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Review: Belkin Flip for Mac mini
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politeym
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 5:38 pm    Post subject: One lame solution to the Flip issues. Reply with quote

Interesting solution to my Flip problems, though I suspect this won't be of much use to most people.

After having one huge issue with my Belkin Flip -- mainly that just about anything I did on the PC caused the Flip to switch between computers like a pingpong ball -- I got on this forum to see if I could find a solution before calling Belkin tech support and spending an hour on hold. I saw one user say that Belkin tech support claimed the problem was incompatibility with his monitor.

To be honest, I kind of doubted that this was my issue. I only had problems when trying to view my PC, the Flip seemed OK when viewing my Mac Mini, and it was the same monitor in either case. But it happened that I'd decided to buy a Dell flatscreen, after reading it was essentially the same as the Apple displays. (Yes, the Apple monitors are a bit nicer to look at, but not enough to warrant the price difference.) This monitor came with both DVI and VGA cables, a toggle button on the front of the screen.

So I really didn't need everything the Flip had to offer anymore, I just needed a way to toggle my USB devices. I got online and discovered that there are hardly any USB-only switches on the market ... and the ones that are out there cost as much or more than the Flip.

So I kept the Flip. I got the new monitor, plugged the DVI cable directly into my Mini, the VGA right into my PC. Used the flip only for USB devices ... and it works just fine.

So if you want to do what I did and use the Flip to do 1/3 of what it's supposed to be able to do (I found the audio jack was useless too), and only use it for USB devices ... well, then it works. For me, that's enough to make me keep it. Barely.

Incidentally, I've never tried plugging this new monitor into the Flip just to see if it would work with the new monitor better than the old. Honestly, I'm afraid to mess with it.

Far from a happy Flip story, but ... that's what I have.
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pixelnate
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So is that the end of the story? This thing is dead in the water? Somebody mentioned one that will come with a remote. Any info on when that's going to happen? TIA.
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mike555
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:04 am    Post subject: new Flip model Reply with quote

I just got one of the new Flip models (the F1DG102U ) with remote , and it seems to work just fine , and doesn't need any software to be installed ...... http://www.belkin.com/flip/ ... I got mine from Amazan, but they have them in Best Buy here now ... $59. ...... I have it on my Mini and XP machines.
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pixelnate
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have any ghosting on screen?
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mike555
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No ghosting or problems with the new Flip w/ remote (so far), I have a ppc mini -if that makes any dif.
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Whack-a-Hamster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: DVI Newbie here Reply with quote

I just ordered a Mac Mini. I have a 19" DVI and an IBM Thinkpad in a dock. How much of a difference is there between VGA and DVI quality? The Flip looks like an elegant solution, but since both the Thinkpad and the Mini are native DVI, it seems a shame to use VGA. All the DVI KVMs out there are expensive, and they have varying ability to support some features such as mice wheels.
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CubeParts
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject: Re: DVI Newbie here Reply with quote

Whack-a-Hamster wrote:
I just ordered a Mac Mini. I have a 19" DVI and an IBM Thinkpad in a dock. How much of a difference is there between VGA and DVI quality? The Flip looks like an elegant solution, but since both the Thinkpad and the Mini are native DVI, it seems a shame to use VGA. All the DVI KVMs out there are expensive, and they have varying ability to support some features such as mice wheels.

Since I am using a Sony Bravia HDTV for a monitor, I have tried both the DVI-to-HDMI cable route (which leaves a border around the desktop) and the DVI-to-VGA adapter route (which fills the entire screen). I must say that I was not able to detect any real difference in the image quality. A part of me wants to believe the DVI-to-HDMI connection would be best since it is true digital, but I have opted to use the DVI-to-VGA because at the end of the day I want to use the entire screen real estate.
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Whack-a-Hamster
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a ViewSonic VA912b monitor. After reading a lot of bad reviews about the Flip for Mac Mini, I went to CompUSA and bought the regular Belkin Flip USB.

The monitor has both DVI & VGA connections, so I run the DVI to the Mac, and the VGA to my ThinkPad dock. I use the Flip and its software for the USB & audio connections only. I switch the monitor input directly on the monitor. It's a little kludgy, but it beats paying $125 for a DVI switch. Using the Flip software, I can listen to audio from the Mac while I work on the ThinkPad.
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surfin009
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So since this product came out in Febuary and it is now almost October, has anyone seen any improvement in this product? Would anyone recommend it? What are the alternatives (now) to this product in the sub 100$ range (and perhaps a little over..)
Thank you!
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Celeri
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well for my first post on this site, it will be on this topic. I hope it will be useful.

Last month, I acquired a Mac Mini (Core Duo 1,66 GHz). Since I already had a PC at home, I bought a Belkin Flip (here in France it is called "Belking Switch2") last saturay to use with my Iiyama Vision Master Pro 454 19" CRT Monitor.

First thing I have to say : I don't have the crazy-switching behavior at all. Touch pads are as responsive as they should be. Since we are now in october, I guess Belkin has corrected this annoying problem.

However, there is a small bug that worries me : when I switch from the Mac to the PC, no all is fine. But when I switch back to the PC, there seems to be a quick resolution change, even if both computers have EXACTLY the same display settings (1280x1024, 100 Hz). As a result, some big windows such as iTunes or Adium's contact list are being moved or stuck on a corner of the screen... not very convenient.

What I noticed is that both Mac OS and Windows have difficulties to detect the kind of monitor I am using. OS X's System Preferences' Display section makes a beep each time it is opened, meaning (I guess) that it cannot get the screen's resolution available modes.

Another side effect : under Windows, all gets well until the next resolution change. After that, I can only get 60 Hz refresh rates, no matter the value selected. The wanted resolution is respected, though. To undo this uncomfortable state, I have to unplug the flip from the PC's video card and plug the screen directly. Then, my screen's settings are detected again and I really get the refresh rate I ask.

My guess so far is that the Belkin Flip's is currently lacking an essential component : a display driver which will allow Mac OS and Windows to handle the corrects resolution & refresh settings the user wants.

I tried 2 different CRT monitors so far, but I don't have any more here. If some of you Flip possessors would be kind enough to do some testing with your computers, I would be happy to have your reports.

[UPDATE] I have just found how to solve the problem on the PC side : by setting a minimum refresh rate of 100 Hz within the ATI panels of the advanced display settings, I now have good refresh rates.

But the fact that a KVM designed for the Mac Mini considers the Flip as a "unknown display type" remains... and it is a damn shame. Would there be a way to force OS X to use a particular screen driver ?
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