Alienware M11x R3

travel

Standard Member
Hi,

This is my first thread in AV, so first of all, hello to everyone! I'm about to start travelling, and need a decent laptop/netbook capable of handling video edition. Most netbooks, with their modest Intel Atom processors, aren't capable of much more than basic browsing (forget using tabs!) and word processing, and bigger laptops (13-14"+) aren't convenient for the type of mobility I need.

I've got some money saved up, so the maximum budget is around 1300 GBP.

A Mac is out of the question. Leaving my personal opinions aside, I think with the option I have in mind, I get a lot more for my money, and save tons of hassle, as all my software is for PC. I know Mac OS is a lot more stable and intuitive than windows, but I use a dual boot anyway: Windows for multimedia editing, Kubuntu for everything else.


But, to the point: The only netbook (11") I've found with high enough performance to handle HDV video editing is the Alienware M11xR3 (input will mostly be 1440x1080, progressive scan)

These are the specs:

Intel® Core™ i7 2617M 1,5 GHz (2,6 GHz with Turbo Boost & 4 MB cache)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M - 2 GB DDR3
8Gb DDR3 SDRAM
320 Gb Hard drive - 7200rpm
Intel® 6205 2 x 2 (802.11a/b/g/n) WLAN adapter
11,6" 1366x768 pixels LED screen
Windows 7 Home

Price: 1300€ / approx. 1120 GBP

I know an 11,6" screen isn't particularly the best for video editing, but I'm going to be constantly on the move, and the smaller, the better.

In terms of RAM, I think it'll be more than OK. And I'm hoping the 2Gb graphic card + Nvidia CUDA technology will to take some stress off the processor in terms of real-time video rendering. What d'you guys think?


Thanks!
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
The difference in laptop length between an 11.6" screen and a 13.3" one is around about 3cm. The M11x is also very thick and heavy for it's size, certainly thicker and heavier than a 12.5-13.3" ultraportable. The alienware's screen is also apparently not particularly good quality and very glossy.

The graphics card will only make a difference if the video editing software you run explicitly uses it, there's no automatically shared work.

I'd start looking at the business ultraportables like the Lenovo Thinkpads, Dell Latitudes and Toshibas.

For example the Lenovo X220. 12.5" screen (still only 1366x768 sadly but you can upgrade to an IPS version for £35) with an i7 2640M running at 2.8Ghz on all four cores instead of 1.5Ghz. Size is 30.5cm by 20.7cm and weight is 1.2-1.3kg, compared with the Alienware's 28.6cm x 23.3 cm and 2kg weight.

Price starts at £1040 for the i7 equipped version, although you'll obviously spend a little more upgrading it to 8GB of ram it should still fit within your budget. I'd expect other ultraportables to be similar (although not as good looking ;))
 

travel

Standard Member
The difference in laptop length between an 11.6" screen and a 13.3" one is around about 3cm. The M11x is also very thick and heavy for it's size, certainly thicker and heavier than a 12.5-13.3" ultraportable. The alienware's screen is also apparently not particularly good quality and very glossy.

The graphics card will only make a difference if the video editing software you run explicitly uses it, there's no automatically shared work.

I'd start looking at the business ultraportables like the Lenovo Thinkpads, Dell Latitudes and Toshibas.

For example the Lenovo X220. 12.5" screen (still only 1366x768 sadly but you can upgrade to an IPS version for £35) with an i7 2640M running at 2.8Ghz on all four cores instead of 1.5Ghz. Size is 30.5cm by 20.7cm and weight is 1.2-1.3kg, compared with the Alienware's 28.6cm x 23.3 cm and 2kg weight.

Price starts at £1040 for the i7 equipped version, although you'll obviously spend a little more upgrading it to 8GB of ram it should still fit within your budget. I'd expect other ultraportables to be similar (although not as good looking ;))


Thanks for taking the time for answering so thoroughly! :)
You make some very good points! The Lenovo X220 surely has a much better processor, and I've found a version with 8Gb within my budget.

I'd looked at a few Clevo/lesser-known brand 13.3" laptops, as I've had a couple Clevos in the past, and am very happy with the result (was able to get a very powerful machine way below normal mainstream-brand prices, which also turned out to be very durable). The problem with these is the battery...so the Lenovo (which boats an 18-hour battery life) fits in with my needs.

The main question being: I usually edit with Premiere CS5 (which actually does use the GPU for rendering), and sometimes with Edius, which often supports filetypes that Premiere won't. What's preferable for video editing? Processing Power or GPU & VRAM?

Thanks once again!
 

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