Originally Posted by Vicious_CB
The only reason the sound blaster audigy card isnt offered is because the m9700 uses the newer Express Card Slot /54mm while the audigy is only compatable for the PCMCIA Card Slot. Expect Sound Blaster to come up with a newer card for the express card slot in the near future. You can always get the external USB HD audio system if you want to run 7.1 surround sound. I think the 5.1 onboard should suffice while the 1710 does not offer an internal 5.1 device hence why they are offering the Audigy to boost performance
The Dell doesn't have 5.1 outputs, so the audigy software is of questionable value.
I was initially upset that the AW didn't have a PCMCIA slot as I wanted an audigy card to use my 5.1 speakers and headset, but there is high quality 5.1 built into the motherboard, and it has all the proper outputs, so unless you want 7.1 on your laptop (why you'd want that I don't know) the AW setup is not only superior stock, you don't need any more hardware to enjoy 5.1. I was very happy to read in the hothardware review that they were impressed with the sound from the speakers, so I'm assuming the sound will also be good with external speakers or headphones.
With the Dell you could buy a USB Extigy box and bypass the onboard sound I suppose to get five speakers and a sub working.
Does anybody really need 7 speakers and a sub for your laptop?