CES: HP Designs Dragonfly Pro Laptops for Hybrid Workforce

HP is targeting the prosumer market with an offshoot of its Elite Dragonfly business line, introducing the Dragonfly Pro Windows laptop and Dragonfly Pro Chromebook at CES 2023. Targeting freelancers, creators and hybrid workers, the aim is to simplify purchasing choices by offering basic configurations and limited customization. ”HP is taking the headache out of hybrid by delivering powerful and best-in-class ecosystem experiences,” said Alex Cho, president, personal systems, HP Inc. By 2027 freelancers will account for more than 50 percent of the total U.S. workforce, HP projects.

Dragonfly offers the power needed for multitasking coupled with “built-in support and services for peace of mind,” HP explains in a product announcement (which sources Statista for the explosive growth in gig economy workers).

The 14-inch Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is made for those who are constantly connected to the Internet and want a lightweight, easy-to-use device with premium features, including what the company claims is “the world’s first 8 MP user-facing camera in a clamshell Chromebook.” It is Intel Evo verified for fast performance and allows “for seamless pairing between your phone and device.”

The Dragonfly Pro with Windows was co-engineered with AMD using the company’s adaptive platform management framework, designed to optimize productivity performance. HP touts the machine as the first to feature “one-touch access to HP 24/7 live concierge support directly via one of the device’s four hot keys.”

At 3.53 pounds, Engadget says the Dragonfly Pro “did have a little bit of heaviness to it when being held with one hand,” noting “the 0.72-inch thickness isn’t exactly trim either. However, this laptop is considered ideal for the hybrid type of worker, who might only be carrying the laptop in transport and is stationary otherwise, whereas its HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook counterpart is more of a device that can be used on the go and is a little bit lighter” (at 3.3 pounds and 0.7 inches thick).

Engadget calls the two machines “different in quirky ways,” noting that the Chromebook’s 8-megapixel webcam “has an LCD that gets as bright as 1,200 nits, while the Windows version packs a 5MP IR camera with a shutter and only goes up to 400 nits.”

PC Magazine provides in-depth specs on the Windows machine, which features Gorilla Glass, a haptic trackpad and fingerprint scanner. While those features are absent on the Android device, the writer for Digital Trends calls it “the most advanced Chromebook I’ve ever seen,” while CNN says it’s “one of the slickest laptops of CES 2023.”

For fun, HP has added an RGB keyboard for customizable colors on the Chromebook, though CNET summarizes the machines as no-frills for “no-specs buyers.” Both models are expected to drop this spring, with pricing disclosed “closer to availability.”

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