Mine is definitely not acceptable for even video conferencing. Other users had to turn their volume all the way up, and by that point could still only barely hear my voice. Background noise is horrific and makes conferencing awful. HP got my laptop, estimated delivery is about a week from now. Still not hopeful on any real results, but will definitely report back. I don't need any kind of speech recognition and I don't record lectures... if I can have a decent Skype call then I will be happy.