Luna Display is a small wireless device that lets you use your iPad as an external display with Windows computers.
This is the same company that made AstroPad and AstroPad Studio, apps that let you use your iPad as external displays to Macs. In 2019, Apple released Sidecar which is this iPad-as-external-display feature and it crushed the sales for AstroPad.
This was launched in 2017 and updated to work with Windows in 2021. Astropad the company innovated to stay alive. It's great move because Apple clearly won't be bothered with making their devices work with Windows.
Hey, Astropad, if you're reading this, consider making one that works with Android tablets as well.
Price of Luna Display is US $129.
It's available with either USB-C, MiniDisplay Port or HDMI connector.
This does not work with adapters. So you can't get the USB-C version, then get a USB-C to HDMI adapter.
Here are the system requirements as a glance (full list here):
- Windows 10
- MacOS 10.11 or newer
- Selected iPad models running iPadOS 12.1 or newer
I tested it with Windows 10 and it works great.
I did not test this with Windows 11 so I can't say how well this well this will work. But even if it doesn't work, it's probably just one driver update away. Wait for the company to update their system requirements page.
Setup process involves installing the Luna Display app on the iPad and Windows computer, and opening the apps. The wireless connection is through your wifi network.
There's limited settings available for Luna Display. You can change the location of where you want the iPad to be, or you can use Windows Settings to do that.
You can also choose the resolution, either Retina or Non-retina.
On my 12.9 inch iPad Pro, Retina resolution is 2732 x 2048 and non-Retina resolution is 1366 x 1024. The actual resolution will differ depending on your iPad.
With non-Retina resolution, there will be slight pixelation. The advantage here is better response time and latency.
With Retina resolution, all the visuals are sharper with no noticeable pixelation. Response time or latency are not as good. However, response time and latency will also depend on your wifi network. If you have good wifi, then response time and latency will be better.
When there's anything new or moving on the display, visual artifact will appear before the visuals sharpen again. Apple's Sidecar doesn't have this so this is one area Astropad can improve. It's just a minor thing.
Finger gestures may be supported depending on the app you use. Apple Pencil will still work with pressure and tilt. However, due to the latency, the drawing experience is not going to be as good compared to drawing on the iPad without Luna Display, e.g. drawing with apps on iOS.
I don't recommend getting Luna Display so that you can use Windows drawing apps on the iPad. User experience is not ideal. It's best to just use your iPad as an external display.
Mac to Mac
You can also use Luna Display to turn your Mac into an external display for another Mac. E.g. Use your iMac as an external display. This could be useful if you have an old iMac lying around.
Luna display is a useful product for Windows users with iPads. To be able to use your iPad as an external display can greatly improve productivity. And just for that, it's easily worth the money. I'm very satisfied with my purchase.
There's room for improvement of course, more specifically to improve the latency and remove the visual artifact. It should be possible since Apple is able to do with with MacOS' Sidecar.
Oh, Astropad, if you're reading this, consider making one that works with Android tablets as well. Currently, there are no good software solutions to using your Android tablets as external displays. There's the SuperDisplay app but the latency is no good. Maybe a hardware solution could be better?
Update Oct 2022
Luna Display USB-C adapter does not work with Surface Pro and Surface Studio devices, Huawei MateBook D 16.
The system requirements for Windows computer are as follows:
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit, Build 1809 or later
- Processor: Intel or AMD processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster
- RAM: 4 GB
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 520, AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, NVIDIA GeForce 820M or later; or equivalent DirectX 11 compatible GPU.
- Hard drive space: 1 GB
- WiFi/Network: 802.11n or wired ethernet
I had initially thought it was an issue with Intel Iris Xe but there are laptops with Intel Iris Xe Graphics that work with Luna Display, e.g. ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402).