ESC Keyboard Tilt Riser Review
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By introducing extreme positive tilt angles, the ESC Keyboard Stand does the exact opposite of what ergonomic keyboard trays should do. Other than bad ergonomics, it’s poorly designed and will make most keyboards unusable because of instability.
|MSRP / List Price||$19.97|
Free through Amazon
6″ x 1.6″ x 1.375″
|Typical Assembly Time||
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Ease of Assembly|
|Positives||It’s less than $20.|
|Negatives||It will likely damage your wrists and/or forearm muscles because of the positive tilt. It’s only 6” wide, meaning essentially all keyboards will wobble and tip dramatically when you type anywhere but the middle. The adhesive doesn’t stick well. Slides around on the desk.|
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.
Unfortunately, some just can’t shake the desire to have their keyboards raised with a positive tilt, so the ESC Keyboard Stands aims to fill that gap.
As we noted in the review of the larger ESC Flip Keyboard Stand, there will be massive stability issues when using any keys near the edges of the keyboard. This ESC Keyboard Stand is even smaller, at only 6” long. This means it will cover less than a third of the width of wider keyboards like the Microsoft Natural 4000 and effective typing would be essentially impossible.
And the problem isn’t limited to only wide keyboards. Even with normal-width keyboards, the ESC would cover less than half the width. With no support under most of the keyboard, this simply won’t work well when typing anywhere other than the middle of the keyboard.
It also doesn’t work with any keyboard without a completely flat bottom.
Many users also pointed out problems with the adhesive not working properly and the stand sliding around the desk because there’s no non-slip surface.
This is an apt time to remind you that Amazon reviews are not always reliable, as the ESC Keyboard Tray has a very good rating.
Where Was This Made?
GPG2 states on the Amazon listing that this 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.
The ESC keyboard stand has all the same bad ergonomics as its big brother, but with even more instability issues. It simply isn’t wide enough to support almost any keyboard well.
We should mention that technically this product could be used backward and provide negative tilt to your keyboard, even though that isn’t advertised by ESC. But even in that case, you’d still have the stability issues to deal with.
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.