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Lenovo, a subsidiary of Chinese largest computer maker Legend, is projected to market the world’s first notebook with two displays. The laptop code-named Vela will be launched sometime in Q4 2004 and will be based on Intel’s next-generation mobile platform internally called Sonoma.

The innovative Vela notebook will feature 15.4” main display, just like an ordinary mobile computer, but will also come equipped with a 4.4” by 2.4” display on the front side of the case. The secondary screen will allow performing tasks typically done on PDAs, such as email checking, appointments planning and other of the same kind.

In fact, Lenovo will not be the only notebook maker to add secondary screen to its laptops. The additional display is a part of Intel’s new design conception named Florence. While the concept of a laptop with two screens seems to be fresh and exciting, the idea to enable certain functionality when the notebook is closed has been around for some time. Certain notebooks by ASUSTeK Computer can play MP3 audio files when the computer’s lid is closed. This kind of additional capabilities allow notebooks to address markets where PDAs and Tablet PCs have been from the beginning. Viability of such approach is not clear at all.

The main components of Intel’s Mobile Internet PC 2004 Platform known as “Sonoma will be Intel’s next-generation “Dothan” Pentium M processor with 2MB of L2 cache made using 90nm fabrication process; Intel’s next-generation code-named Alviso core-logic as well as future-generation Intel PRO/Wireless WLAN solution. Key-features of the Alviso – a new core-logic for Intel Centrino computers – are PCI Express, DDR-II memory, Serial ATA, High-definition 7.1 audio.  As a part of its “Sonoma” Mobile Internet PC 2004 Platform (Centrino 2004), Intel also plans to launch an 802.11g/Bluetooth solution with improved Bluetooth audio quality while using WLAN. The company’s longer-term plans are to enable 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth and GSM-GPRS co-existence on the same mobile platform.

A report from DigiTimes suggests that Taiwan-based Compal Electronics will manufacture Vela notebooks for Lenovo. Pricing of Vela laptops is not set.

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