This laptop completely modified my perception of Chromebooks

I get the appeal of Chromebooks — I actually do. Sometimes less is more, and an operating system that is easier can provide a less distracting experience for the precise audience. Nevertheless it’s never been fit for me.

I’m pretty bought into Microsoft’s Office suite, and I’m willing to pay a premium for top-notch hardware. I need my laptop to appear and feel like a serious work tool without compromises — and that’s at all times made me think Chromebooks weren’t for me. Then I attempted the HP Dragonfly Elite Chromebook.

Chrome OS hardware really might be top-notch

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Dragonfly Elite Chromebook didn’t do anything to maneuver the needle much in my overall impressions of ChromeOS when it comes to software. Nevertheless it did persuade me that there’s nothing stopping manufacturers from making Chromebooks that match their Windows and macOS counterparts when it comes to hardware.

To start with, the Dragonfly Elite Chromebook was exquisitely built. That’s not all that unusual, but I’ve actually tested my justifiable share of flimsy Chromebooks. HP’s machine took things to a recent level. Yes, the chassis is product of a magnesium-aluminum allow and isn’t as rigid as all-aluminum machines, however it’s also very lightweight at 2.8 kilos. The hinge was perfect in my testing, allowing the lid to be opened with one hand but holding the 2-in-1 in place in clamshell, tent, media, and tablet modes. And it’s thin at 0.65 inches. It was a pleasant laptop to make use of and the equal of the most effective Windows machines I’ve reviewed.

HP also used a 13.5-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which isn’t as common on Chromebooks as on Windows machines. The taller aspect ratio is especially useful in tablet mode, where the size more closely mimic a physical piece of paper. In order that’s one other check within the Dragonfly Elite Chromebook’s favor.

Chrome OS hardware may also be revolutionary

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

You’ll be able to probably count the variety of Windows laptops with haptic touchpads on the fingers of 1 hand. The Surface Laptop Studio was among the many first and was then followed by the Dell XPS 13 Plus, Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z13 and ThinkPad Z16, and a few others. There’s something special about haptic touchpads that work well, particularly because you’ll be able to click anywhere on the surface and get a response. It’s also possible to construct in special features as Apple did with its Force Touch feature on its MacBooks that adds one other layer of search and other functionality.

HP utilized the software features available with haptic touchpads by adding feedback for when a window has been snapped to either side and when a desktop is moved in multiple desktop modes. There could also be more features that I didn’t uncover during my testing, however it’s clear that HP is serious about making its haptic touchpad special. And to see if arrive first on a Chromebook is remarkable.

There’s also a privacy screen option for the Dragonfly Elite Chromebook. That’s not “revolutionary” since it already exists on Windows machines, but like a lot of these features, it’s a primary for ChromeOS. Chromebook users now not must go without the flexibility to dam their data from prying eyes.

Then there are the USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support. Most laptops tap out at USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, and so they don’t offer USB-A and HDMI ports. The Dragonfly Elite Chromebook proved that you simply don’t should compromise in terms of connectivity, and HP fully supports the Dragonfly Elite Chromebook with all of its various docking options. And HP offers 5G WWAN as an option, making it equal to Windows on ARM and other Windows laptops when it comes to always-connected web.

Finally, HP inbuilt biometric login. Again, that’s nothing unusual industry-wide, but few Chromebooks have fingerprint readers to make logging in easier. And HP fully supports the Chrome OS Enterprise feature set because of Invel vPro CPUs. There’s total memory encryption (TME) and Keylocker to maintain data even safer, and the Dragonfly Elite Chromebook is fully manageable by IT departments.

There’s more, but that’s enough to make it stand out

Performance can also be excellent because of Twelfth-gen Core CPUs, and you’ll be able to even beef it up with as much as 32GB of RAM. That’s not recent — many other Chromebooks also offer great performance — but added to every thing else that’s great concerning the Dragonfly Elite Chromebook, it just rounds things out. Battery life could possibly be higher, and the machine is incredibly expensive for a Chromebook. It starts at $1,100 and goes up from there, which is loads.

Nevertheless it proved to me that, at the least when it comes to hardware, there are zero compromises to purchasing a Chromebook. Now, if I can only discover a approach to make ChromeOS work higher for my workflow when it comes to software. But hey, that’s on Google, not HP.

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