So it makes sense that we would be smitten with a notebook that is packed to the brim with Star Wars references.
The short answer is that we weren’t but the longer answer that follows explains why.
HP Star Wars Edition 15 notebook: Look into your soul
We don’t often talk about packaging and packing material but the box and foam that the Star Wars Edition notebook ships in is a really good quality. We’ve given HP bonus points for making the foam look like a TIE fighter.
The exterior of the notebook is really well done, the print looks like it will last a while and the red accent lighting is a nice touch. There’s also an inscription in Arabesh, we took the time to translate it and we’ll give you infinite geek points if you can as well.
You’ll find a set of USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI connector, a LAN port, SD card reader, Kingston lock, DVD drive and power port on the sides of the notebook.
HP Star Wars Edition 15 notebook: Do or do not, there is no try
Inside the notebook is an Intel Core i5 6200 U CPU with a base clock speed of 2.3GHz, our review sample was running at 2.4GHz. There is also 6GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive.
In a Cinebench R15 benchmark test where the CPU is stressed we got a score of 274cb. To put this into perspective, a gaming notebook clocks in at 702cb. So for twice the price of this notebook you’ll get almost three times the performance.
The GPU here is an Intel HD 520 which is less than ideal for gaming. Clock speeds are rated at 300MHz at the GPU core and 800MHz on the GPU memory.
“Why mention gaming, this isn’t even a gaming notebook”, you might say. Well, to a degree you are correct but let’s think about the average Star Wars fan that uses a PC. Would it be so wrong to assume that they play games now and then? We don’t think so.
And that is where the confusion begins.
This is a pretty good notebook for a working professional. The physical HDD storage aside, the notebook boots quickly and performance when using Office apps, a bit of photo editing and multitasking is good. The glaring problem here is that unless you’re in a creative environment, this notebook is going to stick out like sore thumb.
HP Star Wars Edition 15 notebook: The force is within, the battery
Our marathon battery test which involves a video played on loop continously with Wifi switched on, sound at 50%, battery saver switched off, and screen brightness at 75% gave us 15 minutes shy of four hours which is actually not bad.
Results may vary between users especially in terms of the screen brightness, we found that at 100% the brightness was just about comfortable indoors but struggled in sunlight.
Juicing the battery back up to full again takes just two and a half hours, which is relatively fast. Good work HP.
HP Star Wars Edition 15 notebook: Display
Having a Full HD (1920x1080p) 15 inch display means that at least the image on screen looks good and the fact that its an IPS panel means that viewing angles are as you good as you can get on a notebook these days. As we’ve already mentioned, the display could have been a bit brighter, especially given how badly it suffers outdoors.
The display lid itself feels very flimsy and bends quite a lot, more than we would like to see at this pricing point. Even when the notebook is closed the lid has way to much give and we were too scared to put it into our notebook backpack for fear of damaging it.
HP Star Wars Edition 15 notebook: Extras
HP has packed a lot of Star Wars content into this notebook. There are custom icons, all six trailers, stills from the original trilogy, the other trilogy and even a few from The Force Awakens. To be honest though, you could just search Google, or YouTube for similar content.
By far the coolest part is the screen savers, you can select lightsaber battles or moments from the Hoth battle.
Some of the features are bit hit or miss. The custom sounds are extremely confusing. Was that TIE fighter firing a good thing? Was that Kylo Ren lightsaber sound effect supposed to mean my document saved?
You can switch these back in the control panel but we’d prefer it if HP just left notification sounds as they were, for ease of use sakes.
HP Star Wars Edition 15 notebook: The epic conclusion
Our question is, who is this notebook aimed at. Our first thought given the specifications was business people. That said, we can’t see this being pulled out with much confidence at an annual general meeting.
What about the arty types then? We don’t think they’d get a kick out of this either because you can get a Star Wars skin for a Macbook that you might like better.
The only person we can see buying this notebook is a collector. That said though the rate at which technology devalues makes it something we’d rather not spend that amount of money in hopes that one day we get 100 times the worth back.
We’re not going to recommend this notebook, the price is too high for the specs and besides the Star Wars extras it leaves us feeling more like Jar-Jar Binks just had his way with us than the sense that we’ve defeated the Empire.