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Just say no to lousy laptop audio. With a few inexpensive upgrades, your notebook can sound like a million bucks.

Partying gets serious: Parrot Party portable Bluetooth speaker system

Parrot Party portable Bluetooth speaker system

With a name like Party, you'd think that Parrot's Bluetooth speaker system wouldn't be serious enough for business. That couldn't be further from the truth. This stereo speaker set weighs just 1.4 pounds and can go wherever you and your notebook go, making it a great tool for on-the-road presentations (not to mention celebrations).

It can connect with any notebook or digital music player with a standard audio cable or via its built-in Bluetooth radio that can use Near Field Communications technology. Parrot connected on the first try with my notebooks and a cell phone, but its range is limited to about 20 feet and it doesn't get particularly loud.

Parrot may look like a large black dog bone, but it has a 6-watt amplifier and pair of speakers that combine for surprisingly sharp and vibrant sound. I really like the system's Stereo Widening and Virtual SuperBass digital effects, which can make a low-quality audio source sound richer and more life-like.

The Party comes with a one-year warranty. In my tests, its battery lasted for nearly 7 hours of continuous use -- perfect for a picnic or day of back-to-back presentations.

Price: $120
Available from: Parrot

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