If you have an older generation iPad or any other tablet, you can use it as an extension to your current monitor. In this setup I have used an iPad 3 - which has a great screen with 1536x2048 resolution and an older generation Lenovo T530i. To use iPad as a second monitor, I will use an old VGA trick, which tricks OS into having second monitor connected. After OS detects second monitor, set that monitor to be an extension to the main monitor, run VNC server and connect to the VNC server from an iPad.

Required parts:

  1. Laptop or PC with VGA port.
  2. iPad 3 (or any other tablet)
  3. Set of resistors. I’ve used 3 of: 100 Ω. Amazon link

Required software:

  1. Windows. On Linux you can create dummy displays easily with X server, no need to trick VGA, though still possible using the same setup.
  2. VNC viewer on tablet. I use RealVNC viewer on iPad 3, which is still available to download in App Store for iOS 9.3.5
  3. VNC server on computer. I use TightVNC server, which is free to download.


First connect 3 resistors of 50-150 Ω as shown in this diagram. In my case pins 3 and 8 were required, but it depends on the VGA setup which ones will work. VGA pins

This is how it looks when connected: VGA connected

Once connected correctly go to display settings and you should see 2 displays. Arrange them as you need and near “Multiple displays” option select “Extend these displays”. Then, using an iPad’s VNC viewer connect to the VNC server running on your computer. You can now place applications on both displays.

View of the setup: Full view