When we think of KVMs we think of a switch of some kind that allows one to control several computers with just one keyboard and mouse, but there are other kinds as well. ATEN has sent me over what they are calling a Laptop USB KVM Switch, what is does it allow you to take over another computer via a USB connection, essentially creating a remote desktop session via USB. When active, the main or local computer takes over the controls of the remote computer and you see it’s desktop on the lock computer. In the name is ‘laptop’, but it can be used to connect any PCs together this way. The switch also has a USB port in it to allow sharing of a printer or other device as well, along with a built in GUI and file sharing as well. There’s no software to install, everything is self contained, and it even includes a convenient carrying case.
First up is a quick unboxing video for you, a little over two minutes, watch and continue on:
ATEN Laptop USB KVM Switch CS661
The CS661 Laptop USB KVM Switch takes a giant step forward from previous cable KVM models in the Petite series. In addition to offering simple plug and play KVM switch functionality for two USB-enabled laptops or PCs, the CS661 also allows you to quickly and easily transfer files between the two computers using an innovative File Management tool with an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).
The CS661 Laptop USB KVM Switch offers the ideal portable solution for copying music, photos, videos, and other files to and from your laptop and home PC, or transferring files between your work and home PCs.
-USB-to-USB Laptop USB KVM Switch with File Transfer functionality and USB 2.0 support
-KVM functionality (dual PC control) – allows you to control both your Local laptop/computer and a Remote laptop/computer via the Local computer
-One port USB 2.0 hub built in – allows the Local computer to connect to USB 2.0 peripherals
-Compact design, built-in all-in-one USB 2.0 cables – enables high-speed data transfer
-Intuitive GUI for easy operation
-File system management utility allows you to transfer files between two laptops/computers – simply drag and drop
-Plug and play – installation software is auto-run
-Desktop scaling – user can adjust the size/resolution of the Remote desktop window by size or ratio
Price: $99.95 (MSRP)
When first connected drivers will install automatically for you from the KVM itself, takes only a few seconds and your ready to go. To enable the program on the remote computer you have to run it or have autorun enabled, once it is running on the remote computer you’ve got fulls access of it from the local PC.
There are blue LEDs on the KVM to indicate connections, and they’ll blink when transferring data as well.
Here’s a picture of my laptop controlling my desktop using the ATEN laptop USB KVM Switch, and my laptop is running Windows XP while my desktop runs Vista:
You can run the program in full screen or windowed mode, there is a small toolbar at the top with a few actions that you can perform. The Toolbar has functions for: Open File Transfer, Toggle Full Screen Mode, Minimize Remote Screen, Send Start to Remote and Match/Restore Remote Screen.
File transfer mode works well, the local computer shows up on the left side and the remote computer shows up on the right side of the screen, then you can just transfer files easily between both computers.
That’s about it as to how it works really, it’s very easy and there’s not much to it, just hook two computer together via USB and you’re ready to go.
I did find that it’s sort of slow to react at times, the remote PC I mean from the local PC, but it’s nothing major to be concerned about. File transfers of course are limited to the speed of the USB, so don’t expect anything super fast.
It’s a great way to easily sync two computers together and easily transfer files as well, it could make a great tool in a tech toolbox as well for diagnostics and more.
The ATEN Laptop USB KVM Switch works well, is easy to use and makes syncing and transferring files between two computers easy. The addition of the extra USB port is nice as well so if need be you can share a peripheral between both computers.
There’s no software to install so all you’ll need to carry with you is the cable itself in the handy carrying case.
Plug and play, no installation
Nice long cable
Carrying case included
Very easy to use
Slow at times to react on remote computer