Well, I have bought and returned three laptops.  The Samsung, then a Dell Inspiron and then an Acer Aspire.  I actually wish I kept the Samsung for the price I paid and the audio quality and nice keyboard.  Just didn't like the number pad and being off center with the touch pad.  The Acer I bought online showed it 15.6 inches with NO NUMBER PAD, but when it came, it had a number pad.  I didn't even turn it on.

I just spent an hour at Best Buy looking at all the laptops and testing the audio with the sound recorder.  The best were:  Toshiba Satellites, Lenovo IdeaBook and then the Dell XPS was really good.   Best Buy had nothing with Windows 7.   The Lenovs only have one plug for headset/microphone.  You can't plug in both at the same time without using a USB port.

So I went back to Tiger Direct and bought this 14.4 inch Toshiba Satellite.   It's more than I wanted to pay, but I think I will be happy with it.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.as...

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Laura,

What model Toshiba Ultrabook do you have?  My audio was good when I first tried it.  Now it's not as good as it was at first testing.  It's not as loud as the Toshiba regular laptops and just a little scratchy.

Mine is a Portege Z930, which I was able to customize to get everything I wanted included.

Have you tried different codec settings in your CAT software to see if there's a better-sounding one you can use?  PCM, GSM 6.10, and SPEEX are all settings that work pretty well for me.  You probably just haven't settled on the best codec yet.

Laura,

Thanks for the info.  I know how to adjust the sounds really well, but not sure what you're talking about PCM SPEEX.  I have to return it to Amazon because Toshiba told me today they will notfix it because I didn't buy it directly from them.  It is a warped touchpad I think.  The metal is warped.  So I have to send it back.

If you like the Toshibas, try Toshiba Direct online.  That's where I got mine from.  You can get prebuilt or pick what you want for your computer.  They've always got different deals available and free shipping.  Too bad the one you got from Amazon didn't work out.  The build quality of mine seems really nice.

I use Eclipse, and in the realtime settings, I can choose what codec, basically the audio compression rate and type, I want to use to record.  PCM, GSM 6.10, and SPEEX are different codec options.  Some sound better than others, and it can depend on the individual computer.  Usually making a larger file equals better sound.  If you're on a different software, you may or may not be able to change those settings, but it's worth checking into if you're not sure.

Laura, my recording quality is good.  It is files recorded on another computer.  It's the playback on the Toshiba Ulrabook I'd like to improve the quality on so I don't have to use headphones.  You paid close to a grand for yours, right?

I spent even more than a grand, but I got the top of the line with everything.  I wanted the best I could afford for my work computer.  You could get the same computer with a lesser processor, less RAM, etc., and the sound would probably be the same for less $$.

I'm not even sure where the speakers are on mine, but it really BOOMS out the sound on playback, even with the lid closed when I have it connected to my external monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  It's really loud and clear not even putting the volume all the way up.  There are settings for the sound playback not through the CAT software that I haven't spent too much time messing with since everything sounds pretty good as is.

I just bought the same Toshiba Ultrabook that you did a few days ago on Amazon, so I should receive it some time next week. I'm so excited! And it's nice to hear that you love it. Makes me feel good about the purchase :)

Ann, I did like it, but had to send it back because it had a warped touchpad.   One corner was slightly bent up and

Amazon didn't have any more to exchange it.  Only other sellers had them.  Toshiba would not repair it without

me paying for it because I did not buy it from them directly and they were calling it "physical damage."  There is no way the touch pad issue could have come from physical damage.   But I'm sure you'll like it.

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