How To Turn Your Notebook Into a Second Monitor

Dual screens are an absolute must for anyone who works with multiple documents or windows that contain relevant data. Unfortunately not every company is willing to spend the money for a second graphics card and a monitor. Thankfully that doesn’t matter anymore. Thanks to a cool application called MaxiVista you can turn any networked notebook into a second monitor.

Best of all, thanks to netbooks, many people have a second (or even third) screen in their homes or at their office but there’s never been a great way to use them in tandem to achieve the same productivity boosts that a second screen brings.

MaxiVista changed all that for me.I’ve been using it to add an extra monitor at my dayjob for a year or so and when things get really busy I can even add 3 additional screens in seconds since all MaxiVista needs to work is that the computers are on the same network.

Enough explaining, check out the video below which shows me using my HP Mini 100 netbook as a secondary display for the Dell Studio 14z we just reviewed. This takes place at my local coffeeshop with both computers connected to their wireless but nothing else.

The most recent release of MaxiVista comes with full support for Windows Vista and Windows 7 and makes it incredibly easy to get up and running. As you saw in the video you can also use MaxiVista to remote control your computer which is another handy feature. If screen sharing is all you want to do you can use a program called Synergy but after much usage I found that MaxiVista passes along special mouse buttons; such as backspace, Ctrl+Shift+Tab, etc to the second computer better than Synergy.

Another great part about MaxiVista is that it works with MultiMon, a program that manages many aspects of a multi-monitor setup including the addition of a taskbar for each monitor.

To use MaxiVista you’ll need to be able to install a server program on the main computer and a viewer program on the secondary one as well as allow the program to get past your firewall. Once you’re connected you can use the built in Windows monitor tools to change the monitor location and resolution.

MaxiVista offers a 14 day free trial and starts at $39.95 for a full version; though, if you want to get your money’s worth you should pay $49.95 to get the professional version.

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