We all have our favorite keyboards and mice, and the new stuff the companies are churning out sometimes aren’t better than our old standards. Mice aren’t so much of a problem, because most mice made within the past 10 years are pin-for-pin compatible with USB, and work with easily available adapters. Keyboards, unfortunately, have never worked with these adapters.
The story is different with PS/2 keyboards. One of my favorite keyboards is the “old” Microsoft Natural Multimedia, but they are only available in the PS/2 flavor. Microsoft and Logitech only recently started making USB-only keyboards, which don’t have the features that my old favorite has.
Some newer PCs and laptops don’t even have PS/2 ports at all! How are you going to connect your favorite keyboard or mouse to that? Enter the Dynex USB PS/2 adapter, which allows you to connect both a legacy keyboard and mouse at the same time, while only using 1 USB port.
One of the more creative uses of this product is with use of a KVM switch. The USB KVM switches are rather expensive compared to the PS/2 ones. Cheaper USB KVM swtiches sometimes have “disconnect” issues when you switch between computers. You can now use one or more of these devices to convert between PS/2 and USB… so you can use a USB keyboard and mouse as the host, or have the KVM switch control a PC without PS/2 ports.
The unit is very simple. It consists of a gold-plated USB dongle and two female PS/2 plugs (that are also gold plated), which are color-coded to the standard arrangement (green for mouse, purple for keyboard). Between these dongles is a signal converter box encased in plastic. This controller is what makes the magic happen, as it converts PS/2 signals to standard USB. This controller box receives all its power from the USB port, but there is no power LED or anything like that. Once it’s plugged in, it just works.
One touch that is rather thorough is that all of the connections are gold plated, including the mouse and keyboard ports. Yes, gold plated connections theoretically have less signal resistance, so Dynex claims that this cable improves performance.The unit only supports the USB 1.0 and 1.1 specifications, but if you can find a keyboard or mouse that needs 20MB a second, then you let me know.