April 2011 Ian Chiu
While notebooks are great and wondrous inventions which allow us to get stuff done no matter where we are, there is one area where most laptops are lacking and that is in their sound card abilities. Even so called gaming laptops where you are expected to use for gaming don’t always have great sound cards built into them. What if you could simply plug in a USB dongle and not only get a more high fidelity audio out of your laptop but also get EAX 5.0 surround option? This is the idea behind ASUS’ latest creation dubbed the XONAR U3.
This might mite (which is only the size of a flash drive and only weighs 25 grams) not only offers the ability to drive 150ohm impedance headphones but also provides ASUS’ unofficial EAX 5 software-based acceleration (what they called GX 2.5). The latter of which will make you games sound better with upwards of a 128 unique simultaneous sound effects. If its small size and surround sound are not enough, the Asus XONAR U3 even supports Dolby Digital to make your movies sound better. While there is no word on pricing or release date, if we were Creative (and their X-Fi USB card line) or nuForce, we would be worried about this latest foray by Asus.