It is not daily that you just get the prospect to unbox what might find yourself being the most effective Chromebook of the yr. Whereas we had an opportunity to mess around with an early, pre-production mannequin of the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook all the way in which again in January, it was clear that issues have been undoubtedly not prepared for prime time again then. Quick ahead to June and issues are fairly totally different with the arrival of the retail-ready mannequin of the Dragonfly we now have within the workplace.
Why the Dragonfly earns its ‘Elite’ title
As quickly as we get into the boring-but-planet-friendly field, it does not take lengthy to recollect why this Chromebook is so good. Beginning with the surface, the Dragonfly is a placing darkish navy shade with HP’s new 4-line emblem on the lid. With an all-aluminum / magnesium alloy physique, skinny body, subdued fan ports and sub-3-pound weight, this Chromebook feels superb within the palms instantly. There’s no creaking or bending within the physique and the general sensation is that of portablility: till you crack open the lid.
Inside is the place issues get actually fascinating as HP deploys the identical measurement display we see in Acer’s Spin 713 and Spin 513, giving this moveable Chromebook a bigger canvas than you count on from the outside. Particularly, we’re coping with a 13.5-inch QHD 2256 × 1504 show that will get as much as 400 nits of brightness and appears colourful, vibrant and sharp. With affordable high / backside bezels and really small aspect bezels, the look is trendy and clear with a 5MP digital camera up high; handbook privateness shade in-tow. I will be testing the digital camera on this one a bit extra intently, however instantly I can inform HP has put actual work into making this the most effective Chromebook cameras to this point. General colours and publicity are WAY higher than what we’re used to with webcams on Chromebooks to this point.
Beneath the display is a really satisfying backlit keyboard with a number of further operate keys. The add-ons embody a devoted microphone toggle, a single keyboard backlight on / off key and the return of the play / pause key. To this point, this keyboard is pretty much as good as HP makes, and that is saying one thing. HP’s keyframes have been top-notch for years, and that is the most effective model of these already-great keyboards.
Beneath that keyboard is a world first within the utterly haptic trackpad. That is proper: nothing on this trackpad truly strikes, nevertheless it feels prefer it does. There are only some settings proper now they usually usually management how onerous it is advisable press down with a view to register a click on sensation. I desire the sunshine setting because it looks like a responsive, easy-to-use trackpad. The suggestions underneath my fingers is pleasant and I haven’t got to fret that individuals who purchase this Chromebook will get a poorly fitted model. Click on wherever on the floor you need and you will get the very same, satisfying click on each time. It is incredible.
To the correct of that trackpad is the fingerprint scanner and magnetic space for the included, wi-fi charging USI pen. The fingerprint scanner is within the correct place (in my view) and works simply as flawlessly as others we have tried on earlier Chromebooks. The pen magnet proper subsequent door is sturdy and retains the USI pen charged up and able to use at any time when it’s wanted.
Flanking the highest and backside of the keyboard deck are 4 audio system, two above and two under; they usually pump out the sound. Whereas not fairly as wealthy and deep because the Pixelbook Go’s superior cans, this quad-speaker setup sounds very good in my restricted testing. I will check out some extra intense content material for the evaluation, however the preliminary trials showcase a stable sound setup for common use.
Inside, our evaluation unit has the Twelfth-gen Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of inner storage. We’re unsure which configurations will finally come obtainable for common shopper buy, however I actually hope a pair choices turn into obtainable over time. The bottom mannequin seems to be coming later with a 12-gen Intel Core i3, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, however that one is reportedly going to start out at $ 1149. Certain, that also will get you all of the perks above, however these specs will make it a tough promote for many patrons. With gadgets just like the wonderful Acer Chromebook Spin 513 having among the similar upsides as this stellar Dragonfly Chromebook at half the price, it is going to be fascinating to see how issues shake out as soon as it begins arriving in shops. For now, it’s time for the evaluation to start, and to seek out out if all of the perks within the Dragonfly are well worth the asking value.