IOGEAR 4K USB-C and DisplayPort KVMP Switch Specs
Ports: 1 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A 3.0, 2 x USB-A 2.0, 2 x USB-B 3.0, 3 x DisplayPort, 4 x 3.5mm audio jack.
Supports: Windows 10 laptops and MacBooks with USB-C connectivity, PCs with DisplayPort (minimum Minimum DP1.2 support) and USB-A ports.
Building the ultimate personal setup at home has become a craft, now more than ever with many of us shifting to the work-from-home lifestyle. Whether it be an RGB-infused gaming setup, a professional workspace or a space that oozes creativity, a lot of time and effort goes into making the perfect setup. But what if you could fit these different personal setups into one space? A KVMP (keyboard, video, mouse, peripheral) switch can help you do that.
IOGEAR’s new KVMP switch allows users to easily plug in their USB-C-equipped laptops and share accessories, displays, and printers with two other PCs — whether it’s another laptop or a desktop. Aimed at those with multiple devices, from families that have their own individual devices to those with a gaming rig, but use a laptop specifically for work, the 4K USB-C and DisplayPort KVMP Switch lets you, well, switch devices on the fly.
Using just one keyboard, one mouse and one monitor, users can easily switch and control each PC. Better yet, IOGEAR’s device can charge your laptop while staying connected to each device. If you’re looking to bring some order to the mess of cables and accessories on your desk and need a way to bring your devices together, IOGEAR’s KVMP Switch is an ideal choice.
Unfortunately, the convenience of switching comes at a steep price. The cost of IOGEAR’s device is the equivalent of a brand-new laptop or Chromebook; and fairly good ones at that. Plus, the many people that don’t have three PCs will find they wouldn’t be getting their money’s worth with this KVMP Switch. Is it worth your hard-earned cash to get you one step closer to your dream 4K-capable mega hub? Let’s find out.
IOGEAR 4K USB-C and DisplayPort KVMP Switch price and availability
The IOGEAR KVMP Switch can turn your workstation into a formidable mega-hub and declutter the mess of wires on your desk, but you’ll have to cough up $499.95 to nab it. You could get the best laptop for under $500 or even the best Chromebook on the market today for that kind of money. Plus, that doesn’t take into account the laptop, two desktops, mouse, keyboard and 4K monitor you’ll need to make the most of the KVMP switch.
While pricey, doing a quick search around different online retailers can cut that price down by a significant amount. On Newegg, IOGEAR’s KVMP switch is priced at $405.99, while computer store COLAMCO is offering the device for $379.69. These discounted prices are a lot more convincing as opposed to dishing out $500, especially when a comparably more affordable docking station can turn your laptop into a desktop replacement.
That stated, those looking to build a mega-hub with a laptop, two desktops, and a 4K monitor (or already own it all) have a better reason to opt for a KVMP Switch. There are far more affordable KVM switch options available, however, including IOGEAR’s own $200 2-Port USB-C KVM Switch with Power Delivery and the $75 Greathtek 4-in-1 HDMI KVM switch.
Whatever the use case, the IOGEAR KVMP Switch’s retail cost is overpriced when compared to other devices. However, it does offer convenient perks that offer users multiple ways to switch between PCs, along with providing all the cables you’d need to connect all your devices.
IOGEAR 4K USB-C and DisplayPort KVMP Switch design
When I received the IOGEAR KVMP Switch, I was secretly hoping the company hid a special feature in it. A brief glance at the device made me believe it was a mini scanner in disguise, such as the portable document scanners from Epson or Brother. Of course, I deceived myself, but this misconception is a testament to the KVMP switch’s professional design.
Like many docking stations and USB-C hubs, this isn’t a device that’s meant to stand out on a desk. The IOGEAR KVMP Switch’s design revolves around accessibility, and it could easily slip into any professional work setup. The KVMP switch has a sturdy graphite grey plastic frame, with the top and rear sporting a matte black metal. You’ll find IOGEAR’s signature logo along with three buttons that lets users easily switch between different PCs. LED indicators light up to show you which PC is currently in use, which is a small, but welcome perk.
IOGEAR left the majority of its ports behind the device, leaving a simple USB-A port facing the front for users to slip in a USB drive or external storage. I love when a device prioritizes cable management, and IOGEAR has neatly laid out its ports along the rear to get rid of the mess of wires that plague people’s desks. The ports and connections for each PC are divided into sections too, making it simple to know where each desktop or laptop is being connected.
Coming in at 1.1 pounds (0.5 kilograms) with dimensions of 8.1 x 3 x 1.7 inches (206 x 76 x 43 millimeters), the IOGEAR KVMP Switch is similar to a number of the best docking stations around, including the Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station (1 pound, 7.3 x 2.9 x 1.3 inches) and the Kensington SD5700T docking station (0.9 pounds, 7.1 x 3 x 1.2 inches). Like these devices, the KVMP switch is meant to take up a permanent spot on your work setup.
IOGEAR 4K USB-C and DisplayPort KVMP Switch ports and connectivity
IOGEAR’s KVMP Switch offers all the ports you will need to easily link your PCs and accessories into one conveniently spaced hub. Plus, even if you don’t have the right cables for it, the KVMP switch comes with all the necessary wiring.
On the front, you’ll find a 3.5mm stereo audio jack and one USB-A 3.0 port. The latter is aimed to be used for USB sticks, but it can also be used to connect your smartphone or for your mouse and keyboard. You won’t need to, as there are designated ports for those peripherals.
Everything else is placed along the rear; divided into four sections. For your main console, there’s another 3.5mm audio jack and USB-A 3.0 port, two USB-A 2.0 ports (meant for a mouse and keyboard), and a DisplayPort that supports 4K resolution (4096 x 2160) at 60Hz or 30Hz. The next section is for laptops, which includes a 3.5mm audio jack and USB-C port with Power Delivery. That lets you connect and charge a laptop at the same time.
The last two sections are for desktop connectivity, with each sporting a DisplayPort, a USB-B 3.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Just to be clear, you won’t need to worry about audio output with this KVMP Switch.
IOGEAR 4K USB-C and DisplayPort KVMP Switch performance
IOGEAR has promoted its KVMP Switch to be used with one laptop and two desktops, even providing a section at the back of the device for one USB-C laptop. But this is Laptop Mag, dammit! So of course I tried using laptops instead of desktops.
Using a Dell Latitude laptop, an Acer Nitro 5 laptop, and the more power-demanding Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2021), I plugged in each device to the three designated terminals icing the provided USB-C and USB-B to USB-A cables. After a quick setup on each laptop, the buttons on the front of the device lit up, with green LEDs indicating which laptop I was in control of. It all worked seamlessly, and after taking a quick second to switch after pressing a button, I could control the other PC with my mouse and keyboard.
After connecting my HyperX Alloy Origins 60 keyboard and wireless Razer Naga Pro to the main console of the KVMP switch, I found the keyboard worked instantly and lit up in all of its RGB glory. With the Razer Naga Pro, however, I encountered input lag. The wireless mouse uses a USB-A stick to connect, but the KVMP switch had trouble keeping up with my mouse movements because the designated USB port for the mouse is USB-A 2.0. At some points it stopped working altogether.
I switched to the wired HyperX Pulsefire Haste instead, and it worked instantly. After this, I tried plugging in the Naga Pro’s stick to the USB-A 3.0 port, and then it started working. It’s a shame the designated mouse port has trouble with wireless peripherals, especially for those who may not be “in the know” with USB ports.
Since none of these laptops have a DisplayPort, I had to switch to a desktop to see how it performed when using one monitor. Just like the laptops, it took no time to setup, and I switched devices with a press of a button. It only takes a couple of seconds for the monitor to switch from the laptop to the desktop, and vice versa.
While it can connect different PCs to one monitor, keep in mind the KVMP switch doesn’t connect each PC. This means you can’t transfer data from one PC to the other when connected to the switch.
IOGEAR provided multiple ways for users to switch to different PCs, and even included a push-button panel so you don’t have to reach for the button on the KVMP switch. That’s not all, as you can also use hotkey combinations on your keyboard or the mouse wheel. While having these options are great perks, I stuck to the buttons on the device itself.
For those that have a 4K monitor, there’s a switch on the console section of the rear that allows you to change between 4K at 30Hz or 4K at 60Hz. While it would make more sense to have this on the front of the device for users to access it, I can’t imagine many needing to use the switch often. If your display supports 4K at 60Hz, would you want to revert back to 30Hz?
Since the IOGEAR KVMP Switch does support Power Delivery to charge laptops, I was disappointed that the USB-A ports couldn’t be used to charge other devices. When plugging in my smartphone, I transferred files between devices, but couldn’t simultaneously juice up the device. That said, because there are three PCs in use, these can charge a device instead.
The IOGEAR 4K USB-C and DisplayPort KVMP Switch is a niche device. It offers the potential to bring three PCs together in a simple and convenient work setup, letting you easily switch between work and play. This is only made better if you have two monitors or a 4K display.
Even if you do have a 4K monitor and three PCs, whether they be laptops or desktops, the KVMP switch’s $500 price tag is too much, especially when all your PCs will need to have DisplayPort connectivity. On the plus side, you won’t need to buy any additional cables since IOGEAR provides the necessary connectivity; unless you’re in need of a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter.
If you’re on the path to build your dream personal setup and have the money to spend, the IOGEAR 4K USB-C and DisplayPort KVMP Switch will do the trick. The good news is you only need one mouse and keyboard to control each PC, and if you’re looking for the best around, check out our list of best keyboards and for the best mouse.