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iMovR Elevon Ergonomic Keyboard Tray Review

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iMovR Elevon Ergonomic Keyboard Tray Review

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Why another ergonomic keyboard tray?

When we’ve reviewed keyboard trays in the past we’ve often been boggled by the sheer assortment of different models available on the market. Humanscale alone has some 159,000 different part numbers to cover all their customized variations. For a long time the world was not wanting for any more tray models, that is, until the rise of the standing desk. With structural support crossbars running between the legs of the desk and blocking the installation of a slide rail for the keyboard tray to retract on, suddenly the world of options for an ergonomic keyboard tray became very limited. In fact, they whittled down to two, the Humanscale Float Keyboard Tray with its shortened slide rail and minimalistic ergonomic accommodation, and the iMovR Stowaway Ergonomic Keyboard Tray with its horizontal slide rail and 360° pivoting keyboard arm.

Finally, a viable solution for 99% of standing desks and treadmill desks

The Elevon is the first keyboard tray designed specifically for standing desks and treadmill desks

The Elevon is the first keyboard tray designed specifically for standing desks and treadmill desks

iMovR is already known for creating ergonomic desks for standing and walking, with their Omega line (Everest, Olympus and Denali) featuring the built-in SteadyType™ keyboard tray. The advantages of SteadyType basically boil down to two things, 1) the ability to achieve truly neutral arm and hand positions, typically between 30° to 45° of tilt, but technically up to 85°, without losing your keyboard, and 2) rock-solid rigidity as compared to the relative floppiness of typical ergonomic keyboard trays. These two attributes combine to provide the highest possible typing proficiency (i.e. faster typing and fewer typos), and the best possible ergonomic posture—meaning greatly reduced risk of RSIs (repetitive strain injuries).  iMovR reports that close to 100% of its treadmill desk customers opt for a SteadyType-equipped Omega desk, as compared to about 60% of standing desk users.

But what to do about the millions of height adjustable desk users already out there who would like a SteadyType keyboard tray but can’t retrofit it to their current desk? Finally, there’s a solution. iMovR’s new Elevon™ tray allows you to add a SteadyType tray to any standing desk or treadmill desk, and it adds two “side wings” that can also tilt to the same extremes, but their pivot axis is at a 45-degree angle off the pivot axis of the SteadyType.

The result is an “ergonomic arc” around the user, offering completely neutral arm and hand positions for both keyboard and pointing device (mouse, trackball, trackpad or whatever). Pointing devices and other items that you keep on your side wings can be captured in a “nest” created by moving the supplied pins around in the grid pattern of holes. Two or three pins are all that is required to capture a mouse or trackball, for example.

Installs on most any standing desk, in 30 seconds

Anyone who has ever had to install a keyboard tray knows what a project it can be. First you have to clear your desk off completely, flip it over, drill pilot holes using a paper template, screw in the slide rail, assemble the keyboard arm, slide it into the rail, and install the rail stop hardware. And that’s if you don’t have to redo the job because you eventually realize that the keyboard tray is centered on the monitor but not on your numpad-equipped keyboard, leading you to have to undo it and reinstall the tray a few inches over to the right. Bottom line, it’s never a simple task.

Unlike conventional ergonomic keyboard trays, the Elevon installs on any standing desk in just 30 seconds, no assembly required.

Unlike conventional ergonomic keyboard trays, the Elevon installs on any standing desk in just 30 seconds, no assembly required.

The Elevon, on the other hand, installs in half a minute. It has a long edge clamp that is secured to the user edge of your desk with just two knobs. Two more knobs, eight inches back from the user edge of the desk, allow you to level the Elevon in case the tabletop has a lip on it, which many do. Nothing could be simpler.

Technically, the Elevon is portable, or at least very easily removed with the reverse twist of a couple of knobs. However it is quite heavy—which gives it an incredibly solid feel and makes it a rigid part of your desk—but it’s not lightweight for carrying around.

Launching on Kickstarter in March

The two "side wings" on the Elevon tilt on an axis that's 45 degrees offset from the SteadyType keyboard platform

The two “side wings” on the Elevon tilt on an axis that’s 45 degrees offset from the SteadyType keyboard platform

Along with a handful of other review sites, we got to lab test the first production prototype of the Elevon, and can’t wait to see this solution hit the market (estimated sometime in late spring 2017). iMovR used Kickstarter to successfully launch it’s Omega desk line two years ago, and now they’re planning to use it again to launch the Elevon, sometime in March, 2017. For preliminary information see Elevon-Keyboard-Tray.com, and be sure to register there for notification of the Kickstarter launch so you can snag an early bird discount. Here’s what we do know (though some of this may be subject to change by the time the campaign kicks off):

  • Target retail price after the Kickstarter campaign is $399 including all three “panels”
  • The Elevon will be shipped fully assembled
  • The surfaces are all 3D-laminated, just like the iMovR desks, but will initially only be offered in three of the eleven standard laminate colors—black, white and Hayward cherry
  • The keyboard surface is wide enough to accommodate any common computer keyboard, including even the gigantic Microsoft Natural
  • The device will install on desks up to 2″ thick
  • Only 8″ of clearance is required to install the Elevon, as compared to 21″ or more that is required for most keyboard tray slide rails

Bottom Line

The Elevon is a highly innovative solution for installing a fully ergonomic keyboard tray on a standing desk (and rigid and safe enough to use with a treadmill desk, as well). It falls under the same set of patents that iMovR came up with for the SteadyType tray, and has been developed by a team of ergonomics, medical, and mechanical experts over the course of several years. At the recent ErgoExpo trade show we got to witness dozens of ergonomists ogle over the prototype, affirming the challenges they have fitting ergonomic keyboard trays to standing desks, and getting users into completely “neutral” positions over their keyboards and pointing devices. We expect the Elevon to become one of the most common accessories for standing and walking workstations, once it ships.

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