You might have noticed that the F1DL102U is a USB only KVM, but Belkin offers a range of different models, so there is a USB version without audio, as well as a PS/2 model with audio and without. The advantage of the USB models is that if you have a wireless USB keyboard and mouse, you end up with a spare USB port that can be used with something like a USB memory key. The real advantage here is that when you swap between the two PCs, the device plugged into the KVM will be swapped over at the same time.
If you fancy the USB version, but still want to keep your PS/2 keyboard and mouse, Belkin offers a solution for this as well, in the shape of the F5U119-E PS/2 to USB converter. This is a simple dongle with two PS/2 ports at one end for the keyboard and mouse and a USB port at the other. It works perfectly well with the F1DL102U and as I have a PS/2 keyboard this was the ideal solution for me. It can of course be used with any USB enabled PC or laptop to which you want to connect up a PS/2 keyboard and mouse.
The F5U119-E let's you use PS/2 devices via USB.
If you don’t have space for the F1DL102U on your desk there is even a small utility supplied on the CD that allows you to swap between the two PCs without having to touch the main unit - as long as both of them are running Windows ME or later. There is an LED built into the switch button that tells you which of the two computers is currently active, although it’s not that hard to keep track of this with only two machines.
The F1DL102U supports resolutions of up to 2,048 x 1,536 which means that you’d need a pretty big monitor before you hit this little unit’s video limitations. With built in support for audio the F1DL102U is ideal for home use, since you can have one PC for the kids and one for the adults, but both can use the same audio peripherals. Either which way you look at it, if you have more than one PC, but don’t need to use both of them simultaneously then it is worth investing in a KVM switch.
Of course no matter how useful something is, it still has to be affordable and Belkin has given the F1DL102U an impressive price to match its impressive functionality. At £33.95 inc VAT the F1DL102U is a bit of a bargain, especially when you consider how much you’re saving on having only one monitor and input device set. So what more can I say than well done to Belkin for producing such an affordable and easy to use bit of kit.
The F1DL102U USB KVM is an excellent product if you’re after a KVM switch – it’s easy to use and offers some extra features that you don’t normally get. The price is also spot on, especially when you consider how much a full size KVM can set you back.