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Philips notebook speakers

I am lazy. I blame gadgets.

THAT SEEMS ONLY NATURAL. Doesn't it? I mean, in all those sci-fi movies the reason that the machines take over the world is because the humans have gotten too lazy to do anything for themselves. Like, you tell a car where it is you want to go, without even stirring yourself to turn a key in the ignition.

ARE YOU REVIEWING ONE OF THOSE? Don't be silly. I mainly work from home, and I play music all the time. It's the first thing I switch on in the morning and the last thing I power down at night. I've got a lovely hi-fi thingy that docks my iPod, and, occasionally, when I want to listen to something specific, I get up and select the artist or album.

DO YOU? Well, no. And it's hard to read the iPod from a distance, the font is so small, so I can't use the remote. So I tend to just spark it up on my laptop, because hey, iTunes is right there in front of me. But the speakers on my laptop are rubbish, so I wondered if speakers for said lappie would make a difference.

THAT IS LAZY. I told you! So, behold, Philips Notebook USB Speakers. They are portable, and click together into a main feed unit to make a tidy little package of sound amplification. They are also plug-and-play, which means you just plug 'em in, and they play.

SIMPLE AS THAT? Hmmm, well, yes. There's wires, which in this day and age, seems a bit ridiculous. You plug into the hub, and there's the USB connection stemming from one power point, and the speakers from the other. You have the option to run on batteries, but why would you? Unless you were travelling and wanted to take one less lead.

Once I figured out where to hook it up to the computer, we were cooking with gas -- until the feedback started.

OH, EEK. Worst. Thing. Ever. And a shame, because the sound coming out the speakers was pretty extraordinary, considering their small size. I tried separating them as far as they would go, but no go: when you are working at your lappie, the buzz and crackle cannot be avoided. However, when you are reclining on your sofa catching up on Downton Abbey, the interference is infinitesimal.

FINAL VERDICT? Distance is the friend of the Philips Notebook USB speaker, so if that isn't an issue for you, then you would be happy rocking this set.

Philips Notebook USB Speakers are available at the Philips Shop, Dame Street, for €24.99