Review: HP Elite Dragonfly

by Jawad Wallace
HP Elite Dragonfly Review

HP Elite Dragonfly review: A thin, lightweight and stylish laptop for work and leisure. This laptop can be quickly turned into a tablet. Let’s check its performance and see how practical it is.

HP Elite Dragonfly review

Almost the size of a netbook

If HP had made it 1 inch smaller, the HP Elite Dragonfly could safely be called a netbook. It just weighs 2.2 pounds.

The laptop case is made of magnesium alloy and plastic, but which part is which can be hard to understand, because the coating is matte, more like plastic. The most important thing, it does not collect dust and dirt, or fingerprints. Another advantage is the durability of the device. The manufacturer reports that the ultrabook will survive a fall from a height that complies with the military protection standard MIL-STD-810G.HP Elite Dragonfly ReviewOn the inside is an extremely ergonomic keyboard. Typing with it is a quiet experience. The medium sized touchpad is as wide as it can get. However, sensitivity and gestures are far from ideal. It is annoying to drag and drop files from one window to another – halfway through, they are somehow lost and you have to start again.

You can turn the screen 360 degrees, thus the device into a tablet. With its thin frames and support for both touch and stylus  input, it looks cool. Webcam sits on the top and there is a physical shutter to satisfy privacy lovers.

A bright and clear display

HP Elite Dragonfly gives you screen options, 4K or Full HD, glossy or matte. As an option, you can also get a special protection from prying eyes – HP Sure View. This is a technology that, by pressing a special key combination, includes a filter that limits viewing angles.

HP Elite Dragonfly Review

HP Elite Dragonfly review

Although the viewing angles cannot be called ideal even in the 4K version with a glossy surface. When viewed from above and below at sharp angles, the screen begins to turn yellow and you can notice stripes on the screen slightly. It’s pretty strange to see this in a top notch laptop.

With the HDR support, everything is not so simple either. Similar content literally crumbles and shows digital artifacts in Chrome. Normal playback of 4K videos with HDR was achieved only through Edge, but in this case the video slows down. You need to set a lower resolution to enjoy HDR, which is a pity.

HP Elite Dragonfly Review

With a peak brightness of 550 nits, it is possible to see the screen clearly even when you sit opposite of a window or on a bright day, outside. 1000 nits backlighting is available as an option but only with FHD model.

Tablet mode and stylus

HP Elite Dragonfly comes with a stylus you can place near the top cover. With magnetic attachment, it is difficult to lose it.

When you rotate the top cover, Windows tablet mode is activated. It works with both gesture control and stylus input. For the most part, there are no problems, except the animations slow down in the tablet orientation. This is definitely not a hardware issue, because the laptop is powerful, so most likely, better optimization is needed. It might get it with an update.

HP Elite Dragonfly Review

In theory, a stylus should be extremely useful for many programs. But it turns out that it is not optimized for some applications. For example, in the built-in Paint 3D there is a noticeable lag: the lines you draw lag significantly behind the tip of the pen. In addition, you need to charge the pen separately, through its own USB-C interface with its cable, not through the laptop itself automatically.

It needs optimization or you will wait…

The config with 4K resolution, includes a powerful Intel Core i7-8565U processor and 16 GB of RAM. Nevertheless, the ultrabook is not suitable for intense multimedia and gaming. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 video adapter is enough to run some basic games though. But somehow the general performance gives us the the impression of poor system optimization.

HP Elite Dragonfly Review

You often encounter lags when entering a link in the browser address bar, or while switching between programs. When you start a program, it is not as fast as you would expect from a new and high end laptop. HP should definitely work on optimization. For a premium laptop, this is no good.

You have an option to buy the device with 4G or a 5G modem. And with the device’s Wi-Fi 6 support, everything seems fine now: the speed and the channel bandwidth seems satisfying.

HP Elite Dragonfly has Bang & Olufsen speakers. Four speakers really set the laptop apart from most competitors in the market. The sound is high-quality, with a good level of bass and the it can be loud if you want.

HP Elite Dragonfly Review

Unfortunately, there is nothing to please lovers of sitting in complete silence, because the fans break the silence. They work almost at all times, so the ultrabook can not be called 100 percent silent. Just launch Chrome with a single tab, the fans may go crazy, and with that, the battery consumption increases as well.

Battery life didn’t surprise

Battery life is also optional with Elite Dragonfly. So, with the FHD model you can get up to 24 hours, and if you prefer 4K model, then you will have up to 14 hours. However, in any case, these are fantastic indicators: the real numbers are no more than 6-7 hours. And this is provided that no energy-intensive and resource-demanding application is launched. Only a browser, a Word and a messenger in the background for chatting.

In the sleep mode, the laptop also wastes a charge. You will see up to 35% of losses from your battery life if you keep it till next day, so you should not leave the computer without charge for a long time.

On the other hand, it supports fast charging, for half an hour, the laptop can get a 51% capacity. A full cycle takes about two hours.

Specs of HP Elite Dragonfly

8th generation Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 CPU, Up to 16GB RAM, 128GB/256GB&/512GB NvME SSD storage, 13,3 inches (1920×1080 or 3840×2160), Intel UHD 620 graphics, 2 x Thunderbolt with USB-C, 1 x USB 3.1, HDMI, headphone/mic, Nano SIM for WWAN, 720p webcam, 2-cell or 4-cell battery, 11.98 x 7.78 x 0.63 inches, 2.2 pounds.

HP Elite Dragonlfy
Overall
3
  • Total

Conclusion

Oddly enough, the HP Elite Dragonfly in many ways worse than more affordable competitors. It has not the best performance, not the most impressive sound, not the longest battery life. The touchpad is not easy to control, it takes a habit and some skill.

On the other hand, the laptop has its own charm. HP Elite Dragonfly is stylish, beautiful, thin and light. It almost dissolves in a bag or backpack, takes up a minimum space. It can turn into a tablet with its 360 degree rotating screen and can be used with a stylus easily.

We are talking about a laptop with a price tag starting from 1,549 USD. That is a lot for just a good looking 2-in-1.

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