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Startech.com KVM Console to USB 2.0 Crash Cart Adapter
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Startech.com
Source: Startech.com
Purchase: Startech.com
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 6 of 6 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]
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July 23, 2009

Conclusion:

With just a minimal software installation on your Windows or Intel based Mac crash cart computer, the Startech.com KVM Console to USB 2.0 Crash Cart Adapter can provide you with a quick and easy way to gain control of just about any computer. There is no software to install on the computers you wish to control, so you can gain access to other Windows, Mac, or Linux computers, and you can even gain control right at boot up in order to access the BIOS.

I can see this as an invaluable item in an IT professional's tool kit, providing an easy way to access terminals, industrial computers, headless servers, and other applications where you might not keep a keyboard, mouse, and monitor installed at all times. You are able to get on, take control, and do all the basic things you might need to do.

Promo Image

The main issues I experienced with the adapter were related to the software included with the device that all initial testing was completed with. Startech.com released new software a few days after the review was originally completed, and all necessary tests were re-executed. The results were far better the second time around, so I would definitely recommend visiting the download page prior to installation just to make sure you have the latest version. I would assume that the crash cart adapters shipping now would have the latest version on the flash disk, but just making sure could eliminate some frustration.

The Startech.com KVM Console to USB 2.0 Crash Cart Adapter can be purchased directly from their website for about $470 (US), or from one of the approved retailers they list for as low as $350 (US). Just considering the basic hardware and software involved, either price seems very high to me, but to be honest I am unaware of anything quite like it to compare it to. It is orders of magnitude more expensive than a typical KVM, and even far more expensive than an annual subscription to some of the better remote access software. But, while it provides some similar functionality, it does not perform the exact same functions and a price comparison definitely is not apples-to-apples.

The bottom line is that Startech.com's claim of "Making hard-to-find easy" may be well demonstrated by this product. It may not do everything the way I expected, but as far as I can tell it is the only thing out there that does it at all. Like most things that are hard-to-find, if you really want it you have to be prepared to pay a premium.

Pros:

Simple solution for gaining access/control of many systems
Could prove to be an invaluable tool for IT professionals
Compact, lightweight, and includes basic cables and adapters required for use
No external power required
No software required for system you are trying to control
Able to control in Windows, Linux, Mac, or even in the BIOS

Cons:

Pricey
Get latest download from the Startech.com website in lieu of bundled software
Image/text quality is degraded
Display resolution may be scaled down, even if you think it should fit

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