From time the time Thee DocKtor gets asked how to connect two PC (or a MacBook and PC) to a Targus Universal Docking Station (UDS), in essence a dock and a KVM switch combined, see the article here.
J5Create has come up with a way to something similar within a single device. The JUD500 Ultra Docking Station with its “Wormhole” technology can share a keyboard and mouse; note “KM” sharing (not switching) and no “V” sharing or switching. The DocKtor was intrigued enough by the flute like form factor to buy one and check it out.
As a USB3.0 dock, the JUD500 is adequate for very low-end applications, albeit a bit long in the technology tooth. It has two USB3.0 device ports, one with battery charge, one USB2.0 device port, a Fast Ethernet port, one each microphone and speaker port, and the choice of an external monitor port using HDMI or VGA.
The JUD500 came with a software and driver CD but none of Thee DocKtor’s PC or MacBooks have a CD player. However, the support site contained all the drivers needed to get the JUD500 up and running. I also had to use the “Chat” on the support site. “Kathleen” was extremely responsive and helpful, especially since the first JUD500 I received did not function correctly and had to be exchanged for another.
The JUD500 “Wormhole” function uses a simple USB connection to the slave device (I used a 2nd W7P64 PC) to drag and drop (copy/paste) files, and to indeed share the mouse and keyboard. This is handy but honestly a full KVM (video monitor) sharing capability is much more useful for many applications.
Thee DocKtor liked the JUD500, but the following is why he didn’t love it:
- It uses a proprietary technology for docking that required uninstalling the competing DisplayLink technology and cleaning all traces of it from the Registry. This is frustrating because there are many more UDS using the DisplayLink software for docking than the MCT technology implemented in the JUD500. Thee DocKtor was able to plug a DisplayLink based UDS into the JUD500 USB port and it functioned after the DL software was re-installed through Windows Update.
- The JUD500 is not plug-n-play requiring a visit to the J5Create Support site.
- The JUD500 is not supported in OS-X 10.5. I couldn’t get it to work with OS-X 10.11 or Windows 10.
- Only either the HDMI or VGA port can be used, not both at the same time. Most modern workstations have two external monitors using DVI or DisplayPort connectivity.
- The Flute looking design is a bit too long, especially compared to most modern host devices, taking up too much desk space.
- Fast Ethernet and not GbE. Oy Vey!
In summary, the JUD500 may be an adequate low-end dock for the home user with a couple of PC or older MacBook that need drag and drop file sharing. However, in today’s cloud based IT world, it may be easier to just use the cloud for the file sharing and skip the simple keyboard and mouse sharing, or just purchase a KVM.