I recently replaced my iMac with an M1 Mac mini and did an entire rework of my desk setup. With the iMac gone, I was finally able to buy a proper 4k montior to share between my work laptop and my personal workstation. I was also able to upgrade my keyboard to a Varmilo Miya Pro and get a new mouse. Since I would be switching between my work and personal machines several times a day, I wanted a simple and reliable system to share external devices between my systems.
A KVM switch is the first obvious solution, but — as anyone who has ever used a KVM switch knows — they leave a lot to be desired. They are often flaky and hardly ever work as reliably as they should. I wanted something better.
My monitor handles switching between inputs perfectly fine, so I decided to just use that for display switching. My mouse, too, easily switches between three different computers and works without issue. The only outlier in my setup was the keyboard. Recently, however, I’ve discovered these super handy magnetic USB cables from NetDot. They work amazingly well for my bluetooth headphones and the kids’ tablets, I wondered if they’d work for my keyboard, too.
Long story short, they did. I purchased some NetDot Gen12 cables. I keep a long USB cable plugged in to my work laptop and my Mac mini. I put the magnetic adapter into the keyboard. With a quick pull and snap I can reliably switch my keyboard between computers without lag or searching for a button.
Someday there might be a reliable USB4 KVM switch that’ll let me live the single cable dream between my personal and work computers. However, until that day — if ever — I’ll continue to use the very reliable and simple solution magnetic USB cables provide.