Thu, 03 Nov 2011 Kanex SnapX review
Share your Apple Cinema Display between two Macs
In the market as a whole there’s no shortage of KVM switches available. A KVM switch is a device that will allow you to share the keyboard, display and mouse between two or more computers. What’s lacking from most currently available KVMs is the ability to share devices such as the iSight camera – and that’s where the Kanex SnapX device comes in.
The SnapX from Kanex is designed to work with the Apple Cinema Display. It connects to the mini DisplayPort on your Macs – whether they are Mac Pros, Mac Minis, iMacs, MacBooks – and also requires a USB port on each. The cables for this arrangement are hidden conveniently behind the Cinema Display itself as the device has been designed to clip onto the rear of the unit.
The USB pass through cable allows you to use the iSight camera built into the Cinema Display on either computer; and also to make full use of the stereo speakers built into the Cinema Display from either. To use a keyboard and mouse between the two computers, you’ll need to plug them into the USB ports on the Cinema Display.
At 1.5 metres long, the cables built into the unit are just the right length to reach from the unit to your computers; they’re not so short as to be a stretch; not so long as to leave long dangling cable runs.
Power for the unit is drawn from the USB ports on each Mac; meaning there’s no separate power unit.
Once you plug everything in, and connect the Kanex SnapX to your Cinema Display you’re ready to go. Power up both computers, then when you wish to switch from one display to the other simply press the button on the top of the unit.