I’m spoiled with a spacious 4K monitor while I’m at home, but when I’m traveling, my laptop screen just feels that much smaller. Fortunately for me, there’s a magical $20 app called Duet Display that turns my iPad into a fully functional second monitor.

These kinds of apps have been around basically as long as the iPad has existed, but the early versions all relied on Wi-Fi, which was laggy in the very best conditions, and usually didn’t work at all. Duet, on the other hand, operates over a standard Lightning cable, and that makes all the difference in the world.

While it’s still not as responsive as a “real” monitor, Duet creates a wholly respectable second display that’s perfect for apps like Slack and Twitter that you want to keep an eye on throughout the day. It even runs in HiDPI mode, meaning your Mac will treat most iPads as a 1024x768 monitor, except twice as sharp. Of course, that’s a lot less real estate than the 1080p second display you probably have on your desk right now, but when you’re away from home, it’s a lot better than nothing.


If you don’t have a cover on your iPad that works as a stand, the TwelveSouth compass is a great option that can fit in any travel bag.

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