15 Ways to Repurpose an Old Tablet Device

Is your old tablet slowing down and becoming cumbersome to use? Here’s 15 ways you can repurpose that old tablet into something more useful.

1. Make it into a dedicated digital photo frame

photo-frame

The beauty of using a tablet as a photo frame is that they generally have great screens, have access to the internet and provide app support. All of which mean you can create the perfect slideshow that can be updated from anywhere.

This also means you could give your ‘photo frame’ to a loved one and they would always see your up-to-date photos. You could share your photos through a ‘Nicebook’ which means the tablet will always display your family’s favourite pictures.

For this to work you need power, wifi, and your photos stored in the cloud.

2. Use it as a dedicated e-reader and support your local library
With the range of ebook stores and apps available, there’s really no excuse not to read on a tablet. You don’t have to worry about storage and you can take as many books on holiday as you want. With the inbuilt accessibility features of your tablet, you can also adjust the font and backlighting to make the reading experience as personal as you require. And best of all, you can read books and magazines on your tablet, for free, thanks to your local library. Sign up for a free Libraries NI Membership Number today.
3. Place it in the kitchen to watch TV
tablet-as-tvWe fell in love with tablets because of their size and portability. It makes sense then to take advantage of the form factor whenever you can. If you don’t have a TV in the kitchen (or any other room) use your tablet to watch ‘how to’ videos, get recipe ideas or to catch up on your favourite shows. Pair it with a Bluetooth speaker for a better audio experience.
4. A device to keep the family up-to-date

Your tablet could be used for shared tasks and activities such as updating your calendar, looking up recipes and travel information.

I do the grocery shopping in my house. We create a shared shopping list so that I don’t forget anything! And sometimes my wife loves updating the shopping list when I’m actually at the shops ?.

5. Make it into a dedicated radio / music player by pairing it with speakers

The range of audio content you access online now is just mind-blowing. From local radio to niche podcasts from the other side of the world. You’ll not be stuck for something interesting to listen to. Combine spoken word with music streaming services (or you own offline collection) and you will never be stuck for listening options.
What you need: a hi-fi with AUX in or a Bluetooth speaker, power and wifi.

6. A video conferencing station

With the internet, smartphones, tablets and PCs staying in touch with friends and family has never been easier. You can have audio and video calls to individuals or to groups and all for free. Why not place your tablet on a stand and use it as a modern day phone?

7. Make it into a kid friendly learning tablet

Many child friendly apps can work on older devices. So if you can’t repurpose your tablet for yourself, consider donating it to a child who will almost certainly put it to good use.

8. Create a retro digital clock

You could install an app that makes it into a retro bedside alarm clock. You can even set the alarm to wake you up to your favourite radio station or playlist.

9. Use your tablet to access a PC

Use it to access your home PC (or someone else’s) using Google’s free Chrome Remote Desktop program, which works with Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS computers. You might be keeping an eye on an operation that takes a long time to complete or you could use the app to provide remote support for someone else.

10. Use it as a universal smart remote

If it can be controlled by an app, the chances are that you can install it on your tablet. If you have smart devices around the house e.g. smart plugs, lights, chromecast, Sky Q, Virgin Tivo etc you can turn that old tablet into a universal smart remote that everyone can use.

11. ET phone home – Wouldn’t it be cool if you used that old tablet to find ET?

I’m not promising to turn you into a super geek, but you can certainly turn your tablet into a device that helps science by using the BOINC app:

“Use your phone or tablet to study diseases, predict global warming, or discover pulsars! BOINC harnesses the unused computing power of your Android device and runs jobs for scientific research projects.”

You could actually help scientists search for extraterrestrial life or improve cancer treatments. How cool is that?

12. Sell it

You could be surprised by what someone is willing to pay for your old tablet. And it’s pointless keeping hold of something that you aren’t using which is potentially worth cash.

13. Donate it to charity

If your tablet is working and none of the ideas above are inspiring you, what else can you do? Well, you could consider donating your tablet to your favourite charity. They may sell it to raise vital cash or they may be able to put it to use in one of their programmes. Either way, you will be doing a good thing.

14. Make it into a retro gaming arcade

While this appeals to me, it won’t be for everyone. You could just buy a bluetooth controller and use your tablet on a stand. That’s easier and cheaper and should give you just as much fun.

15. Could you use it in the car?

If you’re feeling adventurous and know how to install In-car Entertainment Systems (ICE) you could rip out your old car stereo and replace it with something like the Nexus 7. This will give you a device that can be used for GPS navigation, while also pumping out all the tunes you can ask for.

You could install a dashboard mount instead which is probably easier and less invasive.

You local council has a number of Household Recycling Centres (HRCs). Most can recycle paper, glass and plastics (just like your kerbside service) but you can take much more than that to your local HRC…