HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Impressive, Flawed, Expensive

HP might make one other vary named “Envy,” but it surely’s the Elite Dragonfly that really 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 in search of a skinny, mild, high-end productiveness laptop computer. 

At CES 2023, HP revealed that the Dragonfly identify would lastly be bestowed upon shopper 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 without doubt one of the best Chromebooks you should purchase—brace for a screeching handbrake of a caveat—if you possibly can abdomen the hefty worth. You’ll be getting a classy, light-weight, and pleasant productiveness laptop computer, however with a number of flaws. It’s an achievement in {hardware} that falls foul of perfection. Here’s why.

Sparks Fly

Photograph: HP

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

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

Unfortunately, two factors let the productiveness bundle down. The haptic trackpad simulates an unsatisfying “click,” although it’s correct and well-sized. And below extra intensive productiveness workloads, the battery life solely manages round 6 hours. Your mileage might 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 screen actual property on your essays, internet 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 units cheaper than this, with OLED turning into extra widespread on sub-$1,000 laptops. Anti-glare is an non-compulsory 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 permits simpler and deeper system administration, in addition to an added safety layer, there are a number 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 overview mannequin didn’t characteristic this tech, however I’ve tried it earlier than and it’s all the time labored as marketed—a toggle-able characteristic that forestalls onlookers to your left and proper from seeing what’s in your display screen. A neat trick. The webcam itself supplies an in depth picture, and the microphone delivers respectable audio. Neither is jaw-dropping, however you’ll get no complaints from colleagues. 

Luxe Looks

This Chromebook is without doubt one of the costliest you should purchase, so that you’re effectively inside your rights to count on 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, transferring 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), but it surely nonetheless soars above plastic and appears luxurious.

Photograph: HP

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