I had a delima. I had a laptop with a docking station, a desktop, and MS surface pro with dock (for testing). Each with their own keyboard, mouse and monitor. My first thought was going out and get the traditional KVM switch, but really I didn't want to combine monitors just yet, I wanted share the keyboard, mouse and possible USB headset.
Also, I wanted to cut wires and eliminate waste in my workspace. So, I choose to the following pieces of equipment.
- IOGEAR 4x4 USB 2.0 Peripheral Switch (GUS404) (Amazon.com)
- Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard (5KV-00001) (Amazon.com)
- Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse (L6V-00001) (Amazon.com)
- Logitech H390 USB Headset (Amazon.com)
The setup was easy. Everything was was plug-n-play. It does say that the peripheral switch requires USB 2.0. That was not a problem for me since I have 2.0 and 3.0 available for all the devices. There is a mini-USB DC in 5v on the peripheral switch. I would assume that if needed the peripheral switch can be powered through the mini-USB if you do not have USB 2.0 available on your devices. That would be an additional cost and road that I did not need to got down right now.
It is working pretty well. As you would expect toggling between the device is simple, but there is a little lag. This is tolerable and expected because the USB has to engage to the new device and that will always take a second. Once your realize that, it is a breeze to switch back and forth.
This might not be for everyone, but is working for me. I will update as a continue to use this more and more in the next couple of months.