It's Consumer Electronics Show 2012, and it's full of surprises already. Intel today unveiled their latest ultrabooks, and along with it new form factors.
The first form factor is a slideout covertible design that allows a user to choose either the traditional keyboard + screen layout, or it can covert into tablet mode (and is just as thin as any other tablet device at the moment). The second form factor is a traditional notebook, but with a transparent palmrest / touchpad area that becomes a notifcation area for Windows 8 when its folded up.
Windows 8 appears to support notifications through this already, it's not clear if this is using the preexisting "Windows Sideshow" support, or something else. The area can be touched while the laptop is closed, and the notifications can be interacted with in that state. You can see messages, emails, RSS feeds and more. When you open the laptop, it will resume from what you were working on.
The idea here is you can get notifications from your laptop without needing to go to your smartphone or tablet. We're working on getting video of the new device, stay tuned.
Update: Intel spoke with us and clarified that the transparent device above is actually running Windows 7 at this point (in fact, they say they had these designs before Microsoft did) but we're going to see it as part of Windows 8 in the future.