First impressions of HP Star Wars Special Edition 15 – where the Dark Side of The Force isn’t a bad thing

Not long ago we did a preview on one unique notebook from HP, that we promised we’ll review as soon as we lay our hands on. Well we now have HP Pavilion Star Wars Edition and we’re starting off with our first impressions of the laptop. The machine caused a disturbance in us right from the unpacking. Continue reading to see why.

You can take a look at the notebook and the available configurations at Amazon.com.

Design

As we already mentioned, you can sense that the machine is leaning to the Dark Side of the force, straight out of the box. At first glance, the packaging of the 15-inch notebook seemed a lot bigger than other models with the same size and we found out why, shortly after we opened it.

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Aside from the machine itself, we found a smaller box that contains the battery, AC adapter and charging cable. Both the smaller and bigger boxes, have unique Sith design language – the first one features Darth Vader, while the second one – Kylo Ren. After removing the notebook from the box we found another “hint” from HP. The styrofoam, protecting the device from scratches and other types of damage, is shaped like Darth Vader’s TIE advanced fighter with which he tries to protect the Death Star in Episode IV.


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Immediately after taking the notebook out of the box we noticed that the lid doesn’t collect any fingerprints or smudges, which is great news. We should also note that HP’s logo is glossy and is located at the center of the lid. Speaking of, it looks as if it has taken a couple of hits from lightsabers and perhaps some unimaginably lucky shots from the Stormtroopers’s laser guns (well that’s a first). When we first opened the notebook we were kind of disappointed by the keyboard’s LED backlight brightness but it didn’t even shine one bit. The bright side of it was that it just wasn’t turned on. The F5 button turns on the backlight, which definitely contributes to the overall dark and aggressive appearance of the machine.


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Software and hardware

The notebook comes in various configurations but the one we got boasts Intel’s 6th gen Core i5-6200U and NVIDIA’s GeForce 940M graphics card. Anyway, when we opened the smaller box, where the battery lies, we noticed that its capacity isn’t that big and we’re eager to see how it will fair in our battery tests.

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You have to arm yourself with a lot of patience when first launching the machine. The notebook has a lot of software features pre-installed. It took us somewhere around 15 minutes of waiting and clicking “I agree” windows until we were finally able to fully enjoy the laptop. Anyway, it was definitely worth the wait. Right from the “Welcome” screen we noticed the unique skin of the Recycle Bin. Its icon looks like the Death Star and the first thing we did was to open it and search for some of Emperor Palpatine’s remains, but sadly – we couldn’t find any.

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Slightly below the Recycle Bin, we found another great software addition – one that we already talked about in our preview article of the model. The Command Center allows you to assign different sound effects to various tasks. Moreover, you can also change between various themes to make your desktop screen suit you better. If you leave the notebook idle and you enjoy a variety of uniquely selected screensavers. Other interesting icons, which you’ll find on the machine, are the Star Wars Library, Star Wars Comics, and the Star Wars Trailers theme packs. So if you’re ever feeling nostalgic for the Saga, you can always watch all of its trailers, including the last two from Episode VII.

You can expect our full in-depth review on the model in the near future, where we’ll take a closer look at the design and construction, display, software and hardware capabilities, battery life and temperatures.

Specs sheet

CPU
  • Intel Core i5-6200U (2-core, 2.30 – 2.80 GHz, 3MB cache)
RAM
  • 6GB (1x 2048MB + 1x 4096MB) – DDR3, 1600Mhz
  • 8GB (2x4096MB) DDR3 1600MHz
GPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce 940M (2GB DDR3)
HDD/SSD
  • 1TB HDD (5400 rpm)
Display
  • 15.6-inch (39.62 cm.) – 1920×1080 (Full HD), matte
Optical drive DVD writer
Connectivity LAN 10/100 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth
Features
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • built-in HD web camera
  • built-in microphone
  • B&O PLAY with 2 loudspeakers
  • keyboard LED backlight
  • HDMI
  • Kensington MicroSaver security slot
  • RJ-45
  • memory card reader
Battery 4-cell, 41Wh
Weight 2244 grams (battery included)

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