Chrome Remote Desktop vs. Real VNC


If you’re at all like me, you like to change things around to keep life fresh. Many years ago while studying Taoism, which is a philosophy and approach to life all about change, I used to rotate the artwork in my apartment according to the seasons. It just didn’t feel right if I didn’t move things around.

Android Tablet showing Windows 10 from my PC via Remote Desktop

Today I’m keeping up with the tradition by blogging through an unusual setup that nonetheless works pretty well and should also work for you.

If you have an older tablet that is getting a bit slow and don’t want to give it to your little sister but rather squeak more use out of it, try out these nifty remote desktop apps.

First up, we have Google Chrome Remote Desktop (RD). This app has improved a lot since it first came out. Years ago I gave up on it because, frankly, the initial versions didn’t work very well for me. However, recent versions seem considerably improved and perhaps the biggest plus of Chrome RD is the inclusion of remote audio.

That’s right, you can not only see and control your desktop from your tablet but also hear it. That’s a real boon for music lovers, or for that matter, TV addicts who just have to hear what so-and-so said last night.

You also need to install the Chrome RD Server on the computer you want to control from your tablet. It’s all pretty clear at the Chrome RD website.

Now honestly, I still find a bit of lag with Chrome RD. So I usually begin with it but when I want to do some nitty-gritty blogging, I switch to my favorite RD app that does not include sound. That app is Real VNC.

Real VNC makes writing through RD a breeze. It’s almost always fast with no appreciable lag. So when I hit a keyboard key to type a letter, that letter shows up on my remote screen almost as fast as if I were using no RD at all.

Right now I’m using Real VNC. And for a Sunday afternoon, which is probably a busy time for its servers, it’s still fast.

Now, let’s say you want to type fast and still hear music playing on your PC.

On your Android tablet you will open both RD apps at the same time. Get the audio through Chrome RD and then minimize the app. Next, go back to the Real VNC app (with Chrome RD minimized) and type ’till your heart’s content.

You can also hook up an external keyboard and mouse to your tablet. So it’s basically like having an almost full Windows 10 computer via your – in my case – 100 dollar tablet!

I say “almost full” because Chrome RD will not send your tablet’s mic audio to your PC. At least, I just tried it with no luck. If, however, you want to forward your mic to the base PC, I suggest NoMachine. NoMachine is free and worth checking out. I find it usually has too much lag for typing but I have used it for various purposes before realizing Chrome RD now handles audio.

Finally, if you try this out and don’t like it, I suggest running the free Revo Uninstaller to remove the unwanted apps and pretty much all the hidden files that Windows uninstaller usually leaves behind. Revo comes in a portable version, so it doesn’t add more junk to your PC.

Feel free to comment/ask for any more suggestions with this. I believe in recycling electronics as much as possible before we choke our planet to death with vast stretches of electronic waste!

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