HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Impressive, Flawed, Expensive

Deal Score0
Deal Score0

HP could make one other vary named “Envy,” nevertheless it’s the Elite Dragonfly that actually invokes the green-eyed monster. It’s a tool with a hefty price ticket that’s made for enterprise customers however has options to draw anybody searching for a skinny, mild, high-end productiveness laptop computer. 

At CES 2023, HP revealed that the Dragonfly identify would lastly be bestowed upon client fashions, with a brand new Dragonfly Pro and Dragonfly Pro Chromebook. But earlier than that occurs later this yr, there’s the matter of HP’s ChromeOS-flavored addition to the present enterprise vary.

This is among the greatest Chromebooks you should purchase—brace for a screeching handbrake of a caveat—if you may abdomen the hefty value. You’ll be getting a trendy, light-weight, and pleasant productiveness laptop computer, however with a couple of flaws. It’s an achievement in {hardware} that falls foul of perfection. Here’s why.

Sparks Fly

Photograph: HP

Writing, looking, and planning are a pleasure on the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook. There are few gadgets in the marketplace that welcome you into productiveness fairly like this one—not the brand new Dell XPS 13 (6/10, WIRED Recommends), nor HP’s luxe client Spectre x360 14, which options in our greatest laptops information. 

The Intel Core i5-1245U vPro, 8-GB RAM, and 256-GB SSD configuration had no hassle munching by means of 20+ tabs. The keyboard performs a giant half, with a strong quantity of journey and a pleasingly mild crunch of suggestions. Appropriately, the evaluation you are studying now could be being written on stated laptop computer, and getting phrases on the web page as speedily as that is blissful. 

Unfortunately, two factors let the productiveness package deal down. The haptic trackpad simulates an unsatisfying “click,” although it’s correct and well-sized. And beneath extra intensive productiveness workloads, the battery life solely manages round 6 hours. Your mileage could differ, because it did all through my testing, typically managing nearer to eight hours on much less hectic days.

The 3:2 show boosts productiveness additional, with the squarer show including extra display actual property on your essays, net pages, spreadsheets, and extra. The picture high quality is a tad underwhelming, particularly for a $1,000-plus machine. No actual complaints, however you’ll discover higher panels on gadgets cheaper than this, with OLED turning into extra frequent on sub-$1,000 laptops. Anti-glare is an elective add-on and is sorely wanted, because it’s fairly the reflective show. 

So what of the enterprise focus of the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook? On prime of the Intel vPro processor, which allows simpler and deeper gadget administration, in addition to an added safety layer, there are a couple of extra touted inclusions. There’s a bodily privateness shutter for the webcam, which you’ll discover on some non-business-focused laptops, and the choice so as to add an HP Sure View show. My evaluation mannequin didn’t function this tech, however I’ve tried it earlier than and it’s all the time labored as marketed—a toggle-able function that stops onlookers to your left and proper from seeing what’s in your display. A neat trick. The webcam itself offers an in depth picture, and the microphone delivers first rate audio. Neither is jaw-dropping, however you’ll get no complaints from colleagues. 

Luxe Looks

This Chromebook is among the costliest you should purchase, so that you’re nicely inside your rights to anticipate a style of the nice life. Fortunately, the design lives as much as this. It’s gloriously skinny and remarkably light-weight. The pleasure of engaged on this day after day, shifting this mild machine deftly from residence to desk and wherever else you go alongside the way in which, is palpable. The magnesium and aluminum hybrid isn’t fairly as flashy as a MacBook or Dell XPS 13 Plus (7/10, WIRED Recommends), nevertheless it nonetheless soars above plastic and appears luxurious.

Photograph: HP

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