Can i use Tablet as a Monitor for Raspberry Pi? (3 Methods)

Raspberry Pi users are often found confused to choose a proper display for it. Since the device comes only with the computing part, you have to set up your own monitor, keyboard, mouse, and all other peripherals.

Sometimes you might have an old tablet sitting around which has the potential to be a great monitor. Especially for Raspberry Pi, the tablet is a great choice for a monitor due to its size and portability. 

So, in this article, we shall discuss the method how to use a tablet as a raspberry pi monitor. 

Can i use Tablet as a Monitor for Raspberry Pi

Can I use Tablet as a monitor for Raspberry Pi?

You can absolutely use any android tablet as a monitor for your Raspberry Pi. But it is not possible to connect them directly with a cable. Because the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO is not compatible with the Tablet and you will not get a proper output from it.

Even if you connect them with cables and adapters, the output from the Pi will not be displayed properly on the tablet. Therefore, you have to go for other methods. 

Connecting a Raspberry Pi to a Tablet can be done by three methods:

  • Using a USB capture card
  • Using Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
  • Using Virtual Network Connection (VNC)

All these methods are proven and will give the display output from the Raspberry Pi. Apart from these methods, you cannot connect an old tablet to your Pi. You can also get a full desktop setup from the Raspberry Pi itself if you don’t want to get into these hacks.

Let us now look into the setup of these different methods to connect an old tablet as a monitor for your Raspberry Pi device.

Setup Tablet with Raspberry Pi as a Monitor

Using a USB Capture Card

This method is suitable for any model of Raspberry Pi. You just have to get the right type of cables for the ports available in your Tablet and Pi. Here are the things you need to perform this setup:

  • Raspberry Pi (Any Model) 
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Power Supply for Raspberry Pi
  • Old Android tablet
  • USB to HDMI or Micro HDMI adapter
  • USB to Micro USB Adaptor
Here are the Steps to Connect:
  • First, connect the micro-HDMI lead to the port present in your RPi. If your Pi has a full-size HDMI, then use that cable.
  • Insert the other end of the HDMI cable into the USB capture card.
  • Connect the capture card to your Tablet using a micro USB or USB-C cable. You might have to use appropriate adapters to get the connection.
  • Now connect the keyboard, mouse, and power supply to the RPi and switch them on.
  • Turn on the tablet and go to the Play store.
  • Search for USB Camera Standard which is a free app that enables you to get the output from RPi to your tablet.
  • After installing the app, open it up and allow the app to access the USB capture card.
  • That’s it! You will be able to get the screen of RPi on your Tablet display.
  • To get full screen, click on the three dots present in the top right corner of the app and choose full screen.
  • Another setting you have to change is the pixels. By default, the RPi output resolution will be 1920x1820p.
  • To double these pixels, go to the menu and choose preferences. 
  • Click on Raspberry Pi Configuration and choose Display Tab.
  • Under the display tab, Enable Pixel Doubling and click Ok.
  • Restart the device and you can get a clear, full-screen output of your RPi on the Tablet display.

Using Microsoft RDP and VNC

Before setting up the RPi in RDP and VNC you have to make sure that the tablet and the RPi are on the same network. Then you have to enable SSH in your RPi so that you can connect the devices.

There are three ways to enable SSH in your RPi. They are:

  • Go to the raspi-config screen and select Interfacing options.
  • Then choose SSH and click Ok. Reboot the device.
  • Another method: Go to the main menu and choose preferences.
  • Select Raspberry Pi Configuration and choose the Interfaces tab.
  • Select SSH and click OK. 
  • The third method involves creating a new SSH file on your boot directory of the RPi.
  • To do that shut down the RPi and eject the SD card.
  • Open the card on your desktop and go to the boot directory.
  • Create a file named SSH and remove the card.
  • Insert the card and boot the RPi. 

SSH can be enabled in all three methods. For the first two methods, you will need a working display with your RPi. If you don’t have one, you can choose the third method.

Also, note down the IP address of your RPi by entering ifconfig wlan0 in the command line. 

Connecting with RDP
  • Connect the RPi using any SSH client and enter the following commands to update the package list and install xrdp: 
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install xrdp
  • Then, when prompted to continue tap Y. After that, download the Microsoft Remote Desktop app for your Android Tablet.
  • Install and open the app. Click the + button and choose Desktop.
  • Enter the IP address of your RPi and click save.  
  • Click on the connection tile and tap connect to access the RPi through your tablet.
  • You will be prompted with the xrdp login screen where you have to enter pi:raspberry and click Ok.
  • You get full access to your RPi and you can get the display of it too. 
Connecting with VNC
  • First, you have to enable VNC in your RPi.
  • To do that, go to the RPi config screen and select Interfacing Options.
  • Choose VNC and click ok.
  • Reboot the RPi.
  • You can also go to Preferences and choose VNC.
  • Install a VNC server in your RPi and a VNC client in your Android.
  • After installing the app on your tablet, open the app.
  • Create a new connection by clicking on +.
  • Then enter the IP address of your RPi and click create.
  • Now you will be prompted with an insecure connection.
  • Proceed with the connection and enter the home network password.
  • Click on continue and your RPi display will be shown on your Tablet.

Read: Does Raspberry Pi 4 support 5GHz?

Benefits of Tablet as a Monitor for Raspberry Pi

  • You can have a portable setup with your RPi
  • You don’t have to spend on a full desktop setup with the RPi
  • You can make use of an old device instead of throwing it out 
  • Create home automation with this setup
  • You can create a home security system with this setup
  • Use as a CCTV for your doorstep

Read: How to install the Unifi Controller on RPi?


Now you can make use of your old tablet as your display for the RPi. This provides a lot of opportunities to use the RPi efficiently. With the portability feature, you will be able to easily carry this setup wherever you go. 

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