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There’s no question that having a second monitor helps boost productivity, especially if you’re otherwise stuck on a long trip with a tiny laptop display. The good news is that you may already own an external monitor without even knowing it. iPad apps let you turn your tablet into a second display, but few function as well as a dedicated external monitor, with the exception of Duet Display.
Duet was designed by former Apple engineers, and it definitely shows. Many other apps connect to your laptop over WiFi, but Duet draws power and the video signal over USB. The result is a sharp picture with very little lag, though you might notice a slowdown with older computers. Your laptop battery will also take a big hit (it’s powering the iPad), so you’ll want to be plugged in whenever possible. You can save some juice by using your iPhone instead, though you’ll obviously have less screen real estate in that case.
All that aside, whether you’re working from a cubicle or under an umbrella on your overwater villa, Duet can’t be beat. You could even use your iPad as an external monitor on a long-haul flight, though your neighbor might not be thrilled about your mobile workstation if you’re stuck back in coach (we’d recommend booking something like this instead). Another handy feature: You can use your iPad’s touchscreen like a mouse, though I’ve found that to be a bit of a struggle, especially in high-resolution mode (on Retina iPads), where anything I want to tap appears quite small.
As of today, Duet now supports Windows 7 and Windows 8, so you can use your iPad as an external monitor with any recent Windows computer. The Duet folks say that covers about 80% of Windows machines, and they expect to support Windows 10 on launch day. The other good news is that Duet is only $10 in the App Store if you buy today (I paid $15.99, which is still a steal).
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees