ATake EasyView 2-port USB KVM Switch
Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 12 February 2005. Page 2 of 2. Add A Comment

Examination:

When examining the overall build quality of the switch, we were impressed to see such durable plastic. On the top of the unit are two red LEDs that indicate the computer currently linked to the switch. To the side of the unit, are the two PS/2 connections for a keyboard and mouse while on the other side is the VGA connection. Unfortunately, there is no physical switch to alternate between the two computers, requiring the user to use only the hot key function with the keyboard.


Protruding from the bottom side are the two sets of cables. Each set consists of a single VGA connector and USB connector. Unlike some switches that maintain a PS/2 connection throughout, the ATake AUB-MI102 converts the two PS/2 connections for the keyboard and mouse into a single USB connector. The overall quality of these cables appears to be very strong, and we noticed no cable flaws while testing this unit. The total length of cables used between the two ports is 6 feet, while one side has about two feet of cable the other side has roughly four feet. Overall, the KVM switch is very small while allowing you to span your computers up to six feet away from each other.

Performance:

After connecting the two sets of cables to two different computers, with different components, running Linux, we immediately booted up. The monitor used was a 17" Samtron 77V CRT monitor, while the mouse was an old 3-button Logitech optical Mouse, and the keyboard was a Logisys EL keyboard. During the boot up stages for both computers, Kudzu, which detects and configures changed hardware on a Linux system, reported the keyboard configuration had been changed and it then located the new configuration and loaded that. Presto, the switch was working magnificently under Linux. Both machines were running FedoraCore3 while one used the stock kernel (2.6.9-1.667) the other machine was using the newer 2.6.10-1.760 kernel. The keyboard, mouse, and monitor worked perfectly after being detected by Kudzu. Both machines were tested at 1024 x 768 and 1280 x 1024, with the KVM switch. We noticed no problems at all while running either resolution on both computers. The picture quality remained identical to before the switch was installed.

Switching between machines was quite simple, to select the PC port just press Scroll Lock + Scroll Lock + <key 1 or 2> or Scroll Lock + Scroll Lock + S for auto scan with a default 5 second scan interval. Scroll Lock + Scroll Lock + S + <key 1-9> can change the scan interval from 5 seconds to 100 seconds.

Conclusion:

Generally, cheaper KVM switches will experience troubles while running at relatively high resolutions, but this simply wasn't the case when we were testing the ATake EasyView 2-port USB All-in-one mini KVM switch. Everything had worked as stated, even under Linux. Best of all, was its petite size, fairly long cable, and PS/2 to USB conversion. Overall, this is another reliable product from ATake, and distributed by Wisetech here in the United States.

Pros:

· Cables included
· Auto-Scan feature
· Linux compatible
· Video Quality

Cons:

· No Audio or USB mice/keyboard support
· Only 2-ports
· 2-foot side of cable could be fairly longer

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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