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Cybex SwitchView Price: $179 (w/2 cable sets)

Price:

Security: N/A
Interface: N/A
Ease of Use:

Overall:
Rating: 1

Pros: Neat and tidy desk
Cons: Why did they have to pick the CTRL key?

 

    Another Keyboard/Video/Mouse switchbox. It's not a security device nor a network device, but it makes life more convenient for those of us who have to work with several computers at the same time.

    This box is slightly taller than the Belkin OmniCube, probably about the size of 3 VHS tapes, and perhaps a little wider (sorry, my Cybex box is at work...) Still, it's small enough to tuck behind something or other on your desk, or put something on top of it...

    The 4-port version supports up to 4 computers. As far as I know, this unit can not be cascaded, you have to buy a more expensive model for that. This model has 5 sets of PS/2 and VGA ports in the back, one of which is for your keyboard, monitor and mouse. For the other 4, you need a cable set. One the front, there's two LED for each port; one yellow indicates whether or not the computer on that port is powered up, and one green which indicates which port is selected. 

    Video quality is good, I haven't really noticed any blurring or other issues that can be attributed to the switchbox. These devices do have a resolution/frequency limitation just like a monitor would. Please check to see if it supports your desired resolution.

    Although there is a button on the front of the box to change from computer to computer, the fastest and more convenient way is to use the keyboard. Like the Belkin (and also Linksys KVM), it uses a double-tap to activate, and an additional key to select the computer. Unfortunately, this device uses the CTRL key. This makes it a hassle if you are a gamer, as many games uses the CTRL key as the primary or secondary fire key ... If you don't play any games, it doesn't matter. Switching between computers is only a matter of hitting CTRL twice (the num lock, caps lock and scroll lock lights will flash to indicate a valid double-tap), followed by "A" for computer 1, "B" for computer 2 and you get the point... It will not let you select a port that has no computer attached to it. I don't know why they did that, as it is an effective way of shutting off the monitor. 

    The KVM switch also has a number of other features, such as resets for lost mouse synch, Scan Go (automatically switch between all ports after a set delay), and even reprogram the command mode activation keys (default = CTRL)

    Logitech Mice are allegedly supported; I don't have a Logitech mouse at work, so I haven't had a chance to test this. It works like a charm with my Microsoft Intellimouse (w/wheel).

    Unlike the Belkin box, this one does not come with a power supply. It will draw power through the keyboard connection. However, it does have a connection on the back so you can power it externally. I don't know the when or why that would be necessary ... 

    This is a very good box. A little more expensive than the Belkin or Linksys solution, and the cables are rather expensive as well. Now actually comes with 2 sets of cables (color coded, no less)

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