Asustek has designed one of the first notebook PCs to use Windows Vista's SideShow feature, a small display on the outside of the case that allow users to scan emails and other information without booting up the laptop.

Dubbed the Asus W5Fe, it could be a hit with users who need to check information on the go but don't want to waste battery life or take the time for a full system boot-up. It also could end up adding little extra cost to a laptop. PortalPlayer, which designed the technology used in the W5Fe, has said it only increases production costs of each laptop by around $30 to $40 (£15 to £20).

SideShow periodically wakes up the computer when it's in sleep mode, gathers information stored on the computer's hard disk from Windows Vista, Outlook and other applications, then returns the computer to its sleep state. The information, including recent emails and current calendar appointments, can then be consulted on the low-powered external display.

The laptop is expected to become available in the first quarter of next year.