HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook assessment: The perfect of ChromeOS, however not well worth the worth

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Google has been making high-end Chromebooks for nearly a decade now, relationship again to the $1,300 Chromebook Pixel in 2013. On the time, many individuals noticed it as a gorgeous however unusual gadget. Within the years that adopted, each Google and its {hardware} companions have made premium Chromebooks an increasing number of commonplace. Although, a still-unconfirmed report earlier this 12 months suggests Google is giving up on making laptop computer {hardware}, not less than for now. The corporate hasn’t stated something of the type but, however the actuality is that Google hasn’t made a brand new Chromebook for the reason that Pixelbook Go in late 2019.

After all, that hasn’t stopped different producers from making Chromebooks with beautiful screens, nice industrial design and highly effective {hardware}. However HP’s Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, launched earlier this 12 months, may be the nicest I’ve utilized in a very long time. It additionally has a jaw-dropping worth level, beginning at properly over $1,000. Very like the unique Chromebook Pixel, HP’s newest is a pleasure to make use of that could be very arduous to suggest due to that worth.


  • Excellent show
  • Nice keyboard and trackpad
  • Highly effective {hardware}
  • ChromeOS continues to get higher


  • Battery life is nice however not nice
  • Display solely refreshes at 60Hz
  • Wildly costly


Earlier than we discuss concerning the bummer that’s the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook’s value, let’s go over the good things. The Dragonfly is comparable in stature to a MacBook Air, weighing in at about 2.8 kilos and measuring solely .65 inches thick. Mixed with a reasonably spacious 13.5-inch touchscreen show with a 3:2 facet ratio, the Dragonfly is snug to work on and simple to journey with.

Gallery: HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook assessment photograph | 8 Photographs

Design-wise, it’s a spartan affair, with a darkish grey end and only some silver accents to be discovered. However provided that HP is primarily concentrating on this pc at enterprise customers, it is smart that they went with a traditional look right here. There’s an honest number of ports, regardless of the Dragonfly’s slightly slim profile: it has two USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-A connection, a headphone jack, HDMI and a microSD slot. That’s loads higher than you’ll get on a typical ultraportable.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Display and keyboard

There’s a handful of issues that make the Dragonfly actually stand out. For starters, it has a superb show, with a 3:2 facet ratio that gives much more vertical viewing house than your commonplace 16:9 display screen. The configuration I’m testing has a 2,256 x 1,504 decision, good for about 200 pixels per inch. Positive, there are extra pixel-dense shows on the market, however this one appears gorgeous, with sharp textual content and pictures and mainly no seen pixels. It’s the nicest display screen on a Chromebook I’ve seen in a very long time. The one minor knock is its unremarkable 60Hz refresh fee, however that shouldn’t be a significant situation for most individuals. Nonetheless, HP spared mainly no expense on every little thing else, so it will have been good to have.

Regardless of the refresh fee, the Dragonfly’s show is nice past simply the facet ratio. It’s shiny and has good distinction with out issues being too over-exaggerated. It’s additionally slightly reflective, which makes it not excellent if there’s a lightweight shining on the show, however the display screen is shiny sufficient that it ought to be usable in all however the harshest of sunshine.

The keyboard and trackpad are additionally glorious. The keys are agency, however not too agency, and have loads of journey for a comparatively skinny laptop computer. The trackpad, in the meantime, is giant and responsive. Nothing fairly matches as much as the trackpad on a MacBook for me, however this one feels fairly shut. HP says it’s a haptic trackpad, with personalized vibrations for some particular actions like pinning home windows in cut up display screen or switching between digital desks, however I can’t say I seen a lot of something there.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Good specs (for a Chromebook)

Lastly, the Dragonfly principally has cutting-edge spec choices; the mannequin I examined has a Twelfth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, built-in LTE, 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. LTE isn’t precisely cutting-edge anymore, and 8GB of RAM is a bit stingy on a pc this expensive. However apart from these quibbles, that is loads of horsepower for mainly something you need to do in ChromeOS; I by no means skilled any stutters when switching apps or enjoying again music and video. Regardless of the high-resolution display screen and highly effective processor, battery life is strong if not spectacular. I bought between six and eight hours of regular utilization, which concerned loads of Chrome tabs, Spotify, Todoist, Slack, Google Hold, Trello and the occasional Android app right here and there. It managed to play again a film for 8 hours and 50 minutes in our battery drain check. If battery is your foremost concern, the mannequin with a Core i3 processor or the lower-resolution display screen will doubtless final even longer.

It additionally does a wonderful job working the handful of Android apps I examined it with. Within the final 12 months or so, you’ve been capable of run downloaded apps in pill, telephone or resizable home windows, and for probably the most half I used to be capable of get Todoist, Spotify and Lightroom all working properly in resizable home windows. Even Instagram lastly works correctly, though now that the web site now permits you to create posts, it’s not likely obligatory any extra. Placing that apart, efficiency throughout mainly all of the Android apps and video games I attempted was strong. However given what number of apps are within the Play Retailer, there’s nonetheless a great likelihood of working throughout some that don’t work properly.

Whereas Chromebooks aren’t recognized for gaming, the Dragonfly simply dealt with some cloud-based play by way of NVIDIA’s GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming – not a shock given the highly effective (for a Chromebook, not less than) {hardware}. At this level, ChromeOS has fairly strong sport controller assist, and it clearly works with exterior keyboards and mice. So offered the titles you need can be found, that is most likely one of the simplest ways to play video games on a Chromebook at this level. That stated, this {hardware} ought to greater than meet the lower for installing Steam, as soon as Google and Valve begin rolling that out past its present restricted alpha part.

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