ioGear, maker of USB-C Hubs and other things, is returning to their roots with a updated KVM switch, the Access Pro USB-C KVM. But should you want one?
Traditionally, a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch is a device that you might use when you have multiple computers and limited amounts of deskspace: you want to use one keyboard, one mouse, and one video display to control these multiple computers. The KVM switch lets you switch between them.
ioGear made KVM switches for years. What makes this one different is that it uses USB-C as the connector for a single connection to each computer. In the past, you would have needed 3 connections to each computer.
Instead, you connect a display with HDMI, and keyboard and mouse over traditional USB-A 3.1 ports, or a USB-C port. Then you connect your two computers over USB-C, and away you go, switching between them with a keystroke.
What makes this Access Pro USB-C KVM really special is the fact that it supports USB-C PD, so it can charge the laptops you have connected to it, or mobile devices. Mobile devices?
Samsung DeX mode is supported. Samsung DeX is another variation of the dream that you could use your phone as a mobile touchscreen device on the go, and dock it at a desk when at home, where the display would change to a desktop interface, controlled by keyboard and mouse. Many have tried this in the past: Motorola, Windows Phone, and now Samsung, who make a dock that has HDMI, USB, and Ethernet specifically to make this practical. And the ioGEAR Access Pro USB-C KVM is compatible, which means you could switch between your regular computer and Samsung, using the same monitor, keyboard and mouse. For those of the iOS persuasion, iPadOS will work on the iPad Pro 3rd generation, too.
The ioGEAR Access Pro USB-C KVM is pretty powerful, if you need this sort of thing. The Access Pro can send up to 75W to a PC or laptop, and up to 10W to a smartphone.
There are a pair of USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports that can transfer data at up to 5Gbps.
The external monitor must use an HDMI connection. IOGear’s switch supports up to 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at 30Hz.
The Access Pro 2-Port USB-C KVM Switch with Power Delivery will be available online and at major retailers for $199.95 at the end of August.