Review: HP’s Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is the cream of the ChromeOS crop

Review: HP’s Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is the cream of the ChromeOS crop


Enlarge / HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook.

Specs at a glance: HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook

Worst
Best
As reviewed

Screen
13.5-inch 1920 x 1280 IPS touchscreen
13.5-inch 1920 x 1280 IPS touchscreen
13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 IPS touchscreen

OS
Chrome OS

CPU
Intel Core i3-1215U
Intel Core i7-1265U vPro
Intel Core i5-1245U vPro

RAM
8GB LPDDR4-4266
32GB LPDDR4-4266
8GB LPDDR4-4266

Storage
128GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
512GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
256GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD

GPU
Intel Iris Xe

Networking
WiFi-6E, Bluetooth 5.2

Ports
2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-A,1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5 mm jack, 1x MicroSD card reader

Size
11.59 x 8.73 x 0.65 inches
(294.38 x 221.74 x 16.51 mm)

Weight
Starts at 2.8 lbs (1.27 kg)

Battery
50 Wh

Warranty
1 year

Price (MSRP)
$980
$1,800
$1,709 when configured on HP.com

Other
N/A
4G optional

Chromebooks are tired of being treated like second-class citizens.

Over the last decade, the developers of ChromeOS have attempted to evolve the operating system with features that could put it more on par with macOS and Windows. Google has been pushing Chromebooks as business machines, touting the purported simplicity and security benefits of their pared down operating system.

HP’s new Elite Dragonfly Chromebook represents a ChromeOS device pushed to the limits, from its appearance to its components.

The laptop comes dressed like some of HP’s most coveted business machines and with up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU with Intel vPro support. Performance and style are in a class notably higher than what many think of when they think of Chromebooks.

But while it’s suitable for business users with simple, web-focused needs alone, its performance doesn’t equal Windows machines in the same price range.

$$$

With promises of business-class performance, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is one of the most expensive Chromebooks available, at well over $1,000 with maxed-out specs. Of course, there are still Chromebooks available for a few hundred dollars, but with a growing interest in pushing Chromebooks as fleet-ready enterprise machines, eventual gaming devices, and ultraportables with versatile form factors, there are already several Chromebooks in the Dragonfly Chromebook’s elite price class.

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Here’s what you can get specs-wise from other pricey Chromebooks when configured similarly to our review machine and based on what’s readily available as of this writing. Note that our configuration isn’t a specific SKU but was rather configured on HP.com. You can find a similar SKU to my review unit but with a 1920×1280 resolution for $1,450.

Model
CPU
RAM
Storage
Display
Price (as of this writing)
Mobile  Networking

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
i5-1245U vPro
8GB
256GB SSD
13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 touchscreen
$1,709
4G, 5G coming

Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise
i5-10310
16GB
256GB SSD
14-inch 1920 x 1080 touchscreen
$1,564
4G

Lenovo ThinkPad C14 Chromebook
i5-1245U vPro
8GB
256GB SSD
14-inch 1920 x 1280
$1,019
4G

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
Intel Core i5-10210U
8GB
256GB SSD
13.3-inch 3840 x 2160 OLED touchscreen
$1,000
N/A

One of the Dragonfly Chromebook’s biggest claims to fame is its optional inclusion of Intel vPro. Among Chromebooks, only the ThinkPad C14 shares this option. vPro support helps sell machines to IT departments, as it enables remote management of the devices.

HP is particularly interested in the stability that the platform promises, a spokesperson told reviewers during a briefing. vPro machines are supposed to use identical silicon across units for as long as the device is sold. HP also pointed to vPro’s performance standards and security perks, particularly vPro’s total memory encryption.

The 2-in-1 also supports 4G for mobile working. 5G is purportedly coming this fall and would help the Dragonfly stand out.

Additional security claims come from Google, which says its read-only OS, verified boot, and blocked executables reduce the need for antivirus protection. IT staff can also approve and block apps and extensions, remotely disable or wipe devices, and perform background updates.

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