Post Production

Need to rent a computer for onsite editing?

A recent hotel-based, same-day editing gig introduced me to RentAComputer.com

A week of editing video, in a hotel, for a conference brought to my attention a company called RentAComputer.com. I had never heard of them before and I have no idea how long they have been around but it was a fantastic option for what we needed. Show up at a hotel, shoot video on-site at an adjacent convention center, shuttle camera cards back and forth between the convention center and the hotel, edit video of the day’s events during the day and show them that evening at the nightly gathering of 3,000 people. Not an unusual gig at all these days. Rather than having to pack and transport a desktop editing system or cut on the cramped screen of a laptop RentAComputer.com delivered a fully featured iMac Pro right to the hotel.

What I was most impressed with was the packaging and the speed with which we were able to pack everything up and move hotel suites when our original location had construction noise in an adjacent room. Part of that ease can be attributed to the simplicity of an iMac Pro and plugging in a portable, external RAID but sliding the iMac into its shipping case really helped.

the shipping box
The system shipped in a light but sturdy foam lined shipping container. There was no need to tape anything as it had Velcro strips built in to hold it closed.

The system came with the iMac Pro extended keyboard and the wireless mouse. I brought my own trackpad and scrolly ball mouse. We cut on our own Sony Portable RAIDs.

the iMac in the shipping container
When we were done we slid the iMac Pro back into its shipping container and attached the pre-printed return label.

ties to keep the shipping container together
Besides the Velcro straps to make sure the container was closed the unit came with two plastic ties that threaded through both halves of the shipping container to make sure they didn’t come apart. Call for a FedEx pickup or drop it at a store to ship and done!

The laptops also came with an external mouse and mousepads for each system rented.

A few bullet points from the How It Works page of their website further explains the process as they do a lot more than just shipping an iMac Pro to a hotel.

  • We deliver or ship direct to your business or event location. Same day and next day services available in select locations.
  • We offer damage insurance with our rentals. If you opt to purchase damage insurance it will help mitigate the cost of fixing or replacing equipment damaged during your rental.
  • We offer flexible rental periods, whether you need it for a day, a week or a month! If you need to extend your rental or return your equipment early, its no problem!
  • We can preload your software on your rental equipment, and even duplicate your custom configuration across hundreds of units. The perfect service for large quantities and training classes!
  • When you rent a large quantity of units we provide you with a spare units just in case something goes awry. If in the rare case you need equipment replaced, we will send out a replacement ASAP.
  • Experienced technicians are available to setup, install and take down your rental equipment or to be on-hand to support your entire event should you need it.

The Prices page can give you another good idea of how much everything costs as well as a lot of the other things they rent. Our total package with the iMac Pro, a couple of laptops and an iPad came in at a little over $1000.

It was a great on-site editing experience to walk into a hotel and have an editing computer waiting on you to work with. You have full access to the system with admin passwords so you’re able to install software as needed. The company asks you to uninstall anything you place on the system as well as signout of any accounts before returning the rental. I can only assume they reimaged the hard drive before shipping to the next rental. I’m sure there are other easy computer rental companies (there’s even RentACamera.com! Different company but similar name) as you can rent most anything online these days but I hadn’t experienced these folks before so I thought it was worthy of a blog post.

Finally…. after a day sitting down in a hotel chair I eyed the RentAComputer.com packaging sitting against the wall and thought, “that will make a nice standing desk.”

standing desk in the hotel made from the shipping containerAnd it did … making the week go by a lot easier and saving my back some pain.

Do you have other similar computer system rental compaines you’ve used and recommend? Please let us know in the comments below.

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PVC Staff
Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…