HP Notebook Can Apparently Shield Soldiers From Enemy Fire

We get a lot of complaints from readers about their HP computers and the company’s customer service. But one person who won’t be complaining is the U.S. soldier whose HP notebook took six bullets intended for him.

The soldier who sent these images to HP was stationed in Afghanistan when he came under enemy fire. Two bullets hit his shoulder but the other six bullets that hit him were stopped by the notebook in his backpack.

HP sent the soldier a new one and, at his request, let him keep the one pictured here.



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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Full of win on a Friday.

  2. carefree dude says:

    i guess you could say that hp laptop…

    *puts on glasses*

    Is shotty.

  3. Hi_Hello says:

    HP should just start making military armors. It would probably be cheaper than the current one out there.

    Heck, after this story, I’ll buy a HP motorcycle jacket to protect my back and shoulder.

  4. Tokarev_Makarov says:

    I doubt any laptop would stop 7.62×39 fully jacketed rounds from anything other than extended distance.
    I wonder if the enemy fighter was using a sidearm or a 9mm subgun…

    • axhandler1 says:

      Perhaps the laptop was flat against his back and the bullets traveled through everything else in his backpack before finally being halted by the laptop.

    • Wepwawet says:

      Who cares what caliber these were – this story is full of win no matter how large or small the bullets were.

      /owner of 9×18 Bulg Mak

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I wonder if this is a military-issue laptop.

      There are some laptops designed for military that are able to do some amazing things. One example is they must be able to fall from a specific distance, say a meter, without so much as flickering. Also, some are designed to be waterproof up to X meters.

      If it’s military-issue, is it definitely not your average laptop.

      • CJ SIege says:

        Military IT guy here:

        We use 99.9% off-the-shelf business grade laptops. Rarely, there are Toughbooks or the equivalent. This doesn’t appear to have been one, though.

        • Clyde Barrow says:

          I remember while in Iraq we had Toughbooks but I thought that meant only a more resilient and harder carrying case, not a “uparmored” laptop itself. No? Yes?

          • CJ SIege says:

            Correct. Toughbooks are not armored to protect someone while carrying them… they are supposed to be durable in harsh environments.

    • bluline says:

      This would be a good segment for Mythbusters.

    • aaron8301 says:

      I was thinking maybe an AR-15, which uses 5.57mm rounds. I’ve shot both an AK-47 and an AR-15, and I know the AR (using 5.57 rounds) has much less kick than the AK (using 7.62 rounds), which tells me the 5.57 round is much less powerful.

      • Sian says:

        *nitpick* 5.56mm

        7.62×39 has about 20% more energy at the muzzle but the round isn’t as well designed for long range and loses energy quickly. At the long ranges common in Afghanistan (over 250m) 7.62×39 is basically useless. 5.56 is noticeably better here, though still not great. You can get hits but they don’t have enough energy to tumble. Of course you’ll see a lot more 7.62×54 SVDs and PKMs out there, both of which are plenty dangerous at that range.

      • wackydan says:

        Kick isn’t a good indicator of power. I’ve shot 7.62 NATOs that have as little kick as 5.56 from the AR.

        It could have been any caliber as we do not know what else was in his backpack that the rounds passed through before getting to the laptop.

        • Kamrom says:

          if it was a bullet designed to shatter on impact it would be stopped by something that solid, no problem. if it was a metal slug, well theyd have to have gotten in pretty close.

          But really, considering the number of bullets that go flying at people a day, you’re bound to get some “everything just worked out.” situations. Like the people who fall from planes without a parachute and dont die.

      • Brian Cooks says:

        Recoil is a terrible indicator of power. Judging from the size of the impact marks I’d say it was a pistol or SMG firing ball rounds. A rifle round wouldn’t leave blunt shallow impacts like that. I’ve fired 5.56×45 at all types of objects and it punches right through just about everything and leaves just a tiny hole.

    • Sian says:

      It’s Afghanistan. Nearly everything is at extended range. I can totally buy the notebook stopping six rounds of 7.62 short from 500 yards.

      • proliance says:

        The pattern of impacts on that notebook indicates the distance was way less than 500 yards. That is, unless he took the backpack off and let it sit in the open where someone could pop off rounds at it.

        Looks more like a handgun at 10 ft.

  5. RandomHookup says:

    What about friendly fire?

  6. quieterhue says:

    I would love for Consumer Reports to test the bullet-stopping capacity of all laptops. I’m just curious to know if it’s only HP laptops or any laptop.

    • nsv says:

      I would love Consumer Reports to hire me to test the bullet-stopping capacity of all laptops. I’d do a great job at it, and I suspect it would be very… therapeutic.

  7. stock2mal says:

    This is about the only thing HP products are good for. The next time your HP product fails and you need HP to do something about it, tell them you are a soldier and the product took a few bullets, saving your life in the process. Seems like this got results faster than HP actually honoring their warranties or providing adequate customer service.

  8. MuffinSangria says:

    WOW! Love ending a Friday with a story like this.

  9. Cordtx says:

    Yeah HP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My son needs one for college- any freebies?

  10. Ariannah says:

    If I recall correctly, Mythbusters did a thing on this a while back. They way they tested the “myth,” generally a computer won’t stop a bullet except at the battery. Although, also if I recall correctly, they didn’t test if there was a bunch of stuff in the way of the bullet and the computer either. I’m glad this soldier survived and that HP didn’t pull a dick move about replacing the computer for him. Despite this, I still won’t be buying an HP when it’s time to replace our laptops (3 of them).

    • Rena says:

      From what I’ve read, companies tend to be pretty good about customer service when the customer is serving in the military. Good PR, I suppose.

  11. hockeycat58 says:

    Untold story. Apparently, the person had just been on hold with HP Support and was actually trying to hit the laptop.

    On Serious note: This is just awesome and Thank God the other 6 bullets didn’t get through.

  12. dopplerd says:

    Careful with that battery. Any Li battery that has been damaged could quickly turn into a flaming mess.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      considering where the soldier is, he may already have had training in handling explosives

  13. midwestkel says:

    But does it still work?

  14. mister_roboto says:

    This is so far the only good use I’ve seen from an HP product.

    Of course now the price will probably triple when the gov. buys 4 million of them to turn into body armor vests.

  15. evnmorlo says:

    So can a rock.

    • Difdi says:

      Most rocks would fragment like a small grenade if struck by a bullet. To say nothing of being considerably heavier than a notebook computer if it had the same surface area.

  16. Razor512 says:

    you know what would have stopped all of the bullets with no damage?

    if corrupt politicians didn’t send him into a place where he would get shot at to begin with.

    • Smultronstallet says:

      He could still get shot at in good ol’ America; it’s just not as likely.

    • KB says:

      Darn those corrupt politicians who made him volunteer his services of his own volition!

      • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

        I don’t see anything in the comment you replied to about his ability to volunteer his services for this job. The criticism is directed at the particular use our government has chosen to make of those services. You fail at reading comprehension.

    • jesirose says:

      Right, because there’s no way that then those people with guns might head over to where WE are and shoot at people who didn’t choose to get involved.

  17. jeni1122 says:

    Wow. I sell HP laptops to schools and this is one of the coolest stories about this product I have ever read. Good story!

  18. Difdi says:

    You just can’t buy good advertising like that.

  19. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    I think the Mythbusters did a skit on this…. yep

  20. HoneyBadger says:

    He probably has LG or AU Optronics to thank more than anything, as it appears the multiple layers of glass and plastic in the display acted much like multi-layered Kevlar to dissipate the force of the incoming round.

    This does not change the fact that HP generally makes shit laptops at the consumer level.

  21. NoFriggingWay says:

    This is a Win for EVERYONE!

  22. Grimreaperx2 says:

    Well well, get 2 old laptops and strap them to your back and chest. Ghetto armor. Wont be surprised to see people with laptops strapped to them robbing banks.

  23. Jay911 says:

    Ok, so HP laptops are good for *one* thing. Noted. (looking at stack of dead/FU’ed HP/Compaq machines in the corner)

  24. yurei avalon says:

    Hey, at least HPs are good for something.

  25. Watcher95 says:

    Yeah, not buying it..

    Any real round would have gone right through that lappy.

    Sounds like someone just scammed a new laptop for free.

  26. synapse890 says:

    They probably weren’t even aiming at the soldier. They saw it was an HP and had so many problems with it themselves, they wanted to kill it.

  27. mcgyver210 says:

    Not enough for me to give HP another chance I still spent over 3k on their failed junk they manufactured that lasted a little over one yr.

    I am thankful for the soldier not being hurt though & do believe since I have seen many LapTops & I do believe other brands may have also protected him in the same way.

  28. khooray says:

    I have an HP/Compaq dead laptop I’ll donate to a soldier!

  29. Juan.Guapo says:

    Had it been a Mac he probably wouldn’t have been wounded. /jk

    All seriousness, glad to hear he is ok. :)

  30. nybiker says:

    HP actually entitles this video as “Bulletproof”. http://goo.gl/VXXUp

  31. Extended-Warranty says:

    In other news, Best Buy wouldn’t let me return this for cash back. I will never set another foot in their store again, and will inform everyone I know of this experience. They obviously don’t care about their customers who SERVE THIS COUNTRY!!

  32. FrugalFreak says:

    So the soldier found a use for the HP finally, good for him.

  33. OnePumpChump says:

    What’s the opposite of a deodand?

  34. jwissick says:

    If his thumb nail is average size, I would say that this is from a .45 cal bullet.

    No way it was from a rifle. It would have gone through and through.

  35. impatientgirl says: