HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook review: The Pixelbook replacement

    For the higher a part of the final 12 months, I’ve been banging the drum about Google creating the “Pixel Perfect Ecosystem.” We have already got the Pixel 7, Pixel Watch, and the Pixel Tablet needs to be touchdown any day now. All we’re lacking is a brand new Pixel-branded Chromebook, and the rumor mill instructed Google was engaged on simply that.Unfortunately, my hopes and goals had been dashed following a report that Google ditched plans to launch the Pixelbook 2 as a part of “cost-cutting measures.” Without burying the lede any additional, I say all this to say that we would simply have the Pixelbook 2 with the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook: Price and availability(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook was introduced at CES 2023 and is on the market in a single configuration. For $999, the Dragonfly Pro is provided with the Intel Core i5-1235U, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. Additionally, HP is providing its newest Chromebook in two colours, because it is available in both Ceramic White or Sparkling Black.HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook: Design and show(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)From the skin, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook would not actually look all that particular. It encompasses a textured casing much like what we have seen with different choices in HP’s Chromebook lineup. That being stated, the Sparkling Black mannequin that we have been testing is nearly as dangerous at choosing up fingerprints because the 2022 MacBook Air in Midnight.But as quickly as you carry the lid on the Dragonfly Pro, you will utterly overlook concerning the fingerprints on the case. HP packed a surprising 14-inch touchscreen show with a 2560 x 1600 decision, and a 16:10 facet ratio.(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)Not solely is that this the best-looking display that I’ve used on a Chromebook, however it additionally will get fairly rattling brilliant. According to HP, the Dragonfly Pro can attain as much as 1200 nits of peak brightness, blowing just about all the finest Chromebooks out of the water.There have been various occasions once I went to sit down on the sofa at night time, and opened the lid, solely to get blinded earlier than the ambient gentle sensor kicked in. I can not correctly categorical how a lot I really like the truth that HP did not skimp on the display and made one which can be utilized whether or not you are doing work at a park bench, on the espresso store, or at house.HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook: Performance(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)With the exception of some, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook shares the identical Core i5-1235U chipset discovered on among the finest Chromebooks. All this actually means is that you are going to have the ability to take pleasure in taking part in Steam video games and dealing with a bunch of Chrome tabs and home windows open, all while not having to fret about issues slowing down.Swipe to scroll horizontallyCategoryHP Dragonfly Pro ChromebookShow14-inch, 16:10, 1200 nits peak brightness, touchscreenResolution2560 x 1600ProcessorsIntel Core i5-1235UGraphicsIntel Iris XeRAM16GBStorage256GBmicroSD card slot❌Camera8MPPorts4x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C)Additional featuresHaptic trackpad, RGB backlit keyboard, fingerprint scannerConnectivityWi-Fi 6En, Bluetooth 5.3BatteryAs much as 11.5 hoursCharging96W USB Type-C Power Adapter included, Fast Charge (50% in 30 minutes)ColoursCeramic White, Sparkling BlackDimensions12.4 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches (314.96 x 220.98 x 17.78mm)Weight3.3 poundsAUE dateJune 2030Something that helps on this division is HP’s resolution to pair the Core i5-1235U with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of NVMe storage. I might’ve favored to have the choice for extra storage, however beggars cannot be choosers as HP opted to maintain issues easy this time round.If you are searching for some comparisons, effectively, I’ve received simply the ticket. Here’s how the HP Dragonfly Pro stacks up towards the Acer Chromebook 516 GE and Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition:Swipe to scroll horizontallyBenchmark TestHP Dragonfly Pro ChromebookAcer Chromebook 516 GEFramework Laptop Chromebook EditionWirple HTML5 3D Benchmark881486578368Octane 2.0841228369773572Speedometer 2.1193185128Jetstream236.448237.639179.327MotionMark939.93279.72864.28It’s just about what you’ll anticipate finding with this chipset in a Chromebook, and as alluded to earlier than, it would not disappoint. But that is not the meat and potatoes of what HP is specializing in right here, not less than not in its entirety.The actuality is that I haven’t got far more to supply on this entrance as a result of I anticipated HP to comply with by way of with wonderful efficiency. Instead, the thrilling factor concerning the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is every thing else.Battery life can also be one space the place I used to be a bit involved, because the Dragonfly Elite did not actually fairly hit the mark for me over time. Thankfully, that is not a problem right here as this dangerous boy will simply make it by way of a few days earlier than you have to plug it in. And once you do want to search out attain for the charger, you will be pleasantly shocked.In the field, HP is together with an enormous 96W energy adapter, together with a USB-C to USB-C cable. This is not simply any USB-C cable although, because the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook really comes with a braided cable. Sure, this may not be a giant deal to some, however it simply speaks to the eye to element that we’re seeing to assist present the “complete package.”(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)Oh, and in a pattern that we have been seeing increasingly with Chromebooks, the Dragonfly Pro contains fast charging capabilities. You’ll have the ability to go from 0-50% in about 30 minutes, which is very nice once you want a fast top-off earlier than heading out the door.HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook: What makes this nice(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)There are two extra “defining” options of the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook that I have not touched on but; the keyboard and trackpad. I normally maintain again my ideas, not less than to a sure extent, in the case of the trackpads on lots of laptops and different Chromebooks.This is just because of the truth that they’re “serviceable” at finest, and  “horrendous” at worst, with nearly all of trackpads falling someplace in between. If you learn my evaluation of the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, you probably seen how a lot I gushed over the unimaginable haptic trackpad.HP completely nailed the trackpad on the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, together with the delicate and adjustable haptics.Well, it is again once more with the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, and simply as satisfying as ever. Seriously, that is the one trackpad that I’ve used that makes me want I may rip it out of the Chromebook’s chassis and use it all the time.There are nonetheless delicate haptics once you drag a window to 1 facet or the opposite. All the whereas, eradicating the necessity to fear about transferring elements as a result of there are not any. It’s merely only a pleasure.Rounding out my career of affection for the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is the keyboard. Like many, I believed it was a bit odd to see HP implement RGB backlighting on a Chromebook that is not positioned as being “for gamers.”(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)However, it is simply one other manner that HP is attempting to assist its flagship Chromebook stand out from the pack. You have all the similar customization choices as you’ll discover on one of the best gaming Chromebooks.These embrace having the ability to have the keyboard backlight match the colour of your wallpaper for extra of a uniform expertise. And I think about this can be even higher as soon as Material You lastly makes its method to the ChromeOS secure channel. Hopefully, it’s going to come sooner reasonably than later, however we’ll simply must maintain ready for Google to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook: A couple of compromises(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)So far, I’ve spent fairly a little bit of time gushing over how a lot I’ve fallen in love with a Chromebook. However, there are just a few compromises or considerations that I might be remiss if I did not not less than level out.For one, the largest resolution that HP made that I’m not a fan of is the port choice. On one hand, that is the primary Chromebook to launch with FOUR Thunderbolt 4 ports. So you will get unimaginable switch speeds, compatibility with one of the best docking stations and USB-C hubs, and far more.Having 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports is great till you notice that you will must seize a docking station or be ready to stay with dongles.But it appears that evidently we have entered a little bit of an alternate actuality as a result of the draw back is that you will must get accustomed to the #DongleLife. There aren’t another ports to be discovered on the Dragonfly Pro, not even a microSD card slot, not to mention an HDMI port. This will most likely be the second-biggest hurdle for potential homeowners, with the primary being the $999 price ticket.While HP opting to make use of such a incredible and brilliant touchscreen show is nice and all, should you had been hoping for a convertible, you will be out of luck. I’m not precisely certain why HP opted to stay with a “traditional” design, particularly after the Dragonfly Elite was not solely a convertible but additionally included a magnetic USI pen. I can solely surmise that it is cost-related ultimately, and at the same time as I kind this out, it appears like nit-picking.HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook: An argument about worth(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)The final hurdle that the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook has to cowl is the value. It’s been powerful attempting to inform folks about how nice the Framework Laptop Chromebook is, solely to inform them it is $999.It’s true, you will get virtually the identical efficiency with a convertible design and a built-in USI pen, all for lower than what the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is priced at. In phrases of what it may possibly do, there’s virtually no distinction. And that is going to be a tricky capsule to swallow for lots of potential patrons.But hear me out. This is actually one of the best Chromebook that I’ve ever used. I’m not sitting right here attempting to make some kind of gross sales pitch, however this is what I imagined from a Pixelbook 2, simply with Google’s emblem on the lid as a substitute of HP’s.The Dragonfly Pro combines energy and velocity with a kick-ass touchscreen show, a haptic trackpad that is untouchable, and a keyboard that is a dream to kind on. I can not consider one other Chromebook, and just a few laptops, that may even come near that. So should you had been to ask me if I feel the $999 is warranted, my reply is a convincing sure.HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook: The competitors(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)HP’s Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is in a little bit of a tricky spot, just because there are such a lot of nice Chromebooks on the market. Until now, our favourite has been Acer’s Chromebook Spin 714, with the Chromebook 516 GE taking the highest spot for finest gaming Chromebooks.Both of those choices share the identical Intel Core i5-1235U chip discovered within the Dragonfly Pro however include half the RAM. The Chromebook 516 GE contains a superb 120Hz show and RGB keyboard however lacks a little bit of polish. Meanwhile, the Chromebook Spin 714 has the polish however lacks just a few of the “intangibles” of what the Dragonfly Pro has to supply.Then, there’s the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition which comes on the similar worth however is certainly designed with “tinkerers” in thoughts. Until the Dragonfly Pro landed on my doorstep, this has been my go-to gadget. Having the flexibleness to swap out a USB-A growth card for HDMI or microSD continues to impress me. The actual check can be to see if the Dragonfly Pro replaces the Framework over time.HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook: Should you purchase it?(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)You can buy this if:You need one of the best Chromebook that cash can purchase.You desire a Chromebook with an RGB keyboard with out the gamer vibes.You need an unimaginable display.You desire a Chromebook with a haptic trackpad.You should not purchase this if:You’re on a funds.You do not need to fear about dongles or hubs for including ports.You desire a Chromebook with a convertible design.Let me get this out of the best way first. If you have made it this far, thanks and I have to apologize. The final gadget that received me this excited was the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and it is an absolute dream to have the ability to use each the Fold 4 and Dragonfly Pro Chromebook side-by-side.Back once I wrote about Google killing my dream of the Pixel-perfect ecosystem, I had no concept that there could be a Chromebook that might come near assembly what I believed would come of the Pixelbook 2. Somehow, ultimately, HP has performed simply that with the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.
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    HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook

    “The One”
    Just like Neo from the Matrix, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is perhaps “The One.” It’s excellent in lots of alternative ways, offering the whole package deal for a premium Chromebook. 

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