We knew the Return of the Merch was going to be overwhelming ahead of the December release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but even we didn’t see this one coming. HP is getting together with Disney to create a special edition Star Wars notebook to celebrate the movie’s premiere, including design details and something picked up from Jabba the Hutt’s notebook scrap heap — an optical drive.
I guess we know what side of the Force HP falls on, because there’s only one design available and it comes down firmly on the dark side. ‘Galactic Empire’ is written in Star Wars-y font across the hinge, while Stormtroopers keep watch over the keyboard deck. Red backlighting on the keyboard pretty much seals the deal. Apparently the trackpad has been done up like an X-Wing targeting computer, though, so I don’t know what’s up with that. Which side are you guys on, anyway?
Quickly becoming an afterthought in the notebook market, the optical drive makes an appearance to ensure that you can watch your Star Wars movies in disc form. To make you want to do that, HP has included dual speakers and Bang & Olufsen Play audio tuning to make for a solid entertainment experience without the need for peripherals.
The notebook is also loaded with Star Wars extras of the sort you might expect out of a promotional flash drive (which is kind of what this notebook’s hard drive is). There are Star Wars icons and themes loaded with wallpapers, screen savers, and sound effects. The notebook also comes stocked with a huge 1,100 image gallery filled with old movie posters, art, photos from the set, costume designs, comic book art, and the like. You also get freebies like the first issue of the Marvel Star Wars comic book and e-book excerpts, along with movie trailers.
Strip away all the promo material and you still have a decent notebook. It has a 15.6″ display, a 6th generation Intel Core processor (i5 or i7), up to 12 GB of RAM, up to 2 TB of HDD storage, and your choice of Intel integrated graphics or a discrete NVIDIA GeForce 940M GPU, a fair mid-tier mobile GPU from the GeForce line.
The HP Star Wars Special Edition notebook will be available online and in some stores on November 8, with preorders starting online on October 8. The notebook will start at $700 and will include a one-year Fandor membership, a subscription-based independent film streaming and hosting service. If you want to round out the Star Wars notebook experience, you can also buy a Star Wars wireless mouse and notebook sleeve for $40 each.