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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
Discussing the editing of all formats with Matrox, Pinnacle and more.

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Old November 2nd, 2010, 12:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Bay Area, CA
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ExpressCard Slot

Hey all -

In looking for a new laptop, I've noticed some have excluded the ExpressCard slot. (i.e., HP Envy, Sager 7280).

The laptops I mentioned already have USB 3.0, Firewire, e-SATA, HDMI, mDisplayPort and digital card readers integrated into them already.

Is there something out there that is a necessary EC add on that I'm missing? I know the Matrox Mini utilizes this slot for their unit, but I don't plan on using that anyways.

So what benefit would it be to have an EC slot?
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 09:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Whidbey Island
Posts: 872
Probably not

It sounds like you're not making use of the the ExpressCard slot now. If that's the case, then I bet you wouldn't miss it.

I use the ExpressCard slot to plug in various adapter cards which provide me with; 3 additional firewire 400 ports, or 2 firewire 800 ports, or 2 eSATA ports. This is handy for me since I'm using external drives with firewire 800 or eSATA ports. If I were looking at getting a new laptop and it didn't have an ExpressCard slot, then I'd be looking to see if there are any adapters to allow connecting the firewire/eSATA devices up to the USB 3.0. I haven't come across any yet.

If you use ext. hard drives for working with your video files, you might want to upgrade to the new ones that are USB 3.0 capable, considering that the theoretical max. speed of this new port is 4.8 Gbps, compared to 480 Mbps (theoretical max speed) for 2.0.

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Old November 8th, 2010, 12:31 PM   #3
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Location: Northern California
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Two things that I can think of that require an Expresscard slot are Video I/O devices like the Matrox MXO and AJA ioExpress, and ExpressCard CompactFlash readers, that are faster than anything else I have found, (90MB/s versus 20-40MB/s for USB2 or Firewire800 even) Both of these applications will be phased out as USB3 becomes more fully implemented. (BMD Intensity Shuttle, etc.) If anyone has come across a good USB3 CF reader that they have actually used, I would really like to find one.
For more information on these topics, check out my tech website at
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