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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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