Menu

How to use your tablet as a second screen for your laptop

I’ve just started working from a local co-working space called Society1. Go check them out if you’re in Preston as it’s a really nice place to work from, run by a group of friendly people. Anyway, the big problem working away from my home office is that I don’t have access to my 27″ monitor and it’s obviously too big to take with me as I cycle everywhere. Most developers will agree having that second screen really helps with productivity so I wondered whether I could use my Windows 10 or iPad tablet to extend my MacBook Pro display on to.

There are various solutions with most requiring software installed on both your Macbook and the Windows PC/tablet. The best solution I found used AirPlay which is feature that comes with MacOs. Installing either 5KPlayer or LonelyScreen (both free) on your Windows PC/tablet allows you to use the device as an AirPlay receiver. Both applications have windowed or full screen modes. I recommend adjusting your resolution via Display Preferences as some tablets have a lower resolution than retina Macbooks. If you experience any lag check your wireless signal strength. Also, I did find adjusting the wireless settings on my Windows 10 device made a huge difference.

If you want to interact with the display, for example to type using the onscreen keyboard etc then Air Display works well. The screen resolution isn’t as good as the above applications that use AirPlay and I did experience some noticeable lag, but it does seem like a good solution for presentations.

If you have an iPad there’s also Duet Display (a paid app). Duet directly connects to your MacBook or Windows PC via USB cable so there’s no lag. There’s also an option to connect over WiFi, but you’ll need a decent WiFi connection for this to work well without lag. You’ll need to download the Duet Display app on the iPad as well as the MacOs/Windows application via their website. I did find it best to reduce the resolution via the MacOs app as the font size was very small and hard to read.

If you have any other solutions for either MacOS or Windows please share in the comment section below.