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Old July 24th, 2005, 06:09 PM   #1
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Best Laptop for editing (specific models in mind)?

I know there's been too many posts on this subject already, but I can't find too much information on the specific models I'm looking at so here's another laptop post.

Currently, I'm using a IBM laptop, that I've had for awhile. I'm using adobe PP 1.5 on it and it actually works okay. However it doesn't handle video all that well which can get annoying (and will get even more annoying since I'm going to be working on many more projects in the coming months).

Right now, I'm looking at the Alienware MJ-12m 7700 (I really like the configuration on this one), the voodoopc envy, or the hypersonic ex7.

Does anyone have experience with these specific notebooks? Are they reliable? Or can you reccomend another maker with similar specs? Or should I just get a powerbook.

Of the projects coming up, I'll be editing three short films and a feature, all shot on DV, using adobe pp 1.5 (and the rest of the adobe video collection).

The reason I want a laptop is I need something portable and I don't really want to get a laptop and a desktop. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated, as I want to make the jump to a new system in the next couple weeks.
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Old July 24th, 2005, 06:34 PM   #2
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Travis,

Read this thread and go to the links in Post#14 to read about how much you're overpaying with the laptops you mentioned.
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Old July 24th, 2005, 07:38 PM   #3
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Interesting, thanks for pointing that out. I'm deffinitely going to look in to powernotebooks.

One question though, why are the configuration options different? For instance Alienware offers an option for 3 gigs om memory and Hypersonic offers 4 gigs, while the sager powernotebooks has only offers 2.
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Old July 24th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #4
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John,

This Sager offers 3 gigs of Ram.


There is also this article discussing going to more than 2 gigs of memory with XP.
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Old July 24th, 2005, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks. Yeah, I was looking at the wrong model. Checking resellerratings.com powernotebooks has a great track record, espescialy when compared to alienware or hypersonic (voodoopc actually has a pretty good score).

I'm deffinitely going to look into buying from powernotebooks.

Have you used the sager? Would you reccomend it over the prostar or clevo notebooks?
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Old July 24th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #6
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I have a new laptop and the only thing I have issues with is DV capture. I would recommend a 5400 or 7200 rpm drive. A 4200 tends to drop frames if stressed.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 06:17 AM   #7
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John,

I was about to order from Powernotebook based on the recommendation of a couple of friends that took their Powernotebook Sager's to the MiddleEast for a year and had no trouble despite the harsh environment. Both had a great buying experience from dealing with the company.

I ultimately opted for the convience of a home built desktop for upgradability since I have no real travel requirements.

George, Sager offers 7200 rpm drives and a couple notebook models that offer two internal hard-drives.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #8
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Be thinking about screen real estate. I use a 17 widescreen with 1680x1050 resolution. The space is nice and well worth the extra money.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 12:32 PM   #9
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I've checked it out and it's worth noting the price differences:

This is the configuration I'm looking at

Sager NP9880
17" WUXGA Screen
"No Dead Pixel" plus 3yr additional warranty w/Powernotebooks
3yr. Aliencare full package support w/ Alienware
Additional 3yr. warranty w/Sagernotebook
Nvidia Quadro FX go 1400
3.8ghz Pentium 4 w/2mb cache
2gigs ram
2 60gig ultra ATA harddrives 7200rpm
2 DVD/CD readwrite drives
Integrated wireless card and bluetooth combo
1 spare battery
Powernotebooks does not come with XP installed which is not a bad thing for me.

Grand totals:
Powernotebooks.com $4,775.00
Alienware $4,808.00
Sagernotebook.com $4,540.00

So you're really not saving that much with Powernotebooks. Sager you'd save about $270 off the alineware and $235 off the Powernotebook.

Just based on customer reviews I'd go with powernotebooks. However, they don't seem to offer any financing. Which might be a problem for me at the moment. Tough decision.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 06:23 PM   #10
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That thing's going to be heeeeeavvvy.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 04:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Jimerson
That thing's going to be heeeeeavvvy.
Rolling cases are your friend ;)

John, check for fit on the case before you buy. Many cases were not originally designed for wide-screen, especially 17" wide-screen. I have a fit problem with our 15" on most cases.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 08:27 AM   #12
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One Beyond makes special laptops, they don't call them that cause they weigh a ton, and they get plenty warm, that have things like built in RAID over 3 drives, fastest CPUs available for mobile, stuff like that. You can edit uncompressed on those babies. They are expensive, weigh a lot and get hot but they are the beast I would go with if it was to be a major editor.

I however have used a small (tiny) Sony Vaio with built in 20GB drive for a while to cut spots on and it worked wonderfully well. It was one of the tiny ones too.

My current monster laptop is an HP Pavilion with the 15.4" wide screen, DVD burner, Athalon 3.4GHz 64 bit processor, 768MB RAM and so on. It too is heavy but has a 100GB drive and it does very well. I edit, make DVDs, etc on it all the time. Works great with Avids Xpress Pro or Xpress HD. When I need more space, I add a USB 2.0 external 120GB or 160GB hard drive. USB 2.0 is plenty fast for simple work with one or 2 streams at DV25. Don't let people tell you otherwise.

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Old July 28th, 2005, 11:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McHenry
I add a USB 2.0 external 120GB or 160GB hard drive. USB 2.0 is plenty fast for simple work with one or 2 streams at DV25. Don't let people tell you otherwise.

Sean McHenry
Yeah, I agree. I'm using a 200GB USB HD now and edit my video off that (PP 1.5 is loaded on my main drive). Sometimes I get slow downs, but for the most part it works well.

Besides, I wouldn't even be able to edit with out it. I tried to do a quick capture and edit in the field once with just my notebook and it wouldn't even capture the video smoothly and I had a gig of RAM at the time. The external HD is a necessity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McHenry
One Beyond makes special laptops, they don't call them that cause they weigh a ton, and they get plenty warm, that have things like built in RAID over 3 drives, fastest CPUs available for mobile, stuff like that. You can edit uncompressed on those babies. They are expensive, weigh a lot and get hot but they are the beast I would go with if it was to be a major editor.
I took a look at 1 Beyond and they're very nice, just a little over priced. Although the 1 Beyond mobile 990 is pretty sweet, like an entire turnkey editing system in a portable case (I have actually seen those before, a laptop built into a shell like that).

After some research, I think PowerNotebooks.com is probably who I'm going to buy from. I talked to one of their sales reps and he was extremely knowledgable and helpful. I'd reccomend that anyone in the market for a notebook at least give them a call. Thanks again to Patrick King for reccomending them in this thread.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 12:20 AM   #14
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the laptop i want isn't out yet. i hope it is by next year.

it'll be amd's dualcore laptop solution =). dualcore laptop=awesome.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 02:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Travis
Currently, I'm using a IBM laptop, that I've had for awhile. I'm using adobe PP 1.5 on it and it actually works okay. However it doesn't handle video all that well which can get annoying (and will get even more annoying since I'm going to be working on many more projects in the coming months).
ibm has long history of making rock-solid laptops that'll stand up to a lot of abuse... have you tried addressing the issues with how your ibm is working with video? there could be a simple fix to the problem.

your problem is that you want both portability and full-on video editing capability... that is the seperation known as desktop replacement vs. laptop; it's really difficult to have it all... if most of your video editing will be at the same location all the time, a helpful compromise might be to get a smaller 15" laptop, but hook up a second monitor to it, to increase the available screen real estate, as well as a seperate keyboard and mouse.

ultimately, serious computer work demands the proper ergonomics; roll-out keyboard tray, proper positioning of the mouse, screen location relative to the position of your head, correct lighting, etc... it's difficult do that with a laptop.

why pay upwards of $5k for carpal tunnel, neck pains, and vision problems? for the same $$, you could get a killer desktop pc with a much bigger monitor, and still get a nice little portable laptop to travel with... put all the video files on a seperate usb drive, if you need to access 'em with both computers.
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