- 700: The Humanscale 700 Diagonal Corner Platform is a rectangular tray that has slightly angled back corners, with dimensions 19" W x 12.625" D. This board offers diagonal-cut edges on the back corners to better fit corner desks or workstations with small keyboard tray cutouts.
- 800: The Humanscale 800 Radiused Platform is a rectangular tray that has a curved back edge, with dimensions 19" W x 12.625" D. The radiused edge on this tray allows it to better fit corner desks or workstations with small keyboard tray cutouts.
The mechanism controls the sliding movement, height adjustment and tilt angle of the keyboard platform. It's the piece that the keyboard tray platform is attached to, and there are nine different mechanism choices. All of the mechanisms offer 360 degrees of swivel adjustment, and all except the KM have 0-15 degrees of tilt adjustment.
- 6G: The 6G has a height adjustment range of 7": 1.5" above the track to 5.5" below the track. It comes standard with a 22" track. This is the newest, slimmest and most popular arm available.
- KM: The KM has a height adjustment range of 6.25": 1.25" above the track to 5" below the track. It features a preset 0 degree tilt and is the only one that does not have a 0-15 degree tilt adjustment range.
- 2G: The 2G has a height adjustment range of 6.25": 1.25" above the track to 5" below the track. It has a knob that you use to adjust the keyboard tilt angle, but does not have the angle reference that the 5G and 6G arms have.
- 4G: The 4G has a height adjustment range of 6.25": 1.25" above the track to 5" below the track. It is the older version of the 5G mechanism, and is fairly similar, in that it has the dial-a-tilt feature.
- 4GAD: The 4GAD has a height adjustment range of 11.5": 8.5" above the track to 3" below the track. It comes with a longer arm that will allow the keyboard to be raised above the work surface. This mechanism helps you create sit-to-stand workstation because of its greater range of height adjustment. A full height-adjustable desk is a better option, though, because it will allow you to work at the exact height you need, with your accessories in the correct ergonomic position.
- 5G: The 5G has a height adjustment range of 6": 1.25" above the track to 5" below the track. It has the dial-a-tilt feature, which makes it easy to adjust the tilt of the keyboard platform without having to lock or loosen any knobs or levers.
- 5GSM: The 5GSM has a height adjustment range of 4": 0.5" above the track to 3.5" below the track. It goes 4 inches further beneath the desk, allowing you to store a keyboard tray with a shorter track. This is great if you have a limited amount of space under your desk to mount a track, but still want your keyboard tray to fully retract beneath the desk.
- 5GAD: The 5GAD has a height adjustment range of 13.5": 7.5" above the track to 6" below the track. It is the mechanism with the greatest range of height adjustment, making it another option for sit-to-stand workstations if you don't have room for a full desk or desktop converter.
The lateral slider is an optional feature that will allow you to slide the keyboard tray to the left or right for a total of eight inches of extra adjustability.
Each mechanism has a default track length, but you will need to check the available space beneath your desk to see what track size will work for you. Keep in mind that a shorter track than the one that comes standard with the tray may not allow the keyboard tray to fully retract underneath your desk. Each mechanism is compatible with all of the track sizes. Most keyboard trays will need at least a 22" track in order to completely slide under the desk.
The mousing platform is an option on all of the trays except the 400, 500 and 550. There are three different choices - the clip mouse platform, the swivel mouse platform, and the M2 mouse platform - all of which are available in different sizes, and in right hand, left hand, or dual platform configurations.
Clip Mouse platform:
The clip mouse platform is the only mouse platform that allows the user total adjustment control in all dimensions- height, depth, forward/back and tilt, allowing it to be adjusted precisely the way you need it. It also easily snaps onto either side of the tray for left or right-handed use, and it's available in two sizes and different height ranges. The high clip has an extra one inch height for additional adjustment and usability and is the most popular accessory we sell.
- 90: 8.5" diameter
- 90H: 8.5" diameter high
- 91: 10" diameter
- 91H: 10" diameter high
- 90H90H: 8.5" diameter high - Dual platforms for left and right
- 91H91H: 10" diameter high - Dual platforms for left and right
Swivel Mouse Platform:
The swivel mouse mounts underneath either the left or right front corner of the platform. It swivels out from underneath the keyboard platform easily and tucks out of the way when not in use. This mouse platform is available in right, left and dual configurations. The main difference between the clip mouse and swivel mouse is the adjustability. The swivel platform stays on the same tilt or angle as the keyboard tray; the clip mouse angle can be adjusted independently.
- 11R: 8" swivel right
- 11L: 8" swivel left
- 11D: 8" swivel dual
- 12D: 10" swivel dual
- 12R: 10" swivel right
- 12L: 10" swivel left
M2 Mouse Platform:
The M2 offers all the advantages of the swivel mouse, but it is slightly larger and offers a uniquely shaped platform. This lets you bring the mousing surface closer to your body for a lower-risk mousing position.
- 81R: M2 right
- 81L: M2 left
- 81D: M2 dual
The palm rests are the final piece of your keyboard tray system. They are offered in foam and gel, and are generally covered in black synthetic leather, although certain models of the gel palm rests are covered in black Lycra. These are easy to remove and clean, and can be removed completely if you don't want or need them.
- F: 19" Foam with synthetic leather cover for the following boards: 900, 950, 700, 800, 600
- G: 19" Gel with Black synthetic leather cover for the following boards: 900, 950, 700, 800, 600
- F20: 20" Foam with synthetic leather cover for 400 and 500 boards
- F27: 27" Foam with synthetic leather cover for 400 and 500 boards only
- G27: 27" Gel with Lycra knit cover for 400 and 500 boards only
- FMP: 20" and 7” Foam with synthetic leather cover for 400 and 500 boards only
- MP7F: 7" Foam with synthetic leather cover for 400 and 500 boards only
There you have it! Everything you need to know to build your Humanscale Keyboard Tray.
Side note: Humanscale trays are excellent, well-made accessories, but can be a bit outside of your budget depending on configuration. For a less expensive option with a wide range of adjustments and features, you may prefer the UPLIFT Large Keyboard Tray (similar to the Humanscale Big Board) or the UPLIFT Switch Keyboard Tray (similar to the Humanscale 900).
TheHumanSolution.com has the perfect keyboard tray for your needs and budget.
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