_Hardware Reviews
LevelOne KVM-0405 - 4 Port KVM  
  Above you can see the KVM-0405 from LevelOne of Taiwan. It is a 4 Port KVM which means that you can use the same Kbd/Monitor/Mouse and switch between 4 computers using 3 quick keystrokes (For instance LEFTCTRL LEFTCTRL 1 gives you Computer 1, LEFTCTRL LEFTCTRL 2 gives you computer 2). Therefore it brings convenience because you do not have to switch seating positions to use another set of input devices each time you need to check in to what your computer 2 is doing for instance.  
  This is very useful if you have several servers but it is also useful for home because you can be installing a computer but instead of doing a lot of waiting you can switch back to your main computer and surf the net in the meantime, switching back to the installation periodically to see how it is doing.  
  This particular KVM is quite attractive because it has a futuristic design. One of the four leds on the front panel light red according to which computer is active at the time.  
  Above you can see the side of the KVM-0405 and you should note the only button on the unit which can be used to switch through the computers connected in the case that you did not want to use the keyboard to make the switch. In the end you will find that the keyboard is more convenient to use therefore the button is forgotten.  
  It is important to note that this KVM-0405 has a vertical design. It would not be so attractive in design if it was a horizontal box. However I prefer functionality more than design and it is the vertical design of this KVM which brings the shortcoming that when all the cables are connected to the unit you have to arrange for some slack in the cables otherwise the unit continuinally falls over. Included in the box is a velcro pad to stick the KVM to your desk but I found this to be ineffective.  
Above you can see the rear ports of the KVM-0405. There are three inputs at the bottom which are for you to connect your keyboard, mouse and monitor. Then you have the four ports above which are used to connect the included cables to four of your computers. All four cables are included in the box and they are each 1.8m long. The cables internally include wires for kbd, mouse and video and apart from the end connectors appear as single cables. With this method you will avoid cable clutter underneath your desk.
You should note that this KVM does not include USB ports or DVI monitor connection. You can get KVM units which have additional USB ports in order to share USB devices between several computers.
Above you can see one of the cables that LevelOne include with the KVM-0405. These give a great picture which I am happy to use all the time on my home setup. There is no distortion/ghosting at all, an excellent picture. It is very important to be careful when buying a KVM that the cables and unit will be able to provide a great signal. Cheap cables can give awful ghosting to your picture that you will not like at all. This is not a concern with the LevelOne cables.
  Here is the mandatory internal picture of the KVM-0405. You can see that the four port unit has an additional top board which contains the additional two ports. This attaches to the bottom two port host unit which contains the connections for your kbd/monitor/mouse cables. You can see that there is no power connection to the unit. This is because the unit runs off the power from your computers. Therefore another wall wart power supply is avoided to be added to your collection and that is good.  
Above you can see a closer view of the circuit board and parts. Unfortunately it looks like LevelOne has chosen capacitors that look like dodgy taiwanese brands but I believe that it is not necessary to worry because this unit is not using much power.
  If you want a KVM with an excellent picture then the LevelOne KVM-0405 is a great choice. If you need USB ports then choose another model. The only downside is that the unit falls on it's side with all the cables attached. The easy thing to do is stick it under the desk and use the keyboard to switch between the computers, then that is no longer a concern.  
A great KVM if you can forgive that the unit does not always stand up straight with all the cables attached.
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