HP Elite Dragonfly review: Luxurious, professional, expensive

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

There are more ultra-mobile professionals now than ever before, which is why OEMs are developing increasingly thin-and-light laptops that will appeal to those users. No one wants to add heft to their bag, regardless of whether they’re going off on a 10-hour flight or a 10-minute commute to work, thus increasing the appeal of thin-and-light laptops. But the most mobile among us will only go as thin and light as our performance needs allow us to—if a laptop isn’t powerful or efficient enough to help you get work done, its svelte characteristics won’t make up for that.

Enter the HP Elite Dragonfly two-in-one laptop, which is HP’s answer to this problem. It’s an ultra-slim laptop with a MIL-spec-tested design that weighs just 2.18 pounds, and it has the power and security features of one of HP’s Elite series laptops. HP is betting on the idea that professionals will choose the thinnest and lightest laptop possible that doesn’t compromise the performance or battery life they need to get things done regardless of their location—and that they’ll pay top dollar to get it. We spent a few days with the Elite Dragonfly convertible to see how well-designed it actually is and to see if taking thin and light to the extreme hinders any necessities.

Look and feel

Specs at a glance: HP Elite Dragonfly two-in-one laptop
As reviewed Lowest Best
Screen 13.3-inch FHD (1920×1080) touchscreen 13.3-inch FHD (1920×1080) touchscreen 13.3-inch 4K (3840×2160) touchscreen
OS Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home Windows Pro 64
CPU Core i7-8665U Intel Core i5-8265U Core i7-8665U w/ vPro
RAM 16GB 8GB 16GB
HDD 512GB PCIe SSD + 32GB Optane Memory 256GB PCIe SSD 512GB PCIe SSD + 32GB Optane Memory
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 620
Networking Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 5 (2×2), Bluetooth 4.2
Ports 2 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x nano SIM, 1 x lock slot, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
Size 11.98×7.78×0.63 inches (304×198×16mm)
Weight 2.5 pounds (40 ounces) 2.18 pounds (34.0 ounces) 2.5 pounds (40 ounces)
Battery 56.2Wh battery 38Wh battery 56.2Wh battery
Warranty 1 year
Extras Fingerprint reader, IR camera, optional vPro, optional LTE, TPM 2.0, absolute persistence module, power-on authentication, HP DriveLock and Automatic DriveLock, HP Sure Click, HP Secure Erase, HP Sure Start, HP Sure Run, HP Sure Recovery, HP Sure Sense, HP BIOSphere
Price $2,169 $1,549 (available at this price point soon) $2,369
HP Elite Dragonfly laptop product image

HP Elite Dragonfly laptop

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Design and durability

Being part of the Elite family, the Elite Dragonfly laptop had to adhere to certain durability and performance standards that users are accustomed to from that line. We’ll get to the performance chops in a bit, but from a design perspective, the Elite Dragonfly surprised me.

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