Name: Avatron's Air Display
Price: $9.99 at iTunes App Store
What it does: Allows you to use your iPad as a second secondary monitor to your laptop.
The easiest way to better organize your digital desktop is to double up on monitors. Being able to spread your various application windows across two screens will help you focus on the task at hand and let your work breathe. But how can you do that if you're on the go, or if you're too broke to a cop another monitor. Well, if you have an iPad, all you have to do is download Air Display.
Made by Avatron Software, Air DIsplay is a remote screen-viewing app that allows you to use your iPad as a secondary display to your main computer. It connects your iPad to your computer via wi-fi. In order to use your iPad and computer must be connected to the same wi-fi network. If that's not possible, you can set up an ad-hoc network on your laptop.
Set up is extremely simple. All you have to do is download the app to your iPad, then download a small application to your computer. Once the application is downloaded to your computer, you restart your system and load it up. From there it will detect all the iPads currently using the wireless network, and ask you which one you would like to use. After a few flickers of your screen, it becomes an extension of your desktop. That's it.
Once it's running, you can drag windows over to your iPad like you would with a regular a wired monitor. Depending on how good your wi-fi connection is, the response rates of mouse movements and image quality will vary. When you first move something over to the iPad, it looks low-quality and pixelated, but clears up after a few seconds. We found that the lag became more apparent while watching videos stored locally on your computer, but that's to be expected.
One cool feature is the ability to use your finger as a mouse on the iPad. The touch gestures aren't the same as they are in iOS, so you would need to tap the up and down arrows to scroll down a web page.
Despite the slight lag that may occur on slower wi-fi networks, Air Display is well worth the $10. We wouldn't recommend using it to watch videos or play games, but having the extra screen while on-the-go is more needed than you may think (it's great for putting your IM or Twitter applications to the side). And it's much cheaper than copping a new monitor. Isn't that what really matters?