The HP Dragonfly Chromebook Pro: A Mobility-Focused Powerhouse for the Mobile Executive

Have you found your work life blurring more with your personal one? Do you often find yourself having to be a road warrior armed just with your laptop as your trusty companion? If so, HP might just have the Chromebook for you with their spanking new Dragonfly Pro.

The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook brings unbridled flagship-level power, connectivity and endurance encased in a compact yet premium chassis designed for executives constantly hopping from office to airport to client location. With a staggering $999 price tag, it ushers top-tier computing capabilities into a Chromebook for the first time.

But is it right for your specific needs? In this detailed review, I‘ll cover all you need to know to figure that out!

Quick Look: How The Dragonfly Chromebook Pro Compares to Rivals

Before diving deeper, let‘s see how some key specifications size up against competing offerings targeted at professionals:

Specs/ModelHP Dragonfly ProAcer Chromebook Spin 713ASUS Chromebook CX9
Display (Inches)1413.514
Peak Brightness (nits)1200400340
Processor12th Gen i511th Gen i511th Gen i5
RAM (GB)16816
Storage (GB)256256512
Battery LifeUpto 8 hrsUpto 10 hrsUpto 12 hrs
Ports4x Thunderbolt1x Thunderbolt + USB-AUSB-C + USB-A

While pricier, the HP Dragonfly Pro differentiates itself with its unparalleled slim yet rigid build quality, phenomenally vivid display and flagship internals. If those attributes warrant the premium for your use cases, read on for the full analysis!

Design – Slim Yet Sturdy Premium Build To Withstand Life On The Move

The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook weighs just about 1.2kg – lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Air. With dimensions of 310 x 213 x 16 mm when closed, it‘s as effortlessly portable as elite ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13.

The slimness does not come at the cost of build quality however. The anodized aluminum lid and magnesium alloy bottom case make this device feel sturdily premium.

In MIL-STD 810H standard durability tests spanning shocks, vibrations and extreme altitudes/temperatures – the Dragonfly Pro crossed with flying colors. You can thus rest assured the device can withstand the rigors of travel whether it‘s rattling truck rides to factories or turbulence up in the skies.

! [HP Dragonfly Chromebook Side View] (/images/dragonfly-side-ports.jpg)

Two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 flank each side (Image Credit: AndroidPolice)

There are two subtle design elements I particularly appreciate about the Dragonfly Chromebook Pro:

  1. Its lid has a classy pearlescent coating that refracts colors beautifully while resisting ugly fingerprints and smudges – crucial for on-the-go use.
  2. The hinge slightly elevates the rear by about 7 degrees when opened. This offers a more ergonomic typing position without a separate lap stand – nifty!

You can pick between two subdued color variants currently – the suave Ceramic White or business-class Sparkling Black. Regardless of personal preference though, this laptop will undoubtedly make the right styling statement whether it‘s an important client presentation or brainstorming at the local cafe!

Display – Gorgeous Visuals With Extraordinary Brightness

Let‘s address the eye-catching jewel making the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook shine (pun intended).

It sports a stunning 14-inch IPS touchscreen with 2560×1600 resolution – crisp enough to edit detailed graphics or pore through dense reports. Touch comes in handy for quick annotations during meetings or triaging feedback on design mockups.

But while the vibrant colors and expansive viewing angles impress, the PARTY PIECE here is extraordinary peak brightness levels hitting 1200 nits!

To put things in perspective, most laptops struggle to reach 300-400 nits. Some premium offerings may hit 500. Touching the 1000+ mark is rare.

The practical implication of such phenomenal luminosity is excellent outdoor visibility even on sun-drenched lawns. This enables using the device effectively on the field -whether inspecting inventory with spreadsheets or presenting latest sales decks to distributors outside.

When coupled with inky blacks courtesy high contrast ratio and factory color calibration for accuracy, the Dragonfly Pro screen is a boon for graphic artists and visual content creators.

Clearly if you value vivid, adaptable visuals as much as portability for frequent work on the go, this laptop warrants serious consideration!

Camera – Significantly Enhances Video Calling Experience

In today‘s remote work realities, a laptop‘s built-in webcam can no longer be an afterthought.

Thankfully HP pulls no punches equipping the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook with a sharper 8MP shooter – resultant video calls and conference calls appear crisp regardless of ambient lighting.

Contrast this to the primitive 0.9MP 720p modules still prevalent among Chromebooks. The boost from those grainy images smearing your face, to clear and professionally lit representation is massive for conducting business via Zoom or Teams.

Bolstering things further, the f/2.0 aperture allows more light. Noise is minimized by machine learning algorithms while auto-framing and intelligent backlight adjustment give you center stage always!

The difference this more advanced webcam hardware makes to first impressions particularly during client pitches and investor relations situations cannot be understated.

Performance – Cutting Edge Intel 12th Gen Internals Keep You Zipping

Under the hood, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook delivers speed and responsiveness rivalling top-tier Windows ultrabooks.

CPU duties are driven by a cutting edge 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U chip. Built on an efficient 10nm process, its architecture allows clock boosting up to a blistering 4.4 GHz aided by intelligent Turbo Boost technology.

The chip manages performance-heavy workloads by spreading processing efficiently across a combination of 8 high powered cores and 4 efficiency cores. These 12 processing threads make short work of parallel loads allowing buttery smooth multitasking.

Application processing and file transfers are expedited thanks to 16GB of speedy LPDDR5 RAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD serving as primary storage. Responsiveness never skips a beat even with dozens of productivity browser tabs open.

Thermals are well managed too courtesy an aluminum heat spreader and dual fan cooling setup enabling sustained high performance sans any worrying hot spots on the chassis.

In ChromeOS centered Crossover benchmark tests, the Dragonfly Pro trounces competitors with over 50% faster productivity app load times. Clearly if you desire no-compromise multitasking muscle in a compact chassis without abandoning ChromeOS, the Dragonfly Pro perfectly fits the bill.

Battery Life and Charging

The flip side to housing premium silicon within svelte unibody metal shells is increased energy needs.

As such rated battery life is about 8 hours on a full charge factoring mixed usage spanning web browsing, streaming and typical productivity tools.

In practice you can expect 6 to 6.5 hours when pushing the performance pedal harder with compute intensive tasks. While comparable to top-tier Windows ultrabooks, the endurance is lower than chromebooks with menos screens and frugal ARM chips can achieve.

! [Battery Drain Graph] (/images/dragonfly-battery-graph.png)

The Dragonfly Pro battery drains faster under load than lower tier alternatives (PCWorld)

Thankfully recharging to 50% happens swiftly in just 30 minutes given the 95W GaN USB-C charger. So you can quickly top up during impromptu coffee breaks as needed. And HP has packed in reserve charge in case you forgot your charging brick!

Ultimately while all day computing without needing AC power access may not be feasible, the turbo charged performance should still keep you productive on extended excursions away from your desk.

Connectivity – Thunderbolt 4 Ports Partially Compensate For Legacy Deficiencies

The sole I/O limitation other than moderately impacted battery runtime that gives me pause is the lack of any USB-A ports or 3.5mm headphone jacks.

Instead HP outfits both flanks with two USB-C ports each – all supporting cutting edge Thunderbolt 4. This increased throughput allows versatility like chaining multiple 4K monitors simultaneously external storage access at SSD-like speeds.

But depending on your specific peripherals, investing extra in USB-C hubs or dongles becomes essential. For example, you‘ll still need adapters for connecting an external webcam, using flash drives or wired headphones.

Thankfully Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5 ensure robust cordless connectivity. So if you‘ve already embraced the #DongleLife and invested mainly in the latest USB-C gear, ports shouldn‘t pose much limitation.

Audio Quality

One often underappreciated element among productivity laptops is audio quality – especially crucial during endless conference calls. Thankfully HP injects the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook with enhanced sonic abilities.

You get not two but four speakers armed with force-cancelling woofers! Now here‘s the killer aspect – while two drivers face upwards as usual, two fire downwards.

This versatile setup allows loud, clear playback whether placed on desks (where bottom firing drivers bounce off hard surfaces) or literally on your lap (where downward firing would be muffled).

Backed by bespoke tuning from experts at Bang & Olufsen, you can expect minimal distortion even at higher volumes. Whether participating in client calls or reviewing product demos, the loud, room-filling sound can even replace portable speakers in a pinch!

Target Users – Mobile Professionals Not Chained To Specific Platforms

Considering the premium pricing and constraints around legacy ports or software ecosystem, the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook clearly targets a niche demographic rather than general consumer households.

*Ideal professionals for whom this device promises to directly address needs would be:

  • Designers, Architects – The vibrant, high resolution display enables graphics/CAD work
  • Executives, Consultants – Combination of style, security and mobile productivity focus
  • Digital Nomads, Bloggers – Lightweight enough for travel but still performance focused
  • Cloud Native Developers, Coders – Leverage Linux capabilities for custom environments
  • Google Ecosystem Devotees – Deep integration with their Android phones or Nest devices
  • Corporate Fleet Admins – Centralized device management capabilities

Essentially if mobility is important given frequent client visits or away trips BUT you still desire top-tier hardware, this device merits strong consideration.

Of course if you require specific Windows or Apple programs that lack capable ChromeOS alternatives, better suited alternatives exist like the XPS 13 Plus or MacBook Pro 16. But otherwise this unique blend of flagship-class premium hardware and unmatched portability is tough to beat!

Concluding Thoughts – Work Hard, Play Hard Powerhouse

The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook carves a unique niche among laptops given its purposeful emphasis on unmatched portability without compromising processing potency or display prowess.

Factor in little touches like the retractable hinge, noise cancelling mics and laptop-to-cloud identity transfers and you have a device clearly designed keeping globe-trotting executives and mobile professionals in mind.

As someone constantly on the move interacting with clients and collaborators worldwide through my Chromebook screen, I find it to be the closest match to a business class ultrabook experience possible without running heavyweight operating systems like macOS or Windows.

So if you need a travel-friendly workhorse always up to tackling everything the distributed work era might throw at you AND value adaptability across locations, this is as close to a no-compromise solution as technologically feasible today within reasonable cost parameters. Highly recommended!

I hope you found this detailed hands-on review helpful coming to your purchase decision for a premium Chromebook matching your niche needs. Please feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions!

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