Wednesday, September 17th 2008

Creative Announces X-Fi Notebook ExpressCard

Creative today announced the Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook ExpressCard. As the name suggests, device is a sound card for notebooks with ExpressCard slots. The X-Fi Notebook comes in two modules, the card itself and the portion that protrudes outside the notebook. It provides wired as well as wired interfaces. The card can transmit audio to wireless speakers. Features that are usual to the X-Fi series, such as CMSS-3D and 24-bit Crystalizer aling with EAX Advanced HD positional audio. The package includes a pair of earphones with microphone attached.

Additionally, the card provides theater DSPs such as Dolby Digital and DTS Surround through PowerDVD. Would you want to use this on a gaming notebook as an audio enhancement? While the card does provide features such as CMSS-3D and EAX Advanced HD, the audio processing itself isn't native. The card doesn't feature the CA-20K series audio processor, so there isn't a performance enhancement on offer. The card is priced at US $90. More details are provided on the product page.
Add your own comment

17 Comments on Creative Announces X-Fi Notebook ExpressCard

#2
ktr
What is the difference between the older X-fi express card vs. this newer one. Both seems to have the same hardware, but the older one can support 7.1ch surround sound with a upgrade kit.

http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?product=16741&campid=20445&WT.cg_n=Campaigns&WT.mc_id=3863

And both cards do not have the x-fi chip, but a chip from the audigy 4 series (EAX4.0). Thank god it does not have the audigy SE chip.


old
---


new
---



EDIT: ahh, the new one supports wireless streaming. But the XFI audio receiver is $100 bucks. http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=209&subcategory=668&product=16538

So i guess it depends on what feature is perfered, (a) you want surround sound, or (b) wireless 2ch audio...
Posted on Reply
#3
TheLostSwede
The audio quality of the new card seems worse, it's only 48kHz compared to 96kHz for the old one and of course, the new doesn't have S/PDIF in/out via the 3.5mm jacks.
It's got some kind of wireless streaming tech in it that's good for up to 30m but you need a special receiver for it which costs as much as the soundcard itself. Oh, the new card does work in 34mm express card slots which might be useful for some people that can't use the bigger 54mm cards. Overall, it doesn't look like a worth while product.
Posted on Reply
#4
ktr
Seems like the old card is discontinuned, and what ever few sources that I can find, they sell it for double. Looks like I am stuck with the new one.
Posted on Reply
#5
Apocolypse007
Wow, new and unimproved :rolleyes: . Creative, you underwhelm me again.
Posted on Reply
#8
paybackdaman
by: btarunr
It provides wired as well as wired interfaces.
should it be "it provides wired as well as wireless interfaces"? :confused:

Looks good. Finally, a sound card where a sound card is needed. I applaud Creative on this one.
Posted on Reply
#9
ktr
I wonder what the express card is actually doing when EAX and CMSS is not native. Is it just a $90 show piece?
Posted on Reply
#10
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
by: ktr
I wonder what the express card is actually doing when EAX and CMSS is not native. Is it just a $90 show piece?
Agreed - Its just a few minor cosmetic differences over onboard sound. IMHO unless u have a D.T.R/Gaming laptop & go to a load of LAN wars this might seem a little pointless.
Posted on Reply
#11
swaaye
Their best notebook card was the Audigy 2 ZS Notebook, but it was only for cardbus. Only one with full hardware accel and a complete featureset. Obviously they decided it wasn't worth it to make a fully capable X-Fi version for notebooks.
Posted on Reply
#12
Specsaver
The wireless streaming seems like quite a cool idea, besides how do you know it is not X-Fi chip. Specs sheet reads: "Supports EAX 4.0 and OpenAL for ultra-realistic gaming surround over headphones, plus Creative ALchemy for maximum audio performance of legacy games under Windows Vista." To me that suggests this is a fully fledged X-Fi
Posted on Reply
#13
MadCow
by: Specsaver
The wireless streaming seems like quite a cool idea, besides how do you know it is not X-Fi chip. Specs sheet reads: "Supports EAX 4.0 and OpenAL for ultra-realistic gaming surround over headphones, plus Creative ALchemy for maximum audio performance of legacy games under Windows Vista." To me that suggests this is a fully fledged X-Fi
X-FI chip supports EAX 5, all versions up to that can be done purely in software.
Posted on Reply
#14
ktr
by: Specsaver
The wireless streaming seems like quite a cool idea, besides how do you know it is not X-Fi chip. Specs sheet reads: "Supports EAX 4.0 and OpenAL for ultra-realistic gaming surround over headphones, plus Creative ALchemy for maximum audio performance of legacy games under Windows Vista." To me that suggests this is a fully fledged X-Fi
From what I have read, this new notebook express card is a gimped Audigy 4.
Posted on Reply
#15
Specsaver
by: MadCow
X-FI chip supports EAX 5, all versions up to that can be done purely in software.
I suppose EAX 5 could be done in software too, nonetheless hardware acceleration has its merits and this is why software versus hardware audio processing is still a valid point. The fact that this card supports EAX 4 and not 5 does not mean it is done in software. Not saying it is - I would like to know myself.

If this card is indeed based on Audigy 4 chip with X-Fi software then it would have rather capable hardware - compare the spec sheet for Audigy 4 - on par with Audigy 2ZS Notebook (PCMCIA)
Posted on Reply
#16
MadCow
by: Specsaver
I suppose EAX 5 could be done in software too, nonetheless hardware acceleration has its merits and this is why software versus hardware audio processing is still a valid point. The fact that this card supports EAX 4 and not 5 does not mean it is done in software. Not saying it is - I would like to know myself.

If this card is indeed based on Audigy 4 chip with X-Fi software then it would have rather capable hardware - compare the spec sheet for Audigy 4 - on par with Audigy 2ZS Notebook (PCMCIA)
But an Audigy 4 is pretty much an Audigy 2 ZS.

And this card is seriously gimped compared to its predecessor, which is nothing new for Creative.:laugh:
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment