IOGEAR MiniView 4-Port USB KVM Switch

Space is always at a premium, whether itis on your desk, or with your home theater system, and IOGEAR kept that in mind when designing its 4-Port USB KVM Switch (model GCS634U). This KVM switch includes video, audio and USB connections for up to four computers. The unitis compact size fits perfectly under a Mac mini, and is finished with a brushed metal edge that matches the mini, too.

The MiniView fits under the Mac mini, but looks good with other Macs, too.

Setting up the MiniView is a snap: two of the four included combo video/audio/USB cables are permanently attached, so you donit even have to connect them to the unit. Just plug them into your computers, and you are ready to go.

Switching between computers, however, can be a bit confusing at first. Instead of including push buttons on the front of the unit, you use a special keyboard sequence to jump from machine to machine. Unfortunately, the key sequence involves the Scroll Lock key - commonly found on PC keyboards, but rarely found on a Mac keyboard. The detailed manual walks you through the keyboard commands necessary to use the Control key in place of the Scroll Lock.

Hardware compatibility wasnit a problem for us. The GCS634U was able to handle my worst case scenario setup without a hitch: a beige G3 Power Mac with an after-market USB card, a first generation Power Mac G4, and Appleis poorly designed original iMac keyboard.

The standard VGA video connection supports resolutions up to 2048x1536, and I couldnit see any video degradation on the various displays we tried. There was no audio quality loss, either, and no popping sounds from my speakers when I switched computers.

The Bottom Line
The IOGEAR MiniView 4-Port USB KVM Switch performed exactly as it should, and looked good while doing it. Aside from a couple key combinations necessary to perform some tasks, it was easy to use and supported keystrokes that are uniquely Mac - like Command key combinations. If you want to share your keyboard, mouse, monitor and speakers with up to four computers - Mac, Windows, or even Sun workstations - this KVM switch can handle the job without stealing your precious desk space.

Product: MiniView 4-Port USB KVM Switch

Company: IOGEAR

List Price: $129.95

Vendor Price: $96.94


Pros: Easy to set up, works reliably, matches the rest of your Mac gear.
Cons: Some special key combinations can be confusing.