I have a desktop and a docked notebook on the same desk, which I never use concurrently, so I decided to reclaim precious desk surface by keeping only one screen, keyboard and mouse and switching them between the two machines with a KVM switch.
An online check discovered the cute KVM-0221 2-Port USB KVM Switch from LevelOne. It does what I need, it looks good, and – crucial for my desk reclaim purpose – it is tiny at a 100 x 65 mm footprint. So I ordered it.
And when I wired it, lo and behold: its footprint area was maybe 4 times the above. You can see why in the next photo:
Here is the problem: in a day and age where small devices have the form factor we see in routers, i.e. a low box with all connectors at the back and all controls at the front, this device has the controls on the flat top and the connectors on all four sides! There is no way you can stash it neatly away at the edge of your desk, or fix it to the wall, or stack it under some other equipment. This cute little switch wants to have its own place in the sun, and let no other object dare to come close!
The two biggest plugs, by the way, also come from LevelOne – they are specially made to contain both video and USB lines – but I can’t imagine that they couldn’t have been made at half their length. Apparently, footprint was not on the LevelOne designers’ mind…