HP's EliteBook 8740w ($1,749 direct, 4 stars) is a mobile workstation that's designed to survive a harsh work environment. It has been built to military toughness standards for dust, temperature, humidity and altitude, and it comes with a rugged carry case that's designed to protect the 17-inch screen and all internal components.
The laptop uses an Intel Core i5 or i7 dual-core processors and you can equip it with up to 16GB of RAM to handle power hungry programs. It also supports up to a blazingly fast NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M or 2800M graphics solution with 1GB of video memory.
You can also choose from a wide variety of hard drives to fit your needs. Our review unit came with a 320GB 7,200rpm drive, but you can also outfit it with a 500GB or 1,024GB solid state drive for even faster performance. You'll have plenty of ports to connect external devices, with two USB 3.0 and one combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port on the right side. There's also a gigabit ethernet port, a 1394 port and a DisplayPort connection on the left side.
The EliteBook 8740w is an impressive piece of hardware that should easily tackle any task you can throw at it. The high-end parts, rugged magnesium-alloy construction and beautiful display make this a portable powerhouse that could be a real lifesaver for editors on the go. Just be sure to eat your Wheaties before you pick it up, because it's a bit expensive.