The styling of the W5Fe is slightly unusual as the lid has a pronounced bulge to contain the SideShow hardware. While the compact chassis looks very smart in its graphite grey finish we have a few concerns about the integrity of the chassis. For one thing there’s no catch to secure the lid and we have a personal preference for a positive lock that protects the screen. The keyboard feels solid enough even when you type hard but the mouse touchpad uses a strange textured material with a small surface area and we often found our finger sliding straight off the side and onto the mouse buttons.
In the top edge of the bezel there’s a swivelling 1.3Megapixel webcam that is a useful feature but it takes up a certain amount of space in the lid. Asus has chosen to install a 12.1in screen which has a resolution of 1,280 x 800, but this widescreen resolution is relatively small and if you make the most of the Vista Sidebar you’ll find that there isn’t much space on your desktop. Working your way round the chassis there’s a reasonable selection of ports and connectors. Above the dual layer DVD writer there’s a single slot xD/MMC/MS Card reader, with a mini Firewire, modem and 10/100 LAN on the left side, TV-Out on the back and on the right side there’s VGA and an Express Card slot. There are three USB 2.0 ports arranged with one on the left, one on the back and one on the right so you should have no trouble plugging in a mouse and other peripherals.
Under the bonnet there’s a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 T7400 processor with 1GB of DDR2-667MHz running on an Intel 945GM/ICH7-M chipset and the usual Intel 802.11ABG wireless. That’s a respectable Centrino platform however we were surprised to see that this Vista Premium laptop uses Intel 945GM graphics.
[QUOTE]If you choose to open the lid the image on the SideShow screen flips over in order to remain the right way up.[/QUOTE]
So, if I'm on a train reading my e-mail and decide to open my laptop to do something, the slideshow screen not only stays on but flips around so that the person sitting opposite me on the train can read my e-mail?!?
"The lid of the Asus also holds 1GB of flash memory which stores a cut-down Operating System that powers SideShow and which also links to the main Vista Operating System."
How intoxicated can one get by Microsoft PR to believe that a one-gigabyte operating systems is "cut-down"? One gigagbyte is "bloated". Vista is "overblown".
Sideshow != Sidebar?
According to this review on engadget
The sideshow uses completely different gadgets than the sidebar. Limits the use somewhat, I imagine sidebar gadgets are going to be a bit more widely developed.
Nice review though
Multiple Devices, No need to sync
There is a new service called Netelligence that lets you get the data that you would have on your laptop on your phone / pda / internet enabled games console (e.g. PSP) whenever you want, wherever you are, so something like sideshow is really not that necessary, especially if you have to pay a lot more for it to be on your laptop. You can even access files on a internet connected computer (whether it has a static IP address or not), and you can play games. you can see more info at www.netelligence.co.uk.
Vista slideshow = chindogu
The only reason to have a feature like Vista slideshow--providing easy, low-power-consumption access to content when a laptop is otherwise asleep--is to kludge around the unsolved problem that the content is not otherwise easily accessible. I already have a cellphone with a tiny screen that I have with me whenever I have my laptop with me. Give me the content I want on that device (surely these laptops have bluetooth, so they're capable of talking to cellphones) instead of making me pay for yet another tiny screen that only shows me some of my content.