We've already seen Asustek's 12.1" SideShow-enabled W5Fe notebook along
with Windows Vista
Media Center remotes. It comes as no surprise that more SideShow devices
are starting to break cover. In the case of the Asustek W5Fe, SideShow allows
users to access emails, music and pictures without even turning on the
notebook. The information is accessed from a small LCD screen mounted onto the
lid of the notebook. Likewise, SideShow-enabled Windows Vista Media Center remotes
allow you to access music, video clips and Electronic Program (EPG) information
without booting into the Windows.
Windows SideShow takes advantage of PortalPlayer's "Preface" technology. Over
200 development kits using Preface have already been shipped according to Tech-On.
The reference kits feature a USB interface, 32MB SDRAM/1GB NAND memory, 320x240
color display and a PP5024 microcontroller.
Some inventive engineers have taken Preface technology to
another level by taking an MSI
Mega Player 529 media player and integrating into a notebook as a SideShow
device. The 1GB Mega Player 529 is originally spec'd to playback MP3 and WMA
audio files as well as MJPEG files via its 2.5" display. As a SideShow
device, the Mega Player 529 is able to take on some more important roles like
viewing email and PowerPoint presentations.
We expect to see more SideShow-enabled devices next week at
CES. The feature is expected to add about $40 USD to the cost of a notebook
computer and is aimed at notebooks costing $1,500 USD or more.