Tablet adventures: Using my TF700 as a second monitor with AirDisplay

UPDATE 2012-07-29: Hmm, I’m getting some weird mouse behaviour after disconnecting from AirDisplay. I’ll look into this some more tomorrow.

Multiple monitors are great for productivity. You can see more of what you’re working on. You don’t have to switch between applications. You don’t have to remember snippets as you move from window to window. I want to work with multiple monitors, but I don’t want to be confined to the desktop downstairs, or to take up valuable kitchen table space with an LCD.

At 1920×1200, the Asus Infinity TF700 tablet has a higher resolution than my laptop (Lenovo X220 tablet, 1366×768). The Air Display app ($4.99 in Google Play) makes it easy to set up a tablet as a second monitor for your Mac or Windows computer if they’re on the same wireless network.

I installed the app on my tablet, installed the PC version on my laptop, restarted my computer, and set up the connection. Now I can drag windows over or use keyboard shortcuts to move my windows to the tablet. I can touch the tablet to interact with my computer, although the hardware keyboard on my dock doesn’t work. The display has some lag, but it’s useful enough for reading references or checking websites.

Air Display sets my laptop’s graphics scheme to Windows Basic, which removes a lot of the fancy visual effects that Windows uses to make things prettier. It’s a small price to pay for the ease and portability of having a second monitor.

DSC_3376image

Air Display (Android, $9.99 $4.99)  – Looks like they increased the price!
Air Display from the App Store ($9.99) – for the iPad

  • http://baonkobento.wordpress.com Patricia

    Having multiple monitors is so convenient! I’ve never thought just how much it can boost productivity until I got hired by my current company and having multiple monitors is the norm. I like the fact that it’s possible to do that with non-desktop devices. Technology is pretty cool!

  • hmw

    Hi,

    I used multi monitor setups years ago doing CAD work. That is IMO a good use case for multi monitor setups. But for general purpose use? Currently I use about 32 virtual desktops, that can easily be switched via keyboard shortcuts. That allows me to see everything I need to see without moving my head or my eyes (for the same reason lines of text or code shouldn’t be too long). Furthermore I can group applications and place them on different virtual desktops. I always had the feeling that multi monitor setups are a thing one find primarily in the windos environment, perhaps it’s uncommon to find virtual desktops there?

    Regards
    hmw

  • Kickaha

    Multi-monitor for general use is a must have. Only an fool would not acknowledge that more actual screen space (real estate) is more useful. For years I have demanded dual monitors from my employers and converted them to this super productive setup. Virtual desktops are a nice tool as well but they pale in comparison to the intuitiveness of actual screen real estate. I’m amazed that someone finds it easier to use a keyboard then their eyes.

  • hmw

    Hello,

    I like being a fool ;). Anyways, I still fail to see why a multi monitor setup should be superior to virtual desktops for general purpose use. Keep in mind that you not only have to use your eyes, you have to move your head, find the bit of information you look for on the other screen, refocus your eyes, etc.

    Regards
    hmw

  • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

    hmw: I’ve used VirtuaWin for virtual desktops on Windows before. It’s a great tool, and virtual desktops are pretty handy. I like multiple monitors for screen real estate (I’m usually working on a laptop, so relatively low resolution), notifications, and taking advantage of peripheral vision. ;)