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Twin-Screen Vista Laptops

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the even-i-think-that-is-kinda-stupid dept.

176

An anonymous reader writes ""Asus has shown off a prototype of the first dual-screen laptop, the W5Fe. These laptops, bearing the Intel codename 'Newport' have a standard screen on the inside plus a smaller, additional colour display on the outside of the lid. The second display is capable of showing video, flight departure information, movie show times, alerts, games, movies, images and MP3s, all while the laptop is switched off. According to CNET, the battery requirement for such a screen is minimal — with standard laptop batteries providing hundreds of hours of use."

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All this while switched off? (4, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306715)

The second display is capable of showing video, flight departure information, movie show times, alerts, games, movies, images and MP3s, all while the laptop is switched off.
Unless that second display is driven by a second motherboard, I don't see how it can do all that while the laptop is "switched off".

Unless the author thinks that "closed lid = computer is turned off".

Re:All this while switched off? (1)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306739)

Well, then they say this:

These could be used to scan emails, access a calendar, check network connections and monitor downloads without having to fire up the laptop.

How do you maintain a network connection or download a file while the laptop is not "fired" up?

Re:All this while switched off? (1)

SirCyn (694031) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306871)

A second motherboard is not necessary. But some kind of logic board is if you want the information on the second screen to be dynamic. A static display doesn't need any processing ability.

I'm a little concerned with the hundreds of hours of display time. The display is one of the leading power suckers in laptops (the cpu is ususally the prime culprit). Unless it's a reflective lcd display (think calculator type where there is no backlight) it should drain the batter in a few hours.

Re:All this while switched off? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16307333)

Why a few hours? You can get around 8 hours of time out of a Nintendo DS with it's dual screens while playing games. I would imagine that a laptop battery is considerably more powerful than the DS battery.

Re:All this while switched off? (2, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308381)

A DS is specialized for playing games in a handheld form. As such it was designed to draw as little power as possible so the battery life could be prolonged.

On the other hand, you have laptops with USB ports, hard disks, GBs of memory, large screens (these are the real power drainers I hear), disc drives, etc etc etc all which need power. And being PC compatible they can't really be too optimized to perform specific functions because they are general-purpose PCs. And when selecting a battery (plus the above components) they have to concern themselves about weight and price and heat and umm... chance of explosions... umm... so battery life is just another variable to balance in this equation, and unfortunately to keep some variables down or up others have to be lowered.

Re:All this while switched off? (1)

BluenoseJake (944685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308585)

Of course, with the laptop turned off, everything else would not be drawing power, except for maybe the harddrive. USB, Optical drives, the large screen, all would be off, probably just the small display and the secondary? processor and harddrive. so maybe power requirements can be that low. and with vista's ability to use flash as cache, maybe that is where it is drawing it's data from, at this point it is hard to tell

Re:All this while switched off? (4, Interesting)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306887)

Unless that second display is driven by a second motherboard

If I remember correctly when these were first discussed years ago, that is in fact exactly the case. If memory serves its almost like an onboard PDA included with the laptop. When the laptop is on data is synched between the harddrive and the "pda" boards solidstate memory. I think there are some shared components like networking, etc but for the most part the PC is completely off and the "PDA" type functionalty runs almost completely seperately. Its been awhile so I could be remembering this incorrectly, but thats the basics of what I recall.

Re:All this while switched off? (3, Informative)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307163)

Think iPod - because it's about the exact same chip. It probably hooks up through USB internally even.

More info here on the politics of this chip:
http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml ?articleID=186100394 [eetimes.com]

Re:All this while switched off? (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307269)

If that Portal Player chip is part of the laptop, isn't it false advertising to say "it runs even when powered off"? If it's off, then all of the laptop is off.

Can't wait to hear about people boarding airplaines with these laptops...

Business suit: "But miss, my laptop IS turned off!"
Hostess: "Then why is that external screen still working?"
Business suit: "Beats me!"
Hostess: "Security! We have a suicide bomber with a laptop countdown bomb!"

Or something...

Re:All this while switched off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16308011)

Because of course... no one EVER thought of including an off button for the secondary screen, why that would just be outrageous!

Re:All this while switched off? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307483)

Unless that second display is driven by a second motherboard, I don't see how it can do all that while the laptop is "switched off".

Unless the author thinks that "closed lid = computer is turned off".


Way to go brainiac. But it does in fact have a (very little) second board that is powered independently indeed.

Re:All this while switched off? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307867)

But that's my point. If there's a second motherboard (no matter the size) and a 2nd battery for it, it's still part of "the laptop". If the laptop is off, it means all its components should be off.

Re:All this while switched off? (4, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307983)

But that's my point. If there's a second motherboard (no matter the size) and a 2nd battery for it, it's still part of "the laptop". If the laptop is off, it means all its components should be off.

Oh sorry I didn't know you're after a bitchfest, I would've brought my heavy dictionary so we can be pedantic together on what "turned off laptop" means.

Re:All this while switched off? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308131)

We both know what we're talking about here (two computers in one case), but for most people it's gonna be a problem. Never mind the "dual-core laptop" vs "laptop with a built-in PDA-like device" confusion for the general public.

Let's just wait until we see something in a newspaper about a passenger who had to miss his flight because he couldn't "turn his laptop off" and was taken for questioning by airport security.

Re:All this while switched off? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308157)

pardon me while I wade in:

part of laptop == anything inside or permenantly attatched to the laptop case.

turned off == all power utilising items fitting the above are receiving no power

therefore, if the laptop were turned off, the second screen could not display anything. So, the laptop does not have a display whilst turned off.

What we have here is a clash of the marketting buzzwords, and some severely twisted logic.
The laptop is not off while the second display is running and the case is closed, it is operating on less power is all.

Re:All this while switched off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16308325)

If you have the lights on your car turned on but the engine is not running, is the car turned on? Is the laptop the entire case and anything held therein or is it the main computer inside the case? If it is the main computer inside the case then the statement in the article is correct as the computer can be off but the "PDA" portion can still be using power.

Woot! First Post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16306721)

I would like to thank my ISP, my employeer for providing me money to pay for internet connection, and my teachers for teaching me computer!

Please god make sure its (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306723)

Not using Sony batteries.
Hundreds of hours of smoking hot performance.

Not so sure (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308611)

But if it did use Sony batteries, it would make the moniker Newport a bit more appropos, don't you think?

great... (1)

Corynorhinus (992879) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306729)

That should work well for the only time my laptop is closed: when its in my laptop bag....

Re:great... (1)

Satan Dumpling (656239) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307045)

They'll just make laptop bags with little windows for the outside screen.

Re:great... (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307659)

If, while on a plane, I can close my computer and watch a movie on the outside I would be very happy. So I would like to see this work, but with a better and larger screen.

it's not "twin" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16306735)

if they're different

Re:it's not "twin" (4, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307263)

think DeVito and Schwarzenegger

Just put a PDA in the lid (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306737)

It's not a dual monitor system as so much as they just put an LCD screen on the lid to do PDA stuff. It's a neat idea if you don't want the PDA to lug around with you AND your laptop

Abuse (5, Funny)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306743)

Great, now when you go to a website, it will infect the laptop so that it shows ads or porn on the screen. :P

Re:Abuse (2, Funny)

debilo (612116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307329)

Great, now when you go to a website, it will infect the laptop so that it shows ads or porn on the screen. :P

You call it abuse, I call it service!

Better Eat Your Wheaties! (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306747)

And the best part: it can run for "hundreds of hours without draining your notebook battery," according to the PortalPlayer site.

I'd like to see some real world numbers for this. Watching video and using wifi (to access the flight schedule information) would certainly drain the battery a bit faster than "100s of hours" before delving into your notebook battery.

Mmmm, marketingspeak.

Re:Better Eat Your Wheaties! (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307861)

I believe they're saying that the small screen uses the notebook battery, but that the notebook battery is such a ridiculously overpowered power source for such a tiny device/screen that you can use it for hundreds of hours without making much of a dent to the battery's overall charge.

Minimal battery use? (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306757)

Sure, the battery use is minimal to display info to the screen. But how am I going to get my flight departure time, weather, movie times, news, whatever-else-it-wants-to-show-me? Magic? I'd imagine it would need some processing and networking. Probably wireless networking, which likes to eat battery life. Does it need to turn on the processor, too? Does it have a separate processor for computing this information?

Re:Minimal battery use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16308553)

Most of the info could be cached when you shut down

Showing what now? (5, Funny)

Monokeros (200892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306759)

The second display is capable of showing MP3s? That's handy.
I like watching audio; cuts down on noise pollution.

ph33r my mutant powers (2, Funny)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307375)

That laptop was designed by Professor-X for those of us X-Men who can see sound.

Re:ph33r my mutant powers (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307457)

What, you don't just watch waveforms when you don't have a spare set of headphones available? You get wierd looks when you start singing along, but it's great for meetings or classes when your personal decibels need to be kept to a minimum.

ObGhostbusters (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307791)

"Listen! ....You smell something?"

Technically dual screen. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306777)

I envisioned dual screens, where both screens are full-sized. This is hardly a new concept, having a smaller screen on the lid. A lot of flip phones sport "dual" screens. The extra screen also seems add a significant amount of thickness to the laptop. It would be nice to have a laptop with two full screens though...

Pimp My Screen (1)

notaspunkymonkey (984275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306815)

Is this not the Tech equivalent of having LCD tv screens in the headrests of your back seats? - a la all the celebs you see on Cribs!.. "yeah I had the 10" lcd's put in the headrests so people behind me in traffic know how gangster I am"

Re:Technically dual screen. (5, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306853)

Yeah, then two people could play a game of Battleship with only one laptop!

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307857)

Brilliant idea....

Rushes off to patent it

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306933)

My (somewhat) old Dell Inspiron 700m has the Intel Extreme Graphics 2 chipset (82852/82855) which has two display adapters (second one is connected to the external monitor port) so I have it hooked up to a second monitor which gives me twice the pixels... very nice.

This does require that the computer be turned on and using power... I'm not sure how Asus manages to run the second screen without using power.

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307087)

I also originally thought and had my hopes dashed that it would be a laptop with a second screen that folds out. At work we have LCDs attached to very desk that you plug into, and I also have an additional LCD at home. However, at a customer's site it's always painful to be stuck on the single laptop screen and having to keep flipping between windows. Come on, I know some laptop maker can get it right and lead the market into offering dual displays which will takeoff when people use them.

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307275)

I don't want notebooks to get any larger than they are, thanks. And two full screens will suck up an enormous amount of battery life, too. I'd rather have longer battery life and a more portable device than a dual-17" (or 20" (single) as Dell is making now) monster of a notebook.

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307541)

Dual 15" displays where the screens would fold out of the notebook should be able to keep the same overall size, but make it thicker because of the additional screen. And nobody says you need to get one, when dual screen notebooks come out I'd be very surprised that they would stop making single display notebooks. So for each their own.

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307811)

Except that it's harder and harder to get the specs I do want.

About a year ago, I searched and searched for a notebook which was smallish (15") but had anything resembling a decent 3D accelerator card. No such beast. 15" was the smallest you could get. I started looking later on and even 15" started to become less common. The higher end 3d cards only came in notebooks with 17" screens.

Luckily this trend is subsiding. Dell now offers a 12" notebook with a decent 3d card. But your assertion that 'choice' will be there is only slightly true. Yeah, cheapass worthless notebooks might have single screens (if the dual-screen thing becomes popular).

Hopefully the market will side with me and enough people will demand high-end notebooks with single screens that there will still be a lot of options there.

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307557)

Just install SUSE or Mandriva with the new 3D Desktop. Put your windows on separate desktops. This way, you still have to switch between windows, but the 3D desktop makes it more fun.

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307667)

That would end up being even less efficient. Sure you get the cool looking eye candy, but I know it will get old the hundreth time you need to switch apps. I'm sure the flipping of the 3d cube takes longer than the a different window just being drawn on the screen.

Re:Technically dual screen. (1)

xonicx (1009245) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308079)

This is not dual screen in traditional sense. The second dispaly is powered by totally different processor (ARM- low power). You can consider this as two different devices communicating with each other, not only dual screen. Think of possibilities when the second display is detachable. You dont need blackberry/MP3 players/WiFi phones when you have your laptop around. Disclosure: PortalPlayer employee here.

A whole new way to compromise Windows! (0, Troll)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306803)

Cool! Someone has come up with a whole new set of potential security holes in the classically unsecure Windows environment. This ought to be interesting...

Great! (0, Redundant)

DrKyle (818035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306869)

I really need a second display to view my MP3's.... of wait... aren't those audio files?

Comments you'll get (2, Funny)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306949)

"We can't wait for this to hit the streets (probably some time after Vista's release) -- not necessarily because we want to use any of the functions, we're just complete posers. Imagine the looks you'd get on the train! -RR"

Comments like: "That's the biggest damn PDA I've ever seen." or "Shit, guy, you should buy a video Ipod."

Worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16307353)

Imagine the calls tech support will get.

"I launched Word, but it's not here!"
"Have you tried looking on the back of your computer, sir?"
"Oh! There it is. *moves it back* Thanks."

We need dual screens on the inside. (5, Interesting)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306983)

The second, cell-phone-style screen on the outside is cute, but what would be really useful would be one or two additional laptop screens that would swing out like a two fold restaurant menu. While a triptych screen laptop might be a little heavier and need strong hinges, it would be great for video editing and such...

Re:We need dual screens on the inside. (2, Insightful)

DarthTaco (687646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307453)

The second, cell-phone-style screen on the outside is cute, but what would be really useful would be one or two additional laptop screens that would swing out like a two fold restaurant menu. While a triptych screen laptop might be a little heavier and need strong hinges, it would be great for video editing and such...


I think a good head mounted display would be the better option. They aren't there yet, but I expect they will be before long. Something like the glastron with higher resolution and some minimal motion tracking.

Computing on a plane would be easier with the options provided by this method. Battery powered macmini, split keyboard, i-glasses or glastron or whatever.

This would be a nice option for PDAs. Not for their typical use, but for portable computing.

Re:We need dual screens on the inside. (1)

jubei (89485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307465)

I was thinking of a screen that could slide out, like a pocket door. This way, you can leave the screen tucked away when not needed.

Re:We need dual screens on the inside. (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307475)

but what would be really useful^H^H^H^H^H^H heavy and short on battery life

There, fixed that for you.

Re:We need dual screens on the inside. (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308613)

I can get better than 9 hours out of my Thinkpad with one display, and the display certainly isn't using 100% of the power (a couple gigs of RAM and a dual-core CPU eat a little power). Another display would still be well within a reasonable usage period, considering that the Thinkpad (with more viewable area than the 17" CRT on one of my desktops) replaced a P2-based Dell that wouldn't run for more than an hour, and the Dell weighed more than twice as much. I work with people who would be excstatic if they could get even 4.5 continuous hours ouf of their existing machine...

As far as thickness - well, again, LCDs aren't all that thick or heavy - batteries are.

this is not new... (4, Informative)

chasingporsches (659844) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306985)

this is just an implementation of the windows sideshow technology shown atleast over a year ago by microsoft. more info here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/features/for everyone/sideshow.mspx [microsoft.com]

Re:this is not new... (2, Funny)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307547)

I've heard it comes complete with a suite called Sideshow Bob.

Re:this is not new... (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307789)

So I can buy one of these new laptops with dual screens from MS too? Or were they just showing off the possiblity? This is the first real product I've heard of that actually implements the technology that MS provides.

MP3's? (0, Redundant)

chopper749 (574759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306987)

How do you show an MP3 on a display?

I think I've heard of this before (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307013)

Obviously they aren't exactly "off" when the second display is being used - they are in some kind of special lower power mode. However, I think this is a cool idea. I have definiately heard of it before this (possibly it was mentioned at WinHec?), although I haven't seen one before.

Too bad I can't get an OS X laptop with this feature.

Re:I think I've heard of this before (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16307153)

Not to worry, I'm sure Apple will add it to their laptops, and then you'll be able to claim Apple invented the idea.

Pimp my Laptop (5, Funny)

iSwitched (609716) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307043)

Yo dog, we took your boring laptop and added a 7" monitor!

I have one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16307051)

I glued my GBA SP to the back of my Dell Dimension 1300. With the Supercard I can play movies and music, and if I buy that Pokemon game I'll have wireless. Vista my arse.

Dual-screen? (3, Insightful)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307077)

When I talk about dual-screens, I typically refer to the ability to utilize two screens at the same time to accomplish tasks. Having a screen on top of my laptop would just one more thing to replace when someone slams their overpacked suitcase up against my laptop case in the overhead.

Now show me a laptop that folds open to have two 19" screens side-by-side and you have yourself a deal.

Re:Dual-screen? (3, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307581)

Au contraire, I consider myself to be accomplishing two tasks when I read Slashdot on the main screen and subject everyone else to goatse on the mini screen.

I think it's neat (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307105)

I wouldn't mind having a decent interface to my mp3player that's easy to use while the laptop is closed.

Also being able to scan for wifi coverage without walking around with the laptop open like an idiot would be a nice change.

Overall, seems like a good idea.

Re:I think it's neat (1)

gigne (990887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307279)

Glue a PDA to the top of your laptop. If you want to go the whole hog then make a fibreglass holder for it. If you do it right, it'll look exactly like that laptop.

If you look carefully, it looks a lot like thats exactly what they did, you can even see where the sides champfer upwards to the embedded PDA. I'm willing to bet it's an offshoot of the PDA R&D. Look at the features:- doesn't use laptop battery, has own wifi and processor,
"d pad" and buttons, arranged like a PDA. It's a PDA.

I mod the idea:- -1 pointless
If you want this bad, then buy a PDA and some superglue.

Re:I think it's neat (3, Informative)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307843)

> It's a PDA.

Well, no, because it can access the laptops hardware, at least when the laptop isn't actually powered down.

http://www.portalplayer.com/preface/whitepaper.pdf [portalplayer.com]

Reading is FUN-damental!

Reading between the lines is FUN-damental! (1)

gigne (990887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308201)

so you are saying a PDA cannot address external hardware? heard of bluetooth or USB? Even if they wanted to tie it directly to the PCI bus, it would be a trivial mod.

I know it's not actually a PDA, but the technology is so closely related I would of thought anyone would be able to read between the lines and see it for what it is.

Re:Reading between the lines is FUN-damental! (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308335)

> Even if they wanted to tie it directly to the PCI bus, it would be a trivial mod.

I guess your idea of 'trivial' and mine are pretty different.

I stand by my opinion - a little built-in device that can access a sleeping laptops hardware is nifty.

Re:Reading between the lines is FUN-damental! (1)

gigne (990887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308427)

Hey, not saying it's a bad thing to have, but wouldn't it be just that much cooler it the laptop hardware could be accessed using a PDA?

Oh No!!! (2, Funny)

mahesh_gharat (633793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307135)

Now my boss will expect twice the amount of work from me.

Yes, they are off (3, Informative)

hacksoncode (239847) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307173)

Wow, I shouldn't be surprised to see Slashdot blithering on about something it knows nothing about, but every time I see it I still am... almost makes me think I might be an optimist.

Try reading the fine manual on Sideshow.

Anyway, yes, the laptop is off when this thing is running (at least in the most classic implementation). They have their own ARM9 processor and memory. They work a bit like a PDA stuck to your laptop that syncs with the laptop when it's on and then can show information when it's off.

Fragile ? (1)

ant-1 (120272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307189)

What sick engineer came with this idea ? One with shares in screen-making company ?

Because I'm not sure the screens will last long. Because, y'know, usually they put the screen on the *inside* part of the laptop to actually *protect* it.

Plus they make the laptop thicker.
Plus it is *still* on and sucking batteries.
Plus it requires additional external controls to be of any use

Should I continnue ?

Hmm (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307273)

Wouldn't a tablet be doing it now?

Why would I bother? (1)

Warbringer87 (969664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307289)

If I was in a place that I would even feel safe taking out my laptop to look at that second screen, I would feel safe enough to just turn on the laptop. Might as well. The great part about say, a phone's second screen, is you could pull it out very quickly, take a look, and slip it back into your pocket. I don't see that being possible with a laptop, unless it's one of those tiny ones. Hey, if you could afford this, why not just get a palm?

Fun for Linux (1)

nixmega (972206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307355)

I feel sorry for whatever Linux/Unix dev that has to write modules for that piece of hardware. LOL.. I can't even imagine. We have a hard enough time getting suspend to disk working.

Misplaced innovation (1)

TheDrewbert (914334) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307367)

Rather than developing this, they should develop laptops that say, don't burst into flames randomly. I'm sure this feature is nice, but a non-melting power cord would be far more useful in my day to day activities.

Wrong (4, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307387)

This is not a "twin screen" laptop your title-inventing fact-bending fact-manglers!

This is an "aux" display which is part of the native Vista featureset, and FAR from being the first laptop manifactures with this facility.

There you go [pcworld.com]

And those that said it can't work with your laptop off: that's the whole point. Or you think I'm gonna spin my laptop all the time to see both displays?

Yes, the aux display has standalone electronics, it wastes very little power, and it can sync with Vista and work with the laptop off. Only when you need to access the HDD (like, listen to mp3-s) the laptop powers up when you use the aux display.

What kinda geeks are you, waiting for my sorry ass to explain all of this to you!

well, shoot... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307485)

..I thought it was some dual same size screen that cleverly folded out of the case. Now that would be spiffy!

Re:well, shoot... (1)

HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307577)

..I thought it was some dual same size screen that cleverly folded out of the case. Now that would be spiffy!
I was thinking along the same lines like it was going to be a huge Nintendo DS.

Lame (1, Troll)

qaffle (264280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307515)

Lamest idea ever. I like tech things, I don't mind MS, but this is the lamest idea ever. Anything you want on that screen could be written on a little piece of paper. Plus who carries their laptop around out of a case, uncovered. If you cover the laptop you can't see the screen anyway, and the times when this would be covered are probably the exact times that you would potentially use this thing.

Lame

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16307869)

Er.. it has audio for a reason.

This site is getting pretty obtuse. Of course its useful, a large number of people who need portability need it for simple communications, scheduling, and distraction on the road/plane/bus etc. The reason they opt for full fledged notebooks over PDA's (which many DO choose) is the option to do work as well.

So if you could do the stuff you NEED to do at less expense to your battery (not having to repeatedly power up to check your mail, calender, or whatever), you would find this feature insanely useful. Or am I the only one who's played quake while waiting for a plane, then had my laptop die mid flight when I needed to review my itinerary?

Alternative solution: PDA + notebook + more syncing + potentially 2 internet services + another clunking gadget in my pocket.

Integration is always useful, in this case it jams your PDA into your laptop (or at least the subset of features that might force you to buy a pda in addition to your laptop).

Next big sellers: iphones, also freeing up pocket space.

I dunno about you, but I cannot wait for the day that I can give up my bat-utility belt full of gadgets that have been refactored.

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16308297)

This is a lousy comparison, but why have a wifi finder keychain when you can just turn on your laptop? Why have an iPod when you can just turn on you laptop?

Anyway, yeah, why have an aux display? Seems to me, that was the whole appeal of bluetooth- you could use your cell phone as a wireless aux display for your laptop. I seem to recall that Bluetooth was supposed to be able to turn on your laptop (if it was enabled) so you could access stuff on it without having to take it out of your bag.

Or is there already a Bluetooth aux display app out there?

Re:Lame (1)

soulhuntre (52742) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308641)

"This site is getting pretty obtuse"

Nah - it's pretty straguhtforward.

* If it was Apple the would love it.

* If it was some kid with duct tape and a PDA they would go on and on about how the laptop companies "don't get it"

* If it was some Linux company they would talk bout how innovative it is and how only X makes it possible

But is mainstream and its MS - so it must be stupid :)

Why, God, why? (1)

irregular_hero (444800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307629)

According to the "PortalPlayer" site, this is, in effect, a PDA built into the lid of a laptop.

- It is a seperate QVGA display, but relies on a system-on-a-chip and custom board to drive it. It derives power presumably from the laptop battery, but more than likely at lower draw.
- It is updated with new information when the laptop's main OS is on (ActiveSync, anyone?).
- It runs XML-based "gadgets" -- my guess is something like Confabulator widgets -- that perform certain functions.

My question is, why on earth would you want this? I mean, one of the big benefits of a PDA is that it ISN'T attached to the laptop all the time. My laptop, while I'm traveling, usually stays safely inside my laptop bag -- I don't normally freehand my laptop from place to place (I paid too much for it to trust my own hand/eye reflexes). If its only function is to provide some insight into the information stored on the laptop while it is off, the PDA does a brilliant job of that today without me having to lug 5 pounds of lithium, electrolyte, plastic, and heavy metals around with me.

seen a home-made one before (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307671)

I'm sure I saw a laptop where someone had glued an iPaq to the outside with a usb cable to their laptop. that thing was horrendously bulky!

a bit of JFGI and I found it:

makezine article [makezine.com]

Opening the lid (0, Troll)

Megane (129182) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307717)

From TFA:

why not just open the lid?

Because that kind of suspend and resume isn't reliable (or otherwise sucks) with Windows?

(Full Disclosure: this message was typed on a MacBook Pro 17")

mmm (1)

thorkyl (739500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307835)

"and known officially as Windows Slideshow -- a Vista-only technology"

Bummer, can't run my non-WinBloz OS

--
Don't need it, don't want it, don't care

Why not a removeable PDA? (1)

blanks (108019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307849)

When I first saw the photo I thought they had a PDA sitting on top of the computer. Which made me think, why not have a PDA that can be "docked" into the top of the laptop in the same way this display and controls are? It cant take up too much more space then this current design. The device would allow people much more freedom (remove it from the laptop, conntect to your desktop) and always have the files,contacts/information updated to the PDA. Also many people who I think would use a feature like this all ready have a PDA/smart phone it would make it so the person is carrying one less item.

Re:Why not a removeable PDA? (1)

thorkyl (739500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307905)

Now there is an Idea.

Just allow me to choose the PDA / Smart phone.

Allow me to use the smart thingie-ma-gig as a modem / net connection

I would go for that.

Re:Why not a removeable PDA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16308409)

I've always thought a good step for a lot of these devices would be docking. Start with a small phone, this can dock into something like the UMPC (ok, maybe something a little different, but about that size) then this docks into a laptop. They can all sinc and charge off each other and use the phone for an internet connection. I don't have a pda phone because I sometimes just want the smaller phone to take out, but if I could have something with a touchscreen that could make calls and use the internet through the phone, there would definetly be times I would use that.

Oh well... I should moderate but.... (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308041)

This is along the lines of those calculator mousepads. Utterly useless, but someone thinks people want to pay extra for it.

So... you can get an iPod for $200 - $250 or you can buy a whole new laptop with this Thingy on it... I'd rather not drag my laptop out to do what I can do with an iPod + looking at the plane schedule on the wall.

twin screens... psh (2, Interesting)

awrz (1009247) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308077)

Honestly. Why not have the keyboard be it's own full resolution touch screen. That'd be hot beans. Have it display a digital keyboard... with neat GUI overlays. It' be like the Matrix! :)

Quantum state? (1)

KurtisKiesel (905982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308273)

Wasn't there an article a while back about the programs running 'better' in quantum computers that were turned off? /this is dumb tech

I do not see these becoming too popular... (1)

SirKron (112214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308403)

Um, don't laptops have a lid for reason? Is this screen unbreakable?

I would rather have a way for my Windows Mobile device to wirelessly access the same information through Bluetooth. Why would I pull my laptop out to get flight information when I already have a mobile device to do the same? I personnaly do not see this taking off.

http://mobile.yahoo.com/resource_center/wapdir/Tra vel_and_Transportation/Flight_Information/Airlines [yahoo.com]

Perfect way to display Tux (1)

big dumb dog (876383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308603)

When I buy this laptop, I'll probibly just use this feature to display a .png of TUX.

Bon Voyage (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16308607)

So we are going to rely on fly times and e-mails displayed while WiFi is off? A cellphone this day is not more difficult to use than that second screen and it can get up-to-date information through GPRS. In any case, if that second screen is that useful, why not make it detachable from the laptop's cover so that we can show friends our photos without lagging around the powered off laptop? If it replaces the dell's round badge, even I will see the utility.
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