Introduction: Tablet Second Monitor

Picture of Tablet Second Monitor

I'm an engineering student and quite often I find myself working on assignments on my laptop at school and wishing that I had a second monitor to make life easier. The other day I read this article in lifehacker (Link) and decided that that was exactly what I needed.

Sadly, though, the app that they were talking about didn't work for me. So I decided to share the process I went through to find an app that worked.


*Here is a link for my instructable where I created a mount for my tablet to attach it to my laptop. CLICK HERE

Step 1: Research

Picture of Research

I did a fair bit of googling to find possible apps to use for my extended screen tablet setup and here are the apps that I found:




Air Display-

Splashtop 2-


Duet Display-



Each of these has their pros and cons. Some work exclusively over WIFI or USB while others work for both. Some are compatible between ios devices and android and others aren't. Some work for Windows but not Mac and vice versa.

I would recommend reading the reviews and making sure that it is what you want before buying it. If the app doesn't work as you hoped i'll explain what to do in a later step.

*I have had a few people message me and ask for some more specifics about the apps. The reason I didn't go into much detail is because I've only actually successfully used one of the apps. I don't want to give an unfair bias towards one or the other. Its for that reason that I recommend researching it and if its not to your liking, get a refund and try another. Thats what I did.

Step 2: Download App

Picture of Download App

Go to Google play for your android device or the App store for you apple device and search for your app.

Download the app and pay for it

I ended up picking Twomonusb because after trying several apps I realized that the wifi router that my apartment provides has built in security that caused issues with several of the wifi only apps.

Step 3: Download Computer Hosting Software

Picture of Download Computer Hosting Software

Each of the apps require a hosting software to be downloaded to your computer in order to be able to operate. These can be downloaded for free from their websites and are quick downloads.

After you download the computer software you should be ready to go!

Step 4: Connect Your Tablet to Your Computer

Picture of Connect Your Tablet to Your Computer

At this point you should be able to connect your tablet to your computer. For wifi enabled apps this will require setting a password on your computer then entering it on your tablet to grant access.

For twomon usb you just need to plug it in and click the Icon on your tablet and desktop.

Now I wish it actually worked that quickly for me the first time. Like I said, I had issues with the wifi enabled apps so I had to ask for several refunds. In case you run into the same situation here are the links for getting refunds from Apple and Android.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

Once I got everything working it was awesome. It makes life so much easier when i'm on the go and need a second screen. On top of that Twomonusb keeps the Ipad's touch capabilities so that was extra fun to play around with.

Also, if you right click on your desktop and select screen resolution now your tablet shows up as an extra screen :)

*in a future instructable I'll be 3d printing clips to attach my tablet to my laptop screen for easy use while at school. Stay tuned!

*Here is the instructable for mounting your tablet to your laptop. CLICK HERE


MathiasM10 (author)2017-07-04

is there a way to use the tablet as a primary monitor on a virtual machine?

My goal would be to create 2 laptops with one for gaming for example.

So the tablet would be the monitor on "the second laptop"

CameronC4 (author)2015-05-31

A much better, cheap alternative:

1. Install Mirage Driver

2. Install Teamviewer on both your PC and Tablet

3. Open Display Settings on your PC after a reboot, detect new VGA display and set resolution.

4. Open Teamviewer on your Tablet, connect to your PC and select the second monitor.

5. You're done.

MatthewA20 (author)CameronC42015-08-28

Doesn't work in Windows 10. There is no "detect new VGA display" option. Hitting "detect" only returns "Didn't detect another display"

infernisdiem (author)MatthewA202016-08-21

I had to download a program called iDisplay to get the computer to make a "false" second monitor

RandyK28 (author)MatthewA202016-03-30

I had to open TeamViewer, click the menu Extras, Options, Advanced options, Show Advanced Options, and scroll down to "Advanced Network Settings" then click to install the monitor driver in TeamViewer. (popups to accept/allow/whatever) It says it worked and needs a reboot. Good luck.

techboy411 (author)CameronC42015-09-13

On my Win8.1 laptop, if i turn on the extended screen when there is no HDMI display on, there is a "phantom" display that TeamViewer can access.

gaveitatry (author)techboy4112015-10-02

I used TeamViewer to extend my laptop screen to a phone today, and it works great. Thank you CameronC4 and Techboy411. I ordered a tablet and it should arrive in the mail in around eight days. I can't wait to try this out on a tablet. Question: can I extend my laptop screen to three tablets at the same time? I am just curious because I might want to do that one day.

techboy411 (author)gaveitatry2016-02-27

Sadly, you can't really have 3 tablets as 3 displays. Unless you have 2 video outputs and some form of dummy plug to trick the PC in there being 2 external (if able, the i3 in my Acer laptop can't do 3 displays) and then you fake the 3rd display (my case, that screen shows up as Intel WiDi in the Intel display thing.) But you could have 1 tablet as a touch mouse, 1 tablet as a sortof keyboard and 1 as a display. Note that my method, due to my laptop having CPU graphics, having that phantom display on lags the whole PC (much like attempting to use my Android phone as a WiFi adapter).

Ironman 54 (author)CameronC42015-06-27

I'll have to try that. Thanks!

fbmar (author)2016-08-13

This worked for me on Mac, has a little lag but is free.

SussoGobbino (author)2015-05-26

I was expecting a DIY approach to this, buying an app is not really in the spirit of Instructables, and I hoped to find at least some information on fluidity and stability of a few apps for a decent comparison.

Ironman 54 (author)SussoGobbino2015-05-26

Sorry to let you down, I do intend to create a second instructable that details how to make a clip to attach the tablet to your laptop in the next few weeks.

naumi89 (author)2015-05-26


first of all... great summary to this topic.

Do you have some references regarding speed / graphics / smoothness of running?

(Maybe you can add an extra column to your table.)

At least for the App you've chosen.


MFG naumi89

Ironman 54 (author)naumi892015-05-26

Sorry, I dont have much info with regards to that. Twomonusb has been very smooth for me, but most of the other apps didnt actually work for me due to school wifi having built in security that blocked it.

przemek (author)2015-05-26

A neat way to add display to small Linux-based embedded systems like Raspberry Pi or Beaglebone: X applications displaying to a remote device over USB. Thanks to the availability of really cheap tablets (e.g. a 7" Azpen A700 that I got for $35 from MicroCenter) it is a great way to have a GUI to those interface-less systems. I installed X11 server from the Play Store:

and ran the X applications like this:
DISPLAY= wish testbuttons.tcl

It runs fine, although the mouse interaction is awkward (have to slide the cursor to the target first before tapping to click).
Jack Rodgers (author)2015-05-26

An off thread note: Logitech had/has an app for iPhone/iPad that converts it into a wireless trackpad... :)

Moving in the opposite direction I use Reflector to show my iPad and iPhone contents on my laptop monitor.

I'll try your monitor instructable, for sure.

mistic100 (author)2015-05-26

Windows 7 user here, with and old Galaxy S as third monitor (with a Rainmeter skin, the ultimate system monitor !)

I tried iDisplay which does not support the Aero theme and I am currently using Air Display, which is fairly good but the autoconnect always fail, I add to create a little script to connect it automatically.

I'll try TwomonUSB, perhaps it's better :-)

tomatoskins (author)2015-05-21

Very excellent first instructable. Extremely detailed and well thought out!

Ironman 54 (author)tomatoskins2015-05-21

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I just hope it helps save people some effort in finding a setup that works for them.

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