I’ll go ahead and say it: the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook was my absolute favorite thing I saw at CES 2023. While not the most technologically advanced gadget I ran into, this Chromebook looks to answer the mail for Chromebook users looking for a premium, beautiful, powerful laptop running ChromeOS. We may have a lot of Chromebooks already in the market and also making their debut at CES 2023 this year, but in my opinion, none compare with this one. Truth be told; I’m a bit smitten right now.
There are few Chromebooks I go back for a second look at when we’re at shows like CES. The only other time I remember doing so was with the Samsung Chromebook Pro (our first CES) and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, and both of those devices were incredibly significant in their respective times. I went back for a few extra looks and touches with the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook and each time I returned, I was equally impressed. This one is going to be special, folks.
Hopefully you already read our post from the HP press release about this Chromebook and you are all caught up, but if not, here’s a quick rundown on the specs. There are some interesting things going on here, so after the technical list, we’ll talk through what makes this Chromebook really special.
HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook Key Specs
- 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1235U
- Iris Xe GPU
- 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
- 256GB NVMe storage
- 14-inch 2560×1600 IPS touchscreen
- 1200 nits max brightness with 100% sRGB
- 8MP camera
- Quad-speaker setup
- Fingerprint scanner
- RGB Keyboard
- Fast charging (50% in 30 minutes)
- 51.3Wh 4-cell battery
- Ceramic White or Sparkling Black
One spec list, one SKU
Unlike most of the Chromebooks we see, this one will come in one flavor and one flavor alone. The spec sheet you see above will be the configuration it ships with and there are no plans for anything more loaded or less capable. And this is a MASSIVE win for the Chromebook market.
With devices hitting the market at all sorts of configurations, buyers are not only confused with the product names, they are confused at what spec level they are getting when they walk into a Best Buy to purchase one. We all know Chromebook names are bad, but when it isn’t clear and simple what you get if you buy a Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 for example, consumers are left a bit blindsided after making a purchase.
The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook upends this trend by coming in a single spec with a single SKU. If you go in to buy this device, the list you see above is what you’ll be getting. And that impressive spec sheet is matched only by the feel, look and attention to detail HP has poured into this Chromebook.
Finally, a manufacturer delivers the goods
While I’m very happy typing on this Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition currently under my palms or the Acer Chromebook 516 GE I’ve been doting on, I’ve said again and again that no one builds Chromebooks quite like Google does. With them currently out of the picture from a ChromeOS hardware standpoint, I’ve been wondering when or if another manufacturer would step in and fill the void with not only a powerful Chromebook, but a considered one as well.
And from my early look at the Dragonfly Pro, I feel like HP has done it. There’s a fit and finish in this device we don’t see in many Chromebooks, and the overall aesthetic feels completely on-brand in a Chromebook. I love the fact that it is fast, but I also love that the speakers sound fantastic, the screen is awesome, the chassis is thin and firm, the keyboard feels delightful, the haptic trackpad is amazing, and the silhouette of this Chromebook simply oozes quality.
Google clearly worked closely with HP on this one, and it already shows. As I’ve said many times before, a spec sheet only gets you so far. Attention to detail – fine-tuned for the delight of the end user – is what delivers that last 10% to make a laptop go from great to amazing. I can’t yet say that HP has definitively done this, but I sure want to. With only a small time handling this Chromebook, I can tell that it is special, and I absolutely cannot wait for our review unit to arrive. With a Q1 release date (no price yet), that day shouldn’t be too far out.