Is it possible to control two computers together? With UGREEN 4 Ports USB 3.0 KVM Switch yes, and it is also particularly useful in many situations.
Those who write for work use three computers every day (almost) at the same time. A MacBook Pro, a Lenovo laptop and a small server: with UGREEN 4 USB 3.0 KVM Switch ports we were finally able to optimize the devices on the desk and even eliminate some of them, even if for the server we continue with desktop sharing via software.
It is not a simple solution and involves careful design of the data flow, but it is feasible and with a little attention everyone can do it.
UGREEN 4 Ports USB 3.0 KVM Switch, the review
At first glance
At first glance, the UGREEN 4 Port USB 3.0 KVM Switch is a small black box measuring 10x5x2 centimeters, without power (but you can put it as an option) and designed with a glossy black top surface, while the others are on a more classic black opaque.
In the box there are the Switch, in fact, and two USB-A / USB-A cables, rather unusual but useful for connecting the switch with the two reference computers.
The two USB ports, which lead to the two connected computers
Alternatively, more common USB-A / USB-B cables could be used, the ones we usually find on printers and scanners, but the connector would have taken up more space and the switch would have been unnecessarily taller.
The happy note is that no power supply is needed, the few Watts that come out of the USB-A socket are enough for operation, even if at this point you need a little attention to what you connect.
The four ports dedicated to devices (mouse, keyboard, webcam and more) that will be shared with the two computers
It looks like a HUB , but only aesthetically
For those who are not used to this type of device, we want to immediately underline that UGREEN 4 Ports USB 3.0 KVM Switch is not a USB 3.0 HUB , although it looks a lot like it, and in a way it works as one too.
The real job of the switch, as the name implies, is to connect four USB peripherals to two computers (Mac or Windows PC is the same) at the same time using the two supplied cables and thanks to the button, turn all peripherals from one computer to another and viceversa.
A very important job, done here in an excellent way: no particular software is needed, the switch is mechanical and takes no more than a second.
The contents of the package: in the image you can see the cables, long but perhaps a little too big
In our setup we used a 13 ″ MacBook Pro, a Lenovo X1, a Razer Deathadder V2 mouse, a Logitech StreamCam, a Blue Yeti microphone and an Apple Magic Keyboard, used flush here.
The Poly Voyager 8200 UC headphones that use a USB-A dongle, anchored to the PC, remained out, while for the Mac we opted for the new Razer BlackShark V2.
Important to note that UGREEN 4 Ports USB 3.0 KVM Switch does not have a video port, but luckily the LG 27UL850 display has four different inputs and it was enough to change the input to change the screen.
With a click, however, the switch moved the mouse, keyboard, webcam and microphone from one computer to another, essentially merging two different stations into a large extended station.
The button above the switch shows a small blue LED that indicates which source is active, although with only two sources it is not so necessary and after a while it is no longer controlled.
The switch at work, with the foot of the Display on one side and one of the two computers on the other
The switch, which in a certain sense works as a HUB because it collects four USB signals in one, must be fully understood.
Not being powered, it works great with devices that consume a few ounces of energy, such as a mouse, keyboard and microphone. The Logitech webcam is perhaps the one with the most energy demand (in detail, the webcam has a USB-C cable, which we have solved thanks to a USB-C / USB-A adapter).
Obviously, we can also connect other devices such as printers, scanners or card readers, if these are powered there is no problem, if one instead requires more energy it could affect the operation of all connected devices.
For disks, the issue is even more delicate: the switch simply “detaches” the accessories from one source and connects them to the other, and there is no problem with that, but in the case of disks, there would be a warning from the improper disconnection operating system or, worse, a software error if there are apps that use open files inside the disks. Also, in case of mixed environments, remember that Windows does not natively read disks in HFS + or APFS, as macOS cannot write to disks in NTFS.
Attentive users who understand this difference can still connect USB sticks.
In the upper part there are the two operation LEDs, which indicate which PC is connected to what and the button to select the source
UGREEN 4 Ports USB 3.0 KVM Switch becomes useful on many occasions: when you have two computers at the same time, be they two Macs or two Windows PCs or mixed, and you find the need to have two keyboards and two mice in a server room boring. to control two resources at the same time and, why not, also with a console and a computer, which we can alternate on the same display.
As we have said, if necessary, the switch can also be used USB 3.0 HUB but it was not born for this.
The writer thought that the use of a switch was more difficult to accept, not so much for the operation (which is obvious) but for the correct management of the devices, instead we found that everything is quite simple.
Indeed, overnight an extra mouse and keyboard disappeared from the desk, freeing up very useful space in our ordered chaos, and thus being able to use the webcam and microphone on two different computers if necessary (why disconnect and reconnect the cables each once was a huge hassle).
There is something to improve: the cables for the computers are a bit too thick and tend to raise the switch when it is close to the table and obviously there is no HDMI connector for the video stream, even if in this case it is necessary to go up more capable devices: if so, opt for a display with multiple outputs.
• Quiet and capable • Four resources managed simultaneously
• USB-A / USB-A cables are a bit thick • There is no video switch
• 26.99 Euro
Readers can find UGREEN 4 Port USB 3.0 KVM Switch directly from the Amazon.it pages