Thursday, August 24, 2017

Portable External MacBook Pro Displays

Luna Display:

Luna Display seamlessly extends your Mac desktop to your iPad, creating a wireless second monitor with stunning image quality. Available for Mini DisplayPort or USB-C, Luna sets up in seconds and instantly works with your existing Wi-Fi.


Luna Display acts as a complete extension to your Mac, allowing you to use it directly from your iPad with full support for external keyboards, Apple Pencil, and touch interactions.

Via Craig Hockenberry:

I’ve had two displays on my development machines since the 1990’s. By now, it’s fully ingrained in my habits and makes for a very efficient workflow. So much so that it’s the capability I miss the most when I travel, especially when I have an iPad with a kick-ass display. It’s not hyperbole to say that this new product, called Luna Display, solves this problem completely.


When you put the Luna Display app into the background with the iPad’s home button, the display disappears from the Mac after a few minutes. All iOS apps have a limited time in the background and Luna Display is no different.

It looks cool to have a wireless connection, with only a little dongle plugged into the Mac. But it can also work with a USB cable, which I expect is much more reliable.

That said, this is not particularly helpful for me because I have an iPad mini. I wanted a larger, portable external display for my MacBook Pro, so a few months ago I got an AOC e1759Fwu. It’s a 17-inch display with a fold-out stand that easily fits in my laptop backpack. It connects via a USB cable (no separate power connector) and, once you install the kernel extension, the Mac sees it as a regular external display (though Night Shift is not supported). It supports both portrait and landscape modes. I prefer the portrait, which at 900 × 1,600 pixels (it’s not Retina) is the same height as a 30-inch display.

The AOC’s USB 3 connection is a big improvement over the square-SCSI SuperMac adapter that I once used to connect a color display to my monochrome PowerBook, but it does feel laggy compared with a regular display connector. The picture quality isn’t great, either: a bit fuzzy, uneven brightness, and so-so color. But it succeeds at giving me more screen space when traveling. The extra vertical pixels are especially welcome when replying to customer e-mails in FogBugz. The main downsides are that it’s an extra step to unpack it and repack it and that some hotels don’t really have enough table/desk space to set it up. It would be better if Apple sold a MacBook Pro with a larger internal display.

Previously: Duet Display.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

It seems that primary reason to use Luna and Astropad in general it to have touch screen on the mac, especially touch screen with the Pencil support. It works great actually, I like it, and I use my 12.9" iPad as a second screen on the road sometimes, but that is not as smooth as I hoped.

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