Chromebooks have always strived to stay one step ahead of the competition, given the uniqueness their operating system ever so gracefully exhibits. However, we haven’t had the privilege of witnessing ChromeOS at its utmost zenith up until the release of the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook.
This device immediately checks all boxes and doesn’t leave room for substantial improvement. However, does it truly live up to the hype at the end of the day? This specialized HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook review is what we’re about to discover.
- Like-minded read from Chrome Ready: Asus Chromebook CX9 review.
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook technical specifications
- CPU: 12th generation Intel Core i3-1215U
- Display: 13.5″ anti-glare WLED + LBL UWVA WUXGA+ (1920×1280) touch-enabled display
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
- Hard drive size: 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- RAM: 8 GB
- Camera: 5MP “Integrated Camera”
- Ports: x2 Thunderbolt 4 USB4 Type-C, x1 SuperSpeed USB-A, 3.5 mm headphone jack, HDMI 2.0, microSD card slot
- Battery: 4-cell, 50-WHr “Long Life Battery,” 13-14 hours runtime
- Charging speed: 90% in 90 minutes
- Weight: 2.8 lbs
- Price: $1500-$2100 (depending on the configuration)
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook in-depth review
Please keep reading to discover how we rate the device’s design, performance, and battery life, and top it off by leaving our final thoughts. In addition, we’ll be sure to jot down the Chromebook’s greatest strengths and weaknesses so you can determine whether the machine is something you can purchase or not. Let’s dive right in with no further ado.
As much as its naming strategy enticed us right from the get-go, we’re equally enthralled—if not more—to witness the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook in all its glory from a design perspective. After all, HP is one of the power players in this industry, known for creating the best Chromebooks around.
Behold one of the sleekest devices in the ChromeOS space, outclassed only by its workhorse nature that we’ll shed light in the next subtitle. Picking up the Dragonfly, you’ll feel it weighing just right—not too light or heavy. To talk about the chassis first, we have at our disposal here an aluminum-magnesium alloy build that screams high quality.
Moreover, HP seemingly revamped its logo in earlier times, and the Elite Dragonfly is one of the firsts that we’ll get to see the nifty little upgrade on. Besides that, the device features the typical “Chromebook” branding in a different position on the chassis than its counterparts. You’ll find the latter at the bottom section of the device.
It adds a level of due credit to the Chromebook’s overall stature. Speaking of the bottom section, on a side note, that is where you’ll observe another distinct design facet of the Dragonfly. It’s got these genuinely excellent chamfered edges at the lower end right on the hinges.
The form factor is thin, but nothing too over the top. The Chromebook feels like a true unit, though with a substantial build that you’ll grow to appreciate. Last but not least, as far as the small-scale features of the device are concerned, the fan port is situated at the back of the Chromebook, hidden nicely and kept away from the main focus.
Coming forward to the screen now, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook doesn’t fail to achieve what it has been set out to. Boasting a vibrant 13.5-inch WUXGA+ QHD+ display, the colors look fantastic on the device, not to mention the excellent viewing angles.
The quality of the device’s resolution takes your Netflix binge-watching from one level to the next, immersing you in a screen as no Chromebook has done before. Well, except for the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, if we’re being fair. The latter does come with a 4K resolution screen, so credit where it’s due.
In addition, this is a 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook that we’re talking about. You can slap various viewing modes on the device, ranging from tent to tablet. There’s just no shortage of versatility when the Elite Dragonfly is in the house. The display is touch-enabled and delivers a fluid and responsive feeling when used with fingers.
Speaking of which, you’ll find a pleasant surprise in the device’s box. HP has gone the extra mile and decided to include a USI pen too that you can painlessly employ with the rest of the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook’s functioning. The best Android apps feel outright terrific that way, not to mention the instance of learning cursive writing.
Even the brightness of the base model of the screen maxes out at 400 nits, which is more than enough for regular outdoor ventures on a sunny day. Moving ahead, the keyboard deck of the Elite Dragonfly is a class apart, guaranteeing a swift and robust typing experience with terrific key travel and just that right amount of clickiness.
You’ll even find a dedicated brightness button for the backlit keyboard on the deck, allowing you to make the keycaps look more prominent or dim—whatever you’d prefer for the moment. Last but not least, all the configurations of the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook come with a fingerprint scanner for lightning-fast sign-ins.
Some extra perks on the keyboard include a dedicated microphone toggle that you can use to switch off your mic or turn it on quickly and a specialized backlit brightness toggle.
As for the speaker setup, the device boasts four speakers on the deck that sound crisp, clear, and nothing but striking. We found the audio quality above par with the Dragonfly Chromebook.
Onto the front-running highlight of the device now, which happens to be its haptic feedback-enabled trackpad. Saying that the latter is nothing short of brilliant would be a blatant understatement, given the effort the developers have put into the device to make it stand out from the rest of the competition.
You’ll find a separate section in your Dragonfly’s “Settings” app just for tweaking the trackpad’s haptic preferences. There are the options to choose light, medium, and firm in the sense that how hard will you need to press down on the trackpad for a click to register.
Port selection is excellent too. You’ve got two Thunderbolt 4 USB4 Type-C ports for state-of-the-art data transfer speeds, a single SuperSpeed USB-A as well for legacy peripheral support, a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack which we’re happy not to see ditched, an HDMI 2.0 port for video conferences on Google Meet, and microSD card slot for storage expansion.
Now that you know what’s up with the design let’s shed some much-needed light on the performance of the Chromebook.
Performance-wise, the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook does precisely what it’s been expected to, given the provision of the vPro CPU. It currently sits on its throne of being the fastest Chromebook yet, outpacing the Asus Chromebook CX9 by a good margin and leaving all of its competition in the dust.
We have been eyeing the Elite Dragonfly for a while now, taking guesses regarding its performance, but the results have seemingly blown us away. You can slap on a multitude of Chrome tabs right alongside the best Linux software and Play Store games, but you won’t find the device slowing down anytime soon.
HP has put out several configurations for the Elite Dragonfly, but the one we’ve reviewed comes with a 12th generation Intel Core i3-1215U process and a 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD setup. Moreover, when you combine this with 8 GBs of internal memory, you have a machine begging for a challenge at your disposal.
ChromeOS is already an optimized specimen that makes internet browsing as easy as ABC. When it’s got the hardware to amplify its working efficiency, things will soar in the sky without breaking a sweat. That perfectly sums up the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, letting users experience ChromeOS at its core.
Some future-proof features incorporated in the device include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. In addition, some configurations of the Chromebook support 4G LTE and 5G as well, so you’ve got an added way of connecting to the internet if Wi-Fi isn’t available. As you can comprehend, HP has gone all out with the Elite Dragonfly, no questions asked.
There are no complaints regarding the device’s performance at the end of the day. Businesses looking to get top-of-the-line ChromeOS functionality can quickly plunge toward all this HP front-runner offers.
3. Battery life
The 4-cell, 50-WHr “Long Life Battery” of the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook guarantees a smooth user experience, one where you don’t have to rely on taking your charger everywhere with you. Just charge the device once and enjoy up to 13-14 hours of runtime. We need to add this machine to our list of Chromebooks with the best battery life.
With the help of the Thunderbolt 4 USB-C PowerDelivery port, the Elite Dragonfly will take up to 90 minutes to get the battery life to 90%. This is fair enough and shouldn’t pose too much of an issue. The fact that you can experience the device’s QLED screen for more than a day without charging twice is just incredible, so definitely recommended here.
4. Final thoughts
The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is much ahead of what most other Chromebooks currently are capable of. It’s got a swath of cutting-edge features that will allow you to stand out in workspace environments, whether you’re an office worker or a business executive looking for an efficient multitasking day in and day out.
However, many people will think thrice before purchasing with its skyrise price tag that’s north of $1500. Sure, it is worth the money at the end of the day, given how Steam is also making landfall on ChromeOS. Still, regular consumers may hesitate to get the Elite Dragonfly unless they want a pure flagship-level Chromebook.
On the other hand, HP has done a terrific job releasing the device with cloud-first, enterprise-ready features enabled. This makes the Elite Dragonfly one of the most obvious choices for business domains looking to buff up their IT like never before. What we have here indeed exhibited premium quality and looks proud.