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Good Stuff: Affordable 19″ Rack Mount Keyboard Drawer

In the past at work we haven’t used rack mount keyboard drawers because all the models we could find were over $200.  Instead, we designed our own that mounts on top of a rack mount PC.  This design works fine, but it requires modifying the computer case.

Since we’re making some changes, I took another look, and finally found an affordable 19″ 1U (1.75″) keyboard drawer: the Penn Elcom EX6301B, which is available from Newark/Element14 here for about $80.

Actually, it’s not keyboard drawer: Penn Elcom calls it a laptop drawer.  But it will work fine as a keyboard drawer as long as you are using a compact, slim keyboard such as the Adesso AKB-410UB.  A standard keyboard is way too wide; my beloved Cooler Master Quickfire tk is narrow enough, but it’s too tall.

I’d also highly recommend using a keyboard with integrated track pad or trackball (the AKB-410UB has a track pad).  With a narrow enough keyboard, you might be able to tuck a low profile mouse into the space, but you’d probably want a mouse pad, too, so you’re not running the mouse over the drawer’s mesh surface.

Penn Elcom doesn’t provide a lot of information (just some very basic dimensions), so we ordered a drawer to see if it would work — and decided it would.  The build quality appears good, too.

 

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