The commercial PC space can be slow to catch up to the consumer space when it comes to design and next-gen features. But HP thinks it has a solution for business users who want a laptop that looks just as good as it works and doesn’t sacrifice pro features to do so. The HP Elitebook Dragonfly, despite its playful name, doesn’t play around with its top-tier specs, and at just 2.2 pounds, it’s one of the lightest business notebooks you’ll find.
The “dragonfly” name refers to the device’s ultra-light weight and its color, which HP calls dragonfly blue. The 13-inch Dragonfly is certainly one of the lightest business notebooks I’ve touched, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that HP still managed to include one USB-A port and an HDMI port on the convertible’s slim frame. Those ports are accompanied by two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a headphone jack, and a security lock slot.
The Dragonfly’s modern design would make it seem like a good competitor for machines like Dell’s XPS 13 or even the now-discontinued MacBook, but it is part of the Elitebook family, so it has a number of features that pro- and business-users will require standard. The machine has a chassis made of magnesium alloy and ocean-bound plastic material and is MIL-STD 810G certified, so it will withstand drops and shocks better than most of its consumer counterparts. In addition to a shutter-able webcam, the Dragonfly can be equipped with an IR camera, and it comes with a fingerprint reader standard for Windows Hello. The Dragonfly will also support vPro Intel CPUs, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 2TB of storage, Wi-Fi 6, and optional 4×4 LTE connectivity.
Both regular and business users will appreciate the Dragonfly’s long-promised battery life. The notebook will come in two battery configurations: one supports up to 16.5 hours of battery life while the other has been enhanced to last up to 24 hours on a single charge. Which you get will have to do in part with which display panel you choose: the Dragonfly will support an FHD, 400-nit panel; a 4K, HDR400, 550-nit panel; and an FHD, 1,000-nit panel with HP’s Sure View privacy filter. Naturally, if you want the best battery life possible, you’ll want to stick with the plain-ol’ FHD display.
HP representatives said the company is targeting CEOs and other business professionals with the Elitebook Dragonfly, and it’s easy to see how those users would like this convertible if it lives up to all of its promises. I only got to spend a few minutes with the Dragonfly, and in that time, it impressed me with its lightness, attractive yet subtle design (the blue is a nice alternative to the blacks and silvers that dominate the PC space), and impressive screen-to-body ratio. Since it is a convertible, the Dragonfly also supports inking as well, but you’ll have to pay extra for HP’s active pen (as you do in most cases).
I’m interested to see how popular the Dragonfly becomes and if HP will bring any of this new design language to the rest of the Elitebook portfolio. Currently, the Elitebooks are not badly designed in any way, but they look like bricks compared to the Dragonfly’s thin-and-light chassis. However, I would think business customers would only prioritize thinness and lightness to a certain point—the point at which those things start to hinder performance and battery life. We’ll have to test the Elitebook Dragonfly completely to see just how well it holds up to HP’s promises and its competition.
Along with the Elitebook Dragonfly, HP announced the S430C Curved Ultra-Wide monitor, a behemoth of a display that can connect to two PCs at once so you can use them simultaneously by sharing space on one screen. Using USB power, you can even transfer files from one device to another when both are connected to the S430C monitor.
The new HP Elitebook Dragonfly will be available starting at $1,599 on October 25.
Listing image by Valentina Palladino