The hp launched a new laptop called the hp Elite Dragonfly so let’s see what it has to offer in our hp Elite Dragonfly review.
Most of the time, when a business laptop like the HP Elite Dragonfly crosses our desk, we kind of roll our eyes and get on with testing it.
Laptops for professionals never tend to be too terribly exciting or much to look at, after all, as they’re designed to get a job done rather than be shiny consumer products. But what if there was a laptop that could do both?
Well, there finally is. The HP Elite Dragonfly is packed not only with the security and IT features that businesses demand.
but it also includes speedy hardware, plenty of ports, and most importantly an aesthetic to die for.
The HP Elite Dragonfly is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful 2-in-1 laptops we’ve tested in a long time.
It’s so thin and light that we took an entire month to review it just so we had an excuse to travel with it over the holidays.
Now, you should keep in mind that the HP Elite Dragonfly definitely isn’t cheap. This thing will run you $1,629 (£1,618, AU$2,770) just to get you on the ground floor.
The fact that this laptop is targeted almost exclusively to traveling professionals makes this price point make a little more sense, but this is definitely a laptop that has major crossover appeal.
What makes this laptop indispensable for the traveling professional, though, is the LTE integration.
Some driver issues stopped us from having a totally seamless experience with having an “online anywhere” experience.
But for the most part it’s become a feature that we’re having trouble imagining life without.
Essentially, as traveling professionals ourselves, the HP Elite Dragonfly has been a dream come true.
If you’re constantly on the road, the lightweight design, always-connected LTE coverage and the speedy internals make the hp Elite Dragonfly one of the best laptops out there.
So let’s get our Hp Elite Dragonfly review started with the specs.
Hp Elite Dragonfly specifications :
- CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U.
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 (2,133MHz)
- Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD IPS BrightView WLED
- Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
- Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI, headset jack, External Nano SIM
- Connectivity: Intel AX200; Wi-Fi 6; Bluetooth 5
- Camera: Widescreen HD (720p) webcam
- Weight: 2.2 pounds (0.99kg)
- Size: 11.98 x 7.78 x 0.63 in (30.42 x 19.76 x 1.6cm; W x D x H)
Design of Hp Elite Dragonfly
HP’s been making stylish laptops for years now, and it’s now bringing those good looks to the business side of its portfolio with the Hp Elite Dragonfly.
Its compact footprint and blue-and-silver color scheme make it attractive enough that you’d be proud to whip out at a client meeting or your local hipster coffee shop.
Despite its slim 0.63-inch profile, this 13-inch notebook still manages to house two USB-C slots with Thunderbolt 3, a full-sized HDMI port, one USB-A socket and a headphone jack.
There’s also a SIM card slot and a power button on the left edge (which I wish was on the keyboard deck).
That’s pretty impressive when Dell’s slightly thinner XPS 13 2-in-1 only offers two USB-C ports.
Although it weighs very little, the Elite Dragonfly still feels like a well-made device, with very little flex all around.
I like the smooth matte finish and the patterned speaker grilles flanking the keyboard, as well as the sturdy 360-degree hinge that lets you turn the laptop into a tablet.
I also appreciate that the webcam above the screen comes with an integrated physical shutter so you can block would-be hackers from spying on you.
For a little less money, you could get Samsung’s Galaxy Bookflix, which feels a bit higher end, with its metallic finish and stylishly clean lines, but it’s keyboard is a little shallow.
HP Elite Dragonfly display
Even though the Dragonfly is designed for work, you’d be forgiven if you took some time to watch a movie or two on its vivid, 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 touch panel.
I know I watched quite a few things. For instance, actress Issa Rae’s burgundy dress clung jealousy to her lithe frame, purposely accentuating her warm brown skin and plum-colored hair during The Photograph trailer.
Details were sharp enough that I could see the chipping paint on the deck of the small boat where a pair of young lovers lay in flirtatious repose.
The Dragonfly’s screen reproduced a 117% of the sRGB color gamut. It’s only a few points short of the premium laptop average.
However, it still had richer hues than the competition.
Averaging 373 nits, the Dragonfly is pretty bright, easily overtaking the 362-nit average and the 317 and 343 nits put up by the Latitude and the Air.
But the Yoga was the brightest at 402 nits. However, for an additional $73 you can also configure the notebook with a 1,000-nit panel.
With HP’s privacy-protecting SureView technology baked in. Or, you can make the jump to 4K for an extra $197.
The 10-point capacitive touchscreen is both fast and responsive, keeping up with my poor attempts at drawing.
To take full advantage of that gorgeous touchscreen, you can get the optional ($75) HP Rechargeable Active Pen G3.
It provides 4,096 points of pressure, which allows for precise pen strokes.
And best of all, it’s USB-C rechargeable so you won’t have to go searching for a AAAA battery.
Ports on Hp Elite Dragonfly
You won’t have to worry about ports on hp elite Dragonfly. You won’t have to bargain, borrow or buy dongles.
The Hp Elite Dragonfly features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an analog combo jack, a wedge-style lock port, and a USB Type A port.
The Hp Elite Dragonfly also somehow manages to pack a full HDMI port into its svelte body.
We wish the Thunderbolt ports weren’t both on the right side, however, as they could impede mouse usage.
Here’s another fairly unique feature on the Hp Elite Dragonfly, an oleophobic coating to help it repel fingerprints and other greasy marks.
We tested it against our typical snack fare, and found it effectively repelled most smudges from fingers that had recently handled corn chips and nacho tortilla chips.
However, it was no match for the gold standard of potato chips, which caused our fingers to leave a snail-like trail on the palm rest. The oleophobic coating helps, but don’t expect it to work miracles.
Software and features
Because the HP Elite Dragonfly is a professional device meant to play nice with IT departments, this is a very secure laptop.
The boot sector is protected by HP Sure Start, which means even if the computer gets compromised, you’ll always be able to recover it something that’s definitely not a given these days.
Even if an attacker deletes the BIOS, this feature will overwrite whatever the attack did.
But, that’s just the tip of the security iceberg. HP is calling the camera the “HP Privacy Camera“, which means there’s a little physical shutter that covers the lens.
so that even if someone gets access to your webcam, they can’t actually see through it unless you physically move the shutter with your finger.
If you get a model with HP Sure View, you’ll also be able to protect your screen from anyone glancing over your shoulder and trying to read what you’re working on.
Security is critically important, especially if you’re looking for a device to get a bunch of important work done on the go, so it’s a relief that the HP Elite Dragonfly nails it so thoroughly.
HP Elite Dragonfly audio
The Dragonfly is louder than its namesake, but not by much. The top-mounted speakers and smart amplifiers barely filled my small bedroom.
They reduced the City Girls’ bombastic trash-talking anthem “You Tried It” into a loud whisper gossip session.
Despite attempts to tweak the sound with the preinstalled Bang & Olufsen Audio Control software, the bass was very diffused.
The only thing that sounded half-way correct were the vocals.
The speakers did a little better on Atlantic Starr’s “Send For Me,” delivering fairly clean percussion, particularly on the cymbals.
By themselves, the bass guitar, violin and keyboard sounded fine, but when they came together, the instrumentals became muddy.
I definitely recommend investing in some headphones to offset the middling audio quality.
While the audio isn’t the best, I appreciate that the B & O software allows you to control the noise-cancelling microphones embedded in the computer.
That would make it easier to block out background noise when on a regular or conference call.
Performance of HP’s Elite Dragonfly
Benchmarks of Hp Elite Dragonfly
- 3DMark Sky Diver: 4,414
- Fire Strike: 1,137
- Time Spy: 438
- Cinebench R20: 1,059 points
- Cinebench R15 CPU: 585 points
- GeekBench 4: 5,266 (single-core), 13,893 (multi-core)
- PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,244 points
- PCMark 8 Battery Life: 4 hours and 42 minutes
- Battery Life: 8 hours and 11 minutes
Because the HP Elite Dragonfly is only packed with 8th-Generation Whiskey Lake processors with vPro, it’s not the fastest Ultrabook out there. But it’s not exactly far behind, either.
We could go on at length about the lack of serious improvement generation-on-generation with Intel’s processors.
but the fact is that this laptop is more than fast enough for everything you’d reasonably throw at it.
Our benchmarks totally reflect this, too. In Cinebench R20, the Dragonfly was able to get a respectable 1,059 points, which is great for such a portable device.
What’s more impressive, is that in the Geekbench4 single-core test, the Dragonfly actually out-performs a lot of gaming laptops.
It scored 5,266 points in this test, compared to the Alienware M15’s 4,995.
That’s not a giant difference, of course, but we’re still impressed that the HP Elite Dragonfly is able to keep up in this way.
With 16GB of RAM, the HP Elite Dragonfly is more than fast enough to keep up with our manic Chrome tab habits, even during an event like CES.
We swear at one point we had like 100 tabs open on this thing and it just kept chugging along.
In fact, we can’t get it to slow down with our normal workloads, no matter how many things we try to do at once.
It’s not until we try to load up a game (wouldn’t recommend, by the way) that the laptop starts to meet its maker.
HP Elite Dragonfly heat
Working on the Hp elite Dragonfly can make the Dragonfly a little heated. After 15 minutes of streaming a fullscreen 1080p video, we measured strategic points on the laptop.
The touchpad measured 82 degrees Fahrenheit while the center reached 93 degrees.
The bottom registered 100 degrees which is above our 95-degree comfort threshold. Still, I used the laptop in my lap for more than two hours with no ill effects.
Battery life on Hp Elite Dragonfly
Our battery test, which browses the web over Wi-Fi, streams videos and runs OpenGL tests all at 150 nits of brightness.
Saw the Dragonfly soar for a stunning 12 hours and 25 minutes, outlasting the Dell machine by nearly 90 minutes, and surpassing the 8:46 category average by about 3 hours and 40 minutes.
Unplugged longevity is arguably the Elite Dragonfly’s most-impressive feature especially considering it’s lighter than everything else here, save for the X1 Carbon, which isn’t a convertible.
And while the Carbon is a tenth of a pound lighter, it conked out three hours earlier than HP’s system on our test.
Keyboard and touchpad
The 2.5 x 4.3-inch glass touchpad gave me zero complaints when mousing around Windows, and using multi-finger gestures.
The keyboard is the star of the input device show here, though.
HP says the machined magnesium deck has been designed to reduce weight, though it still feels very rigid (as does the rest of the laptop).
The rubber domes under the keys have been designed to reduce noise.
There are also hooks for every key to reduce rattling, and the company has included active noise suppression during video conferencing.
so you colleagues won’t have to put up with your loud clacking during conference calls.
While the keys are indeed quieter than on some competing laptops, the typing feel is actually quite good for an ultraportable.
HP isn’t advertising a specific travel distance, but typing in my experience felt quite good for a thin convertible.
There’s more of a clicky feel here than on the MagLev keys of the dell XPS 13 convertible, and the layout is mostly good.
My only substantive complaints are the wide-but-narrow up/down arrow keys, and the tiny nature of the top row, which manages to jam in 17 keys, including dedicated call and end keys for video conferencing.
That said, I would have no major issues with this keyboard being my daily driver.
HP also includes a fingerprint reader below the lower-right corner of the keyboard, in case you prefer that to the camera-based Windows Hello login option.
Both worked well enough in my testing.
HP Elite Dragonfly webcam
The search for a truly great internal webcam continues. The Dragonfly’s IR camera might be good for facial recognition, but noticeable visual noise will definitely make you reach for an external webcam.
Still, the webcam managed to capture most of the different blues in my sweater as well as the knit pattern.
Hp Elite Dragonfly Pros
- Long battery life
- Enhanced security features
Hp Elite Dragonfly Cons
- CPU performance lags behind others
- Charging ports only on the right side of laptop, which can hinder mouse use
- Some key functions force use of separate function key
The Hp Elite Dragonfly is a great fit for an on-the-go business person who cares about security, portability, and build quality.
The Dragonfly will make that person happy, especially if their employer is footing the bill.
If you’re anyone else, you’ll be wondering why the laptop is so small, doesn’t turn on quickly, or doesn’t have the latest-generation processors.
Despite its attempt to impress a broader audience, the Dragonfly’s feature set means it’s still best for a very specific user.