Comdex: Flat, flat, the world is flat...

You'd have to be blind not to notice the superb waistlines on the monitors at this year's Comdex and you're not paying attention if you haven't noticed the flat speaker systems gearing up for Christmas launch dates.

Top of the list for value for money, not to mention good looks, has to be Gallant's AudioStorm range - there are seven different configurations available - which offer reasonable performance for between $29 and $199. (UK prices are expected to be the same in pounds).

The AudioStorm FS2 comes with two 3 Watt (RMS) flat panel speakers and an amplifier. This is the "beginners pack" at $29. Top of the range is the $199 AudioStorm MT7 D/X 5.1 Dolby Digital Multimedia Theatre Speaker System with Dolby Digital decoder (6 channels) 12 Watt Subwoofer, 3 Watt centre speaker, four 3 Watt flat panel speakers and an amplifier.

Benwin, a Taiwanese manufacturer, was also showing off its wares - two 3 Watt flat panel speakers - called satellites - and a 6 Watt subwoofer. The Benwin range is significantly more expensive at $135 for a basic system (comparable to a mid-range AudioStorm DK4 ProLogic Upgrade kit at $109) with two speakers and a subwoofer.

With the arrival of Creative and Diamond's 3D surround systems, these speaker solutions will be an obvious choice for early adopters looking for a bit of class on the desktop.

Gallant's AudioStorm range is expected to arrive in the UK next month with Benwin following about six months later.

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