"Exactly what you need if your laptop's sound card stinks."4.5 starson by andaroo38
Pros: Great sound quality for a PC card, optical in and out, full suite of Creative software
Cons: Kinda pricey; Creative drivers stink; physically rather flimsy; bandwidth limitations with PC card format
Summary: This was exactly what I needed as someone who was sick of the ****** sound quality on my laptop (run of the mill RealTek 16-bit sound card) but also got the versatility and power of an Audigy 2 card. Music sounds pretty phenomenal on low-to-mid-range headphones (Grado SR-60, Sennheiser PX-200). Does the job for 5.1 surround for DVDs and video games. Optical SPDIF out for 5.1 surround isn't real digital 5.1, however it hasn't really affected my enjoyment of the card.
Optical SPDIF out doesn't work for DVD audio, although that's not a huge issue for me. Analog or coax digital out is cumbersome with the card attached directly to your computer. If you have a cheap computer like mine (Averatec 6210) the PC card bandwidth won't be enough to enjoy all the features of the sound card, but this is only a problem if you need THX setup, bit-perfect output, advanced atmospheric effects, etc. I'm guessing this wouldn't be the choice for someone who wants a fully-functioning sound card for professional performance, but that's not me.
Really this was exactly what I was looking for and more. I've had it for almost a year now and it's working flawlessly - no glitches, hiccups or any problems. The sound quality is as good as I expected. I just wish the kX Project or someone else could come up with a better driver than the Creative one, which needlessly eats up memory and doesn't allow for any customization.