ASUS has announced a new 12-inch laptop range called the W5Fe series that features a new technology called SideShow.

The new technology is an external 2.8-inch TFT display on the laptop that promises to offer quick and easy data access in the same way a second LCD screen does on a clamshell mobile phone.

SideShow is an independent operating system that works in connection with Windows Vista and can be switched on without booting up the whole system. With imbedded flash memory, users can save selected data to SideShow, in forms of text, image and audio, for later review.

The external system is synchronised with the main operating system so users can set automatic outlook (emails, calendar and meeting appointments) updates when the main system is powered on.

Among its main selling points, Asus is pushing home the idea will be that business execs to be able to take a quick look at the meeting agenda in a crowded lift without having to power on their laptop.

Users will also be able to use the display to view photos, play music or even games such as Solitaire.

The W5Fe is based on the company's W5 series design is packed with a wide range of features including a high-resolution swivel webcam, a card reader slot and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.

Full specifications include:
- Intel Centrino Duo Mobile Technology
- Intel Core 2 Duo Processors 7600/T7400/T7200/T5600/T5500
- Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset
- Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
- Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
- DDR2 533/667MHz, up to 1536MB
- 12.1" WXGA Color Shine & Crystal Shine LCD, ASUS Splendid Video Intelligence Technology
- SATA 80/120/160GB
- 1.3MP web-camera
- 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth V2.0+EDR, 3x USB, 1x TV-Out, 1x Card-Reader, 1x Express Card, 1x VGA