10 great things to do with an old tablet

Why put that old tablet in a dusty drawer when you could repurpose it as a cookbook, photo frame or even a baby monitor?

So you’ve decided to upgrade your tablet with a newer, better model? Congratulations! That faster processor, better display and newer software is going to suit you just perfectly.

But what does that mean for the trusty old slate that brought you into the bold new world of tablet computing? Just because it has been supplanted by the latest and greatest model, that old, faithful tablet shouldn’t be consigned to a life gathering dust in the closet.

[Read more: How do you recycle your technology?]

Here are several great ways to save your touchscreen tablet from an early retirement.

1. Your new digital cookbook

Tablet used as cookbook

The kitchen can be a messy place at times so you may be wary of using your expensive new tablet to browse recipes with mucky fingers, flour and hot water flying about. But that old slate is now fair game and it’s time to get down and dirty. Sorry Jamie, back on the bookshelf you go!

2. Digital photo frame

Tablet used as digital photo frame

Seeing as you won’t be using your old tablet for everyday activities, why not turn it into a photo frame? LiveFrame for iOS and Dayframe for Android tablets (above) are great, free options for creating your looping slideshow.

You can even create custom loops using photos on the device, uploaded to social media or stored in the cloud.

3. Pssst! Tablets are great, pass it on…

Boy with tablet

Chances are one of your younger family members has asked for a tablet by now. Kids don’t need the newest models with the sharpest screens and the fastest processors, so you could recycle it and load it up with learning apps, fun painting tools and e-books. Beats letting them loose on a pricey new model.

4. Baby monitor

Tablet used as baby monitor

With apps like Dormi for Android you can use your old tablet’s microphone as a baby monitor. Place the tablet in your little one’s bedroom and the live audio will be streamed back to your Android phone or tablet over a wi-fi or mobile data network. This will allow you to listen in on and even sing sweet lullabies to your snoozing bundle of joy while you relax in the living room.

[Read more: How to wipe your tablet]

5. Arcade gaming system

Zeon tech arcadie

Fancy turning your old tablet into your very own retro gaming machine, complete with old-school joysticks and hammerable buttons?

Kits like the Zeon Tech Arcadie for iOS (£9.99) or Kindle Fire HD (£11.69) tablets let you slot in the tablet, then you can play all your old favourites like Alien Invaders, Blasteroids and Pong which are downloadable from the app stores.

6. Dedicated music player and internet radio

Spotify app on a tablet

If your old tablet is preparing for a new stationary experience, there’s no reason why it can’t be permanently hooked up to your speakers or dock via its 3.5mm audio jack.

You can use all your favourite music and radio applications such as TuneIn radio or Spotify or play the music stored locally on the device. You’ll benefit from the neat touchscreen interface, which looks great in any living room.

In Spotify’s case you’ll be able to use your smartphone or new tablet as a remote control to control tracks playing on the older app with Spotify Connect.

7. In-car movie player

Tablet used to watch movies in a car

Those cars with the monitors built into the back of the front seat headrests are fancy, huh? Replicate the experience without the expense by snapping up an affordable mount for your old tablet.

This universal mount from Bestek is one of many available and it only costs £6.99. Just load a few of the kids’ favourites onto the tablet and hey presto, a quiet car journey! That's worth £7 of anyone's money.

[Read more: How to use the BT wi-fi app on your tablet]

8. E-book reader

Tablet used as eBook reader

If you like to read before going to bed, you can keep an older tablet on your nightstand and use it as a dedicated e-book reader.

All your Amazon Kindle books can be loaded onto the device using the free Kindle apps, while those purchased from Apple’s iBooks and Google’s Play store are also available from the cloud, depending on which operating system you’re using.

9. Send on-demand video to your home TV

Google Chromecast

The Google Chromecast streaming device makes it easy to send content directly to your television set.

The HDMI stick costs just £30 and is a great way to remotely send videos to the big screen with a single tap. Keep your old tablet on your coffee table and use it as a remote control for your favourite video portals.

Apps from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BT Sport and YouTube are all Chromecast-compatible.

[Read more: What is Google Chromecast?]

10. Make a family noticeboard

Tablet used as noticeboard

You can use Velcro strips to mount the old tablet on a wall near the front door and use it to leave notes and reminders for other members of the household. The Noteboard app (£2.29) lets you leave sticky notes in different colours.

If you want to get really fancy with a full-on family calendar you could use the Cozi app for iPad and Android.

All family members can use their phones to set events, reminders, shopping lists, leave notes and post photos with everything synced back to the old tablet hanging in the hall.

[Read more: 12 ways your smartphone can save you money]

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