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Thursday July 27, 2017
Review: Aten US7220 2-Port Thunderbolt 2 sharing switch
by Anthony Agius | Jul 6, 2017 | Comment Now
Review: Aten US7220 2-Port Thunderbolt 2 sharing switch
Rating
Overall:

"The main reason to buy the US7220 is if you want to share a Thunderbolt 2 device between two computers, without having to get up and unplug it."

Price
$769 AUD *

> Pricing info

Specs
3x USB3.1 Gen1, 2x USB2.0, 1x E-SATA, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 2x Stereo/Mini Toslink Jack input & output, 1 x HDMI, 3x Thunderbolt 2.0
* Price at time of review
A KVM switch that uses Thunderbolt 2 instead of USB for additional device support.

The Aten US7220 2-Port Thunderbolt 2 Sharing Switch is a curious device. It’s a KVM, but it’s also a Thunderbolt 2 dock with additional ports. This $769 device lets you hook up two computers with Thunderbolt 2 ports and with the push of a button, swap which computer has access to the stuff connected to the switch. 

What stuff can you connect? The Aten US7220 has plenty of ports: 1x eSATA, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2x USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI (max resolution of 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz), 3.5mm analog & Mini TOSLINK audio inputs and outputs, and of course, a Thunderbolt 2 port. There’s a 90W power adaptor too, so any Thunderbolt 2 devices you connect can get their full dose of power.

To switch between computers, press the button on top of the US7220 and everything is unplugged from computer 1 and connected to computer 2. It’s essentially the same as ripping out all the cables and devices from one computer and plugging them in to another. The Ethernet, audio and USB ports cannot be used by two computers at the same time.
Potential buyers should note that the US7220 will only support dual monitor setups if one of the monitors is a Thunderbolt monitor - i.e: Apple’s Thunderbolt monitor. Connecting a HDMI and a Mini DisplayPort monitor simultaneously, is not supported. Also, only a single Thunderbolt 2 cable is included in the box, so you need to buy an extra Thunderbolt 2 cable to hook up a second computer. For a product of this price, it’s not unreasonable to expect two Thunderbolt cables in the box.

The main reason to buy the US7220 is if you want to share a Thunderbolt 2 device between two computers, without having to get up and unplug it. There are far cheaper devices out there that act as a simple KVM switch and have a USB hub installed, so unless Thunderbolt 2 is necessary for a specific device you’ve got, save your money.



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See more about:  aten, kvm switch, thunderbolt 2, us7220

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