Review: iDisplay takes some time to set up, but it gives you a great second monitor

Turn your smartphone or tablet into a second monitor for better productivity with this handy app.

iDisplay seamlessly turns your tablet or smartphone into a second monitor for any computer. It can help boost your productivity by giving you extra screen real estate. While it probably won't work on small-screen phones, bigger tablet and phablet owners will love this as an alternative to plugging a laptop into a dual-monitor setup.

In order to get started with this program, you have to download a desktop application so it can communicate with your mobile gadget. You can connect your laptop and computer through a USB cable or through Wi-Fi if both are using the same network connection. Once you've got iDisplay up and running, it's very quick and responsive. You can drag a window or app right off of your computer's screen and it will appear on your mobile device, complete with a cursor for navigation. You can even use mobile controls like pinch-to-zoom and fast scrolling. The app can be used in portrait or landscape mode and even has a handy battery widget you can use so you don't have to exit to see how much battery life you have. This is a trial version of the app so you can try before you buy, but you need to install the APK file to make it work.

It's clearly not as powerful as a true dual-monitor setup, but it does the job at a fraction of the price and setup time. If you have a tablet that gathers dust while you're using your laptop, this app can be a neat way to put it to good use. iDisplay is worth the investment for people who need extra screen real estate.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of iDisplay for Android 3.0.

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