Fujitsu Lifebook T580's speaker (left) and FiiO S1 (right).
From the very moment I turned on the T580 and heard the Windows login sound I knew the speaker was going to be crap. My doubts were confirmed after playing a few audio samples. Granted I have been exposed to many speakers ranging from studio level monitor speakers, slate tablets, netbooks, and Bose headphones. The T580's speaker is a a tiny thing with mediocre sound quality. At $1,500 I did expect a lot better. One can think that "it's a small system and therefore cannot have bigger and better speakers" and such a way of thinking can be debated. The overall sound quality is close to a $300 Acer Aspire One netbook.
Usually bigger speakers paired with amplification like the FiiO S1 can improve the audio experience. There's obviously cons to bigger speakers including more consumption of power, dealing with dimension issues, and system vibration. But the T580's body can be modified.
The thought of of adding the FiiO S1 to the T580 did cross my mind. This would require a Mini PCI-E card or USB + the S1's board (for power), longer cables, and some soldering skills. The whole assembly could be placed in the PCI-E compartment... although if the hard drive was replaced with a Mini-PCI SSD then we would have ample amounts of space. Of course a fictional plan in my head is easier than actually doing it.
The lazier and easier way of dealing with crappy sound quality is to use compact speakers via 3.5mm or use bluetooth. I use a Monster ClarityHD with my T580 everyday.
We are entering an era of "refinement" in the consumer PC industry. The upcoming "Ultrabooks" are a clear example of refinement in many aspects including portability and battery life. The ultrabooks are basically Macbook Air systems with Windows OS. Don't expect stellar audio from these devices. Just because they are thin doesn't mean they will have crappy audio, some thin devices do have great sound quality like the BB PlayBook..
Enough ranting for now.
Look at all the little parts! Notice how much space the HDD takes?