While the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook stunned audiences at CES last year — mostly with its wallet-slaying price tag — HP brought another Dragonfly Chromebook to CES 2023. The HP Dragonfly Pro features all the premium features you'd expect in a "professional"-focused laptop — 12th Gen i5 with 16GB of RAM, 8MP webcam for all those video calls, a 14-inch QHD 1,200-nit touchscreen for seamless indoor or outdoor use — and a few more that liven things up from corporate copycat to undercover operator.
The speaker grills sitting to the left and right of the keyboard would make you think that this clamshell Chromebook only has stereo up-firing speakers, but it actually has another set of speakers facing down towards the desk. This means that if you're using the HP Pro Dragonfly Chromebook at a desk, you can get the louder sound of the speakers bouncing off the table while still preserving sound detail through the unobstructed up-firing speakers. It also means that the sound won't be muffled if you're typing and your hands drift over the grills, which is helpful for actually working during video calls and for your Disney+ binge once your shift is over.
The other bit of pizzazz gives some color to the Ceramic White or Sparkling Black Pro Dragonfly Chromebook, literally. As part of a major custom lighting push among HP's CES lineup, the Dragonfly Pro's keyboard is RGB-backlit, allowing you to spice up your late-night writing experience and offer better visibility of the keys than uneven white grids. So far, we've only seen RGB lighting in gaming Chromebooks from Lenovo and Acer, but I'm pleased as punch to see it here. Let me have my soothing rainbow lights and souped-up 96W Power Delivery charger without the bulk or the often gaudy design we so often see on gaming-oriented computers.
The lone drawback I see so far is the ports: you get USB4 Type-C ports, and that's it, so you'll definitely need to grab a trusty USB-C hub or Chrome-friendly docking station if you haven't gone all wireless with your peripherals. Even so, this Chromebook could compete quite well this year against the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 and Lenovo's 14-inch Flex 5i series, but only if pricing is competitive. Unfortunately, HP didn't have pricing information to share for the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook yet, but I'm vainly hoping it can live under $850. (Let a girl dream.)
Alongside the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook — and a lot of Windows PCs we don't really cover here — there's an entire slew of few USB-C monitors, including two that are Works With Chromebook Certified. The HP E27u G5 QHD USB-C Monitor and HP E24u G5 FHD USB-C Monitor are 2K and 1080p USB-C hub monitors featuring HDMI, DisplayPort, three USB-A ports, and Ethernet.
As someone utterly addicted to her USB-C hub monitor — to the point of tolerating a slowly dying Dell hub monitor right now — this is arguably more exciting than the new Dragonfly. Docking station support for Chromebooks has improved since WWCB was created, but there's still a slim selection. Any additions are welcome, especially from well-known brands with robust support services like HP.
We'll be reviewing both the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook and (hopefully) one of these new E Series G5 USB-C Monitors when we can, and they'll be released this spring at yet-unknown prices. So long as the Dragonfly Pro doesn't start at $1,150 like the Elite Dragonfly, it could wind up among our best Chromebooks with that extra-bright screen and ample power.