PC Mag's Cisco Cheng pushed over Bill Gates after his CES Keynote, and mugged him for the Asus W5fe Ultraportable notebook he demoed. You know, that's the one with a second LCD on the back of the lid that displays Vista's Sideshow widget screens. He revels in the computer's size, and looks upon its battery life with disgust (47 minutes of movie playback!)

But the real story is the Sideshow screen and how it works.

He describes the secondary LCD as about the size of one found on an iPod video, adorned with a crosspad and some back and select buttons. Widgets were limited in selection at this early junction: Music playback, email, calendering, photo playback, stock ticker, and a camera utility that uses the laptop's built in 1.3 mp cam to take shots, lid down.


Cisco doesn't call it a problem, but I think it is: Sideshow needs to either wake your HDD/computer or your computer and some dedicated flash mem to operate. Also, there are power concerns. Sideshow powers up your computer from sleep to update itself. That's a power drain. I suppose its nice for some to be bothered when you get new spam, but it seems pretty useless on the road, unless you've got cellular data, and set it to a stingy 1 hour between checks. Battery life is too precious to be squandered like this. But this isn't the Asus's flaw. It's a flaw in the usefulness of Sideshow itself.

This computer? It checks out ok, but I'd say its not the stunner you want until they fix the battery.

This image was lost some time after publication.


This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Asus W5fe [PC Mag]