HP DV2000T versus Lenovo Thinkpad T61: an unlikely comparison

My experience with then IBM owned Thinkpad T43P was horrible. It was perhaps the noisiest laptop in the world: its fan sounded like a tractor, and to make things worse, the hard drive also span with grating noises. I ended up returning the $1500 T43P, and hated Thinkpad for a long time.

Why compare DV2000T with a Thinkpad T61?

Abhorred by the noisy Thinkpad, I opted for a HP DV2000T and liked it. But I have to admit that I still secretly want a Thinkpad despite my suffering with T43P. Honestly, I miss its sturdy feel though I hate its raucousness. My sister needs on laptop for her accounting business, so I persuaded her to get a Thinkpad T61 and did a fresh reinstallation of Windows XP on it.

Now I have the chance to compare these two lappies side by side, even though T61 is a generation younger than DV2000T.

Delights of T61

  • The noise is gone on this new model of Thinkpad with integrated graphic card. It is very quiet and the fan is just inaudible. In comparison, my DV2000T is loud.
  • T61 is barely warm. My DV2000T has a dedicated Nvidia Go 7200 graphic card, and it gets hot even for normal use (the CPU temperature hovers around 51 degrees centigrade).
  • T61 certainly wins by its handy features, such as keyboard light and ThinkVantage. DV2000T (perhaps all HP DV series) is disappointing in this aspect.

What are the features I like about T61?

  • Keyboard Light. Users can easily find the keys in dark environment.
  • Liquid Drainage. If by accident, users poured some liquid on the keyboard, the small drainage holes on the keyboard will channel the liquid to the bottom of the laptop.
  • Hard Drive Encryption. Even the drive is taken out and placed on another computer, the data on the encrypted hard drive is still encrypted.
  • More Control over CMOS Settings. The BIOS interface of T61 offers far more options than DV2000T, providing users with more control over their laptop.
  • The international standard two-pin power plug. HP’s power adapter uses America compatible three-pin plug and I have to use a converter to use it in China. Also, T61’s power adapter is lighter than the HP’s.
  • UltraNav (trackpoint) increases productivity. It takes extra time and movement to reach for the touchpad or a connected USB mouse on DV2000T.
  • Useful software. ThinkVantage Active Protection System suspends the hard drive on detection of sudden movement. Power Manager is designed to prolong the battery life, and Battery Miser can rejuvenate the failing battery. HP just offers a pathetic Battery Check to tell you the unavoidable demise of your battery and allure you into order a new one.

HP Battery Check is a pathetic joke when compared to Lenovo Power Manager for Thinkpad

Dislikes about T61

  • The screen lid can’t be tightly latched to the base. There is a thin space between the cover and the base even the cover is latched. A design flaw or a design feature?
  • The top cover to be exact, bulges a little in the center. The top cover should be completely flush and flat, but when being felt by hand, the top cover rises in the central area. What is hidden underneath it?

The moral?

  • A laptop with an integrated graphic card is preferred than the one with dedicated graphic card. An integrated card means less battery drainage, less noise and less heat.
  • Choose quietness and portability over horse power.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect laptop, though T61 is very impressive.
  • No, I have no interests in Macbook. Linux and Thinkpad make a perfect match.

11 Replies to “HP DV2000T versus Lenovo Thinkpad T61: an unlikely comparison”

  1. I wonder if they have improved the hard drive’s noise insulation. I have a 2007 Thinkpad T61 and when the hard disk is in use, it is noticeably noisier than my MacBook Pro. Build quality is lower too — the plastic chassis flexes noticeably more. And — known problem — sometimes some of the LCD backlight leaks out through the right edge of the screen.

  2. Hi Michel,

    Looks like you are Mac fan. I have little experience with Mac Book, so I can’t compare the noise level of the two machines. Price-wise, Macbook is more expensive and should be better built. I personally feel Thinkpad is fine in its build quality, not excellent but good.

    For the T61 I used, there is no noises from the hard drive or the CPU fan, unlike the tractor-sounding T43P I previously owned.

    By the way, I couldn’t access your site. It just couldn’t load. It would be interesting to see your site.

  3. Hi thinkweird,

    Ah, lucky you then. My Thinkpad’s hard drive makes noticeable noises whenever the computer is actively in use. Then again, so do my external hard drives, and most other peripherals. The exceptions are rather rare — Apple notebooks tend to be quiet (though, as you rightly pointed out, expensive. And the sharp edges are bad design features. the MBP is better designed, but even more expensive. And let’s forget the MBA). The Dell XPS laptops are quiet too, but again, cost a bit more.

    I use my Jaiku address when posting on other blogs, as it aggregates the online services I use (Last.fm, StumbleUpon, etc.). They brought it down for maintenance for a few days, but should now be back up.

  4. Still can’t visit Jaiku after repeated attempts. My guess is that it is again blocked by the super Firewall. Will try to visit it using a VPN connection and see what you are writing about. Cheers.

  5. Wow, that’s annoying. Ah, you’re based in China, of course. Well, there’s hircus.wordpress.com for the technical stuff — not updated that often — and salimma.stumbleupon.com for my collection of random web scrapes. Would be interesting to know if they are blocked too. The problem with using hosted services is they fall prey to blanket IP bans.

  6. So you are using Fedora. Interesting. I was a long time Debian fan but now I didn’t use Linux much as an end user. Still interested in learning to be an administrator, and I will post voluminous stuff on Linux server setup when I am free.

    You said “And let’s forget the MBA”. Do you mean MBP or are you a MBA major?

  7. MBA = MacBook Air. Has the sharpest surface of any laptop I’ve seen.

    I’m actually a computer science grad student — as an aside, I find economics interesting, but management, not so much!

  8. Thank you, I think I can get a replacement at a cheaper price in China. HP Pavilion DV2000 is a decent laptop, but I am afraid I won’t buy from HP for my next laptop.

    Perhaps it is because I have a dedicated graphic card, it is very hot and noisy.

    1. I can only tell you my experience with T61 which has an integrated card:

      It is very quiet and barely warm. I guess the temp is below 45 degrees centigrade while my HP DV2000T can easily run run up to 60 degrees.

      It is highly recommended that you buy a lappy with an built-in graphic card unless you have specific needs for a dedicated one.

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