5 ways to repurpose your tablet

Have an old tablet lying around? Turn it into something useful!

Xiomara Blanco Associate Editor / Reviews - Tablets and monitors
Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She's a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don't expect her to review printers anytime soon.
Xiomara Blanco
2 min read

Do you have an old tablet lying around? Or are you ready to upgrade but feel bad ditching your old one? You could make good use of it by repurposing it into something else.

Here are a few easy ideas for turning your old tablet into something new -- kind of. And in you're in the cleaning mood, or want to be, check out the KonTechie Method, which helps you clear your tech clutter by using one simple question.


Take advantage of your tablet's cameras for once.

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Security camera

Tablets aren't known for their camera quality (they tend to take grainy, washed out photos) and though that doesn't bode well for your vacation photo and flattering selfies, it'll do for a security camera.

By using this How To, you can turn your tablet into a security camera. (It's directed at smartphones, however the same rules apply to tablets.) It takes some initial set-up, but once it's up and running, all you have to do is pick the perfect location to place your tablet and surveil away.

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You can mount the tablet inside of your cabinet or on your fridge.

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Kitchen helper

There's a bevy of apps to help you cook up something delicious, and mounting a tablet somewhere in your kitchen can help you take advantage of them, especially if you're the one doing all the dirty work.

It's a simple and cheap solution, and it also works for other rooms in your house. Bathroom TV, anyone? No? Just an idea.

Photo booth

Everyone loves a photo booth. If you're having a party (or really love having your photo taken) you can easily use your tablet as a photo booth.

Watch this: Turn your iPad into a DIY photo booth

By using the same mounting technique shared above, you can set it up in your living room, backyard or by the door, so everyone remembers to pose for the camera before heading home.

Remote control

Did you know you can turn your tablet into a universal remote control? Sure, you could do the same with your phone, but using your tablet frees up the space those apps would be taking on your phone. You can use a tablet control your streaming box or stick, like the Chromecast or Apple TV, or the many smart devices in your home.

Some models have IR blasters (the same type of infrared sensor you find in a regular ol' remote) with a preloaded remote app, however, you can still use your tablet as a remote even if your tablet doesn't have one -- you just have to download some apps.

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Need an extra screen for transcribing or multi-tasking? Your tablet can do that.

Xiomara Blanco/CNET

Second display

You can easily turn an Android tablet or an iPad into a make-shift monitor by downloading an app called iDisplay. The app isn't free and you need a Wi-Fi connection in order for it to work, but it's cheaper than buying a new monitor for casual multi-tasking, especially is you already own a tablet.