Can you really run MM2.1 with standard and custom effects, transitions and title overlays from a thumb drive? Yes, here's a 2 minute sample done on my 64 bit Windows 7 laptop... with source and project files on an attached external hard drive.
Surprisingly, all this powerful hardware doesn't cost very much anymore. It should be easy to put together a more-than-adequate Windows 7 laptop for under $1000. If you shop around you'll find bargains as low as $500 to $600.