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SpaceDesk Quick Review

09 October 2015
Jay Kimble

Back when I first started working a job that let me work from home, I used a piece of software that let me use extra machines as external monitors. At that point I had 4 machines laying around, so I had 4 monitors. The beauty was that I could also easily switch off the screen extending and just control the other machine via the same mouse/keyboard. Technology changes (changes in the way Windows works) made this software no longer work.

As time has gone by I have looked for a solution. Currently I use Input Director (and have used Mouse without Borders as well). Both work really well for me. BUT, I truly miss the ability to extend my monitor to another machine.

A friend recently pointed me to SpaceDesk. I decided to give a go.

My Setup

Here’s my “host” setup. I have an older I7 8-core that I refer to as my “big” desktop (“big” is sort of a joke as it’s not nearly as “big” as it was 4 years ago); it does have a fairly new video card, but that’s really the only recent thing. I also have newer I7 4-core personal laptop that use (I also have numerous “work” laptops that I won’t test something like this on). Both of these machines run Windows 10 (insider preview).

I also have a couple other items I used for clients. I have a 5.2” Lumia 640 Windows Phone (running whatever it came with when I bought it in July of 2015), and an iPad 2 running iOS 9.0.2 .

My Results (so far)

Initially I had an issue with my “big” desktop because of a driver issue (I have an USB monitor whose drivers conflicted with the software). After uninstalling the driver I was good to go. Everything seems pretty stable on this device (although it exposed an annoyance with Input Director which might mean I am moving to an exclusive Mouse Without Borders setup). My only complaints are that my iPad keeps shutting off.

For my laptop I connected the Big Desktop to it as an external screen, and I also tested with my Windows Phone. Again, everything worked well.

iPad??!! Windows Phone??!!

So the really interesting thing with this application is that they have an HTML5 version of the client. You can use a variety of devices without any kind of driver. Obviously I’s used both Windows Phone and the iPad. I did also try my Kindle Paperwhite (with no luck). I imagine this would also work with a computer and an android device.

Very cool product! I hope I can afford it when it releases.