Print 18 comment(s) - last by XtremeM3.. on Oct 11 at 6:33 AM

Image courtesy's "Crave"
Notebook manufacturers gear up to support dual screens and Windows Sideshow

Asus' W5x notebooks have been around for quite some time now. The W5A featured Pentium-M processors while the W5F brought things up to date with the Core Duo processor. Now we're seeing yet another transformation for Asus' 12.1" notebook model lineup. The new W5Fe incorporates a second display on its LCD lid as a part of Intel's original "Newport" initiative.

The system which is now featured in Windows Vista as "Windows Sideshow" was developed by PortalPlayer. According to PortalPlayer's website, you can do the following while your laptop is turned off or in hibernation mode:

  • Relevant information at your fingertips.
  • Intelligent organization with access to calendars, e-mails, addresses, travel itineraries, movie show times, alerts and more.
  • The ability to play games, enjoy music, and share pictures.
  • Longer battery life for improved productivity.
  • A way to personalize your notebook, making it uniquely yours.

More importantly, PortalPlayer claims that "It can run for hundreds of hours without draining your notebook battery." It sounds like promising technology indeed, but the costs to implement this technology in notebooks can't be cheap.

There were prototypes of this technology displayed at CES 2006 in Las Vegas, but with the impending release of Windows Vista, it looks as though we may be seeing more of these notebooks entering production.

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By autoboy on 10/5/2006 2:51:42 PM , Rating: 3
Am i missing something here? Two screens is supposed to help me how? Why can't you just make those features available on the main screen when in hibernate mode? Looks dumb to me. Maybe all i would use it for is to play music files but my ipod does that much better than my clunky laptop.

RE: Why?
By TomZ on 10/5/2006 3:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
Ever seen sombody with a laptop in one hand and a PDA in the other? Problem solved - both devices integrated into a single package.

RE: Why?
By Burning Bridges on 10/5/2006 4:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
most people have the laptop in a bag on their backs, or over their shoulders, the PDA functions are a good idea, but the sheer size of a laptop is a major flaw.

RE: Why?
By Chillin1248 on 10/5/2006 4:53:25 PM , Rating: 3
Possbily the second screen is a low resolution and low power OLED display compared to the (comparitively) high power LCD with backlighting display.


RE: Why?
By TomZ on 10/5/2006 8:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
Low power consumption can be easily achieved with current-generation LCDs - witness the hundreds of millions of cell phones with LCDs that conserve power by turning off their backlight after a couple minutes of inactivity.

RE: Why?
By Chillin1248 on 10/5/2006 8:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
But we are talking about saving power by not turning on the laptop to work with simple items. So while if we were talking about standby power savings, then I would agree with you. However we are talking about a person just using the screen to check emails or read a book without using much power, here is were a LCD backlight would kill it.


RE: Why?
By Hare on 10/6/2006 2:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ever seen sombody with a laptop in one hand and a PDA in the other? Problem solved - both devices integrated into a single package.
People buy PDAs because they don't want to take their big laptop everywhere. How does this smaller screen solve anything? People are going to ditch their pda's and carry a "big" notebook only to use the smaller display?

The only valid use for a smaller display would be to display information. Maybe calender, email etc. My laptop has led-lights to display new email etc. I wouldn't want another display just to increase the price without providing any real benefits.

"Hundreds of hours"?
By therealnickdanger on 10/5/2006 2:38:23 PM , Rating: 1
Hundreds of hours of the features listed? I think not. I'll believe it when I see it. I also think that it looks fugly. I need more pictures, it looks like that screen sticks out too far. Why not make the whole screen a little thicker and go for flush mount? Looks dumb. Sorry for the negative...

RE: "Hundreds of hours"?
By Johnmcl7 on 10/5/2006 2:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
Looks way too bulky to me as well for such small laptop.

I think this would be far more useful on bigger 15.4 or 17 inch laptops where the additional thickness wouldn't proportionately add much to the laptop. It would also be more useful on a large laptop as it can be awkward to get them open and use them on the bus, train etc. whereas that's not a problem on small 12 inch laptops.


RE: "Hundreds of hours"?
By TomZ on 10/5/2006 3:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
Battery life could be that long by running the second display off a separate low-power processor (e.g., PXA270). You could easily run that for hundreds of hours. I don't know the exact implementation here, but there are probably lots of possible approaches that would work.

"Newport" initiative....nice....
By klingon on 10/5/2006 2:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
Readin' emails on such a small screen is a bit its better if u have a blackberry phone than a dual screen laptop.....cause.....all those features can be achieved thru pda's or smartphones so why such integration

By hughlle on 10/5/2006 3:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
A way to personalize your notebook, making it uniquely yours.

last time i checked a couple of free stickers personalised it pretty well. why do i want to pay for a screen to "personalize" my laptop?

Cool, but . . .
By vanka on 10/5/2006 2:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
This seems like a very cool feature but it looks a bit bulky. I mean the bulge that houses the tech is very unappealing; this could be a deal killer for some, especially the image-conscious.

not how I would of done it...
By kuyaglen on 10/5/2006 9:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
Tablets FTW.

By brownba on 10/5/2006 9:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think it looks very sexy, but I have to wonder if the outside display is fragile and could get cracked?

Ugly, useless.
By nortexoid on 10/6/2006 2:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's ugly, useless, and makes the notebook more fragile and expensive to produce. Hold on, look how ugly it is. I would rather be curious regarding the status of my new mail, rather than have to look at the lid of that hideous laptop to find out whether or not I have new mail.

If you were to embed an LCD like that in your chest (or a frumpy dog's) that's an idea.

Multi-tasking Baby!
By CrazyKenny on 10/7/2006 1:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
Sweet. Now I can get two things done at once - surf DailyTech on the primary screen and subject everyone else to g o a t s e c x :P

BTW : Can anyone say spyware that pops up pr0n ads on the PDA screen?

I think it's cool
By XtremeM3 on 10/11/2006 6:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's a cool idea. I immediately thought of being able to use that to bring up info while traveling. Especially if paired with a bag that has easy access to the screen without having to pull the laptop out. A quick way to grab a phone number or off a picture of something...whatever, without having to boot up.

I'm suprised more people don't praise the ingenuity and creativity to do something like this. I like seeing companies experiment with new ideas, who knows what they may lead to later. Just because you can't find a use for it doesn't mean that others don't have one. Not to mention the novelty value of it alone. Everyone has bought something at sometime or another for more novelty value than anything.

Some people must live pretty bitter lives to bitch and moan about stuff all the


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