gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Creative X-Fi Notebook Sound Card And Wireless Receiver

Notebooks are quickly coming around to the wonders of high fidelity audio output, with Optical Digital/Analogue combination jacks prevalent at the moment and, with gaming on laptops being an absurd pipe dream, no real clear need for anything much better than cheap and cheerful integrated audio.

Creative have other plans, however, in the form of their Creative X-Fi Notebook Sound Card and Wireless Receiver allowing the streaming of X-Fi high fidelity audio to speakers without needing to tether yourself.

Of course, in the ExpressCard-equipped MacBook Pro camp anyone interested in streaming audio this way has probably already equipped themselves with some AirTunes goodness with the help of an AirPort Express.

For the rest of the laptop using world it’s just as difficult to find a practical use for this product. Gaming on the laptop is not entirely realistic and then usually a headset will suffice for audio and be necessary for voice communication, particularly now with multiple 5.1 headsets being available at a whole spectrum of price points.

When using a laptop to watch movies there’s no need for the wireless set-up, but the X-Fi may be marginally useful.

For music? Well there are hundreds of cheaper and less obtrusive solutions to audio streaming, which can be done over a wireless network with no need for a large protrusion from your ExpressCard slot, of course this does require a wireless network.

Ultimately, If you want to sit in the sweet spot of your 5.1 home theatre sound whilst playing World of Warcraft or watching a mvoie on your laptop and not require a Tos-Link cable in addition to your power supply then the X-Fi Notebook Sound Card might be for you. Otherwise… not so much.

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008, Personal Computing.