What is the best multimedia laptop (in Off-topic)

Nixon Jibfest July 11 2005 9:24 AM EDT

I want to buy a killer multimedia laptop with the best sound system possible. Any suggestions?

Nixon Jibfest July 11 2005 9:25 AM EDT

I'm buying this as a gift for my brother. Price is a not a factor.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 11 2005 9:31 AM EDT

I have no idea if it is still a front runner but the Sony Vaio was at one time one of the best laptops available.

BrandonLP July 11 2005 9:37 AM EDT

A multimedia laptop, per se, is going to be tricky to find. Best bet is to just buy a good laptop, an Audigy 2 ZS, and a nice pair of headphones or speakers. I've found some laptops with decent speakers, but you're going to be hard-pressed to find anything good due to weight and power issues.

QBJohnnywas July 11 2005 9:52 AM EDT

Is he going to be using it to dj/mix or do sound recordings? You're best served getting one custom built in that case, because the average computer is configured for games/films where multimedia use is concerned and not sound production use like digital recording etc.

I use an Apple powerbook - essentially a portable G4 - and the sound quality it is capable of is superb. Hooked up to my stereo it has a much better sound on playback of dvds/cds than the standalone equivalents. But most of the mid range and upward laptops of any type are capable of excellent sound quality, so long as you link them up to a decent external speaker system.

Jason Bourne July 11 2005 10:43 AM EDT

get him an alienware computer. those things are good at everything :D

Maelstrom July 11 2005 10:51 AM EDT

As much as I hate them, there can be no dispute regarging the fact that a Mac computer is far better at any sort of multimedia.

If you ask any of the top electronic musicians, they use Macs to create their music. I believe all computer animated movies are created using Mac computers. And Macs are very good at any sort of video processing or editing.

My brother is an artist, and wishes he could afford a Mac Powerbook G5, which is apparently the best out there.

Xiaz on Hiatus July 11 2005 10:55 AM EDT

I don't know how much you can rely on PC Magazine's laptop reviews, but maybe it's worth a browse.

QBJohnnywas July 11 2005 10:59 AM EDT

Maelstrom's right about Macs and most multimedia creators. And if I had the cash free at the moment I'd be using the G5!

Nixon Jibfest July 11 2005 11:54 AM EDT

I figured there had to be a laptop out there with Bose speakers built in.

Barron [CB2BANK Investors Club] July 11 2005 12:04 PM EDT

Alienware always has top end stuff for multimedia and gaming. Check them out for sure.

trigun July 11 2005 12:07 PM EDT

i would recommend alienware laptops..top of the line and it looks cool too..^_^ not too sure if they have bose though..

Nixon Jibfest July 11 2005 12:10 PM EDT

Wow, Alienware is impressive. 4 integrated speakers and woofer. How the heck did they get a subwoofer in a notebook???

Alienware Area 51m

Maelstrom July 11 2005 12:11 PM EDT

ah, so you're looking to watch and listen to multimedia, not create it...

Nixon Jibfest July 11 2005 12:15 PM EDT

Just purchased it. Thanks.

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] July 11 2005 12:18 PM EDT

Actual components for a subwoofer are very small, most woofers are just made big to give the look of big, scary and powerful.
On an additional note, although you say price isn't a problem Alienware is very expensive, their basic systems (which aren't that basic when viewing specs.) are around £1.5k which is about $2.5k, then it is additional for the extras.
The one good thing about Alienware is that they don't actually have anything already set up to sell, you completely customise your product to your liking before purchase.

Special J July 11 2005 12:22 PM EDT

To be Nixon's brother ;)

Alienware systems are hands down the coolest on the planet, but they are over priced. Then again they come with support that most people have never had the pleassure of dealing with. Your call is not routed to india.

Maelstrom July 11 2005 12:30 PM EDT

/me wipes away the drool

That Alienware laptop sounds amazing. Certainly puts my old desktop to shame. Only weird thing is that almost all of the harddrives that they offer only have 5400 RPM. I've found that 7200 RPM offers much better performance...

bartjan July 11 2005 12:34 PM EDT

Bose is a marketing scam.

Nixon Jibfest July 11 2005 12:42 PM EDT

MrWuss: To be Nixon's brother ;)

If you think I'm generous to people on CB, you'd drool if you knew how generous I am with my family. Brothers are equally as generous so it's nice.

Nixon Jibfest July 11 2005 12:44 PM EDT

Zoglog, the final price was considerably more than 2500 after all extras.

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] July 11 2005 12:51 PM EDT

Like i said, 2500 is around the base price stripped of all cool OTT stuff, then add on other OTT stuff you want and WHAM! you have a hefty price for your laptop. :P

Chargerz-Back July 11 2005 3:09 PM EDT

i configured a area 51 that came out to be just over $4,100.

/me drools

and Bart....that is why Onkyo is not only cheaper, but has much better sound quality.

AdminJonathan July 11 2005 4:32 PM EDT

$4000 for a laptop?


bartjan July 11 2005 4:54 PM EDT

And it's not even a laptop..... with desktop CPU and other parts, and a 200W power supply, this one will burn through any lap. Battery life is also probably barely long enough to cope with the 60Hz mains cycle ;)

Nixon Jibfest July 11 2005 6:43 PM EDT

Price was $4541 with free shipping, but will be only $4041 after mail-in rebate. Unfortunately, i reallly suck with mailing those rebates in.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] July 11 2005 7:57 PM EDT

Hey Nixon, you are crazy.. My roommate with tons of cash to burn bought a $4000 laptop as well from Hypersonic. It has all the bells and whistles, with the desktop processor in it.

Screw that. That is what I say to desktop processors in laptops.

He has a pimp desktop pc, and a pimp laptop.

Guess what though, having a laptop that weighs 30lbs+, generates lots of heat (can't use on your lap anymore), and is too big to be carried anywhere conveniently is NOT what a laptop is. I say laptops are going in the wrong direction. If you want a damn gaming PC you get a gaming PC. Laptops with desktop processors in them are unwieldy, and from what I've seen of them, and heard from them, somewhat unstable.

Now of course that may be chalked up to a single experience, but I would seriously stick to a smaller Intel mobile processor. Less heat, less weight, and you actually get a laptop you can take with you.

Some google resources: Here, Here, Here, and Here. If your $4000 laptop works great without alot of heat, then you are set, but if it gets extra hot and is unstable, make sure you get a laptop cooling pad, just in case. That would be a very expensive cup holder.

Chargerz-Back July 11 2005 8:03 PM EDT

not to mention that alienware already has great cooling systems...

the case and cooling system is the only thing i ever want from them.

QBsutekh137 July 11 2005 8:08 PM EDT

bart, most audiophile marketing is a scam.

I have read several different web sites and articles (some anecdotal, some supposedly "factual") about something I have thought ever since being a kid, just never thought it could be that easy.

If you want something to sound sbetter, turn it up a little.

The one article I recall even involved one of those legendary sound guys, like Dolby or something (wasn't him...I think it was a guy who does subs). At a sound show (granted, an overly rabid statistical base of fanatics), he had two speaker setups. One was a state of the art (read: 5 figures to purchase) amp, components, cables, and speakers. The other was a bare-bones 3-figure system. He turned up the el cheapo system just a few notches more than the other system (sound-metered and all).

The critics raved...the system on the right sounded so much fuller, so much...deeper. Hell, they were making up words like "auralistic" and such. The system on the right was light years ahead of the other.

The system on the right was the cheap one.

There are very few (seriously, maybe one in a thousand at most) folks who can tell the difference between a $35,000 setup and a $500 setup, especially if the $500 setup is slightly louder. If you are one of the elite, then bless you, and I pity you. You had either better open your wallet wide or get used to things not sounding like you want them to.

Or, you could just "turn it up!" Is that Freedom Rock? *smile*

(yes, this is entirely off-topic. *grin*)

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] July 11 2005 8:29 PM EDT

Chet, you just broke the universe, you went off-topic in the off-topic forum!

QBsutekh137 July 11 2005 10:03 PM EDT

It wasn't real until you made it so, Veri!


Xiaz on Hiatus July 11 2005 11:00 PM EDT

Any chance that you have that article Chet? It'd be an interesting read.

QBsutekh137 July 11 2005 11:40 PM EDT

Here are various links:

First, the wiki on "audiophile", containing lots of goodies:


Put on your asbestos underwear and head for the...


More fire, this time mainly about cables:

Flame on!

Finally, and article covering a lot of aspects:

Why Louder Sounds Better

I regret I cannot find the article I recall. I thought it was Bob Carver that did it, but even adding his name to Google did not come up with it. He makes some damn fine products, though. (Sunfire)

I'll just kick back with my JVC system and cheap Sony speakers pumping The Wailin' Jennys out the back of my iMac. Works for me. And if it doesn't, I still have a few more notches left to turn up on my volume knob. *smile*

AdminJonathan July 11 2005 11:55 PM EDT

true enough

but most laptop speakers really *do* sound like crap at any level

don't know if AlienWare is an exception since I don't have $4k to blow :)

Xiaz on Hiatus July 12 2005 12:11 AM EDT

I guess maybe the size of the speakers also determines the quality of sound, especially at higher volumes.

Nixon Jibfest July 12 2005 1:25 AM EDT

Verifax: Hey Nixon, you are crazy....

I'd never spend that kind of money on a laptop for myself. For my birthday last year, my brother bought me a stupidly beautiful Schimmel grand piano, which was something he knew I wanted but again would never buy for myself. So when he said he wanted a laptop with a good sound system, I figured $4000 isn't that bad considering it was less than 10% of what he spent for my birthday.
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