When I got home after the weekend of gaming, I opened my Eclipse box and saw what a mess the equipment tokens were. I got flashbacks of having to sort out all the equipment before each game and people reaching over the table or crowding a side of the table. The trays fit nicely in the box and the equipment tray comes with a clear cover that allows you to store the tiles permanently. This alone will save you a lot of time setting up and tearing down the game after playing it. I went with the Dark Blue Flock trays and I wish I would have went with a lighter color so that I could see what is written in the flocking. The research tray is great to pass around the table for everyone to view and choose their research. All you have to do is push the top of the tile and the bottom of that same tile will be easy to pull out. Do I think this is essential to the game? No. Do I think it is worth the purchase? Yes, I do. The time it saves and the ability to pass around makes this a great purchase if you play Eclipse a decent amount. The storage for the equipment tiles alone is very nice and then having the research token tray to pass around to that one friend who takes forever choosing one is very nice. I would recommend getting a lighter color tray as a dark flocking makes the symbols and numbers hard to read.
Owners of Eclipse will enjoy the reduction in downtime and the ability to pass it around.