Luna Display converts an iPad into a Mac’s second screen


Luna Display iPad
Double the size of your MacBook screen by using your iPad as a second monitor with Luna Display.
Photo: Astro HQ

Anyone who feels their MacBook’s screen is too cramped can now use their iPad as as second display just by plugging in a dongle. Luna Display is now available to all after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Astro HQ promises that its hardware/software solution is better than purely software options for using an iPad as an external monitor.

“Software apps literally hack your graphics card, delivering a glitchy and unreliable picture. Software tricks your Mac into thinking a display is attached, when in fact they get no benefit of graphics acceleration or Metal GPU support,” writes Astro HQ. “Luna harnesses the raw power of your graphics card, giving you the full benefit of its graphics acceleration.”

Luna Display lets the iPad be an iPad

With Luna Display, the tablet functions like an external monitor, but it’s also still an iPad. The touchscreen is available, and Apple Pencil is supported. External keyboards can even be used. In short, the iPad could be used as the touchscreen MacBook some have been hoping for.

The two devices have to be on the same Wi-Fi network, and there’s an iOS app that needs to be running for the connection to happen.

As of today, this product is available from Astro HQ for $79.99. There are two versions, one for newer Macs with USB-C, while the other is for older models with a Mini DisplayPort.

Duet Display is a rival software-only option for turning an iPad into a second Mac screen, and it’s just $19.99. Or there’s Air Display 3 for $9.99. Obviously, Luna Display will need to be outstanding to compete.