File transfer between various home computers made really easy
£23 Manufacturer Inateck, inateck.com 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