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Review: Belkin Flip for Mac mini
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techster82
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went ahead and took the flip back to Compusa yesterday. I was having more and more problems out of it. I would leave the room, come back, and it had switched itself on its own. They can have it for $80. In fact, I put my mini up for sale and am just going to get an Apple laptop since I can't stay away from my PC because of certain programs. Best of luck to everybody else who has one. Great looking product, horrible working product.
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politeym
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:53 pm    Post subject: I may give up on the Flip too Reply with quote

techster82 wrote:
Best of luck to everybody else who has one. Great looking product, horrible working product.


I assume you mean the Flip, not the Mini. The Mini is sublime. If all you needed was a decent KVM, I think ditching the Mini may have been an overreaction, though I guess a Powerbook is a nice thing to have, if you've got the money. But I think returning the Flip may be the right way to go.

I may take a different approach to my ultra-compact office and buy a Dell Ultrasharp LCD monitor. (of course I'd love an Apple monitor, but I won't pay double for it when the performance is virtually the same.) I was considering a monitor upgrade anyway, and the Dell has both DVI and VGA output, so I can hook the DVI to the Mini, the VGA to the PC, (yes, the monitor does have a toggle). the only problem is I'll still need a USB switch. The only multi-USB-to-multi-computer switch I can find is by Belkin, and it costs just as much as the Flip.

http://www.macconnection.com/ProductDetail?Sku=385859

anyone have an opinion on Belkin's quality levels aside from the Flip? anyone have a better product to suggest?
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erikv
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was on the phone with Belkin tech support this afternoon. Their engineering people are aware of the problem and they will contact me as soon as they determine how to fix it (i.e. flash the firmware or replace).

In any case, if you intend on sticking with the Flip, call Belkin and open a trouble ticket so they have someone to contact when they have a fix ready.
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Leo2
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad I found this topic. I was just about to order one from Compusa. I was looking forward to this product coming out for a long time, so this is a huge disappointment. Does anyone know of a good DVI KVM for under 100 bucks?
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politeym
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leo2 wrote:
I'm glad I found this topic. I was just about to order one from Compusa. I was looking forward to this product coming out for a long time, so this is a huge disappointment. Does anyone know of a good DVI KVM for under 100 bucks?


I've looked all over online. I'm fairly confident when I say there are no DVI KVMs for under $100, you'd need to pay at least $200. The DVI KVMs that are out there are so new that I can find no user ratings, so there's no assurance as to quality.

I've looked at a lot of non-DVI KVMs too, and this seems to be an area where customer satisfaction is really, really low. I have not found consumer reviews for a single KVM switch that did not include several people swearing the product was complete junk. There are plenty of switches out there that don't seem to be reviewed, but that's no comfort to me.

Also, I've also found that there is no money to be saved by getting a USB-only switch. So I think I'll get on the phone to Belkin and get in line for a fix. Sure, the Flip is crap, but at least it looks good, and I begin to think it's all crap -- if they're actually going to fix it, I guess that's as much as I can hope for.

I should say, though, if I didn't already have the Flip at home, I might go with the IOGear Miniview KVM. I use it at work. It's not perfect -- often the switch will switch the monitor and not the USB devices, so I have to switch back and forth a couple times to get everything working. But of the products out there with a good number of consumer reviews in the $100 range, this is rated better than anything else out there -- on Amazon, it gets 3 1/2 stars out of 5, and yes, that mediocre score makes it the best-rated KVM switch they have.
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ophelia174
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:35 pm    Post subject: solution Reply with quote

i finally got a hold of tech support at belkin that said they think the problem is my monitor and they're having me mail them the flip and they say they can install something in it that will make it work and then mail it back...

so we'll see if it works or not.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: What a shame Reply with quote

I really wanted this thing to work.

Well, actually it DOES work as advertised, the only problem is that it gets a bit too happy and works when you don't want it to. At first it seemed to mute my PC volume randomly, but I noticed that the auto-muting is spawned by specific mouse movement. Unfortunatly the specific movements that cause it seemed to change when I rebooted. For ex. rapidly using the scroll wheel on my mouse muted my volume yesterday. Today, moving my pointer toward the left side of my screen will do it. <shrug>. I've only had a couple of random flips, and I traced those to the fact that the software had somehow reverted to the default state in which it flipped with double control- taps. Thus, for some reason it flipped whenever I hit the control key. This is a software problem, and I've disabled the flip software on my PC just a few minutes ago. If the auto-muting stops (and it seems to have stopped), then I'll uninstall the software and just use the button to switch systems. I left the software running on the MacMini for now, as it wasn't generating any problems there... only on the PC.

BTW, I'm not having any monitor or image quality issues with this thing. I've got a Samsung SyncMaster 930B. Looks as good with the Flip as it did without. I DID, however, notice that my screen resolution had changed (without my permission) during the last reboot. Changed it back. No problem.
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xnooby
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:16 am    Post subject: A good KVM switch Reply with quote

StarTech makes a perfect KVM switch, but it only works with PS/2 mouse and keyboards. I have one for my fullsize boxen, and it works perfectly. We use them at work too. You hit Left-Ctrl twice to switch, no lame software to install. I had hoped the Flip would be just as good and work with USB and sound. How wrong I was.
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trunkster
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow I was about ready to buy this product and then I read all these reviews. I really hope that belkin fixes this, right now my current kvm has a bad wire and the colors keep going crazy. So this looked like a perfect kvm switch for my mac mini. This thread hasn't been updated in a while so does anyone have a current status on if Belkin will fix this product? I see on their website that the product isn't available due to popularity. This leads me to believe they are having issues and halting shipments until they fix it (must be a fix only they can apply).

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=255941#
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xnooby
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will call them and see if they have a fix yet. It's been a month. They said to call back in a week. So they should have had enough time. I would bet they are solving their quality problems before manufacturing any more.
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erikv
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xnooby wrote:
I will call them and see if they have a fix yet. It's been a month. They said to call back in a week. So they should have had enough time. I would bet they are solving their quality problems before manufacturing any more.


I'm thinking it's a grounding issue. When I connect an external hard drive enclosure that has a three-prong power cord via firewire to my PowerBook, the "ghost" activity is drastically reduced. Both the mini and my PowerBook are ungrounded (although the monitor is?), and that may be causing some issues.
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trunkster
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you check the belkin website, they now have the flip for mac mini's avaiable again. Not quite sure what this means, but I rather buy it from a store then pay full price from belkin. How long do you think it will be until they have replenish their shipment of the new ones?
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trunkster wrote:
If you check the belkin website, they now have the flip for mac mini's avaiable again. Not quite sure what this means, but I rather buy it from a store then pay full price from belkin. How long do you think it will be until they have replenish their shipment of the new ones?


FYI

Someone posted a coupon code on here once and it still works. The code is 12345. It looks like you can get the Flip for around $50 with the code. I got my Mac mini hub with it.
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trunkster
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

g5g5 wrote:
trunkster wrote:
If you check the belkin website, they now have the flip for mac mini's avaiable again. Not quite sure what this means, but I rather buy it from a store then pay full price from belkin. How long do you think it will be until they have replenish their shipment of the new ones?


FYI

Someone posted a coupon code on here once and it still works. The code is 12345. It looks like you can get the Flip for around $50 with the code. I got my Mac mini hub with it.


Wow thanks for the code. I'm glad that I can be a "friend of Belkin" too. I just ordered my flip for mac mini, hopefully since they are selling them again that the problems will be fixed. But I feel safest ordering directly from Belkin and now got a even better price.
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xnooby
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:35 pm    Post subject: Its in the mail. Reply with quote

Belkin emailed me a UPS barcode to print out and ship my unit back to them, and then they are mailing me a new Flip. Old flips like mine cannot be fixed, but there are some that can be fixed with software. If you have a Version number on the bottom of the unit, it can probaly be fixed via software. Mine was so old it did not even have a Version number. I'll let you know if the replacement works when I get it.
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