Moved from a different thread: Hi RemyRAD, Very interesting! I've been testing out a mini-laptop for recording live recording - main goal is for quick off-the-floor practice recordings. It's the Asus ePC (the little $400 laptop that's been flying off the shelves since late last year). There is no line-in; only a mic port and 3 USB ports. As the built in mic is horrible, I tried plugging a Shure SM57 into it with a 1/4" to 1/8'minijack extension cable. The sound quality is like night and day - clean and clear. But now you've got me thinkin'.. what are the CONs to recording this way? Can it damage the machine? One thing I've noticed so far is the signal is very quiet - but it stills sounds fine when I boost it in Audacity. Now here's my limited knowledge on these ports.. from what I understand the line-in is an analog signal in and supports stereo recording (with the A/D conversion done on board). The mic ports are low voltage mono and probably need a pre-amp if using a dynamic mic like the sm57 to boost the signal. What is it about the cheap 'multimedia' mics that make them the only thing to use? Not familiar with USB mics; do they have built-in A/D converters? I'm not sure if I want to run out and buy one of these if I can get my SM57 to work (my next step is to try plugging the SM57 into my small mixer which has a mic pre built in) Thanks for the tips!