The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook will start at $1,149

HP’s Dragonfly Chromebook is the most exciting Chromebook I’ve seen in a long time. Combining high-end specs with premium hardware design, the device was announced at CES in January. And now, HP has finally revealed the price for this: The consumer version of the Dragonfly Chromebook is expected to ship this summer and will cost, brace yourself, $1,149.

Well then that’s not as bad as it could have been. Dragonfly’s Enterprise model is listed with an MSRP of $2,165 as of this writing, which is the highest starting price I’ve heard of for a Chromebook. Still, $1,149 is… a lot.

For that high price, this Dragonfly device will include all sorts of high-end features. It will be the first Chromebook with Intel’s vPro platform, a staple of high-end business PCs. It also has the world’s first haptic touchpad on a Chromebook, a display 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 typically make their way to Chromebooks that quickly after they’re released.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook, which is again the recent time a company tried to add a Chromebook option to its established premium business lineup, started at $909 at launch (and I thought that was pretty high at the time). ). Other companies have tested the high-end Chromebook. Samsung made a beautiful, 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 under the $1,000 mark, but we still didn’t see them as excellent value for their price tags after our tests.

Also note 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+ touchscreen (which maxes out at 400 nits, not 1000). That’s very expensive for those specs, even on a Chromebook. And I imagine many people shopping in the Dragonfly price range will probably want more.

A worker uses the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook in a cafe.
This could be you, for only $1,149.
Image: HP

This puts the Dragonfly Chromebook in a bit of an odd space. For one thing, 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. High-end business laptops, in general, are not good deals. They tend to be a stage where manufacturers can really show off the engineering they’re capable of because they’re targeting customers with deep pockets.

That’s not to say there aren’t Chrome OS enthusiasts who would prefer something like an HP Specter or that there aren’t benefits 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 will need to be able to match the software support that Windows currently offers. If the Dragonfly Chromebook is as good as it sounds, Chrome OS will have to step up, and how well it does may hint at the future of the premium business Chromebook as a category.

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