A lot of people work in IT and digital art jobs. With the increasing demand for mobile work, it is important to have a secondary display device. The tablet computer has become an excellent option because they’re portable and can be used in various ways.
A lot of IT professionals and office workers use tablets like the iPad or Android tablets as a second monitor because they are typically cheap, easy to connect, and light to carry around. However, not all tablets are made equal – some are easier to use than others, while some offer better functionality and performance.
That’s why we’ve written this article on the top 5 tablets that you can use as second monitors in your workplace or at home, along with their unique benefits and drawbacks so you can choose the best one for your needs. The ones we liked most: VASTKING KingPad K10 Pro , Asus Memo Pad 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite, iPad Air 2 and Kindle Fire HDX.
Best Tablets to Use as Second Monitors
The best tablet for second monitor use is one that is small enough to hold in your hand but big enough so you can actually see what’s on it. And so, we’ve created a top five list of tablets to use as second monitors that range from small and affordable to large and professional. We also included an honorable mention in case these 5 aren’t quite what you had in mind. Enjoy!
VASTKING KingPad K10 Pro – Tablet for a Second Monitor
The first budget-friendly tablet that can be used for a second monitor is none other than VASTKING KingPad K10 Pro 10.1″ Octa-Core Tablet, with 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, Android 10 and a crisp 1920×1200 resolution with a 60Hz Screen Rate. It connects through 5G WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and USB-C. Go for up to 12 hours on a single charge, and back to 100% with the fast-charging USB-C port. Take K10 Pro anywhere with you. Everything is covered with the limited 2 year warranty.
Asus Memo Pad 7 – Tablet for a Second Monitor
Next up is Asus’ cheap yet powerful Memo Pad 7. At 6 inches with a 1280 x 800 resolution display, it packs plenty of power despite its low price point. It runs on Android Lollipop under Asus’ ZenUI software layer, packs a quad-core Intel Atom CPU clocked at 1.3GHz and gets between 9 hours and 10 hours of battery life per charge.
Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite – Tablet for a Second Monitor
If you’re looking for something more compact, try out Samsung’s compact yet cost-effective Galaxy Tab E Lite. At 4 inches with 1024 x 600 resolution display, it is definitely smaller than our previously mentioned options. Its performance doesn’t suffer because of its size, however; it runs on a Snapdragon 210 chipset and sports 1GB of RAM alongside 8GB of onboard storage that can expand to 64GB using microSD.
Most people will find all they need in terms of performance while only paying half their money compared to some of our more advanced options below.
Apple iPad Air 2 – Tablet for a Second Monitor
For those who want something even more portable or would rather spend a little bit extra, there’s always Apple’s recently updated iPad Air 2 ($400). Even though it isn’t technically marketed as a second monitor, it comes equipped with a screen size similar to most desktop displays—9.7 inches with 2048 x 1536 resolution—and weighing less than a pound at 0.96 pounds.
Onboard hardware includes an Apple A8X chip along with 2GB of RAM and 16/64/128GB of internal storage.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX – Tablet for a Second Monitor
While all our previous picks are great choices if you know exactly what hardware you’ll need, they lack upgradability. Anyone buying any of them has no choice but to accept whatever internal specifications have been chosen by their manufacturer. Thankfully Amazon offers the solution: their superb $180 Kindle Fire HDX tablet.
Though not a computer, it can certainly double as a second monitor, thanks to its brilliant 7 inch, 1920 x 1200 resolution display. This model has proven highly popular with the business community and is loaded with impressive specs including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Krait 400 CPU and 2GB of RAM. Also coming in either 16GB or 32GB models, the Kindle Fire HDX offers surprising flexibility and value for the dollar, possibly providing years of service to anyone who needs a second monitor on demand.
Microsoft Surface 3 – Tablet for a Second Monitor
The Surface 3 is a 2-in-1 tablet, meaning it can function as both a tablet and a laptop. It performs like a charm as both, running on Windows 8.1 and sporting Intel’s Atom x7 1.6 Ghz CPU with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage that you can expand to 512GB via microSD.
The pricier, more powerful counterpart to our above pick is Microsoft’s $1000+ Surface Pro 3. It starts with a 12-inch screen at 2160 x 1440 resolution and runs on an Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage that can expand to 1TB via microSD.
Google Nexus 7 – Tablet for a Second Monitor
The cheapest of our options, Google’s original Nexus 7 tablet, is still a viable option for individuals on a budget. At 7 inches with a 1280 x 800 resolution display, it’s still fairly compact and capable of serving as a decent second monitor.
What Makes a Good Second Monitor Tablet?
For starters, you should look for a tablet that’s either very new or very old.
Ideally, it should have an IPS (in-plane switching) display, which will give you better colors and viewing angles than other tablets do. It should also have at least an 800×480 screen resolution.
Lastly, it shouldn’t be too expensive, otherwise there isn’t much of a point in using it over just buying another monitor.
Thankfully, newer tablets can often be had for cheap on sites like eBay or Craigslist.
If you really want something with better specs and top-of-the-line performance though, expect to pay $300-$400. Any more than that is probably too pricey.
You can buy older flagship models like the iPad 3 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
If you want something with high performance though – they’re just not ideal as second monitors due to their higher resolutions.
What Type of Tablet Should I Choose?
The type of tablet you choose matters less than what version/year it is, but some people still care about these distinctions. As far as functionality goes, pick whatever size suits your needs best; after all, what good is a second monitor if its size doesn’t match your primary? As far as operating systems go however, I’d recommend sticking with Android. Yes, iOS 7 supports multitasking for iPads and iPhones 7+, but Apple imposes more restrictions on developers making apps that aren’t optimized for its mobile platform.
Setting up a second monitor
If you’re looking for the ultimate in productivity, there are plenty of options when it comes to optimizing your connection. You can go with either wireless or USB speeds and monitor setups that range from two monitors all way up into four!
If you have a Mac and are looking for an easy way to extend your desktop workspace, look no further than Sidecar. This app will allow users on macOS Catalina or iPadOS platforms (iPads running iOS) connect their tablets with a single click and turn them into full-fledged monitors!
For a Windows, Linux, Chrome OS or older OS X, prepare to get (and purchase) a special connectivity app to allow them to sync with your second monitor. There are a lot of apps to choose from, for example, Air Display, Duet Display, Splashtop Wired XDisplay, iDisplay, and many others.
Choosing a content creation app can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Researching the different apps and their features is important before you select one for yourself so make sure that this step has been taken into account!
One more tip – it’s always helpful to purchase a stand for your tablet, so you can adjust the angle and height. This way of viewing will allow an easier time seeing what’s on screen!
After reading many reviews, we’ve come up with a list of tablets that are great for using as second monitors. Do you use a second monitor? What tips do you have for productivity as you work from home? Let us know @besttabletsguide on Facebook.