When I work, I use two screens. When I edit, publish, and tweak, I use two screens. It is a habit I have fallen into when sat at a desk, I just enjoy the extra workspace and multi functional options. So, when I am travelling for work or pleasure, I use my Macbook differently due to this; almost singularly, one need at a time. Which can slow me up. As with many others, I have a MacBook Pro and iPad with me when on the go, and now, thanks to Astro HQ, I can have my office environment too!
On the market today there are several offerings that enable you to utilise your iPad as a second display for your MacBook, but to be clear, these are mostly work arounds. Software developed to merely share the image rather than be a fully integrated second display. Luna Display is now that full-blooded second display option!
The rather eye catchingly elegant red Thumb, or dongle, unit comes in either USB-C or Mini-Diplay Port options to suit any MacBook model from 2012 onwards and iPads running iOS 9.1 or later.
How it Works
First, the hardware. By plugging the Red thumb drive directly into your MacBook your machine thinks a physical second display is attached. Therefore you get additional graphics power sent direct to your iPad, and it does this in one of two ways.
Using a custom app, which you need to install on both your Mac and iPad, Luna display can link your devices over WIFI or via USB.
If you are on the road, I would be hesitant using this on a public WIFI service. Mainly because of the security concerns, but also due to the poor strength most of them have. USB to Lightning cables, on the other hand, are relatively cheap and come in a variety of lengths and would be a more suitable option for travellers.
For example, if you are in a hotel that enjoys charging for WIFi, and you are with young kids; connect your laptop to the WIFI, connect to Netflix/Amazon Prime etc and then push the content via Luna to the iPad!
Business travellers using a more secure office environment WIFI service should benefit even more, from what is now a full touchscreen MacBook!
Astro HQ have launched the Luna Display on Kickstarter, where it has already exceeded their $30k goal, and is currently sitting at $496k with 2 weeks still to go!! Clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks this is a great device.
At the time of this article being published there were still 61 units remaining at $65, which is 19% off the expected retail price. Once they are gone the next round of pricing will be $99 and this will include a 1 year subscription to their Software, Astropad Studio.