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.

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