KVM that doesn't suck?
May 6, 2008 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Do you know of a USB/DVI KVM switch for 2 computers that doesn't suck?

I'm looking into buying a KVM (keyboard video mouse switch) to run a Macbook Pro and a windows box on the same keyboard, monitor, mouse and keyboard. However, I'm skeptical of even buying one, because it seems that ever product review I read says that the KVM makes the USB connection "flakey" and that it drops out frequently (e.g. this) which would drive me nuts.

Are there any good ones? Is there something inherently difficult about building a good USB KVM (reviews for the PS2 ones seem to be slightly better)? Any good experiences or recommendations for a KVM that natively supports both USB and DVI?
posted by dyslexictraveler to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I use a TRENDnet TK-207K and I haven't noticed any USB flakiness at all with it.
posted by cmonkey at 2:23 PM on May 6, 2008

I have Belkin one with a little push button switcher - The Flip. it works great. No flakiness.
posted by GuyZero at 2:38 PM on May 6, 2008

2nd-ing the Belkin. I use it with XP/ubuntu machines and it is wonderful. Hasn't been flakey. My only critique is that it won't switch back from a powered-off computer if I forget to hit the button before that USB port loses power. But the cords are nice and long, which was pleasant to notice when I placed hands on my tangle of cables.
posted by cowbellemoo at 3:09 PM on May 6, 2008

The one caveat with a MacBook Pro and the belkin is that the audio cable is connected to the DVI plug and is too short to reach around the the far side of the MacBook. So I had to buy a $3 audio extension cable. Minor but still an annoyance.
posted by GuyZero at 3:12 PM on May 6, 2008

I use The Flip to switch between a Mac and PC. No flakiness except that when I switch to my PC, it takes a few seconds for the PC to recognize the USB mouse and keyboard.

And sometimes I can't find the clicker when it gets buried on my desk. And one time I dropped it in a glass of water and worried that I'd fried it, but it was fine.
posted by katieinshoes at 3:13 PM on May 6, 2008

I've got an IOGear two-port DVI/USB KVM, no complaints.

Scroll-Lock/Enter/Enter switches, not sure if other KVMs do that . . .
posted by tachikaze at 3:25 PM on May 6, 2008

Avocent gear is pricey, but very solid and reliable. I've had issues with iogear and belkin KVM's in the past, especially with nvidia USB chipsets on the pc side. My Avocent SwitchView DVI - KVM / audio switch (2 port) is always reliable, regardless of what I plug in - and as an IT tech, it takes a pounding.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:07 PM on May 6, 2008

Another vote for the Belkin DVI Flip w/ Audio. It works astoundingly well and is reasonably price, $149 MSRP but can be found online ~ $120. I have used multiple Belkin models and they work great, but this one is especially good. I use it with a Dell 2407WFP monitor and a wireless keyboard set between my MacBook Pro and a Windows 2008 Server box.

Belkin Site: http://www.belkin.com/flip/
posted by cgomez at 4:39 PM on May 6, 2008

Oh, and there's really a brand called Linkskey? If I had a nickel for every time somebody mispronounced Linksys as "Linkskey".
posted by cgomez at 4:40 PM on May 6, 2008

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