If you’re looking for the best tablet to use as an external monitor, you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll take a look at six of the best tablets on the market today that can be used for this purpose.
So whether you’re a business professional who needs to give presentations on the go or a software developer who wants more screen surface to write code, we will help you pick a good tablet as external monitor to suit your needs.
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Why Trust Our Review?
We have personally reviewed and tested the most popular and high-rated tablets available on the market at the present moment. This review is being continuously updated as the new models come out and become available to users.
Our reviews are based on thorough research of specs, common problems, user ratings, and personal experience. As you read through the article, be confident that you are receiving the most thorough and accurate advice on the new tech available today.
Advantages of Using a Tablet as an External Monitor
Why would you want to use a tablet as an external monitor instead of traditional second-screen setups? There are several reasons to buy a tablet instead of a second monitor for your workspace setup.
1. Tablets are portable.
You can carry a tablet with you anywhere you want and set it up as a second monitor connected to your laptop, wherever you decide to go. This makes tablets an extremely handy accessory for professionals who often find themselves working remotely.
Even if you are working from home, you can move easily between rooms, sofa, and other working spaces when you have an easily moveable tablet device as your second monitor.
2. Tablets work without a power source
Unlike traditional monitors, tablet screens don’t require a dedicated power source to operate. This makes tablet monitors a great choice for users who need portable second-screen displays for software development, presentations, or other activities that require a lot of screen space.
3. Tablets are easy to use as second monitors
There are several ways you can connect a tablet to your computer, from wired to wireless. Regardless of your preferred method, tablet monitors are easy to set up and use once you have the apps or cables needed for connection.
4. You also get a fully functional tablet PC!
As a tablet owner, you get all the great features of having your own tablet device, including apps for productivity and entertainment, as well as built-in web browsers, social media tools, and more.
Besides, if you are a developer, you can write code on a tablet as a a standalone device, which means you can use your tablet both as a second monitor AND as a programming device.
So if you need an external monitor for work or play, there’s no better choice than a tablet! While tablets are usually more expensive than most traditional wireless portable monitors, it is totally worth paying extra to have a fully multifunctional device at your disposal.
Specs Should You Look out for in a Tablet Used as an External Monitor
When shopping for tablets to use as external monitors, there are several key specs and features you should look out for. These include screen size, resolution, battery life, port compatibility, and tablet connectivity options.
1. Screen size
Generally speaking, the larger the screen size of your tablet monitor, the better. You should aim for a screen size of minimum 10 inches for tablet monitors, although 12-13 inches would work best to accommodate your needs of extra screen space without needing to squint your eyes.
Ideally, tablet monitors should have a resolution of at least 1920×1080 pixels for maximum screen real estate. This way, you can view multiple apps or windows at once and get more done productively.
3. Battery life
The tablet should also have a good battery life, so you don’t need to constantly find a nearby power source to recharge. Look for tablets that can last at least 8-10 hours on a single charge while being in active screen-on mode, although more battery duration is preferred.
4. Port compatibility
In case you are planning to connect your device using wired method, make sure your tablet has the type of ports you need for your preferred method of tablet connectivity, including USB-C or micro HDMI. However, don’t forget that most tablets can be synchronized with a PC using special apps (which we will discuss at the bottom of the article).
5. Tablet connectivity options
Depending on your tablet setup and preferences, you may also want to look out for tablet connectivity options like built-in Bluetooth, WiFi, and Near Field Communication (NFC). With these features, you can easily and wirelessly connect your tablet to your computer, external hard drives, and other devices.
So if you are looking for a tablet as an external monitor, keep these specs and features in mind to ensure you get the best device for your needs. Happy shopping!
6 Best Tablets To Use As An External Monitor
Okay! Now that we have discussed the key specs and features to look out for in tablet monitors, here are our top picks for some of the best tablets you can use as external monitor.
1. Apple iPad Pro
|Long battery life
Apple iPad Pro is considered the best of the best on the market today, period. Perhaps its only major mishap is being very large and bulky (we are talking about 12.9 display!), but for someone who is looking to use a tablet as a second monitor, this might also be iPad Pro’s biggest advantage.
The new Liquid Retina XDR Mini LED display with 2048×2732-pixel resolution at 265 pixels per inch (ppi) is just… amazing. The only competition we can think of is Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, which is our second-best favorite (see below). You will have immense pleasure watching videos and movies on the new iPad Pro and will be more than happy with its performance as a second monitor.
Regarding performance, let’s be clear – there isn’t another tablet nearly as powerful as iPad Pro with its Apple M1 Chipset. Everything you do on this tablet is lightning fast. Additionally, you will really see the difference in performance if you try to multi-task, run demanding apps, or play advanced video games. You also get 8GB or 16GB RAM depending on how much storage you choose for your iPad. So rest assured, this tablet is the fastest on the market today.
The battery life doesn’t disappoint – according to tests, the device runs operational for up to 10 hours on a single charge. This certainly feels like a long time when you are working and won’t make you pause frequently to recharge.
The aluminum design feels premium and classy and front screen is a glass with a scratch-resistant coating. The right side has a magnetic charging dock for the Apply Pencil (it just sticks to the side!). There are 4 speakers and a USB-C port. The back of the device has 12MP+10MP cameras, and the front carries another 12MP high-quality camera that produce impressive images.
There is support for Apple Pencil (2nd generation) and Smart Keyboard Folio, so it’s also perfect for productivity tasks.
If you are not on a strict budget and want to get the best large-screen tablet on the market that will serve you for years and provide you second-monitor support with it incredible screen, opt for the iPad Pro, and we promise, you won’t regret it.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
|Extra large screen
|S Pen included
If you are thinking Android and you are thinking ENORMOUS, get the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. This 14.6-inch giant leaves the iPad Pro far behind on the size attribute. You can literally use this as your primary external monitor and be happier than ever with the result.
At the tablet’s release, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra had the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset – that was (and still is) the best chip used by Android devices. The chipset pairs with different RAM options: 8GB, 12GB or 16GB. If you use a lot of apps simultaneously or have other high-storage needs, then 16BG will come in handy. As for regular storage space, it tops out at 512BG but there’s also a microSD card slot if you need an extra 1TB.
The screen of this monster is a crystal-clear AMOLED with 1848 x 2960 resolution at 240ppi. The audio is also salient and bassy, which sounds really good.
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra comes with 2 front-facing and 2 rear-facing cameras. The front facing cameras are 12MP+12MP, while the rear lenses have 13MP+6MP(wide) power. The photos don’t come out as great as on the latest Samsung phones, but they do work great for scanning documents and taking quick image notes.
The tablet comes only in the graphite color and ships with a handy S Pen Stylus, which lets you take advantage of the large screen real estate.
The monstrous tablet also comes with the 11,200mAh battery, which tends to provide more than enough energy for the colossal screen. You should be able to use your tablet as an external monitor for long periods of time without a problem or the need for recharge.
The biggest downside of Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is that, while being extremely useful as a large screen, is very big and unwieldy. Just accept that you will be carrying a laptop-sized tablet anywhere you need to go. For our purposes, however, we do like to say it’s not actually a disadvantage. If you do, however, think a smaller tablet fits your needs better, we recommend checking Galaxy Tab S8 PLUS (not Ultra) below.
3. Apple iPad Air
|Keyboard folio is very expensive
|Light and easy to carry
The Apple iPad Air is another Apple tablet that is well-suited to be used as a second monitor. It has a smaller 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and colossal 2360 x 1640 resolution, P3 wide color, and an antireflective coating that still provides an amazing viewing experience.
It also comes with the Apple M1 chip with Neural Engine, which allows you to use augmented reality apps and enjoy smooth gaming and browsing experiences. The tablet has a 12MP Wide camera and 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage that let you capture photos and videos which provide some of the best clarity on the market.
The tablet has an all-day battery life, so you can stay productive all day long without needing to dim the screen or recharge your device while working. It also has Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay and stereo landscape speakers, which sound just amazing!
We highly recommend this tablet for someone who is looking for an Apple product, but aim for a cheaper device with a smaller screen.
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+
|Immaculate display colors
|No headphone jack
|microSD card slot
|Very thin and sleek
|S Pen is included
If you’re looking for an Android tablet that can double as an external monitor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ is another excellent choice and a close competitor to the Apple iPad Pro.
With its large 12.4 inch sAMOLED screen and superb 2800 x 1752 resolution, the Galaxy Tab S8+ provides an incredible viewing experience that is sure to dazzle users with its brilliance, crispness, and color saturation. Samsung has long been known for its amazing viewing performance, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ does not disappoint at all.
The tablet has a 13MP main camera and a 6MP ultra-wide option for pictures that require more scenery. The photos are not as crisp as the ones provided by Samsung smartphones, but are still good nevertheless. The front of the device also packs a 12MP camera.
Galaxy Tab S8+ shows excellent performance with its 4nm Octa Core processor and 8GB of RAM. Screen responsiveness is great, gameplay is fluid, and multitasking works perfectly well.
It is important to mention that Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ ships together with the S Pen, while Apple charges extra and ships their Apple Pencil as a separate accessory.
Galaxy Tab S8+’s battery is quite powerful with a full-day charge capacity on video playback.
If you are looking for a powerful tablet with an amazing and quite large (12.4″) display, then this is the tablet you should consider after Galaxy Tab S8 ULTRA, which packs a larger screen of 14.6″.
5. Xiaomi Pad 5
|No headphone jack and fingerprint sensor
|Weak front camera
The Xiaomi Pad 5 is another excellent Android tablet to use as an external monitor.
It has a large 11″ WQHD+ resolution display that offers great visual detail. With a 120Hz refresh rate, the tablet provides smooth motion graphics and videos for a more immersive viewing experience. The tablet also has 500nits of brightness and over 1 billion colours, so you can enjoy your visual content in rich detail.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 octa-core processor ensures that the tablet performs smoothly, even when running multiple tasks simultaneously. The Adreno 640 GPU provides powerful graphics performance so you can play games or watch videos without any lag or stuttering.
And with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac support, you can easily connect to any wireless network. However, Xiaomi lacks a 5g/LTE connection, so you won’t be able to connect to mobile internet in any of the versions of this model. The Xiaomi Pad 5 also has a USB-C port for fast data transfers and charging.
Finally, with its 8720mAh (typ) high-capacity battery, the tablet can last for up to 12 hours of screenplay on a single charge.
If you want a cheaper yet powerful device that you can use as a standalone computer as well as a second monitor, Xiaomi Pad 5 is a really great option.
6. Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
|Future OS updates not guaranteed
The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is the best under $300 Android tablet on the market. If you are on a tight budget, this is probably the best option for you.
With its 11-inch TDDI IPS display, 2K resolution (2000 x 1200), and MediaTek Helio G90T Tab Octa-Core processor with up to 2.05GHz, the tablet provides solid viewing experience and an surprisingly lag-free browsing and gaming experience.
The tablet also comes with 4GB of memory and 128GB of storage, making it perfect for multitasking on the go. And with its long battery life (up to 15 hours of streaming time on a single battery charge), you can stay productive all day long.
Another cool feature of Lenovo Tab P11 is the crystal-clear Dolby Atmos over four speakers, which provides an amazing immersive sound experience when listening to music or watching movies. If sound is one of your priorities, you should definitely consider this tablet.
So if you’re looking for a solid affordable tablet that can be used as an external monitor, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is definitely worth considering.
What Apps Can I Use To Configure My Tablet as a Second Monitor?
There are a number of apps that you can use to configure your tablet as a second monitor. Let’s review some of the options available for Windows PC and Mac computers.
Windows users can try the Splashtop app, which is designed to help you get the most out of your tablet’s large display. This app lets you mirror or extend your tablet’s screen to a secondary display, so you can easily run different apps and work on projects. Other popular Windows tablet monitor apps include Duet Display and iDisplay.
There are several options to connect your tablet to a Mac device as well. Some of the most popular tablet monitor apps for Mac users include Sidecar (native app) and Xdisplay. These apps are designed to help you take advantage of your tablet’s large display and seamlessly integrate it with your Mac computer.
To get comprehensive info on how to install and use these apps to connect a tablet to your PC as a second monitor, see this excellent article on Alphr.
Can You Use a Tablet as Second Monitor without any Apps?
If you want to use your tablet as a second monitor without downloading extra apps, there is such option for iPad users. If you are using an Apple tablet, one of the easiest methods is to simply mirror your tablet’s screen onto a secondary monitor or a desktop computer using the tablet’s built-in screen mirroring feature Sidecar, which is pre-installed on most newer Apple tablets.
Another option is to use a laptop-to-tablet USB cable, which will arguably provide better speed conduction than a wireless connection. However, you will still need to download a mirroring app and select USB connection.
The bottom line is, you will need some kind of an app to use your tablet as a second monitor. The good news is, it is really simple to download and install such applications. If you need more info, we recommend this article on Techwiser.
Not only can you use these methods to connect your new tablet to your PC as a screen, you can also turn an old tablet into a monitor just as easily!
Can You Use a Tablet for Software Development?
Despite what many software engineers believe, tablets are actually quite well-suited for software development.
One of the main benefits of using a tablet for software development is portability. Since tablets are lightweight and compact, you can easily take them wherever you go and use them for coding on the go.
Another benefit of using a tablet for software development is the availability of tablet-specific development tools. Many software development platforms such as Android Studio and iOS Xcode are designed specifically for tablet use, making it easier than ever to create and debug your software projects.
Overall, if you are looking for a portable and versatile tool for coding on the go, a tablet is definitely worth considering.
If you’re in the market for a tablet that can double as an external monitor, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve listed six of the best tablets to use as an external monitor.
We’ve also included information on some of the best apps to use for configuring your tablet as a second monitor. Whether you’re using a Windows PC or Mac computer, there is an app out there designed to help you get the most out of your tablet’s large display.
So what are you waiting for? Start browsing and pick up one of these tablets today!
Elmar Mammadov is a software developer, tech startup founder, and computer science career specialist. He is the founder of CS Careerline and a true career changer who has previously pursued careers in medicine and neuroscience.
Due to his interest in programming and years of past personal experience in coding, he decided to break into the tech industry by attending a Master’s in Computer Science for career changers at University of Pennsylvania. Elmar passionately writes and coaches about breaking into the tech industry and computer science in general.