Wood and plastic don’t look all that great together. That’s a fact I’ve been sadly aware of for the past five years or so, using a plastic keyboard/trackpad tray from an accessory manufacturer to turn my Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad into one big, wide happy family. I have a nice cherry wood desk in my office that looks great, especially on the rare occasions when it’s actually clean, so I always wished that someone would make a wood version of my keyboard/trackpad tray. It took a while, but now Grovemade has released a wood Trackpad Tray (US$59 in maple or walnut) to go along with its previously-released wood Keyboard Tray ($99 in maple or walnut).
- Dimensions - 11.8” wide by 6.2” deep, height varies from 0.25 inches in front to 0.87” in back
- Weight - 14.2 ounces
- Dimensions - 5.875” wide by 6.125” deep, height varies from 0.1 in front to 1.0 inches in back
- Weight - 7.6 ounces
While my old plastic tray is all one piece, the Keyboard and Trackpad Trays from Grovemade are separate accessories. Both are similar in manufacture and design, though.
In each case, a piece of solid maple or walnut is machined with a precise niche for either the keyboard or trackpad. There’s more than just space for the device, though — underneath your keyboard or trackpad is a space (partially cork-lined) for paper clips, extra batteries for the keyboard, and so on. It becomes a nice little hidey-hole, although you do not want to put your passwords on a piece of paper and stick it under the trackpad or keyboard.
The bottom of the trays are strengthened with a slab of cork-covered aluminum. The aluminum ensures that the trays remain rigid despite the machining that takes place to hollow them out, while the cork keeps your desk from being scratched.
I’ve always loved how Grovemade finishes their wood products. They are hand-sanded several times, then given a light coat of vegetable-based oils. In the case of the maple, that means that it has a light, natural wood look. The walnut is a darker finish.
Both the keyboard and trackpad trays are beautifully built desk accessories. One thing you might notice if you’re coming over from a plastic tray is that the surface of the keyboard and the trackpad are not exactly flush with the wood, which might cause some OCD types to go ballistic. I realize that even with numerically controlled routers, wood is a material that tends to swell and contract based on ambient humidity, so you’ll probably never get a completely flush surface matchup. If that kind of thing bothers you, you probably don’t want to buy these accessories.
Other things I liked included the way that I can flip the keyboard or trackpad up while it’s still in the tray in order to get to what I’ve hidden beneath, and I also find that the cork padding on the bottom of the trays makes the sound of my typing less obvious.
If I had one other wish it would be that the cost of these accessories was lower, but as I’ve stated before about Grovemade’s products, you get what you pay for. These accessories are handmade, not just plopped out of a plastic mold at a factory in Shenzen.
Grovemade’s Desk Collection line contains a lot of beautiful accessories that can turn any computer desk into the centerpiece of a home or office. Part of that line, the Keyboard and Trackpad Trays are well-made and highly functional pieces of furniture that will add to your decor and keep things organized.