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Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: August 02, 2022 12:40PM
I've been busy with work and life, so I don't track hardware and software as much as I used to. There was a day I could tell you just about every conflicting Mac OS extension combination out there, but it's been a quarter century since then.

I have a new job, and now I need to pick out a few things. They'll be sending me a MacBook Air. They're a little restrictive on what they'll provide, but the good news at least is they only supply Macs.

Keyboard
I've been using my personal keyboard for work for the past couple years. It's an Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - wired. Eg [eshop.macsales.com] Works great, other than I think the down arrow likes to pretend it's stuck down sometimes. It doesn't actually stick, but it sends a signal that its down.

My work will send me a new Apple Magic Keyboard. I use my keyboard with a KVM, so I actually prefer wired. Can the Magic Keyboard work as wired? If not, any idea how I can make it switch between computers as seamlessly as a KVM would?

Monitor
Next up, a monitor. I've had some 24" Dells for years. I had a 27" Dell from my last work which was USBC and a little finicky at times. New job will send me a 24", but I've become used to 27" so I'm thinking of just buying my own. Things aren't as simple as they were in the DVI days. Ideally I'd end up with a monitor that:
- Has USBC to connect to the MacBook Air and will charge it with the same connection
- 27" or larger. 4k is nice, but not needed. I've had a 4k monitor before.
- VESA mountable
- HDMI connector so that it will connect to my other computer. It doesn't have to work with the KVM (I have a second monitor for that), but I want to be able to switch it by changing the monitor input.
- Image quality is important, but I'm only doing screen work these days so print accuracy is not needed.

Thanks!




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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: August 02, 2022 01:50PM
I don't think the Apple Magic Keyboard can switch between computers seamlessly. It is designed to be paired to one computer. Switching would mean unpairing and then pairing with a different computer. This unpairing/pairing is intentionally difficult, I think, so that you don't do it unintentionally.

Perhaps you could get a different Bluetooth keyboard that is designed to pair with multiple computers and switch between them using a key on the keyboard. Some of the Matias keyboards do this.

e.g. [eshop.macsales.com]

My preference is for USB wired keyboards (and click tactile mechanical switches with lots of key travel). I have a different keyboard connected to each computer in my office. Two keyboards are in front of me positioned like the multiple keyboards on a large church organ. The more ergonomic one is for my primary machine. Keeping the keyboards physically separate instead of switching between them using a KVM aids in my muscle memory to keep track of which computer I'm controlling.

I use wireless mice for each computer and reposition them as needed. I switch between multiple computers on my primary display (DELL U2415) which has two HDMI inputs along with DP and mDP (Display Port and, I think, mini Display Port).

Three additional computers in my office (and one in a downstairs office) I operate using Screen Sharing from my primary Mac. It is easier than reaching for their attached additional keyboards and mice.
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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: August 02, 2022 01:56PM
Quote
M A V I C
Ideally I'd end up with a monitor that:
- Has USBC to connect to the MacBook Air and will charge it with the same connection

I think you might be looking for a USB-C dock device.

[eshop.macsales.com]

Using a dock effectively adds USB ports and USB-C power to your monitor solution. The monitor can just be good at what it does (display) and the dock can take care of the USB stuff as well as adding other helpful ports such as an SD card reader.
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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: August 02, 2022 03:25PM
Quote
TheTominator
I don't think the Apple Magic Keyboard can switch between computers seamlessly. It is designed to be paired to one computer. Switching would mean unpairing and then pairing with a different computer. This unpairing/pairing is intentionally difficult, I think, so that you don't do it unintentionally.

Perhaps you could get a different Bluetooth keyboard that is designed to pair with multiple computers and switch between them using a key on the keyboard. Some of the Matias keyboards do this.

e.g. [eshop.macsales.com]

My preference is for USB wired keyboards (and click tactile mechanical switches with lots of key travel). I have a different keyboard connected to each computer in my office. Two keyboards are in front of me positioned like the multiple keyboards on a large church organ. The more ergonomic one is for my primary machine. Keeping the keyboards physically separate instead of switching between them using a KVM aids in my muscle memory to keep track of which computer I'm controlling.

I use wireless mice for each computer and reposition them as needed. I switch between multiple computers on my primary display (DELL U2415) which has two HDMI inputs along with DP and mDP (Display Port and, I think, mini Display Port).

Three additional computers in my office (and one in a downstairs office) I operate using Screen Sharing from my primary Mac. It is easier than reaching for their attached additional keyboards and mice.

That's why I would just go with a wired keyboard. I already have a KVM and have been using them for over 20 years. It's a single monitor KVM, so I have to manually switch the input on the second monitor, but otherwise it works fine.

Quote
TheTominator
Quote
M A V I C
Ideally I'd end up with a monitor that:
- Has USBC to connect to the MacBook Air and will charge it with the same connection

I think you might be looking for a USB-C dock device.

[eshop.macsales.com]

Using a dock effectively adds USB ports and USB-C power to your monitor solution. The monitor can just be good at what it does (display) and the dock can take care of the USB stuff as well as adding other helpful ports such as an SD card reader.

A Dell monitor from my previous employer effectively worked as a dock. I could plug all my stuff into the monitor, and then one single USBC cable into a MBP. It would also charge the MBP (though not as fast as a OE charger.)

I'm thinking about this monitor [www.dell.com] It seems to act as a hub and can charge a Mac. It also seems to have a digital KVM built in, but I haven't ready any Mac specific reviews on it yet.




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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 02, 2022 04:06PM
Quote
M A V I C
I'm thinking about this monitor [www.dell.com] It seems to act as a hub and can charge a Mac. It also seems to have a digital KVM built in, but I haven't ready any Mac specific reviews on it yet.

That's the one I would buy if I were in the market today. It's very new, so few reviews out there yet.



It is what it is.
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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: hal
Date: August 02, 2022 04:27PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
M A V I C
I'm thinking about this monitor [www.dell.com] It seems to act as a hub and can charge a Mac. It also seems to have a digital KVM built in, but I haven't ready any Mac specific reviews on it yet.

That's the one I would buy if I were in the market today. It's very new, so few reviews out there yet.

that's a nice lookin' monitor for a laptop user
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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: August 02, 2022 04:45PM
Quote
hal
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
M A V I C
I'm thinking about this monitor [www.dell.com] It seems to act as a hub and can charge a Mac. It also seems to have a digital KVM built in, but I haven't ready any Mac specific reviews on it yet.

That's the one I would buy if I were in the market today. It's very new, so few reviews out there yet.

that's a nice lookin' monitor for a laptop user

LG has some similar ones. I'd go with the Dell though.



C(-)ris
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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: August 02, 2022 06:14PM
Quote
C(-)ris
LG has some similar ones. I'd go with the Dell though.

I had an LG at a previous job and wasn't impressed. That said, I think it was purchased in 2016.




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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: Fritz
Date: August 03, 2022 06:41AM
I believe that Dell is using LG panels in their IPS mons.



!#$@@$#!

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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: mspace
Date: August 03, 2022 09:05AM
Used to have a KVM switch, but circumstances aged it out. Not sure if these will help . . .

We use this keyboard. It switches well between three computers. -
[www.logitech.com]

We set up the monitor/computers with this HDMI Switch 4K@60Hz 3 in 1 Out HDMI Splitter -
[smile.amazon.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2022 09:05AM by mspace.
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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: August 03, 2022 09:38AM
Quote
Fritz
I believe that Dell is using LG panels in their IPS mons.

My issues with the LG weren't image quality related. The 3.5mm jack didn't work with Macs. I would connect and disconnect my laptop ~10x a day and sometimes it would fail to detect the laptop. Restarting the laptop didn't help. Since the monitor had no power button, I had to plug and unplug it to get it to work again. There was also some incompatibility with the high speed USB and Macs.




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Re: Let's talk monitors and keyboards
Posted by: A-Polly
Date: August 03, 2022 12:16PM
Has anyone here ever used a BenQ monitor? If so, what did you think? Came across this unfamiliar brand for the first time while browsing for 27-inch screens. Some of the models seem to get decent ratings.

smiley-signs001
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