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117 Posts

12-05-2007

Arizona, USA

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HP 8510w vs. T61p! Attack of the copycats!

2007-12-30, 11:29 AM
A good friend of mine works for Intel, has been for about a year and a half now.  One of the first things they did when they hired him was give him a shiny new Thinkpad.  I don't know what model it was, but we were both impressed by the quality and no-nonsense design.  In fact, my impression of that company laptop they gave him is the biggest reason I ended up purchasing a Thinkpad myself.  But I digress.
 
Anyway, the time came recently for Intel to update the laptops for their engineers.  My friend got a shiny new T61, the 14" model.  We compared it to my 15.4" model T61P.  He loves his T61 so far but he was green with envy when he saw that my laptop is basically a larger, faster, gaming-capable version of his T61 :P
 
Strangely enough, Intel is either considering or has already decided to change their engineer laptops from Lenovo to HP.  Don't ask me why.  My friend was jealous of my laptop so he asked around and found out that Intel is giving HP 8510w laptops to some engineers on some kind of evaluation basis.  They are only giving out a limited number, but my friend managed to get on the list of recipients and got himself an 8510w. 
 
Before I bought my T61P I actually considered the 8510w since its features are nearly identical to the T61p.  Same CPU and hard disk options, same video card, similar design, same target market, etc.  Now that my friend has one, I thought it would be fun to get them side by side and compare them.
 
My first impression of the 8510w was that it definitely styles itself after the Thinkpad line.  The look is very similar and many of the features are the same.  They went so far to copy the Thinkpad that it actually has a Trackpoint-style nubbin on the keyboard!  The nubbin is blue instead of red, but what a ripoff!  To my amazement, we could swap our Trackpoint nubbins, the connector is the same!  We got a laugh putting his blue nubbin on my Thinkpad, it looked so awkward!
 
Performance-wise, with the same driver versions, they were virtually identical.  3DMark scores were close enough to be boring.  Nothing to talk about here, hardware-wise they are practically the same machine.
 
We handled both laptops and looked at rigidity and overall feel, fit, and finish.  Unfortunately for my friend, after comparing the two, he still has Thinkpad envy.  He admitted that the T61P feels more solid and overall seems to be a nicer machine.  One thing that he envied was the "rollcage" technology.  We noticed that on the HP, the slightest pressure on the back of the screen will cause the display to distort.  On my T61P, you can press quite hard with no visible effect on the display!  I even demonstrated the "kung-fu grip" where I open my screen all the way, then hold the whole laptop by just the top edge of the screen, without any distortion to the screen.  He said wow, if I did that on my HP the screen would probably snap in half!

The only feature I must give a nod to is the HDMI plug that the HP posesses.  However, I personally have never had the desire to connect my laptop to a TV.  I can see how the HDMI plug could be useful to some people but to me, it is not enough reason to pick the HP over the Thinkpad.
 
Overall the HP is a nice machine, but it just doesn't seem as polished and slick as the Thinkpad.  For example, the hotkeys are a joke.  Turning the volume up or down while in a game results in Windows switching tasks out of the game and bringing you back to the Windows desktop!  On my T61P I can turn the volume up or down in any game and I can even see the volume bar WHILE IN THE GAME.  No effect on the game though, I can keep playing.  This is much better.  Also the wireless connection management software the HP comes with is lame!  It kept telling him he was now connected to the wireless network, which would also kick him out of the game and back to the Windows desktop!  Booo...
 
Also, he was suffering with some unknown issue while playing UT2004.  He copied the UT2004 game folder from my computer over the network and used my same settings, but for me the game worked smoothly, while for him, it would occasionally get jittery and laggy.  We were both connected to a gigabit ethernet switch for this test and we both were using the same Nvidia driver version.  I have no idea why the gaming performance was spotty for him but perfect for me.  This might just be some setting he needs to tweak in Windows, I don't know.
 
Still, from what I have seen, the Thinkvantage software such as the battery monitor, Access Connections, hotkeys, etc. are head and shoulders above the HP utilities. 
 
Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble on, but my very subjective opinion from handling both laptops is that the HP has a long ways to go if it wants to copy the Thinkpad line.  They have made a good start with the 8510w, it's a nice machine if you can't get a Thikpad, but the original still beats it.  That's my take anyway!
T61p, T7800 CPU, Nvidia Quadro FX 570M GPU, WSXGA+ LDC, 4GB RAM, 200GB HDD, Intel 4965AGN wireless, 1GB Intel Turbo Memory, Vista Business 64bit
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26 Posts

12-26-2007

Portugal

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  • Message 2 of 6

Re: HP 8510w vs. T61p! Attack of the copycats!

2007-12-30, 13:45 PM
Nice review. The HP does seem to be very good and extremely cheap (compared to the Thinkpad). It probably is a good option. Especially for those interested in media capabilities (Thinkpads alwyas lacked a bit in that field).

But looking at the lateral images it does seem to be a bit "uglier" than the Thinkpad. Also, a built-in webcam would be good...
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4169 Posts

11-20-2007

United States of America

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  • Message 3 of 6

Re: HP 8510w vs. T61p! Attack of the copycats!

2007-12-30, 15:20 PM
Hellbore wrote:
They went so far to copy the Thinkpad that it actually has a Trackpoint-style nubbin on the keyboard!  The nubbin is blue instead of red, but what a ripoff!  To my amazement, we could swap our Trackpoint nubbins, the connector is the same!  We got a laugh putting his blue nubbin on my Thinkpad, it looked so awkward!

 
I don't know about HP before the "merger", but many Compaq models had pointing sticks.  My current work-issued HP Compaq nc6220 has one, and it has a TrackPoint Red cat-tongue cover on it.  The blue one that came on it didn't work right.  Not enough traction or something.

keep-calm-it-s-a-thinkpad-sm2.jpg

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Jane
nonnymouselenovoff1.gif

2015 X1 Carbon, ThinkPad Slate, T410s, X301, X200 Tablet, T60p, HP TouchPad, iPad Air 2, iPhone 5S, IdeaTab A2107A, Yoga Tablet, Yoga 3 Pro
I AM one of those crazy ThinkPad zealots!
If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"!

I am not a Lenovo employee

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8 Posts

12-26-2007

SoCal

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  • Message 4 of 6

Re: HP 8510w vs. T61p! Attack of the copycats!

2007-12-30, 20:49 PM
You have to remember that Lenovo is now a Chinese company and many US-based companies are beginning to switch brands.  I work for gov. and it does seem strange for us to use a Chinese notebook now although I prefer the Thinkpads we had been using.  We're looking at Dell and HP now...sigh...

CJ
:)
T60p - Mobile Workstation 8744C9U - T7200; 100GB 7200HD; 2GB RAM; 15.4" WXGA+
Z61t 9440; Panasonic C28-Toughbook; Dell C600 Latitude
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7 Posts

12-30-2007

Canada

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  • Message 5 of 6

Re: HP 8510w vs. T61p! Attack of the copycats!

2008-01-01, 4:12 AM


wrote:
  We're looking at Dell and HP now...sigh..

That rationale would make sense if there were laptops manufactured in the US. If the US govt was that concerned they should have discouraged capitalism from the Chinese decades ago..now wouldn't that be a novel concept.

T61P - T7500 - 4G DDR2 - NV Quadro FX570M 256mb - 200Gb 7K200 - WSXGA+ 15.4 - Vista Ult x64
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4169 Posts

11-20-2007

United States of America

23525 Signins

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  • Message 6 of 6

Re: HP 8510w vs. T61p! Attack of the copycats!

2008-01-01, 4:29 AM
Just a heads up for you guys.  Be careful about how you continue this line of discussion.  Political discussions are off-topic for this forum.

keep-calm-it-s-a-thinkpad-sm2.jpg

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Jane
nonnymouselenovoff1.gif

2015 X1 Carbon, ThinkPad Slate, T410s, X301, X200 Tablet, T60p, HP TouchPad, iPad Air 2, iPhone 5S, IdeaTab A2107A, Yoga Tablet, Yoga 3 Pro
I AM one of those crazy ThinkPad zealots!
If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"!

I am not a Lenovo employee

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