ESC Flip Keyboard Tilt Riser Review
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By introducing extreme positive tilt angles, the ESC Flip Keyboard Stand does the exact opposite of what ergonomic keyboard trays are intended to do. It’s generally very difficult to go wrong with a product costing less than $20, but the Flip Keyboard Stand does it because of the physical damage using this product will do to your wrists and forearm muscles.
|MSRP / List Price||$22.99|
Free through Amazon
8.87″ x 1.87″ x 0.5″
|Typical Assembly Time||
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Ease of Assembly|
|Positives||It’s less than $20. It’ll only hurt you, it’s not likely to actually kill you.|
|Negatives||It will likely damage your wrists and/or forearm muscles because of the positive tilt. It’s not well made, leading to issues with collapsing and sliding around on your desk. It will cause larger keyboards to wobble or tip. It could make your laptop overheat.|
How did we get back here?
It took decades for computer keyboard manufacturers to acknowledge the droning complaints of ergonomists and finally stop putting those little pop-up tabs along the back edge of their keyboards. These tabs put the keyboard at positive tilt, putting more strain on wrists and forearm muscles. Instead, manufacturers like Microsoft, Kinesis and Perixx built up the correct “negative tilt” along the front edge of their keyboards.
Read the full explanation of why positive tilt is bad and negative tilt is good here, but it’s only by placing the keyboard at a negative tilt that wrist flexion—and consequent squeezing of the carpal bones that surround the nerves and blood vessels that pass through them—can be neutralized. We’ve never been able to figure out how the computer industry started down this path of tilting keyboards in exactly the opposite direction as is ergonomically correct; the myth has persisted for decades and millions of computer users are still unaware.
Now as keyboards have finally mostly shed the pop-up tabs, the GPG2 ESC Flip Keyboard Stand arrives aiming to stop that progress in its tracks. What’s next? Vibrating belt weight loss machines?
Can You Use It As Designed?
The images on the ESC Flip Keyboard Stand product page show cartoon hands using the product instead of real ones because having a real person use this product wouldn’t look pretty.
There’s a diagram on the product page showing “incorrect” wrist posture without the Flip and “correct” wrist posture with the Flip. There are many issues with this, the first of which is in the picture of incorrect posture, the person’s wrist is ascending, then bending down to the keyboard. This position would only occur if the desk surface was set much too high for the user.
In the picture of the correct posture, the wrist is floating above the desk surface forming the coveted green dashed line and checkmark. However, when you scroll up and watch the demo video, you get several shots of people typing on the product, all of them with their wrists resting on the desk edge and bent back at extreme angles, nothing like the diagram.
So we have product images with cartoon hands and a demo video showing the product being used incorrectly. The clear conclusion is that this is a product that can’t easily be used as described. And if it could be, it would shortly cause pain or injury.
Why Hasn’t This Been Thought Of Before?
The marketing copy for ESC Flip Keyboard Stand states “you’ll wonder why this hadn’t been thought of before.”
Turns out, it has been thought of before. Decades before. Even now, and inexplicably, keyboard tilt risers are all too commonly sold on Amazon.
Where Was This Made?
GPG2 states on the Amazon listing that the Flip Keyboard Stand is “Made in USA and Imported.” You’re not alone if that seems a bit incongruous. We’re guessing GPG2 means something akin to the more common “Assembled in the USA” label you’ll often see on products that use imported products but the final assembly takes place in the USA.
Being less than 9” wide, there are sure to be stability problems on wider keyboards like the Microsoft Natural 4000, and reviews on Amazon indicated this was indeed an issue. At the very least, it’s wider than its little brother, the ESC Keyboard Stand, but many users pointed out it will wobble or flip when you press keys near the edges of the keyboard.
Another common issue was the grip between the ESC Flip Keyboard Stand and the desk surface. Many found it slid around too much.
A roundup of other common issues reviewers pointed out: Arrived without adhesive backing, collapses unexpectedly, and non-slip rubber foot grips come off easily (something others in this category like the Lenfech have figured out how to avoid).
There’s also a possibility that if this product is used with a laptop (as shown in the demo video indicated in the product title on Amazon) it could interfere with ventilation and cause your laptop to overheat.
If you are considering this product, be sure to check the bottom of your keyboard is completely flat or the Flip won’t fit properly.
This is an apt time to remind you that Amazon reviews are not always reliable, as the Flip has a very good rating. We see this all the time, and it means zilch. The general public has a woefully inadequate understanding of ergonomics and is easily coerced into an impulse buy by a flashy Facebook ad (how we learned about this one).
At least it’s good for business. Orthopedic surgeons’ business, namely.
Even if this product was designed and manufactured perfectly, it would still be hazardous because it forces your wrists into damaging tilt angles. That said, it is not designed and manufactured perfectly.
It’s not stable on large keyboards, it slides around, it may cause your laptop to overheat, it collapses, and the non-slip rubber foot grips come off easily.
From the product photos and demo video, it also appears you can’t really use this product as intended.
We should mention that technically this product could be used backward and provide negative tilt to your keyboard. But even in that case, you’d still have the other issues to deal with.
This is a bad product with a bad design, based on a bad ergonomic principle that’s been outdated for decades.
We highly recommend going to our roundup of ergonomic keyboard trays for a more in-depth discussion on what makes for actual good ergonomics with keyboard trays, as well as the best keyboard trays we’ve reviewed.