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I don't claim to be old but I'm sufficiently of age to remember back to the days when there were no USB ports on your computer. In those days there were a million and one different inputs for various control devices and peripherals. Most famously there was a separate port for your mouse and keyboard, unlike nowadays where everything is routed through your USB bus. As a hoarder I've held onto my old mice and keyboards. Being stuck one day for a keyboard I realised that my new-ish laptop wouldn't support these relics of technology and I needed an out.
Enter the Startech USB to PS2 Keyboard and Mouse Converter. What this product is essentially is a USB splitter which allows for you to plug in two PS2 items into a single USB port. In this case it's my old keyboard and mouse. The product itself consists of a USB connector, a 10cm cable and a beige box full of mystery electronics which ends in two PS2 ports. The whole thing is a throwback to computer days of yore when everything came in a particular shade of beige. Despite the modern USB connector this product looks like a prop from a 90's comedy, which I must admit adds to it's charm. The build quality is solid enough though I wouldn't risk trampling on it unneccesarily.
Using this item is thankfully as simple as USB and all I needed to do was plug it into my laptop and wait for Vista to recognise it. Both my mouse and keyboard worked quite well with only the occasional dropped letter or stutter from the cursor. To be honest I get the same results using my laptop's own keyboard so I'd say it's a symptom of my aging laptop, not the connector.
There's not much to say about this kind of product. It does what it says on the tin. It's not very pretty and frankly can be an eyesore to some. I do question the viability of such an item, I only bought it because I was bored one day and felt like using my old school peripherals. I wouldn't be in a hurry to recommend this to anyone really, it's well designed, just not really of any use! To sum up, if hadn't been £8 in the bargain bin I would have left it in the shop.