The Fujitsu T580's Speaker And FiiO S1

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?

Published: Oct 31, 2011


  1. Hi Jesse,

    nice post ;-).
    In my opinion the big pc sellers have to spend just a tiny bit more on quality and they will always be ahead.

    greetings tobi

    P.S.: If u want to please remember my request for a OneNote Video, where u show ur tricks in working and productivity.

  2. Tobi,
    I'm low on funds and I have used MS OneNote only as a trial on every tablet (X201, X220T, T580). For basic pen inking I have relied on Windows Journal. I'll let the money batteries recharge and maybe get OneNote. I have plenty of notes in the OneNote program and since the trial ran out I can only view them.

    I'm doing a bit or programming again and would love to design programs with pen input in mind. Most Windows programs haven't been great at it, maybe I can improve a few things.

    FYI. Earnings are displayed on the bottom of the blog.

  3. Have you tried Bluebeam PDF Revu? I'm curious as to your opinion on it's capabilities for taking PDF notes (which are nice because you can share them with your non-tablet-using friends or print them much more easily than using OneNote).

    There's a free 30 day trial on Bluebeam's website.

  4. I haven't tried Bluebeam's PDF Revu. I have seen the software being used on a tablets before and it looks amazing. Bluebeam does have a great little video for tablets.

    I'll try it out one of these days.

  5. Why aren't the speakers good? Because the intended audience doesn't need good speakers. This machine is a portable one intended for use in public or semi-public places, where any sensible user would use headphones anyway. Besides, it's a BUSINESS computer, and the people using this machine for work aren't going to care about speaker quality.

  6. It may be true that since this is a business computer and they won't care about the speaker quality. There are other shortcomings though, including how Fujitsu doesn't offer an outdoors screen.

  7. Nice!

    Can you please teach me how to dismantle the covers including the the screen cover?
    I'll like to add a WWAN card and deploy the antenna by myself, however, without much confidence...

    Thank you.

    1. Dismantling the T580 is not a good idea. Since I opened the system I have ran into many issues including no audio/sdcard/usb support on left side, and driver issues in Windows. (maybe static electricity fried some things). I have explored the insides of many systems and none of them gave me issues the same way the T580 has.


      Lenovo has "field manual" or "service manual" which shows how to disassemble a system, but Fujitsu doesn't seem to have one for the T580. Google might have a link somewhere, but I can't find it.



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Hi. My name is Jesse, and I'm a technology enthusiast. I play with technology and share what I find on this blog. If you have any questions then please use the contact form below. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.



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