When you’re at home, working with a desktop computer, do you ever get the feeling you could be doing more with your laptop? There’s a screen going to waste - a screen you could extend your desktop onto.

Having a second screen opens up many possibilities. You can work on multiple apps at once. You can use one screen for research material and the other for writing. If you use creative tools to edit video, make music or process images, you can put all the panels on the laptop screen and work large on the main monitor.

It’s relatively easy to hook your laptop up to a second monitor. You simply connect it to a monitor using the appropriate cable, whether it’s VGA, DVI or HDMI. Windows detects that a new screen has been attached. You can then choose to mirror the laptop screen on a big monitor, extend the desktop to the second monitor or just use the main monitor with your laptop.

But what about using your laptop display as the second screen? That’s a little more difficult, but there are commercial software solutions that could be of help.

With AirDisplay you can use your laptop as a second monitor over your computer network. That’s the only stipulation; that the two machines must be connected to the same router whether by Ethernet or Wi-Fi. One machine acts as host, running the main software - the other runs a special client version.

AirDisplay supports Windows 7 - but there’s only partial support for Windows 8 at the moment. It should be coming soon though as the Windows 8 host software is currently being tested and having all the bugs ironed out. In the mean time, you can download a trial version or buy AirDisplay for just £13.95.

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