I'm using AirDisplay to allow me to use my iPad as an external monitor for about 10 hours a day. I have it plugged into my Mac the entire time (so the battery doesn't completely die).

Will this negatively affect it's lifespan? I'm sort of expecting my iPad to last for 5 or 10 years at least if I treat it well (is that realistic?), but, will this cause it to burn out in the next year or two?

What I'm specifically worried about is:

  1. The display could somehow stop working (would pixels burn out? Would it not be able to get as bright? What specifically bad will happen from over-using the display?)
  2. The battery could go to crap (I'm worried I'll get to the point where I'd have to continually charge it and it wouldn't be able to hold any meaningful charge)
  • 1
    We will know in 5-10 years.
    – Gerry
    Aug 14, 2012 at 19:42
  • lol............. ;_;
    – cmcculloh
    Aug 15, 2012 at 13:24

3 Answers 3


With regard to your question about a realistic lifespan:

I would define the life expectancy of any device as however long its user can use it for its intended purpose. Which will cease to be the case when something physically breaks or when functionality is phased out (e.g. AirDisplay functionality is removed in a future update). It is impossible to predict if and when either of these things will happen to your iPad in the next few years. There are simply too many factors involved.

In my own experience, we have a 1st gen iPad (bought end of 2010) in the office that is on 24/7 (no screen timeout) as an interactive wall calendar and it is still going strong. On the other hand, one of my coworkers bought a 3rd gen iPad a few months ago and it died after a few weeks of use (he apparently got a lemon). I hope you see my point: There are so many factors involved in determining the lifespan of a certain device that it is impossible to say what will happen to your iPad: Sometimes you get lucky, but there are no guarantees.

With regard to your other 2 questions:

I hope this helps.


Unfortunately iPads haven't existed long enough for us to gauge their normal lifespan, but I've seen many ipads being used as "displays" in one way or another without adverse effects so I doubt this would cause any display malfunction. Theres a bar round the corner from our office that services the "creative district", they have several iPads inside glass domes with different pieces of art on them, they've been there over a year now running pretty much non stop with no issues.

In terms of the battery, Lithium Ion batteries nowadays are pretty good, as opposed to the NiCad batteries we used to use. Running them down and charging them up and all the other "battery care" tips are basically obsolete nowadays. I saw another post on here where someone had referred to this and some of the more obscure battery saving tips like freezing your batteries as "snake oil" and I'm inclined to agree.


You definitely want to use the iPad's battery every few weeks, otherwise it will stop taking charge and fail prematurely. Rechargeable batteries are like a muscle, if you don't use it, it will waste away.

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