HP Turns to the Dark Side with Star Wars Notebook

Seemingly scavenged from the wreckage of the second Death Star, HP's new laptop brings darkside disciples the battle-scarred Stars Wars chassis they've been waiting for. This exclusive Stars Wars Special Edition Notebook started out life as a regular 15-inch HP Pavilion, but has since received a full Stormtroper-like makeover and now stands as a shining example of the Empire. It starts at just $699 with an Intel 6th Gen Core i5 or i7 CPU, up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of storage, an optional Nvidia Geforce 940M graphics card and your usual assortment of USB 3.0 and HDMI ports. But who cares about the specs when the system looks so sinister?

I got a chance to go hands-on with the Star Wars Special Edition Notebook at one of the Empire’s secret bases, and was really impressed by its attention to detail. Before you even get to the laptop itself, the protective foam cradling the system was designed to look like Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter Advanced x1 from A New Hope and the cardboard box holding the power brick features a display worthy print of Emperor’s right hand man.

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Then you get to the system’s exterior, which features a distressed look as if it came straight from the battlefield.

Inside, there's more of the war torn paint job enhanced by a Stormtrooper taking aim in the lower right corner and a keyboard backlit in dark side red. The one peculiar design choice is the touchpad, which features a silhouette of the targeting system from an X-wing instead of something a little more imperial.

But a lot of the magic isn’t revealed until you turn the system on. HP has customized the notebook to deliver a top to bottom Star Wars experience featuring a complete interface overhaul in Windows 10 and over 30GB of pre-loaded Star Wars content. Disney has provided authentic sound effects so that when you unplug a USB drive from the laptop, you can hear R2-D2 screaming from the Bang & Olufsen speakers like he just took a hit from a Tie Fighter. Better yet, all of the sounds and effects are customizable, so you can setup the system with your favorite sounds and themes from the movies (or disable them if you're suffering from sensory overload). You can even change the font to Aurebesh, assuming you can understand it.

The other content that comes on the machine includes digital copies of the original comics from the 70’s, storyboards from the movies, behind-the-scenes photos and more. Also bundled with the system is a one-year subscription to Fandor, which is a subscription movie viewing service with a regular price of $90.

Accessories for the laptop include a Special Edition wireless mouse and protective sleeve ($40 each), which have also received the same exterior treatment as the laptop.

For those itching to join the dark side, pre-orders start October 8 from HP or Best Buy with full availability a month later on November 8.