The Force Is With HP in New 'Star Wars' Notebook

Collectors -- especially Millennials who grew up with the movie series -- will be impressed with the details that have been incorporated into this set.

Hewlett-Packard, a company with a stodgy image that could use a little whimsicality, has found a measure of fun by hooking up with Lucasfilm Ltd. on its next "Star Wars" movie.

How does a tech company like HP get involved commercially with a movie opening, outside of perhaps concocting a few connective television and Web commercials? Simple: By packaging one of its new Windows 10 notebook PCs as a special "Star Wars" edition.

At a conference in Barcelona Oct. 7, HP unveiled its Star Wars Special Edition notebook ahead of the Dec. 18 release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The company previewed a 15.6-inch version of the laptop -- which becomes available Nov. 8 -- that's made to look like it has been bouncing around inside the Millennium Falcon or a tie fighter for a couple of years (see photo).

The special edition notebook has a battle-worn "distressed" design with "Galactic Empire" written in the unique Star Wars Aurebesh font on the hinge and iconic Stormtroopers on the keyboard deck. The touchpad design mirrors the X-Wing Star Fighter Guidance System and the red backlit keyboard completes the dark side-style design.

Even the protective packaging material is shaped like the front of a starship. Collectors -- namely Millennials who grew up with the George Lucas-created movie series -- will be impressed with the details that have been incorporated into this set.

The Particulars

Here are some specs:

--HP claims the Star Wars Special Edition notebook gets up to seven hours of battery life. That equates to a pretty long distance if one is doing hyper speed.

--It comes with full HD and optional touch screen in a 15.6-inch diagonal display.

--Users have the choice of high-end, sixth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

--The notebook comes with up to 2TB of hard disk drive storage and up to 12GB of random-access memory.

--Users have the option to choose between Intel HD Graphics 520 and NVIDI GeForc 940M graphics processors.

--It comes with a special optical drive for users to enjoy all their "Star Wars" and other movies. Audio is powered by B&O Play and features dual speakers.

--Users can enhance their "Star Wars" Special Edition with an optional Star Wars Special Edition Wireless Mouse and a Star Wars Special Edition Sleeve.

The notebook also has some specialized themed software aboard. Users can click on the Imperial Cog desktop icon to be taken to the "Star Wars Command Center" for browsing the notebook's Themes and Galleries. Users will have access to content collections with more than 1,100 images spanning 40 years of "Star Wars" history. Content includes extraordinary behind-the-scenes images, storyboards, artwork, classic photos, set and costume designs, and audio selections.

Themes offer customizability with sound, wallpaper and screensaver collections. This gives customers the option to replace the standard Windows notification sounds with eight categories of iconic Star Wars sounds, including R2-D2 and lightsaber. Users can choose wallpapers including planetary collections based on movie stills to truly create their own experience.

Plenty of Star Wars Content Aboard

Galleries host several categories for customers to explore Star Wars content. Customers can view original movie posters in Collections or explore the Concept Art section to view Lucasfilm art that guided movie development including early ideas on characters, costumes and settings. Illustrated Art celebrates Star Wars with artwork from black and whites to comic book art.

The Star Wars notebook includes several more features to enhance the customer experience. This includes access to the first Marvel Star Wars comic in the series, e-book excerpts from select Star Wars titles and Star Wars movie trailers. All features can be easily found on the desktop.

Fans of the movie series will appreciate added Star Wars nuances on the notebook. The Aurebesh font allows customers to type in Galactic Base Standard language for an engaging Star Wars experience. The Aurebesh font is located with other standard fonts in the font library. Another nod to Star Wars includes replacing the Recycle Bin with a Death Star icon–not destroyed when empty and destroyed when full.

Buyers of the Star Wars notebook will receive a free one-year membership (valued at $90) to Fandor, a subscription movie viewing service and social video sharing platform. Customers will have access to a handpicked collection of the most talked-about independent films from around the world.

Pricing and Availability

The Star Wars Special Edition notebook, which starts at $700, is expected to be available in the U.S. on Nov. 8, 2015 at this Web site and select retailers, HP said. Users can pre-order it now. The Star Wars wireless mouse and Star Wars Special Edition Sleeve (both retail for $40) will be available "soon," the company said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...