For background purposes: I have a dell 700m 2.0ghz, 1.28gb ram, 80gb hd, etc. I've got 3 questions: 1. I'm ordering the Logitech z5500 speakers as soon as I get a sound card ordered. However, it seems like many members inquiring about the Creative Audigy nx 2 are actually involved in audio editing and recording, and I think it'll be overkill for me to invest in that card. I only need a decent quality sound card that supports 5.1 speakers for playing music and dvds. I was looking at the Sound Blaster live external sound card thats about $40. Will that suffice? What else would you guys recommend that is under $50? 2. I am also interested in running an external monitor. The 700m is great for taking around campus and using it on the go, but when I use it for my desktop at home every day, the screen is really small whether I can admit it or not. I'd like to purchase a 19-20'' flat lcd monitor to use for all the future work I will do in my room. Also I'd use it as a screen to watch dvd's on, and maybe even tv w/ a tv tuner, as my 12.1'' monitor is way too small. When it is hooked up through the vga port, is it possible to keep my laptop on, close it (to turn off the monitor),and use a (non)wireless usb keyboard and my current wireless usb mouse? Basically isolating my laptop into a CPU/motherboard? Or is it trying to squeeze too much utility out of my laptop? 3. If I decide to get a smaller flat lcd monitor (17'') for word processing & internet surfing, scratch the tv tuner, and then purchase a 24''+ flat screen tv, I plan on watching dvd's on my tv using my laptop as the dvd player, using my logitech speakers as my surround sound system. Is this setup sensible? 4. Does anyone know if it's a good idea to take out the battery when i'm running on a/c power? I'm on my friend's 700m at the moment, and he doesn't have his batter plugged in, only the a/c power cord. I thought you were supposed to keep the battery in at all times? Sorry for having so many questions. Its just that I want to use this laptop fo what it's worth. I love it and I figure if I paid for it, why not be flexible and use it for all that I can. Thanks for your responses.