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Old August 18th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #1
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Anyone using a laptop for their main editor?

It's time to upgrade the system here at work (Avid XpressDV 3.5) and with gasoline prices the way they are I have been looking to make myself a bit more flexible, and with my supervisors blessing, to maybe work from home a day or two a week.

Basically put the more I learn, the confuseder I get. LOL. I'm torn between upgrading to Media Composer 3, after 14 years on Avid, it's the tool I know best. Or switching gears to Sony Vegas, which I have been working with a bit at home. I like some of it's features and look at them as tools. Torn between the laptop and another desktop system (there is not the budget for both). State budget is very tight. We use Dell here at work and the M6300 is certified for Avid and is Dell's suggestion for Vegas. Avid is offering a $495 upgrade, but... that is from XpressPro, we are a generation behind that, and apparently would have to pay full price to upgrade. (they used to have a two step upgrade, first to Xpro, then MC, but Xpro is not available now).

I have two external HD, a 500 gb firewire/usb2.0 and a 320gb usb2.0, currently attached to the NLE, so I could use them in the new system as well.

What tradeoffs are there when going from a desktop to solely a laptop system? what problems could there be? Pros and cons?

Thanks.

oh, I am a one person video production office with no real need to interface with anyone else.

Bill
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Old August 18th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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If you think about using laptops for editing, I can recommend the Sager NP9262 laptop.
I bought this one 2 months ago, and I have only great things to say. It uses desktop CPU, and can have up to 3 harddrives. (also raid0, 1 or 5 if wanted)
Not sure if I am allowed to give details about the store I bought it from, since it's not any sponsor of this site, so feel free to message me for details.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #3
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I use a macbook pro 17 inch for mobile editing with AVID media composer 3.1 and final cut studio 2.
I have a lacie rugged drive set on firewire 800 running at 7200 rpm as my scratch drives and an express card to compact flash for ingest into AVID from the CF cards shot on my sony Z7. My plan is also to use the CF to ingest into final cut but this isnt working on my macs yet.

My main edit suite is an i-mac 24in with g-tech firewire drives running mainly final cut studio 2 and pro tools 7.4.2 with a 002 console and the dv toolkit 2 for audio dubbing.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 09:43 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

Just to clarify, since I work in state government and it operates totally unlike the real world, if I buy a laptop it must be Dell, unless I can find a turnkey system offered by a vendor who is registered to do business with the state. Not all will file the paperwork, it only causes tax issues with those who have an in-state presence, those out of state must only file the form annually. This makes buying specific gear difficult at times, though I was just able to get a company to register so I could purchase one of the items they manufacture.

anyway, back on topic.
What I would really like to know is if anyone is using a laptop (PC) as their only editing system and what experiences, both good and bad they have had, what to watch out for etc. etc.

Thanks
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Old August 19th, 2008, 12:57 AM   #5
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Yes, I only use laptop for editing. (My previous laptop was a Dell XPS M1710, which I also used for video editing)
So far I have only edited SD video, and have never had any trouble with this. And I use external harddrives (USB connection) for the video. For HD video editing I'm not sure if USB is fast enough, or if you would need firewire or eSATA instead.
HD playback is fine when using my external USB harddrives.

The drawbacks I can think of compared to desktops:
Smaller harddrives.
Often less powerful CPU.
Often less RAM.
Costs more than equally powerful desktops.
You might need to bring external hdd with you, depending of project size, when traveling.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 01:26 AM   #6
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Bill I feel your pain. I too am in state govt. And although I do have a nice editing suite and dedicated render machine, I do cut on my new Dell laptiop. Its a dell Precision M6300. It can be outfitted well enough to cut anything a macbook pro can. That's why I speced this laptop. You can get it with a blu-ray burner if you wish. I ordered an external one. It takes the express card natively, has a bunch of USB ports, firewire, bluetooth if you want, 17.4" screen. I got mine with an nVideo card so I could run RedCine and cut RED files. I'm very pleased with the unit.

The problem you will get into with using ONLY a laptop is that you have no accurate way to determine your colors before you render out. That's a drag. You'll also always be shy for screen real estate. I cut on 2 20" monitors with my desktop suite and I wish I had a third one.

There are a lot of compromises to cutting on a laptop only, and some probable compromises in final quality of the product just because you don't have an accurate picture of tonality or color. But it can be done if you have to.

By the way, I ordered my laptop with 64bit XP, and I wouldn't have it any other way right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mecca View Post
Thanks guys.

Just to clarify, since I work in state government and it operates totally unlike the real world, if I buy a laptop it must be Dell, unless I can find a turnkey system offered by a vendor who is registered to do business with the state. Not all will file the paperwork, it only causes tax issues with those who have an in-state presence, those out of state must only file the form annually. This makes buying specific gear difficult at times, though I was just able to get a company to register so I could purchase one of the items they manufacture.

anyway, back on topic.
What I would really like to know is if anyone is using a laptop (PC) as their only editing system and what experiences, both good and bad they have had, what to watch out for etc. etc.

Thanks
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Old August 19th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #7
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Trond, Perrone, thanks, that is just what i was looking for. I was eyeing the M6300 as that is the one certified for Avid and suggested for Vegas. I'm still in SD land and will be fore a while, with a large infrastructure there is a lot of inertia, if you get my meaning. Heck, I am just starting to be able to deliver on DVD!

Perrone, does the m6300 have the ability to do dual screens? my older dell laptop has an Nvidia card and I can clone the screen which is how I run the prompter. One plus for going laptop is that I would not have to give up the current system, and could use those dual monitors when here in the office.

Does that machine have more than one firewire port?
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