Off to one side of the jamboree that is the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing this week, there are plenty of rumours to complement the hard facts about the firm's future technology that are emerging daily. One of the most likely to prove true is a stylish laptop computer apparently aimed at women.

The so-called ' Metro Notebook ' has already been widely leaked and appears to be an ultraportable laptop PC based on a Core 2 Duo processor that comes in a leather cover and with a shoulder-strap attached for a spot of nerdiness on the go.

E-ink sub-display

Apart from a suggested weight of around 1kg and wireless technology that runs the gamut of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WiMax, an external sub-display that uses E-ink 's electronic paper is likely to draw the most attention. Similar, albeit uglier, machines are already available, such as from FlipStart Labs in the US.

The display, which will be always on and will consume power only when its contents change, is designed to give at-a-glance summaries of appointments, email and similar snippets drawn from the computer's data.

Rather more unlikely is the idea of including an electrical induction pad in the PC's casing that will charge other gadgets, such as phones, placed on top of it.

Lastly, and firmly in the realm of fantasy, comes the notion that such a notebook is ever likely to appeal to women, or indeed to anyone beyond the most hard-core of bearded computer geeks.