How To Use Surface Tablet or Any Laptop as Second Monitor in Windows

I have a desktop with dual-monitor setup at work and I also have a Surface Pro 3 tablet with me almost at all time. One day, I thought it would be nice to use my Surface Pro 3 tablet screen as my 3rd monitor. Mouse with Boarders is pretty awesome but it’s a soft-KVM solution that uses 1-set of keyboard and mouse to control multiple computers. I want something that could turn my Surface screen as an extended monitor that I can drop and drop a Window in or out.

spacedesk is a freeware that does exactly what I am looking for, extending the Windows desktop computer screen to other computers over the LAN. It consists of 2 components, one served as server and one as the client.

The server component serves as a video drivers on desktop computers that run Windows 7 and above, including 8.1 and 10, with both 32-bit and 64-bit edition supported. Download the tool from here, and install it on the computer that you use as primary machine. You will need to reboot your computer after the installation.

When installed and launched, it runs quietly in the system tray area waiting for incoming connection.

SpaceDesk - server

The client component could be a client, called spacedesk Personal View, installed on a Windows device. It also could be just a web app, called spacedesk Basic View, for devices that run iOS or Android. That’s right, with the Basic View, you can use iPads, iPhones, or any Android phones and tablets screen as your extended additional screen.

When the client is installed and launched, you may want to adjust a couple settings before connecting to the primary computer, such as Automatic Reconnect, Full screen, Resolutions, etc.

SpaceDesk - Start-2015-05-13 12_06_51

Once ready, go to File and Connect. The program will automatically scan the network to find any spacedesk server installed computers. Click OK connect to start the connection.

Spacedesk - connecting

See the result below, a triple-monitor setup with Surface screen at bottom. It couldn’t be better. A quick tip, if the client is running in full-screen mode, you can double-tap the screen to exit Full-Screen mode so you can manually disconnect the link.

2015-05-13 11.59.40

Verdict

spacedesk is a 5-star freeware that works flawlessly turning any Windows laptop or tablet’s screen into a second or third monitor. The performance is seamless and the resolution is very smooth. On top of all that, it has a Basic View that connects not only Windows devices but also iOS and Android ones through any modern web browsers.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 05/24/2015

Posted in: Tips & Tricks , Tools
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