The Asus HDAV 1.3 Slim has been an eagerly awaited sound card in the world of Audio-visual enthusiasts. Having one sound card that can process your HD Audio and your HD video and output over one HDMI connection is a true step forward for PC sound cards. Asus were almost there with the HDAV 1.3 Deluxe, but not quite.
The card has it's foibles, one of which is the fact that using a set of headphones means plugging a pair into your AV Receiver/ surround sound/speaker system's receiver. It also means that the most sensible way to get a microphone working on your HTPC is going to be via USB.
Those aside, Audio quality is above the rest in terms of the 'movie experience'. With HD audio bitstreaming and processing onboard, the HDAV 1.3 Slim is currently in a league of it's own. Music is also a pleasent experience and especially so if you have a high quality AV Receiver/Pre-Power combo combined with some top-notch speakers.
Again it's worth underlining that you won't get the best of the Asus HDAV 1.3 Slim unless you do have at least an entry level High Definition Amp or High Defition-Ready all-in-one.
Those facts aside, Asus deserve credit where it's due and an 'Innovation Award' goes to the HDAV 1.3 Slim for it's HD Audio performance, as well as a hearty OC3D 'Recommended' Award.
+ Fantastic high Def sound
+ Decent enough value for money
+ Good Music capability
+ Decent Form Factor
+ Decent bundle
* PCI Interface a little out of date?
* A little fiddly
* Not the best gaming card out there