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Old 04-08-2011, 10:00 PM
Hooch Tan
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Default That Sweet Sound is Coming from Your Laptop

Every time we review a notebook, we test out its speakers by playing a few tunes and videos–and usually come away unimpressed. But laptop makers are now paying a lot more attention to both volume and fidelity, in some cases touting sound quality as a reason to buy their wares. With that in mind, we rounded up four systems that boast enhanced audio capabilities.

A few years ago, if someone told me that one should expect excellent sound through a laptop, I would have laughed at them.  Then stop, take a breath, and laugh some more.  Things have changed recently, part of which I think is driven by the increasing use of computers as media terminals for watching movies and music.  While I still sincerely doubt that any laptop short of what would be classified as a "transportable computer" could have sound comparable to a proper stereo, they have improved.  Unfortunately, to benefit from this, you still appear to have to choose one of the bigger laptops.  I imagine this is probably a physical and technical limitation rather than a conscious choice by manufacturers.  Still, I find that excluding bass, most laptops, even really light and tiny ones will generally provide "good enough" sound for casual listening.  What about you?  Are you picky about your listening environment, or do things like stock earbuds and netbook audio do just fine?

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