This Android Tablet Makes a Great Nintendo Switch Display

It’s not a bad tablet, either

Key Takeaways

  • Lenovo’s Yoga Pad Pro has a mini HDMI port on the side.
  • Its big 13-inch monitor is perfect for playing Switch.
  • Currently, the Lenovo Yoga Pad Pro is only available in China.
The new Lenovo Yoga Pad Pro connected to a Nintendo Switch.

Lenovo

How about a tablet that doubles up as a display for your Nintendo Switch?

One of the biggest features lacking in the iPad Pro is that you cannot use it as a monitor for other hardware. But if you can stand to use Android on a tablet, then Lenovo’s new Yoga Pad Pro (how did they think of that name?) is for you. It could be perfect for kids who hate TV, but want to play multiplayer games.

"Today's generation is focused more on hand-held devices and any app that is on their television screen," artist and programmer Tyrone Evans Clark told Lifewire via email.

Yoga Pad Pro Features

The Yoga Pad Pro is a 13-inch Android tablet with benefits. The most obvious is the kickstand, which doubles as a handle, or even as a way to hang the unit on the wall, which is handy in kitchens, bars, labs, workshops, or anywhere you need a tablet, but don’t want to get it wet/smashed/dropped. Also great is the Yoga’s trademark grip, which adds a fat, grabbable handle to one long edge. 

But more interesting than the stand—something that can be added to any tablet, really—is the Micro HDMI port on the side. This lets you use the tablet as a 13-inch monitor for anything. You could add an extra display to your laptop, but that’s a bit dull. How about connecting it to a camera, for tethered shooting, monitoring video as you shoot, or just for looking at photos (many cameras have HDMI ports for exactly this purpose)?

Someone sitting on the couch, using the Yoga Pad Pro.

Lenovo

But really, Lenovo knows exactly why you would buy an otherwise pedestrian tablet. One look at its promotional photos will tell you. The Yoga Pad Pro can connect to Nintendo’s Switch, giving you an amazing, on-the-go gaming setup. 

Imagine it. You’re on the train with your kids, and you can play one, two, or even four-player games for hours, all without power. The Switch already has a screen, of course, but it’s a bit tight even for two-player Mario Kart. It’s also the perfect way to quiet the kids in the back of the car. The one downside is that you’ll need the Switch’s bulky dock and access to a power outlet (although there are workarounds, as we shall see).

As a tablet, the Yoga Pad Pro is decent enough. It has 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, Wi-Fi, but no cellular, four JBL speakers with Dolby Atmos, 12-plus hours of video playback (or Switch gaming) on battery, and costs ¥3299 (around $515 in US dollars). That’s pricey for an Android tablet, but it also has a huge screen. To get an iPad that big, you’d have to spend $1,099 minimum. Then again, even $515 is a lot more than the Switch itself. It's also currently only available in China.

Other Options

Let’s say that all you want is a similar-sized display for your Switch. What are the other options? Well, Lenovo makes the ThinkVision M14 for $229, but that has a USB-C connection. 

The Genki Shadowcast.

Genki

Another option is the Genki Shadowcast, a little $50 widget that takes the output from your Switch (or camera, etc.), and sends it to your laptop computer. Then, you run the Genki Arcade app on your computer, and it shows the output from the console. You’ll need to use the Switch’s own dock to provide the HDMI-out, or you can hook it up to Genki’s other great gadget, the Covert Dock. 

The Covert Dock is a $70 accessory that replaces the giant dock that ships with the Switch. The downside for our portable purposes is that it requires a power socket. If you’re going to be staying in a hotel, or an Airbnb with a TV, then the Covert Dock is ideal.

What About The iPad?

The new M1 iPad Pro has an incredible mini-LED screen, which is super bright and contrasty. It would be a great display for all kinds of third-party devices, but there is no way to connect them—yet. The iPad’s Thunderbolt/USB-C port could theoretically allow incoming video, but the software doesn’t allow it. 

If you’re in the market for an Android tablet, then, the Yoga Pad Pro is a solid bet. But if all you want is a way to play your Switch on the go, with a bigger screen than the one that’s built-in, then just search Amazon for “portable HDMI monitor” and you’ll get something for under $200.

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