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Old July 21st, 2009, 03:56 PM   #1
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dual screen Laptop for SDEs? Thinkpad W700ds - quad core with two monitors

I just got this video from B&H about the Lenovo dual screen laptop with a quad core CPU, 4GB RAM, and a QuadroFX gfx card. Now that is a heck of a system ready made for SDE work if ever I saw one! Retail is around $3600 though . . . so you better be a good SDE master and pulling in the clients to need this. :-)

Last edited by Jason Robinson; July 21st, 2009 at 04:51 PM. Reason: change title
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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just out of curiosity - how much do you guys charge for SDE option? Investment like this should pay of in a few gigs, so you get to work on it for at least 2 seasons - then you might be forced to replace/update it anyway.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:11 PM   #3
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just out of curiosity - how much do you guys charge for SDE option? Investment like this should pay of in a few gigs, so you get to work on it for at least 2 seasons - then you might be forced to replace/update it anyway.
Oh I don't do SDEs (yet). I just noticed the B&H email and I immediately drooled over the computer because it is almost exactly what I would want to do an SDE, if I were in the market to do SDEs.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:21 PM   #4
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I just ordered an HP laptop, primarily for SDEs. The Lenovo has a cool feature with the additional pop out screen, but the HP I just ordered seems to have better specs everywhere else, including price.

tHP HDX18t Premium Series Notebook PC
Upgrade to Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad Processor Q9100 (2.26Ghz, 12MB 6MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm) - For 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 130M
1TB 7200RPM SATA Dual Hard Drive (500GB x 2) with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 130M - For DDR3 Memory
18.4" diagonal High Definition HP Ultra BrightView Infinity Display (1920x1080p)
Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer
Webcam + Fingerprint Reader with HP Imprint Finish (Fluid)

I found a coupon at Tech Bargains for $500 off, so the end price was $2214, plus tax and shipping.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 10:06 PM   #5
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I was wondering if you would be interested in the Lenovo system (since you are one of the SDE masters that I know doesn't edit on a mac).

Do you do your cutting with a single display? Or do you bring a secondary display along to aid in the editing?
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Old July 21st, 2009, 10:11 PM   #6
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I found a coupon at Tech Bargains for $500 off, so the end price was $2214, plus tax and shipping.
Much better price for sure. The time I used a Lenovo / Thinkpad (for a year as a software developer) I was incredibly impressed with their speed & durability. Fantastically built systems, so obviously their quality might come with a premium price. My only other major laptop experience is with my Alienware MJ12-7700 (5yrs old system) which is a beast, but back in the day was a very powerful system.

So does your HP have a RAID? The specs don't specifically mention a RAID, so I'm not sure.

In any case, that Quad core should really help with the AVCHD footage from your HMC150s.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 11:23 PM   #7
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Hi Jason,

We have used three different laptops over the last 5 years for SDEs and they have all been 17 inch screens, but even so, I can see how nice it would be to have an addition pull out screen. We have never brought a second screen for SDEs.

Until about two years ago I had always used dual monitors for everyday editing, so it was an adjustment to go to a single screen for SDEs, but now I have gotten used to editing on a single screen, so it's not that big of a deal when editing on a laptop for SDEs.

I'm not sure about the RAID, but yes, a quad core will speed up the transcoding process. It also has the DDR3 RAM, which is supposed to be much better than the DDR2 RAM.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 06:40 AM   #8
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So does your HP have a RAID? The specs don't specifically mention a RAID, so I'm not sure.
I think it has since the hard drive is listed as 500GBx2.

But what worries me is the RAM - 4GB but 1GB shared with video card? Am I right?
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 11:06 AM   #9
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Hi Luke,

I'm not a computer expert. I know just enough to be dangerous.

When ordering the HP, I had to order 4gb of RAM when getting the 1gb video card. I planned on 4gb of RAM anyway. I actually thought about getting 6 gb of RAM, but it is 3DDR RAM, so I felt good about just 4 gb. I was already over budget. You could not get the 1gb video card with only 3 gb of RAM. You had to order the the 512 mb card if getting less than 4 gb of RAM.

So I don't know if that answers your question about the RAM being shared with the video card. I wish I could be of more help.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 02:53 AM   #10
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I have been drooling over that Lenovo too, but with a few modifications. (You can customize one at the Lenovo website) After customizations it is a $4000+ system so that gives me a lot of pause but here are the specs that really have me considering it...

The dual screen - I have to admit some of the attraction is the cool factor of a pop-out piece of real estate.
Core 2 Quad processor - Quad core in a laptop!
4GB ram
1GB CUDA graphics card
Blu-ray burner drive in laptop
Built-in color calibration and a WACOM tablet
7200 rpm drives in a laptop

But the price will keep me drooling for now and hoping for a gang-buster end of year to pay for it...
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Old August 27th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bryan Daugherty View Post
I have been drooling over that Lenovo too, but with a few modifications. (You can customize one at the Lenovo website) After customizations it is a $4000+ system so that gives me a lot of pause but here are the specs that really have me considering it...

The dual screen - I have to admit some of the attraction is the cool factor of a pop-out piece of real estate.
Core 2 Quad processor - Quad core in a laptop!
4GB ram
1GB CUDA graphics card
Blu-ray burner drive in laptop
Built-in color calibration and a WACOM tablet
7200 rpm drives in a laptop

But the price will keep me drooling for now and hoping for a gang-buster end of year to pay for it...
For references, 4 (or 5) years ago I bought a $3k Alienware P4HT3GHz with dual 7200RPM HDDS in a RAID 0/1 (hardware raid mind you) and a 17" monitor with a "desktop" gfx card (dedicated RAM, etc). And then I put another $400 worth / 2GB of RAM in it (never buy manufacturers RAM, they always overprice it).

And at the time, this was a completely kickass system. Virtually the equal of any desktop system. And it was TOTALLY worth it. Portable editing power that was the state of the art at the time.

This Lenovo system is essentially my big boat anchor of an Alienware, for this generation. Granted, if it had an i7 in it, it would be absolutely top of the line, but the i7 is still being worked on (from an OEM makers POV).

So I say all that to indicate that yes the system is almost insanely expensive, however, I have no doubt that it is EVERYTHING a PC NLE editor needs for on the go work. I used a Lenovo system for a year as a software developer (Core 2 Duo) just two years ago and that system spanked any other system (Desktop or otherwise) for speed. I did render tests on it to prove it too. Lenovo's are MUCH less cluttered than Dell / HP / etc with regards to OEM trial ware and useless updater software.

The whole Lenovo product line was sold to that company from IBM, which made their money off the business user. So the Lenovo systems are built with business in mind, and (contrary to many people) I loved their bundled network config software and wish I had it on my alienware (it automatically switched network configs based on saved settings, so you could be static IP via eth for the "home" preset and then click a button and be dynamic IP via WiFi for "coffee shop" etc).

Any way, to sum up the Lenovo, if I absolutely had to be mobile for my power use of a system, then I would absolutely get the Lenovo. At the time I bought the Alienware I was in a live in training academy so I had to be mobile. That is not a requirement for my work now so for 1/2 the price I could get similar / more power in an i7 desktop (with the buttload of monitors that I am now accustomed to using).

For my SDE trial I brought along a second monitor because I just can't browse my clip bins & see the timline / preview all on one screen. I'm absolutely spoiled by 3 19" LCDs.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #12
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Jason-You brought up a very good point. I don't have to be mobile. There are many times that it would be much more efficient to be mobile but I have yet to need to be mobile. It would be very nice when I want to stretch out on the couch and edit at home instead of spending all day and night in an office chair but I don't have the need. So to be realistic this purchase falls much more into the want category than the need and at that price, well there are better ways to spend 4 grand... Sucks to be logical sometimes...

And honestly I am much more productive at my editing station with 3 monitors as well...
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Old August 29th, 2009, 10:13 AM   #13
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These guys are constantly getting good reviews in PC World, etc. I'm guessing it's the closest thing to building your own PC and with good parts. Not many laptops running i7 CPUs either thought I know that soon (like everything else) it will be common place.

Configure to taste. Make sure you check the specs page too.
Micro Express Computers

Micro Express isn't about flash or sleekness. It's about getting the job done and giving the user good options.
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