Originally Posted by Kalessin
I posted in the Sager category earlier, but then I thought maybe this category would get better results. I'm a student musician looking for his first laptop. I need something that can handle the audio-recording software of today but is also portable since I travel a lot. The sager 9860 has looked lovely because of its power, its nifty on-board speakers and all its great interfacing (4 USB 2.0, 2 firewire, 8-channel speaker outs, etc.) until I learned that its batterly life is worthless and its performance on the battery is even more worthless. So then the sager 3790 looked better because it's smaller, and the centrino processor gives it more battery life, until I learned that the sound is sh**ty and the interfacing isn't as versatile. Besides multimedia work, I'm also going to want it for DVD watching and gaming on long tours. So I need something with both power and portability. But in my shopping thus far, I can't seem to find a comp that has both. Any ideas? I'm open to different brands so long as they're reliable. Thanks.
Echo Indigo I/O, RME Cardbus (kind of bulky though, because you'd have to drag a multiface along with you), or some USB sound card (avoid M-Audio Sonica -- Transit is "okay" but not the best. Audiotrak/ESI Optoplay is good, as is Waveterminal U24, and Eidrol UA-20), or a USB DAC/ADC (Apogee? not really sure if there are any others) and some headphones (Koss KSC-35 on the cheap end, Sennheiser HD-25 on the mid price range, Etymotic ER-4P/S on the high-end price) You'll also want to carry around a mic I presume? Shure beta 58a or something? Damn and a pre? Maybe this might get bulky. I hope your equipment is all stationary in this case! hehe I think probably Asus M6BNe would be a good idea if you only need to do light gaming. Maybe one of the Centrino Acers?
I went with the Sony S270P
for my choice, and will be using an Apogee Mini-Me USB with it for recording (no, I'm not rich -- I just don't believe in doing anything half way). I'll probably use an Echo Indigo DJ for standard movies and media-play back though. I tried a Sager 3790, and it's not what I would call portable as far as the width of the thing.
Since I'll be carrying music gear with me where-ever, 15" screen is about where it starts to get space-saving to me, 14" Compaq (or was it an HP I saw at Office Depot?) looked pretty good but I don't think any come with mr9700. From the looks of the Sony S260, the S270 should be very portable and decent battery life with the ugly extended battery sticking out of the back.
I don't think you should rely on any built-in speakers on a laptop for work. For movie watching where things are already mastered and you don't require any type of noise monitoring, I think they're fine. You really want something that will translate well for real work though, and that means external speakers or headphones. These are just my own personal opinions though -- take them with a grain of salt.