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BenQ shares SideShow spotlight

Laptop joins Asus and LG in featuring the small screen provided by Windows Vista.

Crave Asia

BenQ is the latest to offer laptops with an external LCD screen featuring Microsoft's "SideShow" technology, following Asus and LG.

SideShow is the feature of Windows Vista that allows playback of multimedia files, as well as email and calendars, on a separate screen without having to boot up the machine. Unfortunately, one pays a premium for this feature. For example, the SideShow LG R200-Q compared to the cheaper LG R200-G variant costs an extra $500 or so. For that price one can get a basic PDA that serves a similar function.

The BenQ Q41, however, ups the ante by adding Skype to the mix. Using the external LCD, you can connect, call and talk to your pals over the internet without booting the machine. Though it may not be the killer app for SideShow to really take off, it's a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, the other specifications for this Core 2 Duo machine does not really impress. It uses an integrated SIS Mirage 3+ graphics engine, which means hardcore gaming is out of the equation. Its memory support ends at 2GB of RAM and only has a 10/100 Ethernet port and 802.11b/g compatibility. This 14.1-inch laptop weighs more than 4.6 pounds and is rated for 2.5 hours of uptime. Hence, other than the external SideShow LCD, the BenQ Q41 is really a basic computing system. No pricing and launch date are available at this time.

(Source: Crave Asia)