StarTech StarView 4-Port Tower KVM Switch Reviews
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Comments about StarTech StarView 4-Port Tower KVM Switch:
***Bottom-Line***: In the final analysis, I can live with the **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM** tilting hazard not withstanding.
The matt black** StarView 4 Port Tower Style KVM Switch** or console, if you prefer, allows you to control up to four (4) PS/2 computers from a single point by sharing a single keyboard, monitor, and mouse. Utilizing the front panel switch, Auto-scanning, or keyboard Hot-Keys you can switch between computers connected to the console with relative ease. A yellow LED on the front of the console tells you which computer you are currently monitoring, as it backlights white numbers down the fact of the switch. Connections are made in the back of the unit, and although the mouse port is a PS/2 type connection a USB mouse will work as long as a USB-to-PS/2 converter is used.
**StarView 4 Port Tower KVM **is offered in a unique tower configuration designed to save space on the desktop. The unit itself is smaller then I anticipated, but still functional and offers hot pluggable keyboard and mouse ports and supports high VGA resolution of up to 1920x1440. The **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM** comes in a kit that includes four 3-in-1 tangle free cables (more on these below), an instruction booklet and of course the console.
**My Viewpoint **
Once the computer(s) is connected to the **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM** it (they) can be powered on and operated normally. As I indicated above, you can toggle between computers via the rocker switch on the front of the console, or you can use keyboard shortcut method to move between attached computers. Below is the keyboard hotkeys to use to toggle between computers; I find the method straight forward and in line with methodologies employed by other KVM switches:
*Command Hotkey sequence*
- Select computer 1 Left Ctrl + Left Ctrl + 1
- Select computer 2 Left Ctrl + Left Ctrl + 2
- Select computer 3 Left Ctrl + Left Ctrl + 3
- Select computer 4 Left Ctrl + Left Ctrl + 4
- Scroll between powered-on Left Ctrl + Left Ctrl + F2 + Up/Down arrow
The **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM** can also Auto-scan for attached computers, pausing for a time at each powered-on unit before moving on to the next. Auto-scan will be suspended if any keyboard or mouse activity is detected by the switch; when the activity ends, Auto-scan will resume. **Note:** The auto-scan interval can be set to **3 **seconds (default setting, represented by one beep), **8 **seconds (two beeps), **15 **seconds (three beeps) and **30 **seconds (four beeps). The hot-key sequence to control the auto-scan function is detailed below:
*Command Hotkey sequence*
- Start auto-scan Left Ctrl + Left Ctrl + F1
- End auto-scan Left Ctrl + Left Ctrl
- Select Auto-scan interval Left Ctrl + Left Ctrl + F3
The biggest selling point of the **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM** is its small size, but it also its main drawback (see below). I like the cables, and the lack of an external power source (the console draws power from the computers PS/2 port); I already have enough block power supplies to open my own small electronics store specializing in the things. The front panel toggle makes it easy to switch between attached computers, but I also like the simple to remember keyboard short-cut keys, and the yellow LED that tell me which computer I am currently working with.
While I have not experienced any mechanical problems with the **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM**, I would think twice before purchasing another unit, or wholeheartedly recommending the product. The problems lie in form, not function; i.e. with even two cables attach to the back of the unit, it becomes unstable; that is it is pulled and tiled backwards by the weight of the cables. Installing all four cables would only make the situation worse. The problem lies in the **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM**'s small size; it is too small, measuring 1.9 inches (length) x 4.9 inches (width) x 3.9inches (height). The graphics on the various websites I visited before purchasing the unit, made it seem quite a bit larger.
If I had bothered to read and dimensions of the switch while I was doing the research for a new KVM, I probably would have passed, opting instead for a traditional horizontal model. Be that as it may, I have managed to make the **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM** stay upright on its base by shifting the weight of the cables elsewhere.
In the final analysis, I can live with the **StarView 4 Port Tower KVM** tilting hazard not withstanding. So far the unit works as advertised, has a small foot print, and is fairly attractive; I guess I'll keep it around.