Pros: quick to install, no extra software needed, easy to use, small, an elegant solution
Cons: the remote's LED light is small and sometimes hard to see in a bright room
Our office purchased new computers, and I am one of the lucky ones who has benefited from the bounty. Unfortunately, one of the software programs we use in-house does not work on the newer operating system
so I am now jockeying between two computers. My newest best friend is the Belkin Flip KVM Switch.
What the Flip Button Does
Belkins motto for this product is: Two computers. One monitor. No problem.
The Flip button allows one to switch back and forth between two computers. All that is needed are the two computer towers, one monitor, one keyboard and one mouse plus the Belkin Flip.
This comes in a clear plastic blister-type packaging. The package includes: the remote (which sits on the desktop) and the base with cables (that is positioned near the computer towers). There is also a fastener strip to attach the remote to the monitor, keyboard or other item on the desk.
The remote is a small circular button that is about 1 3/4 in diameter. The top is white with a circular indent for a finger to press. Pressing the button switches the view between the two computers. Along the rim of the button are two colors: lime green and yellow. A small LED light also shines either green or amber. Each color is assigned to one of the computers. For example, my new computer displays the green light. When I press the button to change computers, the light turns to amber indicating the old computer is being accessed.
The remote also has a circular disc of adhesive on the bottom. The adhesive is covered by a removable piece of paper. You can choose to leave the paper in place, or remove the paper to adhere the remote in a fixed location on the desk.
The remote connects to the base. The base measures about 4 1/4 wide x 3 3/4 deep. The monitor and Flip remote plug into one side of the base. Plugging into the other side of the base are the two computers. The base has color-coded connectors (lime green and yellow) so that you can tell which computer connects to which color. These colors tie into the LED indicator light that shows on the remote.
A thin instruction pamphlet comes in the package. This users guide is only printed in English. The instructions are printed in large type and are accompanied by clear illustrations.
Setting up the Flip button is quick and easy.
1. Make sure the computers are off.
2. Connect monitor, keyboard and mouse to the base. Then connect the remote to the base. Place the circular remote anywhere on the desk.
3. Connect the cables to the monitor, keyboard and mouse ports on both computers.
4. Turn the computers on. You are ready to use the Flip button.
I placed the base near the two computer towers, which I have stacked one atop the other on the floor beside the desk. The cables are plenty long enough with enough leftover cable to coil up so it doesnt drape over the floor.
You are probably wondering if this magic button works with all computer systems.
Monitors Supported: VGA and DVI-I (with VGA adapter)
* Either a LCD or CRT monitor as long as it has a VGA connection
Maximum Video Resolution: up to 2048x1536@65Hz
Keyboards & Mice Supported: All PS/2 based PC keyboards and mice
* Windows 98SE, 2000, ME, XP, 2003
Important Note: Even though Windows NT is not listed in the above requirements one of my systems is running Windows NT, and the other computer is using Windows XP.
I cant believe how easy this Belkin Flip was to install and use. Im loving the convenience of clicking the button to switch back and forth between systems. I can even log off one system and switch back to the other computer to continue working. Its just like having two separate computers on my desk.
The remote is set near my LCD monitor. I didnt want to remove the paper over the adhesive on the bottom of the remote and stick it to the desk or monitor. Instead, I wrapped the narrow cord around the LCD neck. This keeps the remote laying flat on the desk surface.
Toggling between the two screens is simple and allows me to seamlessly continue my work. The change between screens is quick, too, with no waiting.
The green and amber LED light on the remote is tiny. My one complaint is that in a brightly lit room, the LED light is difficult to see. However, I solved the problem of knowing which computer was being used by setting the desktop wallpaper to different images. Now I instantly know which computer is active.
A great benefit to this Flip button is that I can also access all the information on the old computer. When the new computer was introduced, I didnt have to worry about all the files correctly migrating to the new machine. And its a good thing we did this. As it turns out, my new computer had issues with older files being read on the new software.
Two people in the office use the Flip to toggle back and forth between a desktop computer and their laptop computer. That way they have access to a larger LCD monitor than the laptop possesses. They can also use a regular-size keyboard versus the smaller laptop keypad.
The Belkin Flip sells at Staples for $59.98 each.
The Belkin Flip KVM Switch is a painless and simple way to move between to computer systems. I highly recommend this KVM solution if you need access to two computer systems.
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
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Acer 19 Widescreen LCD Monitor
Logitech V200 Cordless Notebook Mouse
Logitech MouseMan Dual Optical Mouse
Logitech S510 Cordless Keyboard and Mouse
Antec Notebook Cooler
SanDisk ImageMate Card Reader with Docking Station
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BestBuy Online Store
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Copyright 2006 Dawn L. Stewart