|Belkin SOHO 4-Port DVI/USB KVM Switch F1DD104L|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by David Ramsey - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 11 October 2009|
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Closer Look: SOHO KVM Switch
The Belkin SOHO F1DD104L packaging is an easy-to-open box with a photo and basic specifications on the front. I'm a big fan of packaging like this, that clearly shows you the product and its specifications, and isn't a clear plastic blister pack:
The back of the box has more technical details and a labeled photo of the rear of the switch:
The Belkin SOHO F1DD104L retail kit contains:
The SOHO F1DD104L is a high-end product and looks like it. Features aside, its appearance exudes a feeling of quality. It's fairly large, but its size is dictated by the space needed for the ports on the back. Belkin's dimensional specifications as shown in the chart in the previous section are wrong: the actual height of the unit is about 1.75", not 5.5". Still, it's gonna take up some desk space. Belkin makes good use of the device's necessary size by providing large 3-way color-coded buttons on the front for switching between the connected computers.
The SOHO comes with all the cables you need: 4 six-foot DVI/USB cable assemblies and 4 separate six-foot audio/microphone cables. I'm not sure why the audio cables are separate: a previous IOGear DVI KVM I used bundled all the cables together into a single assembly, which is neater and more convenient. Retaining screws on the DVI connectors of the cables are color-coded (green, orange, blue, and red) and match the color rings around the buttons on the front of the unit. This is a handy feature if you're crawling around under your desk trying to remember which cable plugs in where...as long as you're not color-blind, of course.
Although 6 foot cable runs seem to be standard for KVM switches, they can be a little short when you're trying to arrange four tower computers within reach of the switch. Belkin offers separate 15-foot cable assemblies, but apparently only for the VGA-PS/2 version of this switch. Of course you can always use separate generic DVI, USB, and audio cables.
A small power adapter provides 9v at 1 amp. Frustratingly, the adapter is a generic part whose appearance and labeling provide no clue as to what it's intended for. Label it so you'll know in the future.