Review HP Compaq 8510W notebook

Powerful mobile workstation. The HP Compaq 8510W is a solid and strong mobile workstation, built for professional users who work with visualisation and graphic applications. Beside its high overall performance the 8510W is built solid and offers meaningful operating and security solutions.

Review HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD logo

Case

A powerful mobile workstation. The HP Compaq 8510W is designed for professional users who need a powerful mobile notebook for working with visualisation and graphic applications. HP uses the most actual mobile technology in combination with a compact case. Its measurements are 35,5 x 26,1 x 2,8 to 3,5 centimetres. Usually a workstation notebook is heavy but even the weight of the 8510W is very low (2,8kg) relating to that type of laptop.

Currently the price of the HP Compaq 8510W notebook is 1900 Euro. There are only a few accessories included in the whole package, like a few sheets giving information about getting started and warranty. No adapters, no Windows XP CD-Rom are included, only a hard disk image which has to be burned on an optical media. But the advantage of that solution is that the necessary applications, like HP ProtectTools and the Security Manager, are pre installed on the laptop.

The lid does not protect the LCD display very much.
The lid does not protect the LCD display very much.

The mobile workstation is designed rather decently. The lid is dark grey and the chassis is black. But the function keys and the pointing stick are highlighted in blue. They are no further striking details besides these colourful accents.

If you take a closer look at the opened notebook you will recognize the small transport hooks on the lid. But even this small hook can keep the display relatively stable closed. There is no problem when adjusting the opening angle of the display because it does not see-saw after adjusting. Still, there exists one negative effect of the lid because it does not protect the LCD display very much. Even little pressure on the back causes failure on the display. But the used materials and the quality of processing of the case are of good quality.

The used materials and the quality of the processing of the upper and lower shell are of good quality compared to other notebooks of that type. The used plastics have a good look and feel. When lifting the HP Compaq 8510W we recognised only a discreet creaking noise of the case.

Ports and connectivity

The HP Compaq offers four quick start buttons which are made of touch-sensitive sensors. They are arranged next to the silver power switch and allow starting the HP Info Centre and the presentation mode. Even switching wireless LAN on or off and adjusting audio volume is possible.

Besides one FireWire, one LAN, a modem, an audio-in and –out, four USB 2.0 ports and a VGA connector, there is also a HDMI-port built in. This port allows connecting the notebook to a modern flat screen, for transferring audio and video signals fully digital and playing HDCP protected media.

The HP Compaq 8510W provides wireless LAN and Bluetooth for wireless communication, for connecting modern peripheral equipment like Bluetooth headsets or mobile phones. One quick start button allows easily switching these features on and off.

HP did not install a modern ExpressCard slot but it is possible to use PCMCIA cards to upgrade the 8510W. The integrated card reader only handles SD cards, no other types of cards like xD-Picture cards or Memory Sticks. 

The HP Compaq 8510W is a real business notebook - used stationary or mobile -  and, therefore, offers additional security features. One port on the bottom of the notebook allows connecting with a docking station. Therefore, the user does not have to plug in every cable all time (when using a dockingstation). The hard disk uses the HP 3D DriveGuard protection which guards it from impacts. An integrated TMP-chip (Trusted Platform Module) and a biometric fingerprint reader protect data against information thieves.

HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD ports - left side
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD ports - left side
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD ports - right side
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD ports - right side

left side: Kensington Lock, Gigabit-LAN, Firewire, HDMI, 2x USB, SD-cardreader, SC-cardreader, PC-Card
back side: battery, power connector, VGA
right side: headphones, micrpohone, 2x USB, optical drive, modem
front side: speakers

Input devices

The keyboard offers a German layout. Furthermore, the size of all keys is standard. All 87 keys are intuitive to use and important ones, like ctrl or delete, are easily to find. The size of every key head is 1,4 x 1,5 centimetres, which is standard. The double spaced enter button has the same size like those used on desktop keyboards.

Every one likes a different key drop and keystroke. We have tested the notebook and even faster typing was possible without problems. Probably those who write a lot will recognize that the left and right side of the keyboard does yield a little bit. Ergonomically positive: the num pad and some function keys are highlighted blue. So it is very easy to find these keys.

The size of the touchpad is standard and measures 6,8 x 3,8 centimetres. The 8510W also offers a pointing stick to navigate the mouse arrow more quickly. Even three buttons to use all mouse functions are integrated. The pointing stick feels quite handy. It navigates the mouse arrow precisely and fast, but the three pointing stick buttons are very noisy during usage. In this case, it is better to use the touchpad buttons for silent working.

Keyboard
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Keyboard
Touchpad
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Touchpad

Display

The installed 15.4-inch display of the HP Compaq 8510W provides a resolution of 1.920 x 1.200 pixel and an image format of 16:10. Normally this type of resolution is found on professional big size screens. So it is possible to view all details, i.e. when using a 3D- or CAD-application. Even HD-movies which use 1080i/1080p resolution can be viewed without loss of quality. The downside of the high resolution, is the small letter and icon size in Windows.

The brightness of the display is a little bit disappointing. When plugged to power the average brightness is only 148cd/m2, which is not very high. Even when unplugged the average brightness drops to low 146cd/m2. One positive feature is that a non-reflecting display is built-in. So it can be easily used at business workstations.

Colour space mains operation
Colour space mains operation
Colour space battery operation
Colour space battery operation
138.2
cd/m²
145.2
cd/m²
123.9
cd/m²
142.2
cd/m²
151.2
cd/m²
132.4
cd/m²
172.5
cd/m²
171.4
cd/m²
153.1
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 172.5 cd/m²
Average: 147.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 72 %

These measured values are not satisfying and subjectively the dispersion of the brightness appears unbalanced. When plugged to power the maximum brightness is measured 172,5cd/m2 on the display (left bottom). The upper right corner only provides a brightness ratio of 123,9cd/m2. This is a difference of 28 percent between those spots. If the 8510W is used unplugged the difference rises up to 30 percent. So the display seems to be blurry especially when a bright desktop background and reduced brightness is used.

But the display has positive features too. The measured contrast ratio is 500:1. Due to the non-reflecting display pictures are shown in a high quality. But the horizontal and vertical viewing angles of the display are not as good as the quality of shown pictures.

Performance

One optical sign of its high performance is a writing which says: mobile workstation. But the HP Compaq 8510W does not talk to big because it uses Intel's most actual Centrino generation Santa Rosa combined with the Mobile Intel 965GM Express chipset.

The strong Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 with 2.40 GHz makes sure that there is enough power for every situation. The T7700 is equipped with 4MB level-2-cache and an 800MHz clocked FSB. That CPU is one of the fastest notebook CPU’s manufactured by Intel, only Intel’s T7800 Core 2 Extreme is faster. So there is no lack of power when working with computationally intensive applications.

HP uses one fast 2048MB DDR2-667 main memory module (PC2-5300). Positive: The second RAM slot is empty. It is easy to expand the memory of the 8510W to its maximum capacity of 4096MB, by opening the cap and plugging in a second RAM module (if possible identical in construction).

CPU-Z-Informations about the HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD
CPU-Z-Informations about the HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD
CPU-Z-Informations about the HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD
CPU-Z-Informations about the HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD
CPU-Z-Informations about the HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD

CPU-Z-Informations about the HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD

Big advantages of a mobile workstation are optimised and accredited drivers to provide maximum performance and power to 3D- or CAD-applications. That's offered only for special product lines by manufacturers, i.e. the Nvidia Quadro FX 570M. That is a middle-class graphic card designed for professional users. It is not a high performance card for 3D rendering but it provides enough power.

The Quadro FX 570M is not suited for PC games, because of its focus on visualisation and graphic applications. Other graphic cards for gaming often provide a higher performance. Who wants to play 3D games should buy another notebook, like the cheaper HP Compaq 8510p. That is its little twin brother and is equipped with an ATI Mobility Radeon X2600, which is optimised on gaming and offers more power while playing.

These are the theoretical facts. After some tests like synthetic benchmarks and gaming tests the Quadro FX 570M shows its real power. In some cases it reaches higher performance as middle-class graphic cards. That is because other powerful components that are installed too. After running the benchmark 3DMark06 it shows 3.904 points – that’s respectable.

Cinebench R10
Crystalmark 2004

Benchmarks running on HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD: Cinebench R10 and Crystalmark 2004.

Cinebench R10
 SettingsValue
 Rendering Single 32Bit2581 Points
 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit4634 Points
 Shading 32Bit4534 Points
Crysis - CPU Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1200High, 0AA, 0AF3 fps
 1920x1200Medium, 0AA, 0AF7.6 fps
 1920x1200Low, 0AA, 0AF24.6 fps
 1680x1050High, 0AA, 0AF5 fps
 1680x1050Medium, 0AA, 0AF9.6 fps
 1680x1050Low, 0AA, 0AF31.5 fps
 1440x900High, 0AA, 0AF7 fps
 1440x900Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF12.4 fps
 1440x900Low, 4AA, 0AF6 fps
Crysis - GPU Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1200High, 0AA, 0AF3 fps
 1920x1200Medium, 0AA, 0AF10.2 fps
 1920x1200Low, 0AA, 0AF27.9 fps
 1680x1050High, 0AA, 0AF5 fps
 1680x1050Medium, 0AA, 0AF12.7 fps
 1680x1050Low, 0AA, 0AF35.4 fps
 1440x900High, 0AA, 0AF7 fps
 1440x900Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF16.7 fps
 1440x900Low, 4AA, 0AF7.7 fps
Doom 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1600x1200ultra, 16AA6.1 fps
 1600x1200ultra, 0AA53.8 fps

F.E.A.R. Benchmark

1600x1200 | 4xAA/16xAF | min. 10 fps | avg. 19 fps | max. 42 fps | less than 25 fps: 81 %
1600x1200 | 0xAA/00xAF | min. 12 fps | avg. 22 fps | max. 39 fps | less than 25 fps: 66 %

1400x1050 | 4xAA/16xAF | min. 12 fps | avg. 24 fps | max. 55 fps | less than 25 fps: 61 %
1400x1050 | 0xAA/00xAF | min. 15 fps | avg. 29 fps | max. 50 fps | less than 25 fps: 27 %

1024x  768 | 4xAA/16xAF | min. 25 fps | avg. 45 fps | max. 103 fps | less than 25 fps: 0 %
1024x  768 | 0xAA/00xAF | min. 32 fps | avg. 49 fps | max.   85 fps | less than 25 fps: 0 %

Visualisation and graphics applications often have to handle an amount of data and a fast hard disk is needed. That is the reason why the Compaq 8510W is equipped with the 7.200rpm fast 120GB SATA-II hard disk ST9120823AS from Segate.

After running the hard disk benchmark HDTune the ST9120823AS reaches an average transfer rate of 46,5 MB/s, That’s a very high value relating to notebook hard disks. Even our referenced hard disk Segate ST910021A was slower when attached to the same interface and reached 43 MB/s.

Another mass storage device which is built in the HP Compaq 8510W is an optical drive. That’s the DVD-RW drive TS-L632M from TSSTcorp. It is possible to burn every type of DVD included double layer media. Even DVD-RAM media, i.e. for backup, can be created. One nice gimmick is the LightScribe feature of the optical drive. That technology utilizes special coated DVD media to produce laser etched texts or graphics.

Disk Management
Disk Management
HDTune
HDTune
DVDInfo
DVDInfo
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE29336 points
3DMark 0312329 points
3DMark 057997 points
3DMark 06
 1280x800
3904 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Asus N10E (min)
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
91
   ...
MSI Megabook GX700
 T7500, GeForce 8600M GT
3608
HP ProBook 6460b LG645EA
 2520M, HD Graphics 3000
3753
HP Compaq 8510w
 T7700, Quadro FX 570M
3904
Dell XPS M1530
 T7250, GeForce 8600M GT
4223
HP Pavilion dv5-1032eg
 P7350, GeForce 9600M GT
4390
   ...
Samsung Serie 7 700Z3C-S01 (max)
 3210M, GeForce GT 630M
9346
PC Mark
PCMark 055641 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31Z.G4
 T8300, GeForce 8600M GS
5590
Acer Aspire 5930G-864G32MN
 P8600, GeForce 9600M GT
5628
HP Compaq 8510w
 T7700, Quadro FX 570M
5641
Samsung Aura P8400 Madril
 P8400, GeForce 9600M GT
5676
Clevo mySN M570RU
 T8100, GeForce 8800M GTX
5677
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
120 GB - 7200 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 30.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 58.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 46.5 MB/s
Access Time: 14.1 ms
Burst Rate: 86.9 MB/s
CPU Usage: 1.1 %

Emissions

Loudness

The noise emissions of the HP Compaq 8510W are fair relating to that type of notebook. When running energy-saving or idle mode the noise level reaches only 36,3 dB(A), measured at a range of 10 centimetres. That will bother only very sensitive persons.

Even the fast 7.200 rpm Segate hard disk won’t call attention to its noise level because it reaches only 37,0 dB(A). When playing a video DVD the noise level rises up to 41 dB(A) which is audible. When searching, starting or stopping a DVD the highest noise level at 47,5 dB(A) was measured. Positive: We did not detect any high-frequency cheeping like the Matshita UJ-852S did.

If the HP Compaq runs under full load much heat has to be transported out and the user can hear the fans spinning. That’s because of the powerful components which are installed. The average maximum noise level reaches 43,5 dB(A) which is average for notebooks of that type. Therefore the 8510W is not the most silent notebook when running full load.

Noise Level

Idle 35.6 / 35.9 / 36.3 dB(A)
HDD 37.0 dB(A)
DVD 40.5 / 47.5 dB(A)
Load 42.9 / 43.5 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The temperature behaviour of our powerful Core 2 Duo notebook is not disappointing neither when running performance benchmarks nor while doing office work. Despite its powerful components the level of temperature is acceptable compared with notebooks of the same type.

The maximum temperature of the 8510W is measured while under full load at the upper shell. The left area where to put the heel of hand shows a temperature of 41,3 degrees Celsius. The upper right spot of the keyboard is the coldest area of the notebook, 27,2 degrees were gauged there. 35 degrees was the average temperature of the whole notebook, even when calculating. The 8510W stays cool despite its high power modules.

The maximum temperature of the lower shell was 42,0 degrees Celsius and was gauged at the spot under area where to put the left heel of hand. The right border of the battery slot was the coldest spot of the 8510W. We measured 29,6 degrees at that area. To summarise the facts, the HP Compaq 8510W is a notebook which does not attract the users attention to its temperature.

Max. Load
 37.4 °C38.3 °C31.1 °C 
 37.7 °C40.1 °C27.2 °C 
 41.3 °C32.5 °C29.6 °C 
Maximum: 41.3 °C
Average: 35 °C
25.8 °C34.2 °C36.1 °C
28.1 °C39.6 °C39.9 °C
29.1 °C42.0 °C41.9 °C
Maximum: 42.0 °C
Average: 35.2 °C

Battery runtime

Due to the used high power components the expected battery runtime should not be very high. The 8510W needs average 22,0 watt in idle mode with activated power saving techniques and dimmed display. If the display brightness is turned up to its maximum, then the power consumption rises to 27,0 watt. Wireless LAN needs 2,1 watt more, so the consumption of electricity grows up to 29,1 watt.

The Compaq 8510W uses only 33,4 watts in idle mode. As soon as the notebook switches to full load that’s over. For example when using 3D benchmarks, the power consumption explodes, and grows to 76 watt. It needs four watt more while playing F.E.A.R (80 watt), and reaches its maximum consumption of electricity of 87 watt while playing the Crysis-demo.

The average runtime using the standard battery (73Wh)as well as maximum brightness, turned on WLAN, and surfing through the internet is 2 hours and 35 minutes. When running full load the runtime shrinks to less than an hour.

Power Consumption

Idle 22.0 / 27.0 / 29.1 Watt
Load 54.7 / 87.0 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 45min
WiFi Surfing
2h 35min
DVD
2h 02min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 59min

Additional batteries

If professional users want to work with the HP Compaq 8510W for a whole day without plugging it to power then they can use additional high performance batteries - PB993ET and EJ092AA. Both of the batteries can be docked to the HP and offer much more power than the standard batteries. The additional battery gets attached to the lower shell of the 8510W. Therefore, the notebook is positioned more ergonomically. For example: Writing longer texts is more relaxing.

The EJ092AA (12-cell-battery) is the top-of-the line model and offers 95Wh (!) and a 65 watt smart power supply. That enables recharging the battery even when it is not plugged to the notebook.

Verdict

The HP Compaq 8510W is a solid and strong mobile workstation, built for professional users who work with visualisation and graphic applications. Beside its high overall performance the 8510W is built solid and offers meaningful operating and security solutions.

The 8510W is used in practice as mobile workstation, due to its powerful Core 2 Duo T7700 CPU and the professional graphic card FX 570M. It is possible to use the notebook for professional tasks just as well as standard office work.

Even the whole equipment of the HP Compaq 8510W is of a good quality. The fast hard disk points the high power of the notebook. The professional side is backed up by useful equipment, i.e. the integrated TMP-chip or an HDMI-port as well as comprehensive optional accessory like docking stations.

There are also details which have to be improved. For example a recovery CD, software- and driver-CD’s should be included in delivery. Even a more homogenous illumination level of the display is on our wish list.

HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD


Thanks to Planet Notebook, who kindly gave us the test notebook. You can configure and buy the notebook here .

Review: HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD notebook - made availible by:
Review: HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD notebook - made availible by:

Specifications

HP Compaq 8510w

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel PM965
:: Memory
2048 MB, Samsung M4 70T5669AZ0-CE6, PC2-5300, max. 4 GByte, 1x 2048 MB built in, second RAM slot is empty
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M - 256 MB, Core: 513 MHz, Memory: 702 MHz, Nvidia Quadro FX mobile workstation product line, optimised driver for CAD-, DCC- and visualisation applications, memory interface 128bit, memory bandwith 22.4 GB/s, shader model 4.0. GDDR3 memory
:: Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 1920x1200 pixel, Panel: Samsung LTN154U2, WUXGA, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
120 GB - 7200 rpm, 120 GB 7200 rpm ST9120823AS, SATA-II-interface, 8 MB cache
:: Soundcard
Analog Devices AD1981 HD Audio
:: Connections
1 PC-Card, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Modem, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: stereo microphone in, stereo headphone/line out, Card Reader: SD card reader,
:: Networking
Intel 82566MM Gigabit Network Connection (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN (a b g n ), 1 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
TSSTcorp DVD-RAM DVD +/-R TS-L632M LightScribe
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29 x 356 x 260
:: Weight
2.81 kg Power Supply: 0.348 kg
:: Battery
73 Wh Lithium-Ion, 14,4 volt, 8 cells
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Professional 32 Bit
:: Additional features
36 Months Warranty, 3 year warranty pickup- and bring-in-service, no recovery- and software media included, no additional adapters and cables i.e. for modem included

 

The HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD is a compact mobile workstation mit ,...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...even the volume control is a touch-sensitive button.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
The resolution of the 15,4"-LC display is 1.920 x 1.200 pixel,...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...the inhomogenous backlight of the display is dissapointing.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
Positive: Due to the non-reflecting display pictures are shown in a high quality.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
On the lower shell there are two caps...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...one for upgrading RAM, one for getting to the hard disk.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
The DDRII-667-module is sized 2048MB,...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...HPs 3D DriveGuard protects the hard disk against vibrations.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
The 8510W provides a 73Wh recharchable battery.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
There are dockable batteries availible optionally to provide longer battery runtimes.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
The quick start buttons are made of touch-sensitive sensors,...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
A pointing stick is provieded for navigating the mouse arrow.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
Security features are the integrated finger print reader and the TPM-Chip.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...qood quality of preocessing and provides much power.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
No recovery media and no large accessories are shipped with this professional notebook - what a shame.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
The mobile workstation is designed rather decently. The lid is dark grey and the chassis is black,...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...The used materials and the quality of the processing of the notebook are of good quality.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
Even the parts of the chassis are of good quality.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
The transport hooks of the 8510W are smooth-running,...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...when tilting or bending the display see-saws a little bit.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
The ports of the 8510W are placed functionally correct,...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...the big and bright status-LEDs can be read off,...
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
...really good, even when its bright or dark.
HP Compaq 8510W GC115EA#ABD Image
During the test the compact power supply got very warm.

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HP Compaq 8510w on Ciao

Pro

+moderate weight
+useful tools
+pointing stick
+HDMI-port
+extreme high resolution
+beamless display
+brillinace and colour neutrality
+high CPU- and graphic performance
+fast hard disk
 

Cons

-no recovery media
-no ExpressCard-slot
-inhomogenous brightness
-high price

HP Compaq 8510w
11/27/2007
Ronald Tiefenthäler

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
90%
Weight
78%
Battery
72%
Display
80%
Games Performance
94%
Application Performance
98%
Temperature
81%
Noise
73%
Add Points
92%
Average
84%
85%
Multimedia *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review HP Compaq 8510W Notebook
Author: Ronald Tiefenthäler, 2007-12-17 (Update: 2013-06- 6)