Inateck HB4009

File trans­fer be­tween var­i­ous home com­put­ers made re­ally easy

Mac Format - - RATED -

£23 Man­u­fac­turer Inateck, Re­quires OS X 10.6 or higher, Win­dows 2000 SP3 or later, An­droid 2.2, 3.0 or 3.1 or later, USB ports

At a sim­ple level, this is a com­pact, three-port USB 3.0 hub, but it can also at­tach to a sec­ond Mac, PC or An­droid de­vice. When you run the soft­ware (which mounts as a CD on each sys­tem when the HB4009 is plugged in), you can use the key­board and mouse con­nected to your main com­puter to con­trol the sec­ondary one. Switch be­tween them with a key­board short­cut or by mov­ing your pointer off the edge of the screen; it’s cool, if dis­con­cert­ing, to throw the pointer off the edge of a screen and onto a PC. Us­ing a key­board and mouse on an An­droid phone (sadly, though pre­dictably, not iOS) is even weirder.

You can browse the hard drives of each com­puter from the other, open­ing, copy­ing, and drag­ging files. Yeah, you ‘should’ use a net­work, but this is a very con­ve­nient method. Even your clip­board is syn­chro­nised. In this, the HB4009 is ac­tu­ally richer than a tra­di­tional KVM switch, and cheaper than most, although it doesn’t of­fer the op­tion to share dis­plays. A unique of­fer­ing though, and it works! Christo­pher Phin

It doesn’t look like much but the HB4009 is a new way to link dif­fer­ent com­put­ers. The soft­ware isn’t pretty, and the man­ual is poorly writ­ten, but this is a hugely use­ful lit­tle de­vice that’s very cheap.

De­spite be­ing weird, it works!

Ter­rific value for money

Can’t con­trol iOS de­vices

A few rough edges in the soft­ware

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