Star Wars fans, this is the notebook you are looking for
Hands-on with the HP Star Wars Special Edition notebook
**Updated 24/12/15**: This notebook was covered earlier on 4th November, but we are bringing it up to your attention as it is a great notebook to have if you are a big fan of Star Wars. The notebook is now available in all major retail stores.
A Star Wars notebook for fans, by fans
With Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens just a month away, Star Wars mania is running high and fans are understandably excited. To tie in with the movie, HP has just announced that its new Star Wars Special Edition notebook is ready for pre-order and will also go on sale soon. So let’s see if this notebook is indeed The Chosen One.
Folks sympathetic with the plight of the Rebels might want to turn away at this point because HP’s Star Wars notebook’s allegiance lies firmly with the Empire. The notebook comes decked in dark graphics and has Darth Vader on the display’s back panel. Lift the display open and the Empire theme continues with an image of a Stormtrooper on the bottom right. The keyboard’s keycaps are black and they have red backlights. Overall, I think it’s tastefully done. I imagine Darth Vader would be impressed.
But that’s not all, HP has gone the whole nine yards and have preloaded the hard disk in the notebook with over 1,100 images of Star Wars concept art, behind the scenes photos, models, set designs, costumes and more. The notebook has also been customized with Star Wars sounds and wallpapers. For example, the recycle bin is an icon of the Death Star, and inserting and removing your USB drive will cause the notebook to beep and bloop like a droid. It also comes with a matching Star Wars notebook sleeve that has a large print of a Stormtrooper on it. There’s also a matching special edition Star Wars wireless mouse. It doesn’t do anything special, but there’s Darth Vader on it.
But what really impressed me was that even the styrofoam holders that secure the notebook safely in the box comes in the shape of a TIE fighter. The attention to detail is simply stunning and was clearly the work of people who truly love Star Wars.
What’s not so fantastic, however, are the specifications of the notebook. You see, underneath all the fancy graphics, icons and sounds is a Pavilion notebook. Now the Pavilion is HP’s mainstream range of notebooks and the specifications of the Star Wars notebook is a little pedestrian.
Ok, so here are the key specifications:
- 15.6-inch Full-HD IPS display (1920 x 1080 pixels)
- Intel Core i5-6200U (2.3GHz, 3MB L3 cache)
- 8GB DDR3L RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 940M
- 1TB 5400rpm HDD
As you can see, the Star Wars Special Edition notebook isn’t really powerful nor cut out for serious gaming, despite what its looks might suggest. Still, it’s a decent enough notebook for casual users and for the occasional game of Dota 2. There's a good smattering of ports, including two USB 3.0 ports and a single USB 2.0 port, and even an Ethernet jack. There's also a DVD combo drive which should come in handy for fans to watch their Star Wars DVDs. It also supports Wireless 802.11ac standard, but it's using a 1x1 antenna based wireless card, which means throughput speeds of up to 433Mbps only.
On the upside, the HP Star Wars Special Edition notebook is priced at S$1299 which is reasonable considering the amount of Star Wars swag that comes with it (the Star Wars sleeve is included). It goes on sale soon and we were told that it should be available from this weekend or next week onwards at most major retailers. If you're interested be quick, we were also informed that there are only about 400 units in Singapore. The special edition Star Wars mouse is sold separately will be available later this month.
At this point, I can hear naysayers going, "Big deal, we can customize our notebooks to look like this too." Of course you can, and while you are at it, you could also customize Windows with Star Wars wallpapers and sound effects too. But remember folks, this is an official Star Wars licensed merchandise. And for some people, that's worth something.