Tablet Companion for Framework Laptop

I’m making plans to jump from my Surface Pro 6 to a Framework laptop in the coming months.

My current hangup is that I use the tablet functionally in my everyday work. Specifically, I’m a teacher who uses Microsoft Whiteboard. On thing I’m trying to anticipate is the loss of the touch screen. I have seen Apple somewhat address this issue with Sidecar, and I was wondering if I could find a similar solution for the Framework device.

My ideal use case would be where I can use a tablet to help supplement my lecture while the Framework laptop drives everything (i.e., webcam, multiple displays, tablet as just another monitor or extension of the desktop).

I have seen things, such as the Luna Display for an iPad. There have been other solutions see on this forum, such as Hello X2.

I was wondering if there were other solutions to this problem (either software or hardware)? I plan on flipping my Surface Pro 6 online and am open to buying a dedicated laptop for this use case (perhaps an older or entry level iPad with the first generation Apple Pencil).

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In my experience, intensive whiteboard use requires a dedicated device and a very high-precision stylus to work smoothly. I ended up using a Microsoft Surface tablet with the SurfacePen, which seems OK. I think iPad+apple pen would also be OK. I know people who use Thinkpad 2-in-1 (basically Wacom) with linux for this scenario. Note this is not just touch-screen: these are full-blown digitizer solutions.

For online meetings, I tend to let my surface tablet join for just the screen share and run any other meeting administration (camera, sound, chat) through my laptop. For recordings, I have used TightVNC to share the tablet screen onto my desktop. TughtVNC is freely available software that runs on both WIndows and Linux and requires that the two machines can connect over a network. If your network is not reasonably firewalled and/or if there can be untrusted clients on the local network, you may have to do some tunnelling to secure the VNC connection.

If you anticipate you want to share/project screen of more than just what’s on the tablet, it may be worth going the VNC route so that you can easily change the content shared. If this is for an online meeting, putting both VNC and your video conferencing connection through the same network interface may be a bit much, depending on how flimsy the network is. If your laptop ends up just driving a projector, that’s not a concern.

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