Author Topic: Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray  (Read 16496 times)

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Offline wheel83

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« on: Sun, 08 February 2009, 14:36:55 »
I remember in my searches, I found a white negative slope keyboard and mouse tray for 100 dollars.  It was white with light brown leather wrist rests.  Anyway, if you know what I am talking about, help me with a ling.  I can't find it again for the life of me.
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Offline Chloe

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 00:00:30 »

Offline wheel83

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 00:13:43 »
awesome !! you are the man ... that is the one.  i think i am gonna give it a try for my white alps ergo keyboards.
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Offline lam47

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« Reply #3 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 06:07:44 »
Chloe is the man for sure ;)
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #4 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 07:23:41 »
Quote from: lam47;21191
Chloe is the man for sure ;)


If Chloe's the man, does that make you the woman then, lam?

Oh wait...  we already had that discussion. ;)


Offline lam47

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« Reply #5 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 08:39:57 »
Its a confusing world to be sure.
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

Typewriters. Olivetti Valentine. Imperial Good Companion Model T. Olympia SM3

Offline skriefal

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 09:19:34 »
The problem with this is that the keyboard ends up being positioned too high for comfortable use.  And the negative-tilt tray likely won't work/sit well in most under-desk trays or drawers, making the height issue difficult to resolve.  Keyboard positioning is already an issue with most ergo boards; this seems like it would worsen the issue.

Any thoughts on a solution?

Offline lowpoly

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 09:29:43 »
The negative slope is meant for a low desk. So a tray would be fine but as you said it wouldn't fit. You probably want the mouse on the same negative slope as the keyboard, otherwise you really have to bend your wrist while mousing. A trackball might be better, at least it wouldn't slide away.

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline Chloe

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« Reply #8 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 14:06:17 »
Quote from: lam47;21207
Its a confusing world to be sure.


My partner and I were just discussing whether it's a gender neutral expression. I'm not sure if it is. On the other hand, I have posted on forums where women call each other dude, but they were mostly American.

Quote from: skriefal;21208
The problem with this is that the keyboard ends up being positioned too high for comfortable use.


If you don't have a keyboard tray you could raise chair height and use a foot rest to compensate. Adjustable desk legs for a lower desk are another option.

I have found that with the keyboard at optimal height for typing the same surface is too low for pointing devices. I think you can get shelves with a separate, higher tray but they might be intended to place the mouse over the numpad area.

Offline patrickgeekhack

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« Reply #9 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 15:20:02 »
Quote from: Chloe;21247
I'm not sure if it is. On the other hand, I have posted on forums where women call each other dude, but they were mostly American.


I was surprised to hear girls saying, "Hey guys!" when talking to other girls when I moved to Canada.

Offline bhtooefr

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 15:24:03 »
Quote from: Chloe;21247
My partner


You do realize, I think you just broke wellington's heart. :p

Offline wellington1869

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« Reply #11 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 15:48:40 »
Quote from: bhtooefr;21251
You do realize, I think you just broke wellington's heart. :p


lol! you know what they say, all the good ones are taken ;)

(I couldnt help but notice she said "partner" -- another gender-neutral expression!). There has to be something said in favor of gender-biased expressions. Sometimes they can be an aid to communication and clarity! ;)

Quote
I have posted on forums where women call each other dude


I called my 3 year old neice "dude" once and she had a fit. She seems precociously gender-concious!

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Offline wheel83

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« Reply #12 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 16:39:47 »
i didn't realize.  very ironic haha.  2 females active in an obscure keyboard forum.  i dont want to sound like a perv, but thats awesome.

and i hope everyone knows laurie is a world famous arcade joystick builder.
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Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #13 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 17:14:38 »
Quote
2 females active in an obscure keyboard forum.


Chloe's one, but who's the other?


Offline bhtooefr

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« Reply #14 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 17:16:13 »
Tales?

Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #15 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 17:18:05 »
Quote from: bhtooefr;21256
Tales?


Other than her; she hasn't been involved in this discussion. :)


Shhhh...  I am trying to set a trap...

Not to give it away or anything. :)


Offline skriefal

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 19:48:00 »
Quote from: Chloe;21247
If you don't have a keyboard tray you could raise chair height and use a foot rest to compensate. Adjustable desk legs for a lower desk are another option.


I use an Ikea desk with adjustable legs in my home office.  It's nice, but as others have mentioned it leaves my trackball at a unsatisfactory height.  That's why I stopped using my Microsoft Natural 4000 keyboards -- even thought I like the negative slope -- and moved back to standard layout boards.  That was also when I found this forum...

Monitor height also becomes a problem after lowering desk height.  Even with an adjustable LCD panel raised to its maximum position, it still may be unable to reach its optimal height.

I did look for height-adjustable chairs at one point, but couldn't find any that could be adjusted sufficiently -- but I'll admit that I didn't devote a large amount of time to the search.  Most chairs have a very narrow range of adjustability.  And if I could find one with sufficient adjustability it seems that it'd still lead to the same concerns re: trackball/mouse height and monitor height.

Offline Chloe

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« Reply #17 on: Mon, 09 February 2009, 20:33:49 »
I have an Ikea desk with adjustable legs too. I prefer it to the keyboard shelf I was using before. As a compromise I have the desk set at a height that is in between because having the trackball too low put pressure on my wrist. My monitor is also on a riser. I'm still glad I bought an adjustable office chair for the back support alone.

Offline MANISH7

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 10 February 2009, 20:37:37 »




I realize that at some point all of us are pressed for budgets. Nevertheless, I'll make a suggestion. $100 is a good chunk of change. I'd rather keep it in my pocket, save up some more, and later on buy a quality product that will last me and pay for itself over time. Isn't this why a lot of us have IBM Model Ms :D ($100, $69) vs those $10 keyboards?

- My keyboard tray from Kare Products comes with a life time warranty and the company has great customer service. This one time cost is guaranteed for life!

- It slides under the table when you're not using the keyboard or if you want to momentarily get closer to your desk to access a book or item. Saves me a ton of desk space!

- Height adjustable up to 6" below the desk. Industry standard desk height is 28-29" which is way too high (and unhealthy) for typing.

- Has just about every kind of adjustment possible (except for lateral side to side movement). Of course it's got negative 15" tilt. Best of all, these adjustments can be made effortlessly within seconds. This encourages you to make use of the adjustments.

I have only one con. If I place the keyboard all the way to the left and use the remaining space on the right for a mouse tray...then actually my right leg is close to the center of the tray. There is some bump near the center of the tray, where the articulating arm connects to the tray itself. That can sometimes touch my knee. My solution is to place the keyboard tray to the right by a few inches so it shift my placement and the center of the tray doesn't come near my knee.

I purchased it for $195. Maybe you should call them up and ask for a discount as first time customer. And if it doesn't fit the budget, I don't blame you. I'm suffering with an abysmal 15" monitor and would much rather prefer a 30" Ultrasharp but that's going to have to wait. :(

I just think $100 is a lot of money and that product should deliver more. If it doesn't offer height adjustments and forces you to type at a height too high then negative tilt alone is not enough. Just my 2 cents.

Good luck!

PS: That mouse bridge is great for optimal mouse placement!

Offline wheel83

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 10 February 2009, 20:56:37 »
thanks ill have to do some research on that.  looks promising.
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Offline MANISH7

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 10 February 2009, 21:16:26 »
Edited: May 18 - I have narrowed down the best choice by far and therefore have deleted posts that have entertained options that are not the best price or best quality. Hopefully this'll make it clearer for newbies who are seeking recommendations.

Here's a photo of that center part of the tray I was complaining about. Like I said, moving the keyboard to the right or left so your knees are aligned different from that area solves the problem!

« Last Edit: Mon, 18 May 2009, 09:58:55 by MANISH7 »

Offline MANISH7

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 10 February 2009, 21:24:49 »
Quote from: skriefal;21269
I did look for height-adjustable chairs at one point, but couldn't find any that could be adjusted sufficiently -- but I'll admit that I didn't devote a large amount of time to the search.  Most chairs have a very narrow range of adjustability.  And if I could find one with sufficient adjustability it seems that it'd still lead to the same concerns re: trackball/mouse height and monitor height.

Quote from: skriefal;21208
The problem with this is that the keyboard ends up being positioned too high for comfortable use.  And the negative-tilt tray likely won't work/sit well in most under-desk trays or drawers, making the height issue difficult to resolve.  Keyboard positioning is already an issue with most ergo boards; this seems like it would worsen the issue.

Any thoughts on a solution?

As for the chair -I'd recommend a Herman Miller Aeron (however, absolutely do not buy a used Aeron which will not be backed by 12 year warranty). Adjustability is it's middle name.

As for your height difficulties for the typing - I've posted my recommendation for a keyboard tray. This duo of keyboard tray and chair should alleviate your problems immensely!

As for the monitor - I just use a book as a monitor stand. In the future I'd want a Dell Ultrasharp that has height adjustability among others.

The money I spent on my keyboard tray, ergonomic chair, treadmill, etc. (and Model M of course :p) are the best money I've ever spent. These things pertain to your personal health and well being. You use them MANY HOURS EVERY SINGLE DAY! Those are the items where you want to invest the most. These items enhance your productivity and make doing tasks more comfortable & pleasant. In fact, the money I had saved for a gaming computer instead went towards the chair. I'm glad too :P

Offline MANISH7

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 10 February 2009, 21:27:05 »
Quote from: wheels83;21386
thanks ill have to do some research on that.  looks promising.

Definitely! If you have further questions feel free to PM me.

Thanks for starting this thread - it is a very important topic! Those precious wrists and fingers and back and neck etc. need to be provided for otherwise the silent RSI monster will inevitably get them over the course of time! When that happens, even slicing onions or reaching for the wallet will be a torturous task!

Offline wheel83

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 10 February 2009, 22:33:48 »
after using a microsoft natural 4000 for a few years now, i really like the idea of a negative slope keyboard tray for an ergonomic type of keyboard such as the northgate one.  hopefully the one you recommended can suit my wants.

i am only 25, but i want to make sure i dont develop rsi.  my right wrist is a lil messed up from playing so much of fps games, a long time ago. now im trying to develop good habits and a proper ergonomic working environment.  its a lot harder than it sounds for some reason though.
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Offline Chloe

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« Reply #24 on: Tue, 10 February 2009, 22:49:02 »
I think the most important thing is to listen to your body. Good ergonomics can only go so far.

Offline skriefal

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« Reply #25 on: Tue, 10 February 2009, 22:53:03 »
We got new chairs at work last summer.  They're not Herman Miller products, but are very close clones of the Aeron.  Cost almost as much as the Aerons, too, IIRC.  They still can't be raised high enough to allow for comfortable use of a keyboard (ergo or otherwise) on the standard 29-30 inch height desks.  It doesn't seem to bother most people -- although it should -- but bothered me enough that I finally had them grab a slide-out articulating keyboard mount from the storage area and install it in my cubicle.  A dozen years of negative-tilt Microsoft Natural keyboard usage on a 30-inch desk finally got to me, it seems.

I now have a Filco Mini w/blue Cherry switches on that keyboard tray. :)  Great keyboard, but it's a bit louder than I'd expected -- mostly high-pitched ringing from the keyboard chassis.  I may need to switch back to the Dell AT101W.

Too bad I don't have an adjustable height desk there...

Offline cchan

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 11 February 2009, 10:59:30 »
Quote from: itlnstln;21257
Other than her; she hasn't been involved in this discussion. :)


Yeah... I can't have anything to say about ergonomics when I'm on a 29" steel desk from the sixties, sitting on my knees on a swivel chair from about the same era, just so I can type at a comfortable level and not have to shrug my shoulders way up to reach the board.

Also, my 21" CRT (which I sit about 21-22" away from), my IBM M4 keyboard, and my Logitech VX Revolution mouse are all sitting on the same plane.

I suppose I'm following at least one positive ergonomic recommendation by having a compact keyboard to lower mouse reach distance. :/
HP Envy17: Core i7-2760QM, 8GB DDR3, 128GB Crucial m4 + 750GB Hitachi, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Cherry ML4100, Logitech M500, HP zr22w
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Offline MANISH7

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 11 February 2009, 13:27:11 »
Quote from: wheels83;21400
after using a microsoft natural 4000 for a few years now, i really like the idea of a negative slope keyboard tray for an ergonomic type of keyboard such as the northgate one.  hopefully the one you recommended can suit my wants.

i am only 25, but i want to make sure i dont develop rsi.  my right wrist is a lil messed up from playing so much of fps games, a long time ago. now im trying to develop good habits and a proper ergonomic working environment.  its a lot harder than it sounds for some reason though.

I know *exactly* how you feel because I am in the same exact boat. Yes, for *me* (and you) it is a lot harder than it sounds. Other people get it much easier (or so it seems).

1. Are you comfortable with an armless chair? The advantages are that your arms are more free to move around. Otherwise, if you keep your forearms locked at one position (the armrest) then your fingers or wrists sometimes make weird angles to access certain keys or the mouse. More likely, the armrests get in the way of your wrists (especially if they're placed towards the front of the chair).

Despite mentioning the advantages, my shoulders get tired and sometimes I lack guidance for my arms or elbow on armless chairs. Perhaps I need to learn more on proper posture for armless chairs.

Anyway, my "compromise" is to use a chair that has well designed arm rests. The armrests are placed closer to the back of the chair so they support only my elbows but don't get in the way of my wrists when I'm typing or mousing. A lot of generic chairs don't lower the armrests enough (or high enough) but my chair has sufficient height adjustments. Further, I can pivot the armrests outwards to get them out of the way if I do want more of a "armless" feeling. Additionally, I can quickly lower the arms so low that they feel like they aren't there.

This is a nice solution but armless is still better. More importantly, an armless chair is significantly cheaper than getting the chair I got. While I was saving up for the chair, my economic solution was to keep 2 chairs (one without arms and one with arms). For computing I'd try the armless and for reading / writing I'd try the one with arms. It got annoying for me to keep switching chairs (especially when I type for a few minutes than read notes back and forth). Also like I said I personally wasn't good with armless chairs (despite its advantages). That just goes to show that there are no "dead set" ergonomic rules. You have to use your personal discretion.

2. My chair also has something called forward tilt. It's nice for computing (fps especially) but then I personally "feel" like I'm slouching because the weight of my back is now forward (instead of *pointing* backwards against the backrest). It's subjective. Therefore I don't use the forward tilt feature for more than short periods (say a gam of COD4) but it may be a consideration for you.

3. Another consideration is to get a keyboard that doesn't slant upwards. I don't know why so many ergonomic keyboards (or even the Model M for that matter) are shaped that way. It encourages you to twist up your wrists which isn't good. I guess my negative tilt compensates for that.

4. Despite having a very good ergonomic set up, I have quit playing FPS games for ergonomic reasons. I'm (was) a low sensitivity gamer (60 cm / 360 degrees) so my wrists got tired after an hour of play. So far I've quit completely but maybe in the future I play but significantly less (20 min per session).

Take your time with your decision and sort through all your options.

Offline MANISH7

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Negative Slope Keyboard and Mouse Tray
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 11 February 2009, 14:17:48 »
Anyway, here's a link to  keyboard tray that has lifetime warranty, negative tilt, height adjustability, and moves in and out for storage. At $100 + free shipping - this is the best bang for your buck. The features and quality are *far better* than what you would get with overpriced $200 trays from well known brands at Staples. Sometimes brand & price are not what you expect from them. At the same time, the price of this is half of what I've seen at other places. I myself, before knowing of this place, paid $200 + shipping for a similar product.

http://www.versatables.com/pages/keyboardarmmain.php
« Last Edit: Mon, 18 May 2009, 09:57:24 by MANISH7 »

Offline fkeidjn

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« Reply #29 on: Thu, 12 February 2009, 00:02:31 »
Can't you just use a binder?
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Offline skriefal

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« Reply #30 on: Thu, 12 February 2009, 00:15:12 »
The keyboard will tend to slide off the binder unless directly fastened to it somehow.  And the binder will need to be fastened to the desk somehow to prevent it and the keyboard from sliding around on the desk.  I tried it once, long ago.  Didn't work well.  Looked ugly, too!

Offline ed_

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« Reply #31 on: Thu, 12 February 2009, 01:20:50 »
Quote from: skriefal;21495
The keyboard will tend to slide off the binder unless directly fastened to it somehow.  And the binder will need to be fastened to the desk somehow to prevent it and the keyboard from sliding around on the desk.  I tried it once, long ago.  Didn't work well.  Looked ugly, too!


Fill it with paper to the right height, and then put a few screws into the top to stop the keyboard.  Gluing some rubber to the bottom, or affixing double-sided or rolled-up tape should hold it in place.

Offline crashnburn

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« Reply #32 on: Sun, 03 October 2010, 15:27:52 »
Quote from: MANISH7;78141
Anyway, here's a link to  keyboard tray that has lifetime warranty, negative tilt, height adjustability, and moves in and out for storage. At $100 + free shipping - this is the best bang for your buck. The features and quality are *far better* than what you would get with overpriced $200 trays from well known brands at Staples. Sometimes brand & price are not what you expect from them. At the same time, the price of this is half of what I've seen at other places. I myself, before knowing of this place, paid $200 + shipping for a similar product.

http://www.versatables.com/pages/keyboardarmmain.php


I like the look of this option. I wonder how well this worked out for you? Anyone else experiences with this or others?

I've realized that using a keyboard with trackpad is much better than having a mouse..  Less back & forth to touch the pointing device.

PS: If u see this.. please do post what height you have your desk now and how much below it the tray takes up.. some such dimensions and usage pictures if possible :)

Offline zefrer

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« Reply #33 on: Mon, 04 October 2010, 05:38:07 »
Quote from: crashnburn;229340
I like the look of this option. I wonder how well this worked out for you? Anyone else experiences with this or others?

I've realized that using a keyboard with trackpad is much better than having a mouse..  Less back & forth to touch the pointing device.

PS: If u see this.. please do post what height you have your desk now and how much below it the tray takes up.. some such dimensions and usage pictures if possible :)


Keep in mind that any height adjustments to desk and keyboard tray are dependant on your own physical dimensions. In my case I can't use most keyboard trays with the standard 30" desk height as my knees are where the keyboard tray would be.

One solution seems to be lower chair enough so keyboard tray is at right height for arms to be on armrests and have mouse on top of desk. But this means a lot of travelling for right hand if you're moving from keyboard to mouse, so I don't use this. For gaming on the other hand it's pretty much perfect.

Current solution is raise chair, have keyboard and mouse on desk surface. Need to get an adjustable desk (new desk needed in any case) to lower desk height a bit for this to be optimal. Not a perfect solution but a good compromise if you can't/don't want to use a keyboard tray for any reason.