John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

USB Keyboard and Mouse Sharing

Having a laptop and a Tablet (or Phone, or even second PC) often means two Keyboards and Mice. Not exactly convenient. So when I saw this device on ebay I was curious as to how it would work. Or even if. So on a whim I decided to buy one. What it advertises is to act as a keyboard mouse switch between two USB devices. As well as the ability to transfer files between the two devices.

As usual the shipping from China took a while. Weeks. The price to pay for free shipping and cheap product is patience 🙂 And as those who know me know, I have that in spades 🙂 NOT. Moving on …

When you first insert the device into your USB port it mounts up a CD where the install program exists. This installs a program called Smart KM Link (they say there is no software to load but this is at best an embellishment) that puts an icon into tray. They have wisely included the ability to update this from the web including the contents of this auto installer. Nicely done. Once everything is installed on what I would call the host computer you are ready to plug in the second device. How this works depends on the second device.

With Android as the second device: I tried this with both an Android Tablet (my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus running Android 3) as well as an Android Phone (my Samsung Captivate Glide running Android 2.35). The device correctly gets seen as a keyboard and mouse on both the tablet and phone. I tested it more on the phone than the tablet and it worked well but did seem to draw a lot of power, draining the battery. Of course the on the go USB cable means you can’t charge it at the same time creating a limitation of this device. No idea why it draws so much power. I did find it slightly unreliable crashing the phone once or twice. To switch the mouse between the two devices you simply press ALT-S (by default but can be changed) and again to bring it back. Every time your mouse hits the edge of the screen it complains you can not do that unless it’s two computers so you can change this to only work with the middle mouse button to get around this limitation when using Android.

With a PC as the second device it works even better. You can define if the second computer is left or right of the first and as you bring the mouse to the edge it seamlessly moves the mouse/keyboard over to the second PC. This really does work well. And it is bi-directional. You can use it on either computer. The computer also allows you to share the clipboard. So a file that is copied into the clipboard can then in turn be pasted onto the other computer without you even thinking about the fact you are on different computers. Impressive. I was shocked how easy and intuitive this is. There are suppose to be other ways to transfer files between the two but so far I haven’t been able to figure them out.

It really was easy to setup, use and configure and worked well. It is an elegant solution to an ugly problem.

There are software ways of accomplishing the same between two computers, but this device is far more flexible, and for the price $20 …

Manufacturers web site.

As an interesting aside … this is my 120th post into this blog! Wow … seems just yesterday I started it as a way to share stuff with my friends!


June 3, 2012 - Posted by | Android, Electronic gadget reviews

1 Comment »

  1. nice find. thx for sharing.

    Comment by sean | June 4, 2012 | Reply

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