HP awakens a new Star Wars Special Edition laptop
With Star Wars mania hitting “Phantom Menace”-like levels of hype during the runup to “The Force Awakens,” it’s no surprise that Star Wars branding is turning up everywhere. And while many fans have adorned their laptops and desktop PCs with Star Wars stickers and decals before, this is the first fully branded Star Wars laptop we’ve seen.
The HP Star Wars Special Edition Notebook is a specially designed take on the well-known HP Pavilion series of mainstream laptops. Under custom art covering nearly the entire chassis is a standard HP Pavilion 15-inch laptop. It may not be the most exciting or high-end laptop HP offers, but the mainstream components and plastic construction also help keep the cost down to a reasonable level for fans.
From the outside, however, it looks very little like a standard HP laptop. The company describes it as a battle-worn, distressed design. It’s clearly a Dark Side system, with Darth Vader, stormtroopers and other Star Wars bad guys featured on the system’s box, back cover and interior tray. Interestingly, there is no Light Side counterpart — it’s evil all the way, with the only nod to the Rebels coming from a background image below the touchpad, showing an X-Wing guidance system readout (like the one Luke Skywalker turns off while traversing the Death Star trenches).
Included on the hard drive is a collection of images and assets from the 40-year history of Star Wars, including a databank of 1,100 images, plus Star Wars Windows themes, icons and sounds (for example, the recycle bin has a Death Star icon).
The Star Wars system has a 1,920×1,080 15.6-inch display, with touch as an option. Processors are from Intel’s current sixth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 family. RAM can go up to 12GB and storage up to 2TB of HDD space. Like other 2015 HP laptops, the speakers carry a Bang & Olufsen logo, which means the Danish audio company provided audio-tuning feedback on HP’s in-house designs.
This isn’t a gaming system, which is a bit of an odd choice, but you can add some midlevel optional graphics to it, topping out at the Nvidia GeForce 940M GPU. That’s good enough for low-to-medium settings for most current games, but not what you’ll want for something demanding like the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront game.
The Star Wars Special Edition Notebook starts at $699 in the US. It can be preordered on October 8, and it ships November 8, with international price and availability details to follow. (The US price converts to around £460 or AU$970.)