HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook review: The brand new standard-bearer

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook

“The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is the final word premium Chromebook, especially for business.”


  • Outstanding Chrome OS performance
  • Superior haptic touchpad
  • Beautiful display
  • Attractive aesthetic
  • Google Enterprise support with vPro
  • Excellent connectivity with Thunderbolt 4


  • Expensive
  • Below-average battery life

Chromebooks proceed to grow in excellence, but there’s never been a Chromebook that felt what I might call “innovative.”

After which, there’s the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook. There are several platform-first innovations tucked inside this little Chromebook, including a haptic touchpad, an Intel vPro processor, and a 5-megapixel webcam.

I reviewed a $1,734 configuration of the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook with a Twelfth-gen Intel Core i5-1245U with vPro and a 13.5-inch 3:2 WXUGA (2256 x 1504) IPS display. Like all Elite Dragonfly machines, the 2-in-1 was thin, light, and attractive, and due to the CPU, it was incredibly fast. There’s just never been a Chromebook this premium.


HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is constructed of a magnesium-aluminum alloy contributing to its light weight of two.8 kilos. As I’ve seen with such laptops, there’s some bending within the lid and flex within the keyboard deck. It’s not a knock against the laptop, on condition that the alloy itself is kind of strong and the machine will hold as much as some abuse. HP also subjected the laptop to MIL-STD 810H military test for robustness.

However it’s still a unique rigidity than you’ll find in all-aluminum designs. The HP Elite C1030 Chromebook and Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook are two such laptops, and each feel more solid. The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook’s hinge is ideal, though, allowing the lid to be opened with one hand yet holding the display in place in clamshell, tent, media, and tablet modes.

Along with being lightweight, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is thin at 0.65 inches. Its display bezels are thin along the edges but somewhat larger than other modern devices on the highest and bottom.

It has an understated and chic look.

Given the 13.5-inch 3:2 display, the 2-in-1 is nicely sized, about an inch less wide than thin-and-light 14-inch 2-in-1s but equally as deep as those with 16:10 displays. It’s inside fractions of an inch of the Elite C1030 Chromebook, which also has a 13.5-inch 3:2 display. Overall, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is a really compact laptop given the display size.

The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook shares the identical aesthetic as the remaining of the Elite Dragonfly line. It’s a dark blue color that borders on black, and its lines are easy and minimalist. There are some chrome accents on the hinges and a chrome HP logo on the lid; otherwise, the laptop is unadorned. It’s an understated and chic look that’s attractive without standing out. The Elite C1030 Chromebook is flashier, while the upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad C14 Chromebook Enterprise looks dull by comparison.


HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook left view showing ports.

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook right view showing ports.

Connectivity is an actual strength not just for such a skinny and lightweight laptop but in addition for a Chromebook. First, there are two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, which is unusual for a Chrome OS laptop. That opens up a spread of expansion options, including working with all of HP’s excellent Thunderbolt docks with up to a few external displays.

There’s also a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader.

Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 provide wireless connectivity, and each 4G LTE and 5G WWAN options can be found.


HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

My review unit was equipped with the Intel Twelfth-gen Core i5-1245U with vPro, a 15-watt CPU with 10 cores (two Performance and eight Efficient) and 12 threads. It’s Intel’s mid-range processor for thin-and-light laptops, with the P-series running at 28 watts and lower-power U-series versions running at 9 watts. Chrome OS is a really lightweight and efficient operating system, making the Core i5-1245U almost overkill for the platform. Combined with the 8GB of RAM in my review unit, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook should fly — and you possibly can configure the machine with an insane 32GB of RAM.

I can’t run our full suite of benchmarks on Chromebooks, but within the Android version of Geekbench 5, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook achieved certainly one of the very best scores we’ve seen on a Chrome OS laptop. It was barely slower in multi-core mode than the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 with an Eleventh-gen four-core/eight-thread Core i5-1135G7, but significantly faster in single-core mode. And within the Speedometer 2.0 web benchmark, the HP achieved the very best rating we’ve recorded at 206, well ahead of the Chromebook Flip CX5.

Simply put, you’ll need to work hard to overwhelm the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook. I opened quite a few Chrome tabs and ran several Android apps within the background and couldn’t get the laptop to decelerate.

Geekbench 5
(single / multi)
Speedometer 2.0
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
(Core i5-1245U)
1,394 / 4,055 206
HP Elite C1030 Chromebook
(Core i7-10610U)
1,102 / 3,216 114
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(MediaTek Kompanio 1380)
936 / 3,438 76
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
898 / 2,866 N/A
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
590 / 1,689 45
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
1,190 / 4,151 163


HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Out of the box, I used to be impressed with the 13.5-inch 3:2 WXUGA (2,256 x 1,504) IPS display. The background featured a cloth floral arrangement against a deep black backdrop, and I had to ascertain the specs to make sure the panel was indeed IPS and never OLED. As I tested the laptop, I discovered the colours to be vibrant and dynamic, and the display was a pleasure to make use of.

I can’t apply my colorimeter to Chromebooks and might only provide my subjective experience. However the display was vibrant enough to make use of in my typical working environments, and black text popped on a white background. It’s a wonderful display for productivity users and creators and certainly one of the higher displays I’ve seen on a Chromebook.

A 1000-nit HP SureView privacy screen option makes the display inconceivable to read from outside of a direct-on angle. It’s an important display for anyone who’s particularly apprehensive concerning the privacy of their data.

Audio is provided by 4 speakers, two upward-firing above the keyboard and two downward-firing on the front bottom of the chassis. The setup put out loads of sound that was only a tiny bit distorted at full volume, with clear mids and highs and a little bit of bass. It was adequate for watching YouTube videos and the occasional Netflix show, but music lovers and bingers will wish to pull out their favorite pair of headphones.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The keyboard has larger keycaps with tight spacing, and the switches are light and springy with a pleasant click when bottoming out. It’s a really precise and cozy keyboard that’s pretty much as good as HP’s Spectre keyboards that are amongst one of the best Windows versions.

The three:2 touchpad is a haptic version, and it’s excellent. It’s large with a really comfortable surface, and it responds immediately to taps and clicks. The feedback felt natural and was reliable during my testing. It was an important overall experience, with all the touchpad surface responding equally to input. Not only does the haptic mechanism provide feedback for clicks, but it surely also lets you understand once you’ve snapped a window to either side and once you move a desktop in multiple desktop mode. There are apparently more effects that I didn’t discover during my testing, but clearly, the platform is there to make great use of the haptic technology.

The display is touch-enabled, in fact, and works in addition to usual. It supports an lively pen, which is included with some configurations and magnetically attaches to the proper side of the chassis for storage and wireless charging. I discovered the pen to support Chrome OS inking with precision and reliability.

The webcam is a 5MP version, providing excellent resolution for high-quality video streaming. The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is an excellent laptop for hybrid staff who need videoconferencing to remain connected to colleagues. The webcam has a physical slider for privacy.

Security and management

The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is certainly one of the few Chrome OS laptops with biometric login, on this case, a fingerprint reader situated on the palm rest. It worked quickly and reliably in my testing and made the Chromebook way more convenient to make use of.

More essential, though, are the safety and management features afforded by Chrome OS Enterprise coupled with the Intel vPro CPU. Chrome OS is already a secure operating system, however the Enterprise version takes things to a wholly recent level. Most significantly, an organization’s IT department can approve and block apps and extensions, remotely disable and wipe machines, and protect a whole fleet with advanced security controls.

The vPro CPU enables total memory encryption (TME) and Keylocker, safeguarding sensitive data from hackers. The Google Admin Console allows centralized control over Keylocker, TME, Thunderbolt driver and firmware versions, and management of Wi-Fi configurations.

Battery life

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook top down view showing hinge.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Elite Dragonfly Chromebooks packs 50 watt-hours of battery capability into its small frame, which isn’t an enormous amount for a 13.5-inch laptop. Chrome OS is a really efficient operating system, though, while the Core i5-1245U is a lower-watt part in Intel’s Twelfth-gen lineup. It’s going up against some ARM CPUs in our comparison group, though, so I wasn’t entirely sure what type of battery life to expect.

What I saw was barely disappointing battery life. The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook managed just eight hours in our web browsing test that cycles through a handful of complex and popular web sites. Which may not sound all that bad, and it’s not. But within the context of other Chromebooks, which are likely to excel in battery life, it’s definitely below average. In our video test that loops a neighborhood 1080p movie trailer, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook hit 9.25 hours. Again, that’s below average, even when Chrome OS laptops typically don’t do as well on this test.

Overall, I’d rate battery life as lower than stellar. Depending in your workflow, chances are you’ll or may not get a full day’s work on a single charge. If this laptop has a weakness, longevity is it.

Web browsing Video
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
(Core i5-1245U)
7 hours, 59 minutes 9 hours, 13 minutes
HP Elite C1030 Chromebook
(Core i7-10610U)
8 hours, 33 minutes 10 hours, 34 minutes
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(MediaTek Kompanio 1380)
11 hours, 7 minutes 12 hours, 42 minutes
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
7 hours, 44 minutes 8 hours, 2 minutes
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
12 hours, 42 minutes 10 hours, 59 minutes
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
9 hours, 25 minutes 8 hours, 50 minutes

Pricing and configurations

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook top view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Pricing for the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is kind of different between pre-configured models and custom configurations, with the latter being considerably dearer. I’m only seeing one pre-configured model on HP’s website as I write this review, so I’ll list the pricing for custom-configured models here. Just remember that there will probably be inexpensive pre-configured models available. My review unit costs $1,734 configured with a Core i5-1245P with vPro, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe SSD, and the 13.5-inch QHD+ (2256 x 1504) IPS display.

The entry-level pre-configured model is $1,149 with a Core i3-1215U, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB PCIe SSD, and a 13.5-inch WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280) display. On the high end, you’ll spend $2,278 for a Core i7-1265U with vPro, 32GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, a 13.5-inch WUXGA+ Sure View Privacy screen, and 5G WWAN support.

Our take

There’s no other Chrome OS laptop quite just like the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook. Its haptic touchpad is best than most touchpads on any platform, coming in a detailed second to Apple’s Force Touch touchpads. Its vPro CPU enables extensive security and management for big organizations. And when fully configured, it’s the fastest Chromebook you possibly can buy.

No, this isn’t a Chromebook that many consumers are more likely to buy, mainly due to high price. But any business on the lookout for a secure, manageable, high-performing, and modern Chromebook now has only one logical alternative.

Are there any alternatives?

Right away, there really aren’t any legitimate alternatives. HP has jumped far ahead of the curve with the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, with Intel Twelfth-gen CPUs with vPro that no other Chrome OS laptop can match.

The Lenovo ThinkPad C14 Chromebook Enterprise is a clamshell laptop with Twelfth-Gen Intel processors with vPro, but it surely’s listed as “coming soon.” Once it arrives, it still won’t have a haptic touchpad or 2-in-1 form factor.

In the event you don’t need the Chrome OS Enterprise features of the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, then there are lots of inexpensive machines to contemplate. Nonetheless, none of them can have the wealth of features that the HP enjoys.

How long will it last?

The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is built well enough to last through years of abuse, and it’s equipped to power Chrome OS for years to return. The one-year warranty is especially disappointing for such an expensive laptop, though.

Do you have to buy it?

Yes, in case you’re a business that’s on the lookout for probably the most advanced, secure, and manageable Chromebook available today. Consumer Chromebook buyers should look elsewhere.

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