I have been reading up on laptops for a while now... and have started to become a little frustrated. I am trying to find the perfect laptop to use in a live performance situation (ie, software looping/effects/virtual instruments) and some recording. I currently have a Firepod and usually use Cubase LE and Reason 3.0 for my recording setup (windows XP based). I have looked at Ableton as a possible solution for a live software looping setup but have not decided for sure and will probably continue to use the Firepod on stage to get everything in and out of the laptop. I had planned on building up a "barebones" Asus Z84Jp... http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3507&review=Asus+Z84Jp It was going to be great! I was super pumped! I was going to be able to build superstacked laptop that could out-compete (specwise at least) most "name brand" laptops that sell for >$2000 for around $1300 - $1400. But then I found out that the Firewire chipset used in Asus is apparently crap... i.e. not Texas Instruments. So here is the question. Does anyone know if a Texas Instruments Firewire ExpressCard would solve my problems on the Asus (I was planning on getting one anyway as I didn't like the location of the onboard Firewire)? Does anyone know where to find out if the chipset used for firewire/cardbus on a laptop (preferably barebones)... or ExpressCard... is Texas Instruments? I can't seem to track down this info! Any input would be greatly appreciated.