Aten CS661 Laptop USB KVM Switch

Aten CS661 Laptop USB KVM Switch

The Aten CS661 is a unique device used for hooking up two laptops through USB and transferring data easily between them. I say laptops, but in truth the device works well with any computer with a USB port. The unit is roughly the size of a chewing gum pack and extremely portable. It has two USB connector cables of different lengths, 0.9mm and 1.8m, for hooking up two computers. What I like most about the CS661 Laptop USB KVM Switch is its extemely easy-to-use nature. It doesn't require any software installation to get working. Just plug-n-play, as simple as that.

Dual PC control is one of its noteworthy features. Like Windows Remote Desktop, the CS661 allows you to control both your local and remote PC via the local computer. How? Very easy. The shorter USB cable (labeled LOCAL) goes into the computer which controls the other system -- connected over the longer cable (labeled REMOTE). After the device is detected, click the autoplay window pop-up called 'Run ATEN_CS661.exe' on the connected computers to get things going.

The Aten CS661 has an intuitive interface on the local computer, and the remote computer window has several menu options. The one we are most interested in is Open File Transfer. Click on it to launch a file transfer console which gives a Windows Explorer-like file view of the local and remote computers in two distinct columns. Transferring files between the two PCs is as simple as selecting them and clicking the Send or Receive button, or simply by drag-and-drop. There's a blue indicator on the Aten CS661 which starts flashing whenever files are being transferred to and fro. We got steady transfer speeds of 11MBps, which is good but could've been better.

The device has a USB port along its length in case you feel the need to plug in a flash drive or connect a printer. The switch comes with a carry case and quick guide. The Aten CS661 supports Microsoft Windows 2000 and later operating systems only, and isn't yet compatible with Mac or Linux. Apart from this handicap, there's nothing much to undermine the usefulness of this simple USB-to-USB data transfer device.

Price: Rs. 6,500

PCW Rating: 76

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