Looks like Asus might be among the first notebook OEMs to get the external screen concept to market and make use of Windows SideShow functionality. The Asus W5Fe is your standard notebook designed to run Vista. The not-so-standard aspect is the small LCD display, directional pad and independent power switch on the outside casing of the laptop. This display will take advantage of the SideShow features present in Windows Vista, allowing you to run widgets, check your calendar, e-mail and more. The beauty of the approach is that you don’t have open up your notebook and power-up or restore from either a hibernate or sleep mode, saving time and battery life.
There’s plenty more info here on Windows SideShow and how it works at PortalPlayer, who developed Preface; part of the technology that’s used with SideShow.