ATEN USB Cable KVM Switch CS22U review

£18
Price when reviewed

As compact KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) devices go, this is pretty much the smallest we’ve seen, and probably almost as small as they can feasibly go. KVMs, in case you didn’t know, allow you to share a single keyboard, mouse and monitor between two PCs, the KVM acting as a hub that allows you to switch control from one PC to the other.

ATEN USB Cable KVM Switch CS22U review

The CS220 does the job well enough, with a pair of USB ports to plug in your mouse and keyboard and a VGA port for video. It’s purely a hardware gadget with no software to install: make all the connections and it just works, and it’s powered from the USB connections. You need to make sure the two PCs you want to use are no more than about 1.5m apart, otherwise the captive cables won’t reach between them.

A small remote button on a thin 1.8m cable switches between your two PCs. The button unit itself is very small indeed, and so light that the cable tends to lift it – you’ll need to stick it down if you’re the tidy sort.

Aside from that, our only real criticism is the quality loss of having to use analogue VGA rather than DVI for the video connections; if you’re running a high-resolution desktop it can be very noticeable. There’s no DVI version of the CS22U in exactly the same form factor, although the company makes a DVI model with audio (the CS62U) for around twice the price.

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