4 Monitors, 1 Laptop, 1 Desktop, 1 keyboard, 1 mouse

Nov 14, 2018
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I would like to use one mouse and one keyboard to control both laptop and desktop. The end setup would be two monitors for laptop and two monitors for desktop and being able to switch back and forth to either using one mouse/keyboard. All hardware (computers/monitors) are relatively new. 2017 or later models. I'm open to any suggestions on how to make this work via the least painful method. I think this would involve some combination of kvm switch and dock station, but i'm open to any other suggestions? Is this possible? thanks!
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Should be fairly straightforward.

Keyboard and mouse to dual KVM switch. One side of KVM serving the desktop and the other side of the KVM serving the laptop's docking station.

Two monitors into the desktop and two monitors into the docking station. Then use extended mode on the desktop and laptop so each can use it's own respective pair of monitors.

May be a bunch of cables and adapters involved so sketch it all to include ports, cables (plugs and gender) to fit it all together.

 
Nov 14, 2018
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Thanks for the input. Would any old dual KVM work? I'm seeing quite a large price range for dual KVM's...from $15 to up over $100. Would "IOGEAR 2-Port USB VGA Cable KVM Switch with Cables and Remote, GCS22U" work? It's only $17.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
"Any old dual KVM" - likely not.

Does the following link show the KVM:

https://www.amazon.com/IOGEAR-2-Port-Switch-Cables-GCS22U/dp/B001D1UTC4

Well/way backwards with respect to the connectivity that you most likely need.

$17 not likely to support your requirements. And, even if the switch happens to do so, the quality is likely to be suspect.

Switch is VGA. Your systems and monitors are likely DVI. Are your keyboard and mouse USB?

You want to keep the connectivity as simple as possible, free of extra adapters and/or converters.

That is why I suggested diagramming out the existing plugs and ports. Does not need to be a work of art. Just clear enough that you can figure out the necessary connections.

Then find a KVM switch that will match accordingly. Either directly or, if absolutely necessary, with some sort of adapter. And check if the switch comes with then necessary cables. Especially if the price seems low.

Here is a KVM switch that may be closer towards meeting your requirements:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1052046-REG/iogear_gcs922u_2_port_usb_dvi_cable.html

Representative only. Reviews not good (in my mind) and USB seems to be an issue. You should get USB 2.0 at a minimum. 3.0 if available and affordable. (Future proofing...)
 
Nov 14, 2018
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My monitors are a mix of VGA and DVI...mouse and keyboard are USB. So, Alabalcho's solution...using USB switch (and HUB?). I'm trying to diagram that out in my head. Something like the following should(?) work...plug laptop and desktop into usb 1 and 2 and plug keyboard/mouse into any of four usb outputs?

 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Alabalcho's idea is excellent - much simpler and elegant.

You are not sharing dual monitors between two computers (i.e., desktop and laptop/docking station) so there is no need to consider video connectivity via the KVM switch per se.

The USB KVM switch controls/selects one computer or the other and consequently the monitors connected to that computer. Which can be two monitors in duplicate or extended mode connected to that computer albeit VGA or DVI.

I think the USB switch alone, as shown, should do it. Yes - keyboard and mouse connected to the input side.

Then you just need the USB cables: one pair output for keyboard and mouse to computer, the other pair likewise output to the docking station.

Honestly not sure about the hub but I believe Alabalcho is a step ahead with respect to the big picture so I will defer to his response accordingly.



 

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