Best Sounding Notebooks: Good Enough To Be Your Stereo?

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Every time we review a notebook, we test out its speakers by playing a few tunes and videos--and usually come away unimpressed. But laptop makers are now paying a lot more attention to both volume and fidelity, in some cases touting sound quality as a reason to buy their wares. With that in mind, we rounded up four systems that boast enhanced audio capabilities. While we’ve listened to enough notebooks to know what’s good and what’s bad, we don’t have the practiced ear of an audio pro. That’s why we enlisted Jamie, a sound engineer with more than 10 years experience working for major labels, to come take a listen. He played a number of tracks on each of the machines, ranging from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to Guns n’ Roses “November Rain,” and then weighed in with his expert opinion.