GCN LAB REVIEWS
A KVM switch for those switching to DisplayPort monitors and PCs
StarView provides an easy way to use two computers with one monitor
- By Greg Crowe
- Jul 07, 2010
DisplayPort is a digital video standard much like High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). The main difference between the two is that DisplayPort is royalty-free. It has gained in popularity during the past couple of years, and more DisplayPort-capable monitors and computers are hitting the market.
A major drawback to DisplayPort pops up when a user needs to switch from one computer to another. Because of a lack of DisplayPort-compatible keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) switches on the market, a network administrator would need to use adapters for DisplayPort equipment in such a configuration. StarTech recognized this void and is filling it with the StarTech DisplayPort KVM Switch (SV231DPU).
The StarTech comes in a small black metal casing that is 4.9 inches wide by 2.75 inches deep by 1.6 inches high and weighs 14.5 ounces, not including the power adapter or cables. It has DisplayPort ports for a monitor and two computers, in addition to USB ports for the computers, a keyboard, a mouse and a USB hub port that the active computer can use for flash drives or other devices.
StarTech DisplayPort KVM Switch (SV231DPU)
Ease of Use: A
Price: $220 ($160 government)
Although StarTech does not claim that the switch meets Mil-Std 810F specifications for devices, the case does seem pretty tough, and we imagine it would hold up well in normal use. It could even endure somewhat rough handling because it does not have any moving parts.
We found the StarTech to be easy to set up. All we had to do was connect all of the cables and plug in the power adapter. Every port on the back was clearly marked, so although many of them are similar to one another, it wasn’t hard to tell them apart.
Switching from one computer to the other was as simple as pushing the Select button. Alternatively, several hot-key commands are built in, allowing users to switch to one computer or the other, start and stop automatically scanning between them at a certain time interval, and dictate how the USB port is used — all with a few specific keystrokes. The lights in the front clearly indicated which computer was active.
We would have liked to see more than two ports, although four ports would have roughly doubled the price, so we understand why StarTech did not do that. In addition, many office workers with more than one computer probably have no more than two.
StarTech is selling the StarTech DisplayPort KVM Switch (SV231DPU) for $220, which isn’t a bad price, all things considered. The government price of $160 is well within the range of what we would expect to pay for a two-port DisplayPort switch.
The device would be well-suited for a user who needs to switch between two computers but only wants one DisplayPort monitor cluttering the desktop.
Greg Crowe is a staff writer covering mobile technology for GCN. Follow him on Twitter: @GCNLabGuys.