HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook review: A new level of luxury

At a glance

Expert’s Rating

Pros

  • 3:2 aspect ratio display
  • Great typing experience
  • Snappy performance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Trackpad offers weak haptic feedback
  • Battery life is just okay

Our Verdict

The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook offers fast performance, a lightweight design, and a reliable build, but you pay a premium for its premium quality.

What springs to mind when you think of the word “elite”? Maybe it’s a fancy Bahamas-bound cruise or a sleek smartwatch that’s chock-full of features. Whatever images your mind conjures up, the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is about as luxurious as you can get. From the slick design and low weight to the powerful hardware and pleasant typing experience, this Chromebook has it all and is a real step up in terms of quality. That said, you’ll pay out the nose for all of that opulence. Read on to learn more.

Looking for more options? Check out PCWorld’s roundup of the best Chromebooks available right now.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Specifications

Our test configuration has an Intel Core i5-1245U CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. It also has a 13.5-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 2256×1504. This specific configuration will set you back $2,385, which is wildly expensive for a Chromebook. The base configuration, which has an Intel Core i3-1215U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD storage, costs $2,097. Yup, still expensive for a Chromebook.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1245U
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Display: 13.5-inch 2256×1504 touch
  • Battery: 45 watt-hour
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6E AX211, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Price: $2,385 (as tested)

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Design and build quality

HP Elite Chromebook lid and design

IDG / Ashley Biancuzzo

As far as Chromebooks go, you can’t really get more luxurious than this. The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook definitely looks the part with its matte blue chassis, rounded corners, and stylized HP logo. The dark blue color scheme is nice, but it’s not my cup of tea. It definitely has a more sophisticated look than laptops that are more utilitarian in design. Basically, it’s more interesting to look at than your standard plain gray square.

I could tell the moment I took the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook out of the box that it was an expensive machine. You can feel the aluminum bits when you slide your hands over the chassis, and the hinge that connects the display to the rest of the laptop is both strong and firm. I didn’t notice any flex in the screen or keyboard deck, and the body is compact enough to fit into most backpacks or messenger bags. The display is also covered in fancy Corning Gorilla Glass. At the end of the day, it’s just a really well-made machine.

By the way, the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is a 2-in-1. That means you can swing the screen around 360 degrees and use the device like a tablet. You can even prop it up like a tent for video calls, watching movies, and so on. This added versatility is perfect for young professionals.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Display, webcam, audio

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook display

IDG / Ashley Biancuzzo

The 1504p touch display is more square-looking thanks to the 3:2 aspect ratio. That’s not a bad thing, as it provides more screen real estate for things like spreadsheet work, writing essays, and more. It’s the kind of display that really boosts productivity. The image quality is quite good, too. My only issue with the display is that it’s very reflective, which is only a problem if you’re ever going to use the laptop in outdoor lighting.

I could tell the moment I took the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook out of the box that it was an expensive machine.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook webcam photo

IDG / Ashley Biancuzzo

The 1080p webcam is quite good even in natural lighting conditions. As you can see in the still image above, you can see the individual folds in my grey hoodie. The only source of natural light is coming in through the window behind me. The image might look a little soft because of the sunlight streaming in, but overall it’s still pretty crisp. You can even see the tree branches in the window behind me. There’s also a physical privacy shutter that can be used to cover the webcam when not in use.

The audio is surprisingly punchy for a laptop. I’m always surprised when laptop audio can fill a medium-sized room, which the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook can certainly do. When I listened to Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, her sultry voice sounded quite sharp. This is likely because of the position of the speakers, which are top-firing. That said, when I turned up the volume, it sounded a little grating. If you’re just casually listening to music or taking calls, the audio shouldn’t be a problem, though.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Connectivity

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook ports

IDG / Ashley Biancuzzo

The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook comes equipped with a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port on each side, which allows you to charge up the laptop using either port. There’s also one USB-A, one HDMI 2.0 out, one microSD card slot, and one 3.5mm combo audio jack. As far as connectivity options go, that’s a pretty good selection — you probably won’t need to keep an adapter with you.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Keyboard, trackpad

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook keyboard

IDG / Ashley Biancuzzo

The keyboard is excellent to use. The butterfly keys are flat and offer some amount of bounciness as well as decent travel. They also have a light snap to them, which I really liked. Occasional typos aside, I was able to get accustomed to it in a relatively short amount of time. The keyboard has backlighting too, which means you’ll be able to see whatever it is you’re typing in dimly lit environments.

I’m sad to say that the buttonless haptic trackpad left a less favorable impression on me. But first, the pros. It’s definitely a good size and it sits in the center of the keyboard deck as opposed to being offset, which is a huge sticking point for me. Although it registered my clicks just fine everywhere on the surface, the feedback it produces is kind of faint. The haptic actuator is the thing that creates physical sensations in a haptic trackpad, by the way. You’ll also find a fingerprint sensor to the right of the trackpad.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Performance

Performance is pretty darn good on this Chromebook. It easily blitzed through 20+ open tabs with no noticeable lag, which is impressive. Even the act of jumping from tab to tab didn’t hinder performance. Booting up the machine is lightning fast, too. It’s the kind of performance I expect from a high-end machine, especially one that costs well over $1,000. That said, while performance is perfectly fine, it’s not all that different from less expensive machines.

Here’s how the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook fared in our web-based benchmarks:

  • CrXPRT 2: 167
  • Speedometer: 249
  • Basemark Web 3.0: 1432.86
  • Kraken: 478.7ms
  • Jetstream 2: 238.548

The Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus, which costs $499, had a CrXPRT 2 score of 177, effectively outpacing the HP Elite Dragonfy Chromebook. The CrXPRT benchmark measures how fast the laptop handles everyday tasks. That said, the HP Dragonfly Chromebook’s processor is a generation behind, which may explain the lower CrXPRT 2 score. In use, you probably won’t notice much of a difference in performance between the two Chromebooks. They’re both snappy, but the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a lot more affordable than the Elite Dragonfly.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Battery life

Battery life could definitely be better, but it’s not the worst result I’ve ever seen. The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook managed about seven hours in our battery test, which loops through videos and various tasks until the laptop dies. Chromebooks are known for having long battery life, so this is a somewhat disappointing result. If you lower the brightness on this machine, you might be able to get another hour or two. However, it also depends on what you’re doing. More intensive loads are going to eat up the battery faster, for example.

Is the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook worth it?

The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook has a lot going for it despite the high price tag. The keyboard is wonderful to use, the hardware chews through 20+ open browser tabs like a champ, and the spacious touch-enabled display produces sharp images. The only real sticking point is the price, as it’s prohibitively expensive for a Chromebook. The trackpad could provide stronger feedback, too. This machine is designed with specific folks in mind, namely young professionals. That said, if money is no object, then this is one of the most luxurious Chromebooks money can buy.

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