HP Elite Dragonfly Laptop Review

About the HP Elite Dragonfly

Weighing 2.2 pounds and measuring 0.63 inches thick, the HP Elite Dragonfly would count as thin and light even among traditional, nonconvertible laptops. But unlike those competing models, the Dragonfly’s screen hinge rotates 360 degrees, allowing you to convert it into a large touch screen tablet or position it in “tent” or “presentation” modes that have the display facing out. The latter feature is especially useful for a business laptop.

HP offers the Elite Dragonfly’s 13.3-inch touch screen in two resolutions: 1920 x 1080 full HD (with a Sure View privacy option that blurs out the display from a side perspective) or 3840 x 2160 with UHD graphics. The latter adds slightly to the weight and cuts into battery life. HP says battery life can be up to a whopping 24.5 hours, but this depends heavily on what you do with the computer and which of two battery configurations you buy – the higher-capacity battery adds 0.3 pounds.

HP sells this laptop with an Intel 8th-generation i3, i5, or i7 processor; 8, 16, or 32 gigabytes (GB) memory; and a wide range of solid-state drive (SSD) sizes, including 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 terabyte (TB), or 2 TB. The laptop offers two USB-A and two USB-C ports for peripherals, plus an HDMI audio/video output. It also offers the latest Wi-Fi standard (Wi-Fi 6) and Bluetooth 5 for wireless connections to networks and peripherals. Some higher-end configurations of the Elite Dragonfly add 4G LTE or 5G mobile broadband.

The Elite Dragonfly’s backlit keyboard is accompanied by a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello biometric authentication in Windows 10. The 720p webcam above the screen (which you can disable along with the microphone) also supports Windows Hello facial recognition.

HP Elite Dragonfly

The Elite Dragonfly features a remarkably light 2-in-1 design that lets you rotate its touch screen all the way back to turn this Windows 10 laptop into a tablet. It also offers a comprehensive set of privacy and security options and custom buying options so that you can spec out an Elite Dragonfly to match your needs. But as this model has been around for a while, you can’t order it with a current Intel processor. Moreover, prices start at a lofty $1,779.

HP Elite Dragonfly

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HP Elite Dragonfly Review

The HP Elite Dragonfly ties for ninth place in our Best Laptops of 2021 rating and ties for third in Best 2-in-1 Laptops. It wins praise from professional reviewers for its thin, light profile, sturdy design, ports for USB Type-A and Type-C devices, and long battery life, all of which are great for a business laptop or one intended for home use. But these reviews don’t agree on just how long the battery lasts, with estimates ranging from 11 to 18 hours depending on how the computer was tested.

Pro reviewers deduct some points for the Elite Dragonfly’s high price, its older Intel processor, an excess of HP-specific apps preinstalled, and its lack of an SD card slot. Some reviews also criticize the noise of its cooling fan.

Is the HP Elite Dragonfly Right for Me?

Best for those who:

✓ Prioritize portability

✓ Like Windows 10’s touch screen interface

Not recommended for those who:

- Are on a tight budget

- Want a newer processor

With prices that can zoom far above $2,000, this laptop will place itself out of many people’s budgets. But for shoppers with the cash and a desire for a compact, 2-in-1 convertible, the Elite Dragonfly’s sleek design and option of 4G or 5G mobile broadband may justify the cost premium above HP’s cheaper convertible designs.

Other Products Offered By HP

Best HP Laptops

One of the oldest firms in the computing industry, HP offers a full range of Windows 10 and Chrome OS computers across multiple product lines. These include the Spectre, such as the Spectre x360; the Envy, including the Envy x360; and the Pavilion, Omen, and lines. The Elite Dragonfly sits near the top of HP's laptop lineup, offering high-end features suitable for a business or home laptop.

How Much Does the HP Elite Dragonfly Cost?

HP’s site lists a few different configurations of the Elite Dragonfly – some preset configurations and some customizable – that start at around $1,500. Processor upgrades are tied to memory. For example, doubling the memory to 16 GB will also require getting a faster processor than the entry-level i3, for a $278 total increase. Similarly, the UHD 4K display (a $170 option) is only available if you also purchase a faster processor. Storage upgrades are priced more reasonably. Stepping up from the inadequate 128 GB SSD to 512 GB adds just $175. Just $21 extra will upgrade to a higher-capacity battery.

How to Buy a HP Elite Dragonfly

If you want to custom-configure an HP Elite Dragonfly, you’ll have to buy it on HP’s website. Otherwise, you can choose between HP and third-party retailers that may offer discounts and quicker shipping times, assuming they stock a configuration you want. To buy the HP Elite Dragonfly:

1. Evaluate your needs. As with other laptops, the amount of storage is one of the most important factors. Also, decide the screen resolution, processor speed, other features you need, and those you can do without.

2. Compare pricing. See what your desired configuration will cost and when you’ll get it, factoring in discounts and other incentives that HP and outside retailers may offer.

3. Buy the laptop.

HP Elite Dragonfly FAQ

What Is the HP Elite Dragonfly Warranty?

HP provides a three-year hardware warranty on this laptop, up from the usual one year. You can add to that by buying a Care Pack. A third year of coverage costs $69, while a four-year service plan with onsite care costs $288.

How Do I Contact HP’s Customer Service?

HP offers tech support through a toll-free phone line 24 hours a day. You can also contact support through a live chat at the company’s site. The first 90 days of support are free.

Can the HP Elite Dragonfly Be Upgraded?

Yes – the Elite Dragonfly provides an unusual amount of access to its interior components. As the HP’s manual notes, removing five screws frees the bottom cover, at which point you can remove and replace the battery, memory, and SSD.

HP Elite Dragonfly vs. the Competition

Which Is Better: the HP Elite Dragonfly or the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon?

Both the Elite Dragonfly and ThinkPad X1 Carbon occupy the same high-end price bracket, and both can be business-focused or for personal use. But HP’s laptop offers the flexibility of a 2-in-1 convertible design, while the X1 Carbon is a traditional laptop without even a touch screen. Both offer a similar range of memory and storage allotments. However, the HP allows a maximum SSD size of 2 TB, compared to a maximum 1 TB on the ThinkPad. On the other hand, the ThinkPad offers newer Intel processors.

Which Is Better: the HP Elite Dragonfly or the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14?

The Zephyrus G14 and the Elite Dragonfly each carry a premium price, but they're aimed at different audiences. In particular, the Zephyrus G14 comes built for gamers, while the Elite Dragonfly caters to customers who want the touch screen capabilities of Windows 10. As a result, the Elite Dragonfly is significantly smaller and lighter. It also features 2-in-1 convertibility into a tablet and a variety of privacy features absent from the Asus laptop. But while the Zephyrus G14 doesn’t even offer a touch screen or a webcam, its cheapest version comes with double the storage of the cheapest Elite Dragonfly – 512 GB versus 256 GB.


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