HP’s Dragonfly Chromebook is the most exciting Chromebook I’ve seen in a long time. The device, which combines high-end specs with premium hardware design, was announced at CES back in January. And now, HP has finally announced the price of this thing: the consumer version of the Dragonfly Chromebook is expected to ship this summer and will cost – get ready – $1,149.
Okay, so this isn’t as bad as it could have been. As of this writing, the Enterprise model of the Dragonfly is listed at an MSRP of $2,165, which is the highest entry-level price I’ve heard of a Chromebook. Still, $1,149 is…a lot.
For this high price This Dragonfly device is going to include all kinds of high-end features. It will be the first Chromebook to feature Intel’s vPro platform, a staple of high-end business PCs. It also has the world’s first haptic touchpad on a Chromebook, a screen option that can reach a whopping 1,000 nits of brightness, an HDMI port, and 12th Gen Intel processors. Current-gen Intel chips don’t often hit Chromebooks so soon after their release.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook, yet another recent attempt by a company to add a Chromebook option to its established premium business line, started at $909 at the time of its release (and I thought that was pretty high at the time) . Other companies have tried the high-end Chromebook. Samsung has created a beautiful and very red device for $999, and Google’s convertible Pixelbook (also $999) was groundbreaking hardware at the time of its release. Both devices stopped just short of the $1,000 mark, but we still didn’t see great value for money from our testing.
Also keep in mind that $1,149 is the Dragonfly’s base price. HP tells me this base model will have a Core i3-1215U, 8GB of memory, 128GB of storage, and a QHD+ touch display (which maxes out at 400 nits, not 1,000). That’s very expensive for these specs, even in a Chromebook. And I imagine a lot of people shopping in the Dragonfly price range will probably want more.
This puts the Dragonfly Chromebook in a slightly odd space. On the one hand, there aren’t many competing options for high-end Chromebooks. On the other hand, you can buy a very well built Windows laptop with similar specs at this price point. High-end business laptops are generally not good deals. They tend to be an arena where manufacturers can really show off their engineering prowess, which they’re capable of because they’re targeting customers with endless pockets.
That’s not to say there aren’t Chrome OS enthusiasts who would opt for something like an HP Specter, or that there aren’t advantages Google’s OS can claim over Microsoft’s. But for Chrome OS to become commonplace in the C-suite, good hardware won’t be enough; Chrome OS needs to be able to keep up with the software support that Windows currently offers. If the Dragonfly Chromebook is as good as it looks, Chrome OS needs to take the lead, and how good it is could hint at the future of the premium business Chromebook as a category.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/5/23057010/hp-dragonfly-chromebook-price-computex-announcement The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook starts at $1,149