The Hercules XPS 40 2.0 Slim are a slim tower style two speaker stereo system without subwoofer or other surround channels. Each is rated for just 2½w RMS with a peak total power of 10w combined. To give you a comparison, those tiny speakers built into laptops or the back of your LCD monitor are probably rated somewhere around 1-3w each, whereas a decent home theater system would likely be powered by 500w or more. They do have a surprising amount of heft to them, around half a pound each, and like many other types of electrical components weight often translates into better quality. Each has a solid rubber base that won't slide or scratch the surface of your desk. The satellites are magnetically shielded and measure roughly 9"H x 2"W x 3"D at the base, that narrows to a much slimmer depth of only about an inch at the top.
The XPS 40 are very attractive with a cloth covered front grill surface and a very glossy black rear. Under the cloth I can make out two sets of openings, but there is no documentation to indicate whether that equates to two drivers per speaker, or if one is a passive radiator only, or maybe even just an empty hole. The left speaker has a single wire leading to the right, while that side houses the connection for power supply and volume control module. The wire leading from the module then ends in a standard green mini audio plug style stereo connector. With the length of the cables, the control module can be placed approximately six feet from the computer jack and the speakers which should offer plenty of length to locate it in a convenient spot for easy access.
The rotary knob controls speaker volume level and can also power off the system when turned fully counter-clockwise. In addition to volume control built into the module, it also houses a stereo headphone out jack as well as a line-in input for connecting an MP3 player or other device. The advantage of having this separate from the speaker housing is the ability to hide the speakers while leaving the volume control out where it can be easily reached. That way you're not fumbling around behind your monitor for the controls.