Originally Posted by Jeen_Grae
DrewN nice setup. How do you like the Hp Base overall? A friend of mine wanted to purchase one but we couldn't find anyone who could recommend it from first hand experience. Are the speakers good enough for listening to music and watching movies? Would you recommend it?
Funny that you mention the speakers, because the speakers are the weakest part of the expansion base. The harmon kardons are only a slight improvement over the built-in speakers. You get a little more punch but the overall sound is still "tinny". I would not recommend the speakers for serious movie watching, and they are barely passable for music. Another major CON is the bundled keyboard and mouse. They are also passable, but archaic by today's standards. The wireless receiver requires AA batteries and the optical mouse is substandard--you're better off buying a Logitech USB mouse/keyboard combo. Finally you won't be able to use a notebook cooler in conjunction with the base. Here are the PROS: --The base elevates the notebook to a perfect viewing angle for desktop use--it sets the LCD at eye level regardless of how tall you are or how high or low you sit on your chair. I wouldn't think that this feature would make that much of a difference but in the long run it greatly reduces neck strain. This is by far the biggest plus of the base imo. -- 3 additional USB ports. Two will go by default to your keyboard/mouse combo, but that only frees up your notebook USB ports for other things. I have a TV Tuner dongle, printer, external HD, and a game controller plugged in and I still have 2 free USB ports. There are also other ports, but not as useful -- ethernet, digital coax. Overall I would recommend it only if you keep your notebook on your desk for the majority of the time (i.e. desktop replacement). The ability to change the height and viewing angle of the LCD alone is huge--you don't realize it at first but keeping the LCD at a 90 degree eye-level will reduce neck strain considerably. Also having the additional USB ports is really nice. Do not get it for the speakers, though. Just get one of these cables
and hook up your notebook to a nice receiver with Optical Inputs and some real speakers (the Z5500s work like a charm, btw). One more note which may totally defeat the purpose of this post, though
. HP recently released the xb3000 expansion base. Check it out here
. Unfortunately I have not seen reviews of it. I am considering it right now, though. If I do get it I'll keep the board posted.