The modern definition of ‘getting work done’ has a lot to do with doing your work on the move and the HP Elite Dragonfly was built to do just that but at a price. With its mesmerizing look and incredible performance, the word on the street is that users agree that this super portable travel laptop justifies its price, but you can be the judge of that. In our HP Elite Dragonfly review, we will dig deep to see if it lives up to the lofty expectations.
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Who is the HP Elite Dragonfly for?
This is perfect for traveling professionals who are looking for a laptop that balances the power to work efficiently with the convenience of a super portable laptop. It slides in and out of laptop bags with ease, meaning airport security will be a breeze, and can easily be used in a compact space such as an airplane seat.
Finally, the rapid start-up makes it perfect for those moments that you have a brain wave and want to quickly open up your laptop and make a note before the thought is waving goodbye again!
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1-minute review: HP Dragonfly Elite
Thin, light, beautifully blue, and efficient. The HP Elite Dragonfly presents a classic case of eating your cake and having it, if you’re willing to pay for it.
The ultra-impressive HP Elite Dragonfly battery life is an important part of what makes this business laptop so ideal when combined with its portability due to its weight and size, but it’s good to know that it’s not all your money will be going for.
It is perfect for using at home or on the move. You can pack this lightweight business laptop everywhere you go, first-class travel or bus rides around town and work as roughly as you normally would with something you paid so much money for, but safe in the knowledge that if anything untoward happens, it’s durability will stand for you.
Also, it gives great performance with a top-of-the-menu serving of some of the highest grades of laptop technology. Sadly, this doesn’t include the 10th generation chip and so it cannot be said to give you the latest features and most solid performance.
There’s a stylus pen attached to the package, that is rechargeable with a USB-C cord, but you might fear to carry around since it doesn’t come with a case or safe hole in the laptop, an oversight on the part of the designers.
However, there are also unexpected perks like the luxury of connectivity ports from HDMI 1.4 to thunderbolt and Type-A ports. It’s also easy to forget that it has 2-in-1 laptop-tablet combo functionality, especially given how thin and light the system is, changing the screen mode is just a bonus.
What we love
- Beautiful finish
- Sturdy Chassis
- Ultraportable in size and lightweight
- Excellent battery life
- Wealth of security features
- Reliable performance
- All-round great value for money
What we didn’t
- Will drain your pocket to obtain
- Not a great webcam
- Audio quality could be better
- Outdated processors
Full HP Elite Dragonfly review
As far as business laptops and digital hardware assistants are concerned, there are countless options in the market to match every budget class. This is mostly accomplished by sacrificing a feature or performance level for less financial weight.
In a bid to save money, since it is an unwritten law that you need technical assistance to prosper nowadays, users get tempted to buy lower-quality business laptops at lower prices. Unfortunately, to be able to draw out more quality from your system when you’re in need of it, it goes without saying that you’ll need to part ways with equivalent financial value.
If the name doesn’t give it away, the HP Elite Dragonfly is a premium laptop that delivers the best arguments for their users. Below is an HP Elite Dragonfly review to help you judge whether investing so much in a machine is worth the probable savings.
First and most importantly, it is a premium laptop that works like a beast, with a brain that puts MacBook users to shame and a full deck of hardware advantages, you can’t point a flaw in this brilliant piece of machinery except you’re from the distant future. However, as smart as it is, this business laptop looks great and weighs little too. With a design made for the museum, the HP Elite Dragonfly packs the brawn, brains, and beauty in one thin and extremely light piece of delectable engineering.
With a business laptop of its level, you work smarter, faster and for longer – since HP Elite Dragonfly battery life has also been a reason this business laptop has won so many plaudits – in the bus or during First Class air travel, all while looking good.
That’s not saying it’s not strong enough to stay together in economy class, and when you’re in need of more viewing real estate, you can always turn the keyboard the other way around to use your laptop as a tablet.
There’s also less hassle when you drop it back in storage or pick it up from your bag, there’s barely any difference between a bag with and a bag without a HP Elite Dragonfly.
How does it look and feel?
You can easily distinguish The Elite Dragonfly from other laptops bearing the ‘hp’ logo with the obvious fine dark-blue-colored magnesium skin, much unlike the many grey and silver EliteBook from the HP production belts. You can also tell by its Screen-to-body ratio that is about 8.6 on a scale of 10 and the fact that it weighs less than a kilogram, with its weight clocking 2.2 pounds.
HP brags a lot about the oleophobic finishing technique used to cover the Dragonfly, the advantage of using such a complex technique being the greater degree of control on how much skin oil is used to produce the radiant blue finish. With the controlled finishing, the Dragonfly’s body has the right lustrous look without being able to be easily smudged.
This lustrous blue finish might be too extravagant for some people since silver, black and grey is the unofficial color for business tech, but the fatigue on the shine makes it nevertheless appropriate for all business settings, and the gold lines streaming along the sides of this business laptop make it have so much class it should be a professor. Except there’s a flat-out rule forbidding blue laptops, in that case, it’s not appropriate.
With a S2BR (screen to body ratio) closer to 90%, the dragonfly’s display has little room for bezels on its sides, which turned out good. The top is a bit of a waste, though, because of a less impressive Webcam that isn’t worth the loss of real estate. It all matters little when the laptop is in tablet mode anyway.
The Dragonfly’s display is a lot better, beating the average values of color panels for its price category by a distance, but short of some of its rivals. Just like its brightness is very good at about 400 nits, but also well short of its rivals, some of which can boast of brightness rates above 500 like the Dell XPS.
This moderation pays dividends as the screen plays a big part in the HP Elite Dragonfly battery life that makes it such a handy tool. If the brightness is worth a weaker battery life, there’s a 4K screen upgrade available for about $200, and another upgrade capable of a 1000-nit brightness rating with SureView attachment in its privacy panel.
The neutral point of view might seem like gushing about the HP Elite Dragonfly, but this premium business laptop does little to be regarded humble. Just look at the specs below and see what it’s all about.
For about two thousand dollars, you get an Intel Core i7-8665U CPU, 32GB Intel Optane Memory H10 SSD module, a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD and 16GB of RAM. For about $600 less, the extras included are a leather sleeve, a rechargeable stylus and a 4-cell battery that comes with the upgrade.
The base model gives you a 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-8265U processor that works on a 256GB SSD with an Intel UHD 620 Graphics and 8GB of RAM (no VPro featured at this price) and the other dragonfly that costs about $1,800 gives a better deal on everything compare to the cheapest available option.
Starting from with a Core i5-8365U CPU, Intel VPro and 16GB of RAM. This average-priced laptop also boasts superior display to the cheapest option through a 1920 x1080, 1,000-nit display with HP SureView technology (the same privacy-screen tech used in the most expensive option).
IT professionals might find this system to be quite the treasure since it has a remarkable suite of security-focused features and management aids. Unfortunately, they might also be dejected by the fact that the dragonfly doesn’t come with the Ice Lake and Comet Lake CPU chips, making do with VPro advantages.
Others might not mind since it delivers expertly on the basic tasks anyway, opening web browsers and navigating spreadsheets with seamless authority. Although the fans could use a dampener, it really doesn’t have to be so hung up on making noise over a few spreadsheets getting edited. Also, its hard drive was a bit disappointing with a 424 mbps copying speed that falls short if many rival business laptops. Aside from that, its brain is both intimidatingly powerful and power-efficient.
Ease of set up and use
The Dragonfly certainly doesn’t need any technical expertise to get it up and running, unpacking the system from the box and turning it on after a full charge is standard procedure before you follow the step-by-step instructions on the pre-installed software to help you set the laptop up for use.
This HP Elite Dragonfly review cannot be complete without giving you a clear idea of what to expect from its use.
Microsoft’s recent touch-focused updates have really proven effective in dragging the number of people using trackpads to an all-time low. This, it seems, favors the HP brand since most of their products get weird pads with stranger customizations with every release.
The HP Elite Dragonfly rubbishes that notion with an immaculately designed 10.75 square-inch trackpad with the right-click and tap feel, and preset sensitivity that requires no customization or calibration.
There are just as many positives with the keyboard too. Steady keys, positioned smartly to prevent it from shaking is also made to be soft-sounding on this business laptop. Also, the HP Elite Dragonfly also has a novel noise-canceling feature for the little sounds of its keystrokes integrated into its microphone.
This noise cancellation/reduction technology majorly takes effect when users are on conference calls with Google Hangouts, with plans underway to ensure that it can be a common addition across all apps very soon.
However, there might still be some work to be done on its average-looking layout, especially with the function keys that are bound to give people with average-large fingers perpetual headaches because of their small sizes. Despite all that, typing experience with the Dragonfly is still quite something.
Little consolation can be found right now in the precise enough fingerprint scanner placed below the keyboard, which is an alternative to the camera-based Windows Hello login shortcut placed above the screen.
That the inbuilt camera of the elite dragonfly can pull off the IR requirements for Windows login is perhaps the most impressive thing about it. The second being the physical privacy shutter that is incorporated in the camera setup with the glass above it. For a Webcam of such an expensive business laptop, 720p is very underwhelming. It’s okay for video calls, but you should expect to not see great lighting and perfect imagery.
The audio output isn’t the best either, in fact, it’s the worst part of the entire laptop. The volume range is very good, if you like your stuff loud, then the elite dragonfly won’t be a bad deal. It’s the quality of sound that really makes this piece lose so many points. Vocals lose their clarity when passing out through the dragonfly’s speakers, and there’s just something that goes off about sounds coming through.
As it is a business laptop, you can rest assured that it is equipped enough to allow you to freely communicate during both audio and video conference calls. With its ability to filter out ambient sounds at low noise levels, it does a good job when it matters.
The Dragonfly is unfazed when it comes to domestic tasks. low-intensity jobs like browsing webpages and getting some work spreadsheets done, simultaneously if you want. With the heavier tasks, it’s not the best tool if you want quick results.
During the performance of the dragonfly, rather than start out at an unnatural speed and taper down over time, the HP Elite Dragonfly immediately hits what can pass for Top Gear and moves up to its full speed. It then maintains this working speed for more than 45 minutes of the CPU under pressure.
Hats can be taken off to applaud the well-designed cooling system for the sustainable effort of the dragonfly’s CPU. Thus, there are few reports of a breakdown from this solid performance.
The chassis of the Dragonfly is made using alloys, majorly magnesium, through CNC milling processes to build a resistance to wear and the material selection makes it one of the lightest business laptops of its quality and category.
Its 16mm thickness is a big highlight on this note, but Its tough build also allows it to be able to withstand great pressure, especially when compared to other laptops that weigh the same and have a similar size. Which helps to reinforce confidence when it is placed on backpacks or other unsafe positions. Another reinforcement are the magnesium layers used to support the base, cover and keyboard of the dragonfly to boost toughness.
HP also showed their love for earth by using some eco-friendly materials, namely ocean-sourced plastics for some parts of this business laptop.
As an ‘Elite’ of HP laptops, it was subjected to MIL-STD-810G tests, of which it successfully came through 19. On that note, it has HP’s brand of toughness even against vibrations, stressed and the occasional slips, which doesn’t really count for much but is good to know. The hinges for this convertible laptop is also incredibly smooth on the transition between modes.
The HP Elite Dragonfly battery life is not the only attractive thing about it. Given how thin and light it is, one would assume that it would come with one port or two, but there are a plethora of ports, of sufficient variation to sate any user that demands more connection possibilities for all of your accessories.
The right side of the laptop has a Type-A Gen 1 port, a USB 3.1 port, a nano sim slot, and the power button. On the other side, there’s an HDMI 1.4 port and two Thunderbolt 3 ports alongside an earphone Jack. There is also provision for gigabit-class 5G LTE and Wi-Fi 6 for those willing to throw in some extra bucks.
The HP EliteBook Dragonfly is fully decked with various security measures and features. The Tile tracker that allows you to find your laptop if you lose it, whether it is turned on or not.
We also love the integrated HP SureView privacy screen. It is aimed at also improving the defense of users from prying eyes. Great if you are working on a plane.
Finally, I also wanted to mention the cool lens cover on the webcam. These days there are increased webcam attacks, where people access your camera remotely and record you. This laptop has a simple slide shutter so when it is not in use, you can slide it over and block it. Not more bits of tape required!
Does the touch pen come with a case?
No, the G3 pen doesn’t have an external case or storage area in the laptop.
Since the audio is a bit muddled, where can I change the audio settings on the Dragonfly?
The Bang and Olufsen Experience can be modulated in the HP Control app under your programs.
Can the Surface pen work with the Dragonfly laptop?
The surface pen will probably pair with the laptop, but if it will work will depend on if they are compatible devices in the first place. If they are, then it will work. You can check for compatibility through http://support.hp.com/au-en/document/c05166879
The Bang and Olufsen app has disappeared! Please help.
The most likely location of the B&O app in such a case is in the HP Audio Switch icon of your taskbar.
Final thoughts on the HP Elite Dragonfly
If the budget is not a limiting factor, then purchasing the HP Elite Dragonfly should be a no-brainer for dealing with your on-the-go business needs, and maybe even more.
There are few business laptops that can deliver the level of quality of the HP Elite Dragonfly battery life and the other features that come alongside, and still look good to boot with its diamond cut accents and fine blue finish, even at its esteemed price.
Thus, the verdict of this HP Elite Dragonfly review is in the favor of getting yourself this business laptop. It is definitely worth the sacrifice.