We’re not going to try and sugarcoat it: KVM hubs are some of the least exciting devices to come out of CES, but also critical to those working in IT who rely on access to multiple computers throughout the day. They’ve been incrementally improved over the years, but IOGEAR’s new KVM brings with it a neat new trick: enabling two separate computers to share the same on-screen cursor.
If you’re not familiar with these types of devices, KVM stands for keyboard, video, and mouse, and they allow multiple computers to all share the same peripherals so that a desk doesn’t become confusingly cluttered with multiple keyboards, mice, and screens all connected to different computers—whether they’re near the desk, or hidden away in a far-off server room.
At the push of a button, a KVM will change which computer a single keyboard and mouse are controlling, while also switching a connected screen over to that computer’s desktop, although IOGEAR’s new 2-Port 4K Dual View DisplayPort Matrix KVMP (about as boring a name as one could imagine) is actually designed to be used with two side-by-side 4K monitors, each showing the desktop of a different computer.
In fact, that’s the best way to take advantage of the KVM’s new “Crossover Switching” feature. Instead of having to press a button to switch the keyboard and mouse between controlling one of the two connected computers, users simply have to drag the on-screen cursor between the two side-by-side monitors. Whichever screen the cursor ends up on, that’s the computer the mouse and keyboard are automatically controlling. To the user, it feels the same as using a single computer with a dual-screen setup—the cursor effortlessly jumps from one display to the other. But in this case, the KVM is automatically switching which computer is being controlled as the cursor moves between displays.
At an event where companies are revealing massive TVs, appliances packed with screens, and other gadgets that make for exciting booth demos, the IOGEAR 2-Port 4K Dual View DisplayPort Matrix KVMP isn’t exactly a showstopper. But for those working in IT—or are just cursed with a job requiring the use of more than one computer—it’s a small upgrade that could make the pain of wrangling multiple machines a little easier to bear.