Kensington VeriMark Desktop Fingerprint Key First Impressions

Posted on April 1, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 23 Comments

Kensington recently announced its VeriMark Desktop Fingerprint Key, which lets you add Windows Hello fingerprint recognition to any Windows 10 PC. The company was nice enough to send along a review unit, which I’m testing now with my Intel NUC.

So far, it’s all good news: The VeriMark Desktop Fingerprint Key couldn’t be easier to set up and configure, and if you’re familiar with how this works from a laptop or other portable PC, then you already understand the process.

There’s not much going on from a packaging perspective, either. The VeriMark Desktop Fingerprint Key arrives in a small white box, and aside from a bit of paperwork, the only thing inside there is the key itself, which is hard-wired to a USB-A cable.

To attach the Fingerprint Key to a PC, just plug it into an available USB-A port. On my NUC, unfortunately, I only have a front-facing USB-A port available, and that’s not exactly ideal. But I’ll experiment later with using some kind of USB dock or hub so I can hide the cable.

When you plug in the Key, Windows 10 displays only the familiar “Setting up a device” and “Device is ready” notification banners. There’s no installation program or whatever.

To configure the Key, you need to navigate to Settings (WINKEY + I) > Accounts > Sign-in options and then select “Windows Hello Fingerprint,” as you would on a portable PC with an integrated fingerprint reader.

Then, you just step through the familiar Windows Hello setup wizard, which asks you to repeatedly lift and press a finger on the sensor and then try various angles for accuracy.

And that’s it: Unless you want to add another finger, you’re ready to go.

I’ve only just added the Kensington VeriMark Desktop Fingerprint Key to my NUC, but so far so good: I’ve tested it by manually locking the PC a few times and then unlocking it with my fingerprint. It seems to be fast and accurate.

I’ll report back if anything changes. But this looks like a great solution for those, like me, that like the convenience of Windows Hello but prefer the more intentional sign-on of a fingerprint reader instead of a webcam.

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