Adding a second monitor to your current PC can be a good boost to increase your productivity, but before you go to an online store and hit the buy button, do you really need a dedicated monitor all the time? If not, and you have an Android smartphone or tablet gathering dust in a drawer , then we are going to show you how to give it a second life by using it as a secondary monitor for your PC.
Keep in mind that this situation is for specific cases, because if you intend to use a configuration of two monitors on your PC permanently, then without a doubt you should buy a second monitor, just because of the size of the screen. In any case, having an Android terminal as a secondary PC monitor can always be of use to you for little things, such as to always have your computer’s hardware monitoring in view. In any case, it is always useful to have a small additional screen on the PC and more if it is to give a new life to a terminal that you had collecting dust in a drawer, right?
Use your Android terminal as a second monitor on the PC
Smartphones and tablets with Android operating system are quite versatile in terms of features, and the vast majority of them allow to mirror the PC screen on them or even extend the desktop. In general, you will have to install a “server” application on the PC and another “client” on the terminal to connect from one to the other, and once the software section is set, you must either connect the device via USB to the PC or make sure that that both are connected to the same local network .
Let’s see the options we have.
Spacedesk, free and works over WiFi
This is one of the most popular alternatives to turn an Android terminal into a secondary monitor for the PC, among other things because it is free. The terminal can be connected to the PC via USB, WiFi or LAN, the maximum resolution is quite decent and supports tapping on the terminal’s touch screen.
Once installed and configured to connect both devices, if you want to configure it as a secondary monitor in extended desktop mode, you will need to perform manual configuration in Windows, just as if you were configuring a monitor as such.
Splashtop Wired XDisplay, free but only via USB
This option is also free, but has the disadvantage that it only works through USB, so your Android smartphone or tablet must have this ability. This disadvantage is also an advantage, as there is much less lag and it supports higher resolutions, including Full HD at 60 FPS. In addition, in the case that you have a Mac, it will also work because it has a native application, so it is not limited only to Windows PCs.
Google Remote Desktop, your Android device as a PC monitor
This is surely the most “native” option for this system, as it is specifically designed to connect Android devices to the PC. It literally connects to the PC by remote desktop protocol, and the only requirement is that you have to have a GMail account to register and have it work. Of course, it has the disadvantage that you will not have the option to extend the desktop, you will simply see the PC screen on your smartphone or tablet. In addition, it only gives the option to work through the Internet, there is no option with cable, so the latency is considerable.
There are other applications that would allow you to connect your Android tablet or smartphone to the PC to act as a secondary monitor such as Duet Display, Air Display 2 or iDisplay, but all of them are paid and taking into account that they do not offer anything additional to those that we have mentioned above, we believe that it is not worth listing them and opting for the applications that are free, since if you are doing this by reusing a terminal that you had in your drawer, it is not a plan to spend money.
Use Miracast to stream to a PostPC device
Another option is the use of Miracast to transmit from the PC to a smartphone, a SmartTV and even a tablet. We can know if our PC is compatible with Miracast through DXDiag. If we click on the “Save Information” button, a text file will be stored under the name DXDiag.txt, which should indicate if Miracast is available and with what limitations.
The next step is to pair your PC via Bluetooth with the device you want to use from the screen and from the “Screen” section of the system configuration