Iogear Inc. has vetted its MiniView Micro USB Plus KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) Switch for use with Apple’s new Mac mini. The self-powered switch enables two computers to share a single keyboard, mouse, video and audio connection. The MiniView Micro USB Plus KVM Switch costs US$79.95.
Apple’s new Mac mini has made a splash because it’s the least-expensive Macintosh ever: The system starts at just $499. Apple CEO Steve Jobs pitched the new computer when he introduced it as BYODKM, or Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard and Mouse — Apple does not include these peripherals, as it does with most of its higher-priced machines.
The Mac mini uses industry-standard interfaces to connect its peripherals: A Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connector for a monitor (Apple also includes a VGA adapter to connect to analog displays) and USB ports to connect a keyboard and mouse. With Iogear’s MiniView switch, the Mac mini can share a common analog display, USB keyboard and mouse and multimedia speakers with another computer.
Almost any KVM switch should work with the Mac mini, but Iogear has gone a step further by announcing a Mac-specific feature: “Hot key” emulation. Hot key emulation enables the functionality of the special keys found on a Mac keyboard, when using a PC keyboard instead.
Iogear says the MiniView features “USB Sniffing Technology” that reduces the delay some users experience when switching computers, and also allows multiple computers to be booted simultaneously. The MiniView Micro USB Plus KVM Switch also features audio support. Six-foot cables are molded into the unit to simplify hookup.
Iogear has also set up a new subsection of its Web site with a list of peripherals the company feels will appeal to new Mac mini buyers.