Today's #TipTuesday is yet another non-Dynamics GP post… I'm on a bit of a roll of finding oddball new things that are worth sharing. I'll get back to more GP content soon, I promise!

Update: this was originally written for Windows 10.


In a previous post, I had written about some health issues my Dad had. I've been hanging out with him and his wife at their home a couple of hours out of town from me, helping them get into a post-surgery routine. When I'm not doing things around the house for them, I'm trying to get some work done but am limited to an island in the kitchen as a desk and my laptop as the work device. But wait! I have my Surface Go with me too. I had initially set both up and independently logged into 2 different things so I could have something up on my Surface Go to reference while I worked on my laptop. The problem was the Surface Go would go to sleep mode. That's when I looked into options to connect to it wirelessly as a second monitor. It turns out that's a feature built into Windows 10! Sweet!

"Connecting to this PC" setup

The first thing I had to do was on the destination computer, the one I wanted to use as a 2nd monitor. In my case, that is my Surface Go. Get started by clicking on the Notification icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the toolbar.

Screenshot of Windows 10 widgets.

Click on the Connect widget. If I have already connected to something, it will show that already but if it's the first time, I won't see another PC listed like I do.

Connect widget with a red arrow to the Projecting to this PC option.

Click on "Projecting to this PC" next. There are a few options I have and I'm displaying below what I've chosen.

Projecting to this PC window with 4 items highlighted.
  1. Where should this option be available? I chose Available Everywhere but could have chosen an option to only have it available on secure networks. I will likely be turning this off entirely if I don't plan on using this often so the PC isn't always "looking" for opportunities to be a projection device.
  2. Ask to project: options are First Time or every time. If I forget to turn this off, I'd rather be prompted every time.
  3. Require a PIN. I've marked this option on. When I connect, the PC will display a PIN and the source PC will have an input box to type that PIN in.
  4. Power option - this is on by default, to only allow connecting when the device is plugged in.

After saving those settings on the destination PC, I would click on the Connect widget on the primary computer, then select the device to project to.

Connect window with the PC I want to connect to beside the arrow.

As mentioned above, with the PIN option turned on, the destination device will show a blue screen with a PIN, and that PIN would be typed into here, on the source machine. After that, click Connect.

Connect dialog prompting for a PIN.

Now that the 2nd PC is connected, I can change the projection mode. In my case, I wanted to extend my monitors as I want to reference other things on the 2nd PC. If I was truly "projecting" to share a presentation or something like that, I may choose Duplicate.

Confirmation showing I’m connecting to SurfaceGo.

Last item, when I am done, I need to click back on the Connect widget and click Disconnect to stop the 2nd display.

How does it perform?

I'd say it performs poorly from a true graphics quality perspective so I wouldn't be expecting super high performance, at least while I was on a wireless network. It may perform a lot better if I were using two LAN-connected PCs, I don't know. The WiFi I'm using is not super fast so I might be seeing the side effect of that.

For what I want to use it for - referencing materials on another monitor - it works perfectly fine. I am noticing every few minutes the screen appears to "refresh" but that could also be my WiFi connection. The mouse lags a bit when moving to the second screen for me and I suspect most of that is simply the quality of my internet connection.

This will be quite handy in a pinch for scenarios like this, where I may be travelling with both my laptop and the Surface Go, and need to do some "real" work.