You are correct. A laptop capable of comfortable AE work will be costly. Check out the folks at BOXX. They make laptops specifically for this sort of work, and you'll see what I mean about the prices.
We use LogMeIn instead of 'Go to My PC', mainly because it's free. However, I haven't found this solution to be adequate for editing, and I wouldn't even consider it for AE work. We mainly use it in this realm for connecting to perform a remote encode from Premiere if we need one quickly to show a client.
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[Malcolm DeSoto]"So, I'm wondering if anyone's ever attempted using a remote viewer app like Go To My PC to work from a separate computer that might be less powerful than the one you're accessing. Has anyone attempted this?"
I travel a lot for business. I've been doing exactly this for years, using my VPN and native screen sharing on Macs, and using Remote Desktop Connection on Windows.
With a really, really fast connection on both ends, using AE remotely can be tolerable (especially with RDC).
That said -- this is the exception, not the rule. It's usually pretty painful. Without that really, really fast pipe, you can't get decent response with low latency from the remote machine, so scrubbing values is not an option in most locations. You can't trust the viewer to be artifact-free unless you're using lossless screen compression (SLOW), and I'm not sure how it would work with color management.
Try using AE with Live Updates off while operating your mouse/tablet/touchpad with your other hand and your monitor set to 16-bit color (or Thousands of Colors on a Mac). That's a bit like using AE remotely.
In general, I'll only use AE over RDC for very specific tweaks where I don't need a lot of interactivity. Otherwise, I'll do the tweaks on my laptop, upload the project file back to my remote machine, render and compress remotely, and download the output.
In other words, using AE remotely may be a part of my plan when I'm working out of my office, but it's not my whole plan.
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