MSI's Mega Player 529 as a SideShow device - Image courtesy

Asus W5Fe with SideShow integrated into disply lid
Windows SideShow to highlight Vista notebooks

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.

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