Sitting in your office may feel a bit like sitting in the Bat Cave from a Batman movie, with the multiple devices at your fingertips. Having two monitors is becoming a common sight in many offices. The reason behind this multiple-monitor-mayhem is the proven increase of productivity. A study done by JPR Research showed an average productivity increase of 42 percent from multiple monitor usage. With results like these, it is no wonder people are reaching for a second monitor.
But what happens when you step out of your office, leaving behind all the technology at your fingertips? Just because you are away from your office doesn’t mean that you can’t have the benefits of two monitors to aid you in your multi-tasking. One of the best options for creating a two monitor setup away from your office is to use a tablet as your second monitor. All that is required is a laptop or home computer, a tablet, and the right software to create a dual monitor system.
Selecting a Tablet
When selecting a tablet to use as your second monitor, keep a few things in mind. You want it to be light and portable, but also offer enough screen space so that you can see it clearly. For smaller options, the Google Nexus 7 or the Apple iPad mini are excellent choices for portability. You can compare iPad and the Nexus line at T-Mobile with some of your other options.
Connecting your tablet to your laptop or home computer requires that you install the right software both on your tablet and computer, as HowToGeek.com outlines. Some are specific to the tablet you use, and some work on both Android and iOS tablets. You simply download and install the app on your tablet, as you would any other app. Then download and install the server software on your computer that comes with the app. Once installed on both, you should have a wireless connection between them. While prices vary on products from free to around $10, the highest rated options include:
- Air Display – Available for the iPad and the Android tablets, it is one of the highest rated and most widely used. The cost is $9.99 for both apps.
- iDisplay – Less expensive, at $4.99, it is available for both the iPad and Android. iDisplay also has the benefit of working with both Mac and Windows computers.
- MaxiVista – For those using iPads, MaxiVista may be a better option. At $9.99, it’s rated 4+ stars in the iTunes store.
One of the easiest solutions to having a second monitor can also be simply setting your tablet up next to your computer and using it as a second monitor by itself, with no connection between the two. You will still have two screens to use, without having to install any software. The best way to do this is to use a solid stand for your tablet, such as the FlipBlade, to give you the stability you need while using it.