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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Luna Display Adapter That Turns an iPad or Mac Into a Second Screen

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For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Astropad to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Luna Display adapter that can turn an extra Mac or an iPad into a secondary display to be used with a main Mac.


The inch-long Luna Display adapter plugs into a Mac using a USB-C port (on newer Macs) or a Mini DisplayPort (on older Macs) and then when paired with the Luna Display software, your primary Mac can be connected to an iPad or another Mac over Wifi, providing new ways to utilize old hardware or to add extra displays without having to invest in new products.


When connected, the Luna Display is able to extend the primary Mac's display to the secondary Mac or the iPad to allow the extra device to be used as a second screen, a feature that can be extra useful these days as people continue to figure out their work from home setups with makeshift offices.


Available for $70, the Luna Display sets itself apart from Apple's Sidecar functionality with the Mac-to-Mac support, which Sidecar can't do. The Mac-to-Mac feature was introduced after Sidecar and it makes the Luna Display adapter more powerful than Apple's solution. Luna Display is also able to work with older iPads that aren't supported by Sidecar.


When used in Mac-to-Mac mode, the primary Mac needs to be running macOS El Capitan or later, while the secondary Mac can be running macOS Mountain Lion or later, so you can use the Luna Display with some machines that are quite a bit older. For the best performance, the main Mac should be a 2012 MacBook Air or later, a 2012 MacBook Pro or later, a 2012 Mac mini or later, a 2012 iMac or later, or a 2013 Mac Pro or later.


Luna Display offers full keyboard, trackpad, and mouse support on both Macs when used in Mac-to-Mac mode, and more information on using Luna Display with dual Macs can be found on the Luna Display website.

As for iPads, the Luna Display is compatible with almost all modern iPads, including the the iPad 2 or later, all iPad mini models, all iPad Pro models, and all iPad Air models, with iOS 9.1 or later as the only requirement. Performance is faster on newer iPads, but older models work well too.


Right now, Astropad's Luna Display is compatible only with Macs, but later this year, the company is planning to debut Windows support for the first time in an effort to reach more customers and further diversify its product lineup after the launch of Apple's Sidecar. Check out Astropad's recent blog post for more info on the Windows-based products that are coming.

We have five Luna Display adapters to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win our giveaway, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

The contest will run from today (July 10) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on July 17. The winners will be chosen randomly on July 17 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Article Link: MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Luna Display Adapter That Turns an iPad or Mac Into a Second Screen
 
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KeithBN

macrumors newbie
Aug 11, 2017
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Now this is interesting if it works with iPad 2 like they suggest, means I can get some more life out of the old beast yet!
 
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ThunderSkunk

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Dec 31, 2007
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...that touchscreens doesn’t work so hot on small displays where your finger obscures your work. Which is why configurations like this are most useful tool using the ipad as a second display rather than as an input device. A second monitor for video output while on the road, for instance. A data display while you’re working in CAD on the MBP’s main display, etc.

On large touchscreens however, OS X is at its best when working directly with your hands on your media & controls. Even a hulking Wacom Cintiq 27 with its tangle of cords & derelict drivers turns OS X into something far greater than any Mac. A true iOS cannibal, as it were, which is precisely why hell will freeze into a milkshake before we ever see one from Cupertino.
 
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Scottsdale

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I own one of these. I never opened it. But it was on sale one day, and I thought would be nice to use my iMac Retina 5K Late 2015 one day as a secondary monitor for my MacBook Pro.
 
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chipchen

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Oct 30, 2002
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I use Sidecar to extend my display to my iPad. It's freaking amazing and works great. To one of the previous comments about why you would want a laggy secondary display, I don't use it to game... Sometimes just leaving a static Excel doc or something up on the side is immensely helpful. Ok, I lied. I did use it for a game. I played Catan on the side iPad while I was doing work on my main screen.
 
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LondonChris

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Apr 13, 2020
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I own one of these. I never opened it. But it was on sale one day, and I thought would be nice to use my iMac Retina 5K Late 2015 one day as a secondary monitor for my MacBook Pro.

This is exactly what I've been using it for. My work-issued 2016 MacBook Pro needs to be my primary hard drive, but the Luna Display allows me to use my own 2014 iMac 27" Retina as a second monitor. Generally, couldn't be happier. It seems to restart the Luna app every few hours, but this only takes a few seconds.

Does exactly what I need it for during working hours. Quit the Luna app, and then the iMac becomes my home machine again. Definitely recommended for this use case.
 
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T.j.p.

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Sep 15, 2015
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I‘m a fan of Duet. Just a cable to the iPad or iPhone and it’s a second display. Requires an app on the iOS device, and the duet software on the Mac. And the subscription version gives a small bump in features like using the iPad as a graphics tablet. But in normal use the one time purchase does just fine. And it supports device combinations that sidecar doesn‘t. Duet was the seminal set of software for the purpose. And it’s an inexpensive solution crafted by former Apple engineers.

love to see a shootout between all three. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
 
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jlc1978

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Aug 14, 2009
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I've bought and used all three: Duet, Luna and Sidecar. My use is as a second screen to display an document while working on athoer so I can easily cut and paste or refer to it while working on my Mac.

Started with Duet. Runs on 10.9+ It was a great app and ahead of its time. Having my Ipad Pro as a second screen was very useful when traveling. Its biggest pro was it was the first, when they went to subscription the base app offered no real value over Sidecar; other than it works with more devices. Can't see spending money for the base version since Sidecar already does what the base version does; unless you use a device other than an iPad. $20/year for wireless or $30/year for touch support is simply not worth it to me as I found I never use that feature enough to make it worthwhile.

Luna Display. Runs on 10.11+ Bought on Kickstarter. I found it faster and more responsive than Luna. Pros are most pay features from Duet are included in the purchase. Mac to Mac and Headless mode. Wireless. Has touch support, I used it to add the Touchbar to my iPad before I bought a Touchbar Mac; but never really found the touch support that useful. Main use was to scroll with an Apple Pencil. Headless mode makes a Mini more flexible as you do not need to connect a monitor to it if you are using it as a server. Cons: Price is high upfront. Dongle covers a lot of plug space so two large plugs won't fit side to side. Plays videos well.

Sidecar: Catalina. Very basic functionality but it works if your main use is a second monitor to display documents, etc that are mostly static. Cons: No touch support if that is what you want. Mac/iPad only.

Cons on all: Only run on relatively new Macs. I've never found wireless to be that useful due to lags.

My recommendation: If you want touch support or us a pre-Catalina Mac go with the LunaDisplay. Although it is more upfront its payback is about 2.5 years and I've found it a better experience than Duet.
 
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T.j.p.

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2015
33
17
Business
I've bought and used all three: Duet, Luna and Sidecar. My use is as a second screen to display an document while working on athoer so I can easily cut and paste or refer to it while working on my Mac.

Started with Duet. Runs on 10.9+ It was a great app and ahead of its time. Having my Ipad Pro as a second screen was very useful when traveling. Its biggest pro was it was the first, when they went to subscription the base app offered no real value over Sidecar; other than it works with more devices. Can't see spending money for the base version since Sidecar already does what the base version does; unless you use a device other than an iPad. $20/year for wireless or $30/year for touch support is simply not worth it to me as I found I never use that feature enough to make it worthwhile.

Luna Display. Runs on 10.11+ Bought on Kickstarter. I found it faster and more responsive than Luna. Pros are most pay features from Duet are included in the purchase. Mac to Mac and Headless mode. Wireless. Has touch support, I used it to add the Touchbar to my iPad before I bought a Touchbar Mac; but never really found the touch support that useful. Main use was to scroll with an Apple Pencil. Headless mode makes a Mini more flexible as you do not need to connect a monitor to it if you are using it as a server. Cons: Price is high upfront. Dongle covers a lot of plug space so two large plugs won't fit side to side. Plays videos well.

Sidecar: Catalina. Very basic functionality but it works if your main use is a second monitor to display documents, etc that are mostly static. Cons: No touch support if that is what you want. Mac/iPad only.

Cons on all: Only run on relatively new Macs. I've never found wireless to be that useful due to lags.

My recommendation: If you want touch support or us a pre-Catalina Mac go with the LunaDisplay. Although it is more upfront its payback is about 2.5 years and I've found it a better experience than Duet.
Duet has the virtual touch bar, and Duet runs on my 2012 MacBook Pro (what I purchased it for) a 2011 Mac mini as the only display, and my 2013 Mac Pro. No interest in wireless support, though might be fun on a headless Mac.

my basic use is likely what most people look for and that’s a second screen. Like when traveling with a notebook. Duet can’t be beat for supporting older Macs at a cheap price.
 
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Sam Squanch

macrumors member
May 10, 2018
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I was going to replace my 2012 iMac this year but with the Apple silicon announcement, I'll wait till the ARM version comes out. Instead of reselling my current iMac I had plans to just turn it into a second monitor I read somewhere that this is doable with a cable that is a built-in feature with MacOS. What in the world is the difference between the Mac option and this option? Luna just seems like getting an extra screen with extra steps. What am I missing?

Still signed up for the contest though, there is probably something I'm just not understanding and would like Luna.
 
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jlc1978

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Aug 14, 2009
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I was going to replace my 2012 iMac this year but with the Apple silicon announcement, I'll wait till the ARM version comes out. Instead of reselling my current iMac I had plans to just turn it into a second monitor I read somewhere that this is doable with a cable that is a built-in feature with MacOS. What in the world is the difference between the Mac option and this option? Luna just seems like getting an extra screen with extra steps. What am I missing?

Target Display Mode is limited to certain iMacs, and retina models won't use it, IIRC. Luna Display works with a lot me Macs.
 
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jettredmont

macrumors 68030
Jul 25, 2002
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This is exactly what I've been using it for. My work-issued 2016 MacBook Pro needs to be my primary hard drive, but the Luna Display allows me to use my own 2014 iMac 27" Retina as a second monitor. Generally, couldn't be happier. It seems to restart the Luna app every few hours, but this only takes a few seconds.

Does exactly what I need it for during working hours. Quit the Luna app, and then the iMac becomes my home machine again. Definitely recommended for this use case.

Almost exactly my use case as well: I have my work MacBook Pro hooked up to a couple monitors directly, sitting next to my home iMac (2015 21.5" though), and the Luna works great to allow me to park documents over on that iMac display while I'm working on the others. And, yes, I do need four monitors!

Overall, yes, there is a bit of a lag on the Luna display, which is especially dependent on WiFi access where the setup is (there is a bit of interference in my office area which causes other issues as well). That's why I use it only for reference documents. That said, it is pretty solid when I have it on, and gives a good second (or third or fourth) screen.
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Target Display Mode is limited to certain iMacs, and retina models won't use it, IIRC. Luna Display works with a lot me Macs.

Also, target display mode requires a restart of the target iMac, while Luna Display can be turned on and off in about two seconds.
 
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jlc1978

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Aug 14, 2009
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Duet has the virtual touch bar,

Thanks. I forgot to mention that.

and Duet runs on my 2012 MacBook Pro (what I purchased it for) a 2011 Mac mini as the only display, and my 2013 Mac Pro.

my basic use is likely what most people look for and that’s a second screen. Like when traveling with a notebook. Duet can’t be beat for supporting older Macs at a cheap price.
I agreee, that's Duet's strong point. If you just want SideCard on an older Mac, Duet Basic is the way to go; it's a good value for the money, I just don't see much value over Luna for the subscription options.

At any rate, competition is good.
 
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