How to Use Your Android Tablet as a Secondary Display

Secondary Display

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Did you know that you can use an Android tablet as a secondary display? While it is typically used to browse the Web, read eBooks, play games or watch videos, a tablet can also be used for productivity. You can use Microsoft Word on your computer and read your emails on your tablet using the same keyboard and mouse for both devices. Here’s how to do it.

Prepare Your Tablet, Computer and Network

Note that only Android tablets that run on Android 3.01 or newer can be used as a secondary display. Be sure that you have Wi-Fi available to both the tablet and computer. Make sure that your tablet and desktop or laptop are connected to the same network, too.

Get a Screen Extension Application

Go to Google Play Store to find a good screen extension application like iDisplay. It costs around $5. Another option is the AirDisplay that costs the same.

Download the iDisplay app to your tablet. Next, move to your computer.

 Download the Connector App

You will also need to download the corresponding app to your desktop or laptop. You can get it at this link. Once installed, you need to restart your computer to finish the setup.

Secondary Display

After restart, you just have to launch the program. You can search for it in the system tray or through the Start Menu.

Pair Your Devices

Once the app is running on your laptop or computer, you can turn to your tablet to search for your computer. Open iDisplay to see a list of all the computers in the network that’s running iDisplay. Choose your computer to start pairing your devices. A connection needs to be established. You can choose between Allow Once and Always Allow.

Secondary Display

This is the last step to configure your Android tablet as a secondary display but you can choose to go further as most apps also allow you to customize the settings.

Change Default Settings 

Most screen extension apps designate the tablet as the extension monitor as default but you can change it.

You can also change the location settings or display arrangement. Most apps assume that you will place the tablet on the right side of your computer. To change it, run the app on your laptop or desktop and go to Settings. Choose Display Arrangement to change the location.

Unfortunately, you cannot use mirror functions if you are using an Android tablet. This is available only for iOS devices. Nonetheless, you can also set the app to run automatically when Windows start.

Limits and Drawbacks

Using your Android tablet as an extension display requires you to adjust your computer’s resolution if it is higher than the tablet’s. This can be a problem if your tablet’s maximum resolution is way lower than what you use for your computer. To adjust resolution, you need to go to your PC settings and change the display to Mobile PC Display.

Secondary Display

In addition, the tablet serving as an extension is for visuals only. It cannot play audio or sounds.

The operations also depend on your wireless network. It might be troublesome if you have a very slow internet connection.

It is not ideal for games because there is a significant delay time. Nonetheless, it is great for checking emails or social media accounts without minimizing or closing your spreadsheet or PowerPoint. To start using your tablet as a secondary display, just drag the window to the edge of your computer and it will automatically appear on your tablet.


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