User Story and Conclusions
Netbook User StoryMy wife bought a netbook in the last year for school work and has been for the most part satisfied with the size and price, although she complains about the slow performance periodically.
When I received the Altec Lansing Orbit, I gave it to my wife to use for a while just to see what she thought of it.
First, she liked how the Youtube videos she uses for reference is a lot more clear and loud – she doesn’t have to strain / concentrate just to filter out what is being spoken. Second, she loves how it makes her Google Talk sessions better (she doesn’t use a headset for conferencing, just the built-in mic and speakers). Third, she now doesn’t mind watching streamed re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy now that it sounds a lot clearer.
Overall, she likes how the Orbit has improved her experience with her little netbook and she didn’t even realize that good audio made such a big difference.
The Orbit is an excellent device for its size. It’s capable of putting out some surprisingly impressive sound despite its compact size and single speaker design.
For most applications, the Orbit produces audio that is faithful to the source and has an aptitude for the high-frequency. You don’t get deep pencil-shaking bass with this speaker, but you do get just enough depth and definition so that music and movies sound pretty decent. To get even more impressive sound, be sure to download the C-Media 8738 driver which will give you more control of the Orbit and its sound quality.
As long as you approach the Orbit with your expectations in check, I think you’ll be impressed with its capabilities. Music and movies sound excellent, and the speaker can get fairly loud before any of the small speaker limitations present itself. This is the kind of performance you expect from speakers twice the size, but it’s all compressed into this little unit. Audiophiles need not apply since nothing this small will unlikely satisfy their discerning appetite, but I think even they can appreciate the nice sound produced by this speaker!
The downside of the Orbit is that it’s strictly USB and can not be used in any other way. I only wish the Orbit could also be used as a conventional speaker with a 3.5mm stereo jack input and perhaps AA batteries to power. This would make it doubly useful as an speaker for your portable media player.
Despite this lack of functionality, the size and performance make Altec Lansing’s Orbit is very practical whether you’re on the road with your movies and music, or making presentations to a small group of people.
For anyone who is a laptop or netbook user and is tired of the poor speakers manufacturers put into their products, you should definitely check out the Altec Lansing Orbit. It’s fairly compact so it’s easy to carry around, installation is a no-brainer, and yet produces some great audio useful for work and play.
If you’ve had enough of “just barely good enough” audio of your portable PC and you’re looking for something decent – then the Orbit fits the bill in a neat little package.
The Orbit retails for $49.95 USD