Secondary screens for laptops are becoming increasingly popular as many have transitioned to remote working. There’s no doubt that multiple screens can make some people more efficient and streamline their workflow. But before you jump into a display like the Dell 14, you might want to look at the iPad you already have and Duet Display.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Duet Display is a software that works on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It turns your iPad into a secondary display giving you the much-needed screen real estate you need to get your work done. I’ve been using Duet Display for a few years now, and currently I’m on a working holiday where it has served me well. I had never thought of writing a review for this software until now. Read on for my quick Duet Display review.
It’s important to note that my tests were wired only using a Windows 11 computer and an iPad Pro 11. It’s also important to note that macOS users can use Sidecar for free if their macOS devices and iOS support it. We used Duet Display here with Windows 11.
Duet Display has the following features and specifications:
- Duet Display – $14.99 one-time purchase
- Duet Air – $2.09 per month billed annually
- Duet Enterprise – Contact the company
- Software: Unlike other solutions, Duet runs entirely in software, requiring no dongles.
- Efficiency: Duet uses the least CPU and the least battery, which means you can work without being stuck to an outlet.
- Updates: Duet releases updates every month, improving performance and adding features for all users.
- Security: Duet uses 256-bit encryption and operates entirely locally, protecting your display data.
Design and setup
There is not much to say in the design part of this software. The user interface is basic and precise, which is a good thing. I don’t see the need to complicate the software too much when all you want is for it to work. A few options allow you to configure your preferences, such as setting the frame rate between 60 and 30 FPS, setting the performance between high power, power saving and pixel perfect, and setting the resolution.
Other settings include enabling Duet Air, showing Windows notifications, managing your profile, and contacting support. It’s also basic when it comes to the user interface.
Setting up the software is also simple. In my case, I just downloaded the software on my Windows 11 laptop and downloaded the iOS app on my iPad Pro. I plugged my iPad via USB-C into my Windows 11 laptop and opened the app on my iPad. The iPad will ask you if you trust the computer, check yes, then it will ask you for your password.
Once the application is running, you can open the Windows 11 software and it will install all the necessary drivers. once the app is open on your computer, it will detect the iPad and connect to it. You will then have a second display using Duet Display.
Overall, this app and software are easy to use. There are no major technical hurdles to jump through, and most users should have no problem getting started.
Duet Display is said to be lag-free and has basic touch controls. I can confirm that I had no lag issues. My settings were 60 FPS, High Power, with a resolution of 1480 x 1034. I went with this resolution because text can get hard to see at higher resolutions on my iPad. At least for my eyes.
I used the software via USB-C on my Lenovo Legion 5i Pro. I didn’t feel like it made my computer harder, and the whole system seemed normal. Using my iPad as an extra screen is huge because it saves a lot of window switching, and having that second screen handy is helpful.
Overall, performance was excellent with wired Duet Display.
Duet Display has three pricing options, and I’m using the single price tier of US$14.99. I think this is the best value for most users. The Air pricing tier is $2.09 per month, billed once a year, but that’s probably more than most users need. Enterprise users should contact the company for pricing. I think the price of US$14.99 offers a ton of value.
I highly recommend Duet Display to anyone who needs a secondary display and already owns an iPad that can be used with the software. Duet says it can also be used with an Android device; I don’t have an Android tablet to test this on, so I can’t confirm that. This review therefore revolved around the iPad and Windows 11.
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Last updated May 16, 2022.
- The price is right
- Frequent updates and support
- Works great with no lag, I use it wired via USB-C
- Cross-platform support
- There really is no downside here