Belkin Australia Flip
- Convenient, LED light, Ease of setup, Colour Coded Wires
- Large and Bulky base
If you constantly use two computers, the Flip will definitely save you plenty of time and desktop space.
Price$ 99.99 (AUD)
Two computers. One monitor. No problem.
This is the latest marketing catch cry for Belkin's new Flip; a switch which allows you to share one monitor between two computers by simply pressing a small remote. An ingeniously simple yet at the same time intuitive device, the Flip ensures you can keep your desktop free of extra peripherals and cables by using just one monitor, keyboard, mouse and if required, speakers.
The Flip comes in two parts; the main base with connector ports and cables and the switch itself. The base contains inputs for a USB keyboard and mouse, a headphone jack, a standard VGA input as well as the switch plug. It is pretty easy to setup - first connect your monitor, keyboard mouse and speakers to the base, then plug in the remote to the base.
From here you simply connect one set of cables to the monitor, USB and speaker ports on the first computer and do the same for the second. You need to connect both the VGA and USB cables obviously, but you don't need the speaker cable plugged in if you don't want to use it - it is more for convenience than anything else. Still, the ability to use your speakers with two computers is pretty good value, even if the Flips main claim to fame is to use a single monitor with dual PCs.
The only complaint we had with the physical aspects of the Flip is the main base; it is a little bulky. In saying this however, it can be neatly tucked away behind your computer or monitor, away from prying eyes; during our testing, the only visible part of the Flip was the switch; the rest of the cables and base were hidden behind our computers. So this isn't anything which detracts from the product overall.
In good news for Mac fans, the Flip can be used with any PC or Mac computer - and even supports Linux. You can use any combination of PC and Mac desktop or notebook computers; we tested ours with an iMac 17-inch model and a PC. The results were fairly flawless, and the anti-slip rubber backing at the bottom of the switch itself is an excellent touch. Conveniently, the LED light on the switch lets you know which computer you are connected to; green for the first and yellow for the second - all the wires are colour coded, so be sure to take note which one is which when you first plug it in.
The Flip supports video resolutions of up to 2048 x 1536 and is also compatible with all VGA and DVI-I monitors. There are two versions; a USB and a PS2. If you intend to use the Flip for a Mac, it will obviously only work with the USB model.
At this price the Flip is very competitive in the KVM market. Ideal for business professionals who bring their laptops home from work and consumer or businesses who use two computers, the Flip is definitely an option worth considering.
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