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Review: HP’s Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is the crème de la crème of the ChromeOS crop

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
Enlarge / HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook.

Specifications at a glance: HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
Worst Preferably How reviewed
Screen 13.5 inch 1920 x 1280 IPS touch screen 13.5 inch 1920 x 1280 IPS touch screen 13.5 inch 2256 x 1504 IPS touch screen
operating system ChromeOS
CPU Intel Core i3-1215U Intel Core i7-1265U vPro Intel Core i5-1245U vPro
R.A.M. 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
graphic card 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 16.51mm)
weight Starting at 1.27kg (2.8lbs)
battery 50Wh
warranty 1 year
Price (RRP) $980 $1,800 $1,709 when configured on HP.com
Miscellaneous N / A 4G optional

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

Over the past decade, ChromeOS developers have tried to evolve the operating system with features that could put it on par with macOS and Windows. Google has been promoting Chromebooks as business machines, touting the supposed simplicity and security benefits of their stripped-down operating system.

HP’s new Elite Dragonfly Chromebook represents a ChromeOS device that’s been pushed to the limit from its looks to its components.

Dressed like some of HP’s most desirable business machines, the laptop is equipped with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU with Intel vPro support. Performance and style are significantly higher in a class than what many think of when they think of Chromebooks.

But while it’s only suitable for business users with simple, web-centric needs, its performance doesn’t match that of Windows machines in the same price range.

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

Here’s what you can get from other expensive Chromebooks in terms of specs when configured similarly to our review unit and based on what’s readily available at the time of this writing. Note that our configuration is not SKU specific, it was configured on HP.com. You can find a similar SKU to my review unit but with a resolution of 1920×1280 for $1,450.

model CPU R.A.M. storage advertisement Price (at the time of this writing) mobile network
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook i5-1245U vPro 8GB 256GB SSD 13.5-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 $1,709 4G, 5G is coming
Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise i5-10310 16 GIGABYTES 256GB SSD 14 inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 $1,564 4G
Lenovo ThinkPad C14 Chromebook i5-1245U vPro 8GB 256GB SSD 14 inch 1920×1280 $1,019 4G
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Intel Core i5-10210U 8GB 256GB SSD 13.3 inch 3840 x 2160 OLED touch screen $1,000 N / A

One of the biggest notions of the Dragonfly Chromebook is the optional Intel vPro integration. Among Chromebooks, only the ThinkPad C14 shares this option. vPro support helps in selling machines to IT departments as it allows for remote management of the devices.

HP is particularly interested in the stability that the platform promises, a spokesman said at a briefing to experts. vPro machines are said to use identical silicon for all units for as long as the device is sold. HP also noted vPro’s performance standards and security benefits, most notably vPro’s full storage encryption.

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

Additional security claims come from Google, which says its read-only operating system, 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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