In January, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook was the talk of CES. With its fingerprint sensor, 1200 nit touch display panel, haptic trackpad, and flawless build quality, why not? However, we saw a demonstration unit there. In 2023, my review of the $999 HP Dragonfly Chromebook will determine whether or not this device is the real deal as a Pixelbook-like device. Additionally, I try to clarify the baffling battery life issues that have been reported by other users of this Chromebook.
Top-notch specifications, design, features, and construction quality
Let’s begin by evaluating this Chromebook based on its exterior as well as its interior. Since the Google Pixelbook or Pixelbook Go, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a device built so well. Yes, I thought the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook from last year belonged in this category, but it felt different. In many ways, it reminded me of an Apple MacBook running ChromeOS.
The materials, design, and construction of the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook this year are identical to those of the Elite Dragonfly from last year. To me, it looks more like a Pixelbook. Meaning: Despite its minimalist appearance, it is stylish and sleek.
It’s accessible in two tones: white or black; I lean toward the previous. There is not even a microphone jack, HDMI port, USB Type-A port, or microSD slot. Rather you need to live in store for USB Type-C/Thunderclap 4 and you have four of those ports to utilize. It’s a ground breaking approach that not every person will like. I do personally.
The speakers, which fire from the top and sides, are among the best I’ve heard on a Chromebook. This laptop really is loud and has great sound quality. The four speakers are as loud as the majority of other Chromebooks at 100% volume, even at 50% volume. Moreover, with improved audio quality. There is also noticeable stereo separation and more bass than you would expect. Using this Chromebook, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching movies.
The IPS display makes colors pop, and a touch screen with 1200 nits lets you really crank up the brightness. However, in comparison to other Chromebooks, I notice that the screen has a pinkish tint. Additionally, the display’s brightness levels decrease more rapidly than I anticipated when viewed from an angle.
The 8 megapixel webcam produces sharp images, and the sensor does a respectable job of adjusting for brightness. It takes some getting used to when the light changes. However, based on the pictures I’ve taken and the various video calls we’ve had, it still works well.
The keyboard’s fingerprint sensor is functional to an excellent level. The keyboard also: It is extremely excellent. To avoid repeating myself, but the theme is excellent for Pixelbook.
The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook’s trackpad and keyboard provide excellent feedback and travel for chiclet-style typing. The best part is that the backlit RGB keys have no light bleed and can be customized in a number of ways. I can’t stand the sight of light leaking from under the front of backlit keys. No such issue here. The colors also change depending on the wallpaper that’s on your Chromebook, which is nice. Naturally, there are a limited number of RGB color scenes from which to choose.
This year’s model also features the same excellent haptic trackpad. Plenty of room, and it responds quickly. Naturally, people who have never used a haptic trackpad might find it strange. You’ll get used to it, so don’t worry about using a mechanical trackpad again.
One final piece about the subject of a top notch insight. The Dragonfly Pro comes with a braided USB cable that is 6 feet (1.83 meters) long and a lightning-fast 96W charger from HP. a thoughtful addition that I value. That charger siphons sufficient juice to go from 0 to half battery quickly.
A braided USB Type C cable and a 96W charger are included in this comprehensive rundown of the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook’s specifications to help you remember what I said and what I didn’t.
|CPU||12th-gen Intel Core i5-1235U Processor, up to 4.4 GHz,|
10 cores / 12 threads
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe|
|Display||14-inch IPS 2560 x 1600 display, 16:10 aspect ratio,|
1200 nits brightness, 100% sRGB color gamut
|Memory||16 GB LPDDR5-5200 MHz|
|Storage||256 GB NVMe M.2 storage|
|Connectivity||802.11ax (2×2) WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3|
|Input||Backlit RGB keyboard, multitouch trackpad, |
1080p (8MP) FHD RGB webcam, dual-array microphones,
|Ports||4 Thunderbolt 4 with USB Type-C (40 Gbps data rate (USB Power Delivery,|
DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge)
|Battery||51.3 Wh battery,|
claimed run-time up to 11.5 hours
|Weight||3.33 pounds / 1.51 kilograms|
|Software||Chrome OS automatic updates through June 2030|
The performance of the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is exactly where it ought to be.
For the Dragonfly Pro, HP used the same 12th generation Intel Core i5-1235U chipset as my daily driver, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714. As a result, I fully anticipated that the performance would be nearly identical. It is in my ordinary utilization, or, in other words, it’s a quick gadget. Artificial benchmarks support that as well, demonstrating performance gains over the Framework Chromebook’s more power-hungry Core i5-1240P.
|Test||HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook|
12th gen Core i5
|Acer Chromebook Spin 714|
12th gen Core i5
|HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook|
12th gen Core i5
12th gen Core i5
Battery life of the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook
In reviews, the battery life of the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook has received a lot of attention. I won’t name names because I don’t like to, so I’ll assume you know what I mean. Let’s just say that some reviews said this device could run for 2.5 to 5 hours on a single charge. I am unable to specifically refute those reviews. Meaning: I would believe someone who had a runtime of 2.5 hours. How can I refute what they saw using a different workflow than mine?
The response to the possible “why” is more significant. Additionally, I believe the two screenshots below convey at least some of that narrative.
The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is the first, with the display brightness set to around 40%. I don’t have a way to measure the brightness in actual nits. At this brightness level, all I can say is that I can work comfortably indoors on this machine. Take note that the Chromebook is only running the Diagnostics app at the time of this screenshot and is not actually doing anything else. This is from a brand-new sign in and boot.
The Diagnostics app displays a predicted battery runtime of 10 hours and 21 minutes from the 51.3WHr power pack and a battery discharge rate of 453mA.
The Chromebook’s battery life will obviously decrease as a result of increased energy consumption during actual use. This is just a starting point to show how the 1200 nit display panel affects things. The same battery information is displayed below when the brightness is increased to 100 percent:
Is the display brightness set to 100% and the predicted battery life visible? It’s about 4 hours and 22 minutes, which is a huge difference. Because of the screen, the power draw is nearly 300 percent higher. Additionally, when ChromeOS is used, the processor will naturally require more power, reducing the remaining four hours to two to three.
My point is this: The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook’s screen will wear out the battery more quickly the longer it is left at a brightness level above what I would consider “standard.” Yes, this is anticipated, but it is not news. However, this particular display’s effect on battery life is. A Chromebook with a screen this bright has never been available to us before.
Putting aside the data, I found that the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook’s battery life was adequate after several weeks of continuous use. Linux desktop applications and the Chrome browser make up the majority of my typical workflow. Sporadically I’ll utilize an Android application or two however not frequently. However, I did incorporate some on several days.
I mean that I used between 6.5 and 8 hours on a single charge on average per day, depending on what I was doing. On what I would consider a “heavy duty” workday based on the tasks I had to complete, I was able to drain the battery in about five hours.