HP Elite Dragonfly review | Tom's Guide

HP continues to bring life to the business-class segment of your nearest plane. It turns out the copper and black Spectre laptops were not sufficient, as the new HP Elite Dragonfly (beginning at $1,664, and tested at $2,298) shocks the gadget with its chic blue-magnesium chassis that is a lot lighter than it appears. But the Dragonfly's attractiveness is far from just pores and skin deep, because of a gorgeous display, skinny bezels and surprisingly lengthy battery life for a device of this measurement. 

If handiest the laptop weren't out of maximum customers' succeed in with its excessive pricing, I'd be recommending this to everybody I know because the PC to shop for. The HP Elite Dragonfly is this sort of just right 2-in-1 pc, though, that it is greater than value its funding; it is going to make other computer makers take understand of HP as a pace-setter in top class laptops — and, sure, even MacBook fans will take understand. That's why it's one of the most best Windows laptops you'll purchase, and one of the most best laptops on the market.

HP Elite Dragonfly pricing and availability

The Elite Dragonfly's got a brand new version coming, as its Gen 2 mannequin used to be introduced at CES 2021.

With an entry-level value of $1,664 (recently on sale a $2,561 beginning worth), the Dragonfly is priced to be out of succeed in of most shoppers, meant extra for professionals at the pass. A in a similar fashion spec'd Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga costs a lower (but nonetheless dear) $1,327, whilst the Intel-based MacBook Air we when compared it towards in the unique version of this review now begins at a significantly more cost effective $999 — and has the brand new Apple M1 processor besides.

We examined a $2,298 (MSRP: $3,536) configuration of HP's device stocked with an Intel Core i7-8665U CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD and a 32GB Intel Optane Memory H10 SSD. Oh, and because this machine is meant for those flying in taste, it is upgraded to a bigger, four-cell battery, plus the optional pen and sleeve. That higher battery comes usual on the entry-level Dragonfly, but you'll be able to save $22 if you wish to get the two-cell battery (which shaves 0.2 pounds off the Dragonfly's weight).

I'd suggest you bump as much as the $1,811, midrange mannequin, which includes a Core i5-8365U CPU, 256GB SSD, 16GB of RAM, Intel vPro security, a 1920 x 1080-pixel and 1,000-nit panel, and HP's Sure View privacy-screen generation.

HP Elite Dragonfly Specs
CPU8th-Gen Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7
RAM8GB / 16GB / 32GB
Display13.3-inch touch-screen display, 1920 x 1200 or 3840 x 2160
Storage128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB SSD
PortsUSB-C Thunderbolt 3 (x2), USB 3.1, HDMI 1.4, headphone jack
Battery life24.5 hours (rated for four-cell battery); 12:25 (examined, web surfing)
WirelessWi-Fi 6/Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions12 x 7.Eight x 0.6 in.
Weight2.Five kilos

HP Elite Dragonfly design: A stunner in blue

The HP Dragonfly, named after the coloration of blue that HP painted the machine, is a 2-in-1 pc so gorgeous that it might affect the era of notebooks that follows it. From its striking hue to its slight silver accent touches and a very grippable texture, this is a pc whose look I will't crack a shaggy dog story about (and I love to make amusing of any gaps in designs).

At a shockingly light 2.5 pounds and at 0.6 inches in thickness, the Elite Dragonfly makes the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2.Nine pounds, 0.Five inches), Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (3 kilos, 0.6 inches) and Apple MacBook Air (2.Eight pounds, 0.6 inches) appear hefty by means of comparability. 

What's wonderful about this laptop's lightweight design, even though, is that the system doesn't really feel flimsy for it. I've tested other magnesium-shell machines previously, but in contrast to them, the Dragonfly does not buckle or bend whilst you grip or practice drive, thanks to interior reinforcements. Also, HP's equipped an oleophobic coating to the Dragonfly's machined metal shell, making it easy to wipe away any smudges. 

One thing you will not understand with your eye but that can make you tip your cap to HP is that the Dragonfly is the primary pc with ocean-bound plastics (recycled fabrics that may generally be headed to the sea) inside its shell (Dell's used the material in its packaging ahead of). That subject matter is used within the speaker field of the Dragonfly, and HP marks this as best part of the beginning of the corporate's efforts to make use of recycled fabrics.

HP Elite Dragonfly ports

The HP Dragonfly additionally provides a perfect port selection, with twin Thunderbolt 3 USB-Cs, HDMI-out, a USB 3.1 port and a headphone jack. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga packs all that, plus a second USB 3.1 port and an extension port for Ethernet and docking. The MacBook Air unfortunately offers only a pair of Thunderbolt 3s and a headphone jack. 

HP Elite Dragonfly security and durability

With enterprise laptops, there are basics and there are cool perks in ruggedization and safety features that lend a hand persuade corporations they're creating a forged investment. Thankfully, the HP Elite Dragonfly does not settle for the bare minimal.

First off, the Dragonfly packs processors with Intel's vPro era, a table-stakes-level feature that is there for IT execs to supply remote control assist. HP's also bestowed its self-healing BIOS generation, so your pc can battle low-level assaults. On top of that, there is a fingerprint reader beneath the bottom proper nook of the keyboard. 

Without those, we might be docking issues. But the Dragonfly additionally goes above and past with its bodily webcam guard, which is an elegantly small transfer that signifies your privacy by way of masking that hole with a two-tone circle of diagonal strains. It's now not the primary webcam shutter ever, however it is the first I've seen that if truth be told appears neat. 

The Dragonfly, like any of HP's Elite-model enterprise laptops, has passed 19 MIL-STD-810 tests, ensuring that it isn't going to bend or damage underneath force. Those assessments checked the system's ability to live on drops, extreme temperatures (both low and high), blasts of sand and different accidental damage. 

HP Elite Dragonfly display: As beautiful as its shell

The Dragonfly's 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel screen proved to be a great panel for staring at the Bond flick No Time to Die's trailer, as I may see every small smudge on Daniel Craig's face, enjoy the icy blues of his eyes and catch the verdant trees in a landscape at the back of a bridge that 007 used to be rappelling off of.

According to our colorimeter, the Dragonfly produces 117% of the sRGB spectrum, which approaches the 122% top rate pc average and competes carefully with the 113% score from the XPS 13 2-in-1. That score narrowly beats the 106% rating from the ThinkPad X1 Yoga and the 100% from the MacBook Air.

The Dragonfly's screen gets lovely shiny, too, emitting as much as 373 nits. That outshines the 362-nit class reasonable and the 342 nits from the MacBook Air. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga will get even brighter, hitting a most of 402 nits, as did the 516-nit Dell XPS 13. On this Dragonfly panel, you get an excellent vary of viewing angles, as colours keep sturdy at up to 60 degrees to the left and proper.  

As I tapped, pinched, pulled and swiped at the Dragonfly's touch display screen, I saw excellent responsiveness with rapid response instances befitting this type of luxurious laptop. Scrolling thru information articles on the net additionally proved tender.

HP Dragonfly keyboard and touchpad

The best possible keyboards will let you hit the bottom running, and the HP Dragonfly has one of my favorites. On my first run thru of the 10FastFingers typing take a look at, I hit Seventy nine words in line with minute, some extent off my 80-wpm average. 

My palms flew in a similar fashion well at the Dragonfly's  2.Five x 4.3-inch glass touchpad, which offers buttery-smooth scrolling. Two-finger zoom out and in gestures, in addition to Windows 10's four-finger window-navigation instructions, additionally functioned as well as might be expected.

As I listened to Girl Talk's "Bounce That" on the Dragonfly, I realized that the machine got masses loud, more than filling one in all our small conference rooms. The computer produces such a lot sound, in fact, that I felt the need to play tunes at round 60% volume, as a result of audio bled out of said room and reached my within reach colleagues, who began laughing at how loud it got. One even called it "an awesome little speaker."

The Dragonfly's got somewhat room to fortify, alternatively, in audio quality. While I began the Girl Talk track with my head bobbing to the beat, I quickly noticed Bun B's sampled vocals coming thru a little muddied, a topic I additionally noticed when listening to The National's "Looking for Astronauts," as Matt Berninger's lyrics didn't hit as laborious. 

I tried to ameliorate the audio issues the use of the incorporated Bang & Olufsen Audio Control app. Its sound options weren't enough, regardless that, as I'd already set sound to Music. The two other choices, Voice and Movie, most effective presented different issues, messing with the instrumentals on Sum 41's "Fat Lip" and St. Vincent's "Regret."

HP Elite Dragonfly performance: Solid but now not the fastest

The high-end HP Dragonfly we tested sports activities an 8th Gen. Intel Core i7-8665U processor and 16GB of RAM, providing speedy functionality. I saw zero slowdown when I cut up my display with the 4K remaster of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" video on YouTube and a dozen Chrome tabs (including Giphy and the Google doc for this review). 

The Dragonfly's 14,071 score on the Geekbench 4.3 general-performance benchmark is a little bit beneath the 16,357 top class pc average and the 15,113 from the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Intel Core i5-8265U, 8GB of RAM). Still, the Dragonfly's score blows the 7,880 from the MacBook Air (Intel Core i5-8210Y with 8GB of RAM) out of the water. The XPS 13 2-in-1 (Intel Core i7-106G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM) did even better, with a 19,225 showing.

The 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (with 32GB Intel Optane 3-d XPoint SSD) within the Dragonfly copied 4.7GB of recordsdata in 12 seconds, for a speed of 424.1 MBps. That ties the velocity from the 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Opal 2 SSD within the ThinkPad X1 Yoga however falls at the back of the 513.Sixty five category average.

On our HandBrake check, which occasions a pc's conversion of a 4K film to 1080p answer, the Dragonfly posted 22:23, which could be higher. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga finished in 19:07, while the premium computer reasonable falls in the center, at 20:48.

The Intel UHD 620 GPU in the Dragonfly may not allow top gaming, but this pc sneaks a modest quantity of prowess out of its integrated graphics. The Dragonfly ran the Dirt 3 racing sport at 31 frames per 2d. That would possibly fall under the 59-fps top class computer moderate, but it's the same fee we saw in the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (which additionally packs the Intel UHD 620).

HP Elite Dragonfly battery lifestyles: Soars for hours

The Dragonfly's small, lightweight chassis packs far more endurance than it has any proper to. Our battery check (internet surfing at a hundred and fifty nits) tired the blue wonderful thing about a full fee in 12 hours and 25 minutes, clobbering the 8:43 top class laptop moderate, the 8:Fifty one time from the MacBook Air, the 10:18 from the ThinkPad X1 Yoga and the 10:57 time from the XPS 13 2-in-1.

Of course, this time comes from a Dragonfly with the four-cell battery, and you can downgrade from that model if you want to save $22 and shave 0.2 pounds off the load. Personally, I'd keep the four-cell battery.

HP Elite Dragonfly heat: Cool up best, heat down under

The Dragonfly can get a bit warm. After we streamed 15 minutes of full-HD video on the laptop, our heat gun clocked the computer's underside at A hundred levels Fahrenheit, which is above our 95-degree convenience threshold. The touchpad (Eighty two levels) and keyboard (93 levels) did not breach the limit. When I tested the Dragonfly, I spent a while typing with it in my lap, and whilst I felt a bit heat, it did not change into a problem. 

Bottom line

The HP Dragonfly's crisp, gorgeous display; light-weight design; and strong safety features combine to give you a computer that is as nice to look at as it is to use. If only it did not price so much that I winced once I noticed our trying out unit's value. You may save $three hundred via opting for the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga, however you'd be losing over 2 hours in battery lifestyles in trade. That mentioned, the HP Elite Dragonfly truly earns the Elite branding, as this computer's class and staying power add up to utter excellence. 

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