Windows Slideshow may not have been one of the most widely publicised parts of the impending Vista OS but Asus and LG have just shown why it could be one of the most useful…
As the photos make apparent, the technology itself is rather simple. Sideshow enables laptop manufacturers to include a secondary or auxiliary display which lets users easily view critical information whether the unit is on/off or in sleep mode. All manner of information can be accessed from this screen including meeting schedules, phone numbers, addresses and even recent emails while saving time and battery life.
Both Asus and LG have consequently announced laptops which integrate an external screen to add Sideshow support and I’ll start with the former since it was (marginally) first out of the gate.
The ‘W5Fe’ (above) is its name and despite looking slightly humpbacked it packs a lot into a wonderfully portable frame. For starters there’s a 12in 1,366 x 768 high resolution widescreen display that’s backed up with a choice of Core 2 Duo processors, wireless a/b/g, up to 1.5GB of RAM and a 160GB HDD. In addition to this you’ll also find a 1.3MP webcam, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, an Express Card slot, VGA and TV Out. As for the Sideshow screen itself, that is a 2.8in QVGA display with a whole 1GB of separate flash memory for installing widgets and even audio and video.
Next up is LG’s take, the arguably sexier looking ‘Z1’. Like the W5Fe this has a 12.1in display (though just a 1200 x 800 native resolution) and ships with a Core 2 Duo T7200 (2GHz) CPU and a gig of RAM. Little else is known about the Z1 but it seems safe to say wireless, a DVD burner, Bluetooth and well... Vista will come with it too.
As is run of the mill for both these companies, no release dates or pricing were revealed but we’d expect them very soon in order to cash in on all the Vista publicity that will inevitably crash down upon us like a tidal wave sent by Satan himself from 30 January…