Use a spare laptop screen as 2nd monitor?

5
Posted 22nd Oct
Hi

Has anyone used a spare laptop as a 2nd monitor? If so, how did you set it up?

Quite a few searches on Google. Wanted recommendations please?

SpaceDesk software seems common.
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TeamViewer any good for you?
Yes, I use a cheap Windows tablet (64 bit Intel Atom x5, 2GB RAM, 32 bit Windows 10 - due to a 32 bit UEFI) solely for this purpose. You can try the following:

1. Use Windows Connect. Press Windows key + P and select "Connect to a wireless display" to configure Windows Connect. This requires configuration on both the client and server. Once configured, use the same Windows key + P combination to make the connection and access Display Settings to configure duplication or extended display.
2. You mentioned Spacedesk and I find it provides a much better experience than Windows Connect because Windows Connect can result in pixellated display on the second screen. However, Spacedesk struggles with my low powered Windows tablet in so far as the mouse movement has a very noticeable lag. I have not been able to resolve this issue and neither have the developers of Spacedesk. It is unlikely to be caused by the low specifications of my tablet but you may receive better results than I do.
3. Use Teamviewer, Anydesk, Splashtop providing that the server machine can simulate a Windows Virtual Display (don't confuse with Windows Virutal Desktop). The situation works by connecting a dummy HDMI EDID emulation dongle to the laptop's HDMI output (or docking station in my case). This fools Windows into creating a second display, which you can configure as mirrored or extended. On the client computer, remote in using Teamviewer, Splashtop, AnyDesk, etc and select the second monitor.

In testing, I found Spacedesk is by far the superior option. Windows Connect has been plagued with issues for many months and Microsoft doesn't seem to care about resolving the issues - for example password protection does not always work, the Windows Connect menu bar does not close after ending a Windows COnnect session, the pixellation on the second display as mentioned earlier, just to name a few. The third option have is obviously quite cumbersome and hence SpaceDesk is by far the better option of the three.
Also FYI, InputDirector enables software KVM to be used on both your primary and secondary computers.
ElliottC22/10/2019 14:09

Yes, I use a cheap Windows tablet (64 bit Intel Atom x5, 2GB RAM, 32 bit …Yes, I use a cheap Windows tablet (64 bit Intel Atom x5, 2GB RAM, 32 bit Windows 10 - due to a 32 bit UEFI) solely for this purpose. You can try the following:1. Use Windows Connect. Press Windows key + P and select "Connect to a wireless display" to configure Windows Connect. This requires configuration on both the client and server. Once configured, use the same Windows key + P combination to make the connection and access Display Settings to configure duplication or extended display.2. You mentioned Spacedesk and I find it provides a much better experience than Windows Connect because Windows Connect can result in pixellated display on the second screen. However, Spacedesk struggles with my low powered Windows tablet in so far as the mouse movement has a very noticeable lag. I have not been able to resolve this issue and neither have the developers of Spacedesk. It is unlikely to be caused by the low specifications of my tablet but you may receive better results than I do.3. Use Teamviewer, Anydesk, Splashtop providing that the server machine can simulate a Windows Virtual Display (don't confuse with Windows Virutal Desktop). The situation works by connecting a dummy HDMI EDID emulation dongle to the laptop's HDMI output (or docking station in my case). This fools Windows into creating a second display, which you can configure as mirrored or extended. On the client computer, remote in using Teamviewer, Splashtop, AnyDesk, etc and select the second monitor.In testing, I found Spacedesk is by far the superior option. Windows Connect has been plagued with issues for many months and Microsoft doesn't seem to care about resolving the issues - for example password protection does not always work, the Windows Connect menu bar does not close after ending a Windows COnnect session, the pixellation on the second display as mentioned earlier, just to name a few. The third option have is obviously quite cumbersome and hence SpaceDesk is by far the better option of the three.


Wow, thanks so much for this detailed account!
Plan B - use Microsoft's Mouse Without Borders. This doesn't let you use your laptop as a second display, but it does let you control your laptop with your desktop's keyboard and mouse, and share a clipboard.

Because your laptop still functions as a separate system, there are a few downsides. You won't be able to drag windows over to it, for example. The big upside, however, is that because your laptop functions as a separate system, there's no performance penalties. There's nothing lost to emulating a second display and transmitting its feed to the laptop, and nothing lost to whatever you have on your laptop display, so if you've got a dozen Youtube 4k60 tabs open in Chrome, it won't deduct anything of your main system's RAM, CPU, or GPU.

Personally, I was forced into the Mouse Without Borders method by my previous system. It only had 16GB RAM, and Lightroom alone would completely fill that during certain lengthy tasks. I don't like sitting in silence and waiting, so the laptop became my Spotify / Youtube / Chrome display, with the 8 gigs of RAM that had to play with.
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