HP Elite Dragonfly, Analysis and Opinion

It is our review of the HP Elite Dragonfly, a premium convertible hp laptop that came with hardware from two generations ago. Still, it stands out for allowing a very smooth workflow thanks to Optane technology and, above all, for a minimalist design that calls a lot of attention.

Since you see the box, you know that you are facing something special. How a device is “wrapped” gives us many clues about what is inside, and the HP laptop Elite Dragonfly is not misleading. We are looking at the company’s new convertible, an extremely light and fast laptop that boasts a design that undeniably attracts attention. Throughout the year, many teams go through our test bench, but few manage to captivate us from the beginning, something that the Dragonfly does. Everything is cautious: from the joints to an oleophobic material that prevents traces from permeating the entire casing, of course, through performance.

It’s one of those cases where performance matters more than the hardware it mounts. That is something that we will see throughout this analysis of the HP laptop Elite Dragonfly, but before, we present the model that we have received:

HP Elite Dragonfly Specs

Dimensions30.43 x 19.75 x 1.61 cm
Total weight0.99 kg
Operating systemWindows 10 Pro
ProcessorIntel Core i7-8565U
GPUIntegrated Intel HD 620
RAM16 GB LPDDR3 2.133 MHz
Intel Optane 32GB 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Screen type13.3 “IPS
400 nits brightness
72% NTSC
Screen resolution1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Wireless connectivityIEEE 802.11a / b / g / n / ac
A / V data connectors2 x USB Type-C 
USB Type-A 3.1
Headphone Minijack
Battery38 Wh version
Two cells
65 W USB Type-C charger
Price2,599 euros on Amazon

Analysis of the HP Elite Dragonfly by sections:

  • Design: one of the most premium in recent months
  • Screen: bright, for good and bad
  • Performance: two-generation Intel Core powered by Optane
  • Cooling: small but cool thanks to an extensive cooling system
  • Keyboard and touchpad: perfect, and accompanied by a stylus
  • Sound: speakers that do not give much of themselves
  • Software: Windows 10 Pro with tons of HP software
  • Autonomy: battery to work without being stuck to a plug
  • Conclusions: a 2-in-1 top laptop, although not for everyone

HP design that attracts attention like few others

We start the review of the HP Elite Dragonfly by talking about the plan. We are going to break down every millimeter of the laptop, but we are facing one of the most premium equipment, in its class, that has passed through our test bench. HP bets on a magnesium alloy to create the chassis of the convertible. This material does not seem as premium as aluminum, but the truth is that it allows you to develop shock-resistant laptops that dissipate heat well and weigh very, very little. The Dragonfly weighs 999 grams, and it is a pleasure, with its size of 30 centimeters wide and 1.6 cm thick, to carry it both in hand and in any backpack. It is no bulkier than any A4 notebook.

There are other tasteful details on the case. For example, we can use the laptop as a conventional laptop, or as a “tablet.” Still, we can also support the keyboard on the table to have only the screen in front and, for that, there are some tiny rubber bands on the case that make the keyboard does not rub against the table. When we opened the screen (it cannot do with one hand due to the low weight of the base), we found a keyboard with speakers on the sides, a large touchpad, the screen with (thin) black edges, and the HP logo on the bottom of the panel.

HP knows that many users place a sticker on the camera to avoid possible cases of espionage.

Since this equipment focused on the professional sector, they have included a small sliding tab that covers the camera. It is another example of the care for detail when creating a laptop. To end this section, on the left side, we have the security port, the SIM slot, the power button, and a USB 3.1 Type-A.

A full HD touch screen that leaves good feelings

And let’s talk about the screen. There are several configurations of the HP Elite Dragonfly that take us to 4K resolution and even Full HD with a brightness of 1,000 nits. We have analyzed the most modest version of the screen, but except in a specific use case, we have not missed those levels of extreme brightness.

The side frames of HP laptop are four millimeters thick, and the sensation is that of being in front of a very well used front. Of course, at the top, we have a frame that increases to twelve millimeters that house LTE antennas (in the compatible version), the light sensor for automatic brightness, two microphones, and the camera.

hp elite dragonfly

An Intel Core from two generations ago

If we talk about the guts of the HP Elite Dragonfly, we do not have as good news as to when talking about the screen, the design, or the battery (which we will see later). And it is that we are facing a laptop of more than 2,000 euros that mounts an Intel Core processor from two generations ago.

It is the Intel Core i7-8565U, a third-quarter 2018 processor that has four cores and eight threads at a frequency of 1.8 GHz with a 4.6 GHz turbo. It built on a 14-nanometer lithograph, and the TDP is 15 W (configurable to 25 W or 10 W, depending on whether we want more power or battery).In a laptop of this range, it would have been nice to have a tenth-generation processor and low consumption. Both for their strength and, above all, for the use and the supported RAM. And it is that the Dragonfly analyzed has 16 GB of RAM (well for this part) LPDDR3 at a frequency of 2,133 MHz (here, it leaves to desired)

Optane, on the other hand, “only” is 32 GB and is responsible for working by accelerating applications intelligently and, besides, supporting RAM when it needs it. It is an invisible work that shows in the day to day when you see that everything opens instantly, that in demanding tasks, the laptop does not drown and that everything goes. Well, how should it go?

Disperse without a problem whatever we do, despite the size

A very favorable point of the laptop is that, despite not having the most energy-efficient processors and having a very, very small dissipation base, it remains below 50º at all times. If we are working on the web, the temperature we have measured is between 37º and 40º. but when we upload the workload a little and start to retouch images, convert files and have more than ten tabs open, the temperature sticks in the 43-45º. Only with extreme use (batches of Capture One files saved to .png), the temperature goes over 50º.

Keyboard, touchpad, and stylus of the best we have tried

There are several types of laptops, and the same components can be more or less critical, depending on the equipment at hand. When we analyze a gaming laptop, for example, we do not give so much weight to the keyboard and touchpad. They are essential because we are going to spend time with them, but not as much as on a laptop created to write, for example.

hp laptop, hp elite dragonfly

In the case of the HP laptop Elite Dragonfly, we find a great keyboard and a generous touchpad in size and perfect in its response. The keycaps do not have any kind of shape, they are flat. Although I like those with a concave surface, I have not missed it. A nice touch is that they do not easily catch the greasiness of the fingers, and, also, it is a keyboard with protection against splashes. To round off, we have a white backlight.

Each manufacturer customizes how they want their function keys. In this case, we have the on-hook / off-hook keys if we have an Android paired with Windows 10, a shortcut to the calendar. A key to put the laptop in airplane mode, and the microphone lock integrated. As well as the volume, brightness, and keyboard backlight keys.

hp laptop

Speakers on top, but very fair

When we talk about laptops to consume content or gaming laptops, we always talk about speakers. It may not make much sense on this computer for its intended use, but we want to pay attention in this review of the HP laptop Elite Dragonfly to this section. We are going to listen to music, videos, video calls, or a sporadic movie on this equipment, and, to be honest, it appreciated that the sound comes as clean as possible. It does not bounce off a surface, and the truth is that the volume they give is high, but the quality of it is already something else.

hp laptop, hp elite dragonfly

Any range, from 1% to 100% volume, is from a canned sound to which the treble fails, the mids have no consistency and the basses. Well, there isn’t. It is something that is still normal, but some mobile speakers sound better. And for quite a bit. At least we have the 3.5mm mini-jack port.

Windows 10 Pro that flies despite all HP laptop software

As for the software, there are no surprises in the operating system section. Windows 10 Pro is responsible for giving life to the PC, and the truth is that it appreciated that the installed Pro version comes and not the Home. There are differences (maybe not at an ordinary user level), and on a laptop like this, it shows. Another thing is the installed software. Logically, we have the Optane software, and although it already preconfigured to accelerate the equipment, it is there for an advanced user to use and create new units, activate or deactivate acceleration, etc.

Battery for a day with a powerful and compact charger

Where there is no complaint is in the cell. There are two 38 Wh and 52 Wh configurations. We have a small version, but we can still work a day demanding the team without having to go through a socket. Note that it is a laptop created for mobility, and the fans do not start when we are in wireless mode, only activating when we connected to the power.

It is a smart solution to limit the elements that consume battery.

hp laptop, hp elite dragonfly

With Wi-Fi and 70% brightness, office tasks, Photoshop, and Spotify, the laptop can last about six hours without needing a plug. It goes up to eight if we remove Spotify and Photoshop from the equation.

Still, it’s not worth saving the battery in an office environment if we have a plug nearby. Since the charger (with a very contained size and braided cable) gives us a full charge in about one hour. It may sound like a joke, but one of the things I liked the most is that the charger weighs very little, is beautiful. Above all, it takes up very little in the backpack. It has a capacity of 65 W, and, obviously being Type-C, it is valid for other devices, Ah! Speaking of different methods, the pen can be loaded directly into a USB Type-C laptop (with cable included). As they shed a power of 15 W.

A very premium team that shines despite its shortcomings

We come to the end of the review of the HP laptop Elite Dragonfly with a clear idea. It is not as spectacular or powerful as other laptops that have been on our review table lately. But a few such round types of equipment we have tested in recent months.

hp laptop, hp elite dragonfly

It does not mount the best or newest components (that eighth-generation Intel or LPDDR3 memory, for example). And the speakers are far from being an option to enjoy music. Still, otherwise, it lives up to expectations.
An SSD that works very efficiently, Optane is speeding up the computer, and a Windows 10 that is increasingly optimized. Allows all tasks to fly on this device.

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