Easily share a screen between 2 Macs with this clever KVM switch [Review] ★★★★½

Your Mac and MacBook can easily share a monitor, and quickly flip between them, with the IOGear 2-Port 4K USB-C KVM Switch with DisplayPort Output.

I tested it in my home office, and it really reduces the hassle of switching between two computers. And it lets the computers easily share a wired mouse and keyboard.

IOGear 2-Port 4K USB-C KVM Switch with DisplayPort Output review

Any good desktop monitor has multiple input ports, and a way to switch between them. Plug a desktop and a laptop into a monitor and the two computers can share it.

My setup is like that, so I know from plenty of personal experience that using the monitor’s system for switching inputs is not very convenient. It requires reaching up to the screen and making five button presses on three different buttons.

With the IOGear 2-Port 4K USB-C KVM Switch with DisplayPort output, flipping a screen between two Macs takes a single button press. And the button is on a small remote you can put in easy reach.

And don’t overlook the switch’s ability to flip a wired keyboard and mouse between the two computers with the same button press.

KWV switch for 2 Macs but 1 monitor

The IOGear KVM includes a pair of USB-A ports plus one for DisplayPort video.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

KVM stands for Keyboard, Video monitor and Mouse. Which means this type of switch has been around for so long that there’s a standard acronym for it. IOGear isn’t exactly breaking new ground with this product. What it has done is make a version that’s very well suited for the needs of Mac users in 2023.

The difference between it and the KVM switch I used about 20 years ago is the two built-in USB-C cables. Every Mac and even many iPads offer video out through USB-C, and IOGear’s device can be used with all of these.

Keep in mind that the monitor must support DisplayPort. Most top-quality ones do, but ones that only offer HDMI are around, too. Also, the switch does not come with a DisplayPort cable – you’ll need to supply one.

The central hub of the accessory is white plastic, and there are twin arrows that light up to show which computer is controlling the shared display.

I found it easy to connect everything via the IOGear 2-Port 4K USB-C KVM Switch with DisplayPort Output. My test devices were a MacBook and an iPad Pro going to an Innocn 4K display.

My screen continues to look just as good with the switch as it does when the computers are directly hooked up. It’s definitely still 4K.

Multi-device USB keyboard and mouse

IOGear’s switch includes two USB-A ports for connecting a keyboard and mouse. And just so there’s no confusion, flipping which computer the display is connected to also flips the keyboard and mouse.

The accessory really cuts down on clutter if you’re replacing separate keyboards and mice for each computer.

I used a USB keyboard and mouse to test the IOGear 2-Port 4K USB-C KVM Switch with DisplayPort Output. It worked exactly as it was supposed to.

Ordinarily, I use a multi-device wireless keyboard and mouse, and each of these requires me to press a button to flip them to another computer. Add in the multiple button presses required to change the monitor input and I don’t casually flip between computers. But I could if I used this KVM switch.

Convenient mini remote

IOGear 2-Port 4K USB-C KVM Switch with DisplayPort Output remote
IOGear’s KVM switch includes a handy remote to make changing devices convenient.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

One of the best parts of IOGear’s new KVM switch is the remote. It’s essentially just a button on the end of a long, thin cable, but it’s all that’s needed.

That cable is 6-feet long, giving plenty of slack for the remote to be conveniently placed. Put it next to your keyboard and you can flip back and forth between Mac and MacBook as easily as you could wish.

A wireless remote would have further cut down on the clutter, though

IOGear 2-Port 4K USB-C KVM Switch with DisplayPort Output final thoughts

While one Mac but two monitors is popular, not everyone has that much space. Many people have a desktop Mac and a MacBook on their desk but room for just one big external screen. Or perhaps it’s a Mac and an iPad. Allowing them to share the monitor doesn’t have to be a hassle. IOGear’s KVM switch makes it a one-button operation.

My tests show the gadget does just what its developer promises.

★★★★

Pricing

The IOGear 2-Port 4K USB-C KVM Switch with DisplayPort Output costs $89.95.

Buy from: IOGear

IOGear provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.

Author: admin

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