Chromebooks continue to evolve, but at CES 2022, they took a big leap forward. HP has announced the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, a companion to the standard Elite Dragonfly, now in its third generation — and it’s easily the most premium-looking Chromebook I’ve ever seen.
It sports a look straight from the Elite Dragonfly, which in itself takes some inspiration from HP’s premium Spectre line of laptops and 2-in-1s. Suffice to say, these are the cutting-edge designs, not the out-of-date chassis styles that often end up in Chromebooks.
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|HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook|
|Dimensions||11.59 x 8.73 x 0.65 inches|
|Processor||“Next Gen Intel Processor, Intel Evo platform”|
|Graphics||Intel UHD UMA or Iris Xe graphics|
|RAM||Up to 32GB – LPDDR4x|
|Display||13.5-inch, 3:2 (1920 x 1280)
13.5-inch 3:2 (1920 x 1280)
13.5-inch 3:2 (2256 x 1504)
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB SSD|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), USB 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI, microSD, optional SIM Card, audio combo|
|Wireless||WLAN (Dual Antenna): Intel Wi-Fi 6E
WWAN (Dual Antenna): Intel 4G LTE / 5G LTE
|Operating system||Chrome OS|
In many ways, the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook doesn’t look like a Chromebook. Namely, it’s made of aluminum, has a larger 13.5-inch 3:2 screen, and some slim side bezels.
It’s also quite portable in size. At just 0.65 thick, it’s slightly thinner than the HP Spectre x360 13 — and around the same weight too. The Pixelbook Go still has it beat in both dimensions, but it doesn’t have the 360-degree hinge that the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook has.
One of the most surprising elements of the design is the new haptic feedback touchpad. It’s a first for Chromebooks and follows suit from a number of other laptops introduced at CES this year, such as the Dell XPS 13 Plus. But to see the technology come to Chromebooks on a single chunk of glass palm rest is seriously impressive.
The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook isn’t the highest resolution Chromebook we’ve ever seen, but it gets up there. The $999 4K AMOLED Samsung Galaxy Chromebook still holds the crown, but the more modern 3:2 aspect ratio of the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook. I’d take a 3:2 2256 x 1504 display over a 16:9 4K display any time.
Of course, the screen is touch-enabled because it’s a convertible 2-in-1, and is also compatible with HP’s Wireless Rechargeable USI Pen for some on-the-go inking and note-taking.
The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is also the first Chromebook to feature a 5-megapixel webcam. HP brought enhanced webcams to its entire portfolio of products this year at CES, and for good reason. We’re far beyond the days where 720p webcams are acceptable, and upping that standard on Chromebooks is a step in the right direction. Beyond just an improved webcam, the entire suite of HP Presence is also here, which includes A.I.-enhanced video and audio to improve communication in video calls.
Speaking of sound, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook features a four-speaker setup — again, more than what you typically get on a Chromebook.
It’s weird to say that an HDMI port is a perk, but they’re incredibly rare on Chromebooks. The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook manages to squeeze one in, despite how thin it is.
Beyond that, it also includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one on each side. The right side also includes a micro-SD card slot, USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, and headphone jack.
The laptop also includes a power button and volume rocker on the left side to use while in tablet mode.
The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook has two options for wireless connectivity too, either the Wi-Fi 6E model or the 4G LTE / 5G LTE model.
At the time of writing, HP didn’t announce the specific processors that would be available in the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, saying instead that it would use “Next Gen Intel Processor” on the “Intel Evo platform,” which likely means a chip from Intel’s 12th-gen line.
More than that, HP announced that the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook would be the first Chromebook to use a vPro processor, giving us more clues that this Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is packing some more performance than your standard Chromebook.
These types of processors build security in at a hardware level and provide some easier manageability for IT departments and organizations. The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is, first and foremost, a commercial laptop, so its added security features should make it a more feasible choice for businesspeople.
HP has not announced a price for the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook (or for its Enterprise variant) yet, but HP says it will be available by April of 2022.
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