The Elite Team and I have been using the HP Elitebook 8770w Mobile Workstation, and it has allowed us to reshape and slim down our workflow. It’s a powerful 17″ laptop with a DreamColor display, all the ports you need to ingest media, speed to playback in real time and the option to raid to internal drives for backup. It provides a new immediacy with watching dailies, editing, and coloring in the field with a small footprint.
Disclosure: I received compensation from HP related to this post/statement.
The first thing about it that caught my attention is the fact that it’s a laptop with a 17″ DreamColor display. The same display with the colors that I use to light with and playback footage, but on a laptop. It’s my view finder into the HD DSLR color space, so that I know what I see is what I’m getting. Just like the DreamColor monitor, it can be calibrated to a variety of color spaces: sRgb, Rec. 601, Rec 709, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 Emulation.
The footage can be quickly ingested into Adobe CS6, color corrected, and played back for the Director on the fly. It’s a powerful tool that allows immediate feedback on the footage I’m shooting in a much smaller and cost effective footprint.
Connectivity is another great feature of the Mobile Workstation. It has eSata, express card slot, firewire, USB 3.0, SDHC, blu ray burner, and the ability to quickly swap internal 2.5″ hard drives. If you were shooting to Compact Flash card, SxS cards, SDHC, you name it, this laptop can quickly import the footage. Then back it up to an internal raid, out to an external hard drive, or burn it to a Blu Ray. Absolute redundancy is critical with handling the digital negative on set and the Mobile workstation makes this so much easier. It’s also a rugged laptop that meets military standards for drop, vibration, dust, temperature and altitude, which is good for run and gun shooting in remote locations.
The power on this laptop is insane. It can be configured with up to 32gb of RAM, an I-7-3920XM 3.8GHZ processor, solid state hard drives, and ATI FirePro M4000 graphics with 1GB dedicated GDDR5 video memory. Tech jargon aside, what this means is real time playback of large video files, easy transfers, and short render time in Adobe CS6. It starts at $1,699 and a full list of the tech specs can be found here and you can buy it here .