“The HP Elite Dragonfly Max is a beautiful 2-in-1 for the businessperson on the go.”

Excellent construct high quality

Skinny and light-weight

Glorious keyboard and touchpad

Efficient privateness display

A slew of precious enterprise options

Underwhelming CPU efficiency

Too costly

The HP Elite Dragonfly has by no means been your common enterprise laptop computer. The title alone means that that is no ThinkPad clone. A singular design made the unique Elite Dragonfly a implausible 2-in-1 for businesspeople who didn’t wish to sacrifice design for enterprise options.

HP up to date the machine in 2020 to the G2 after which once more in 2021 to the most recent 11th-gen Intel Tiger Lake CPUs. However now we’ve a specialised model, the Elite Dragonfly Max, which affords the identical primary design and have set because the G2, however with enhanced videoconferencing capabilities — particularly, an upgraded webcam and an extra world-facing microphone.

I acquired a assessment configuration of the Elite Dragonfly Max with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 with vPro, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and HP’s Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) Certain View Replicate privateness display. The configuration is available in at $2,939, a really premium value that’s aimed — once more — at a particular form of enterprise consumer. Does the Max provide further worth over the G2?

Design

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What stands out most in regards to the Elite Dragonfly Max design is the eye to element. HP clearly gave an excessive amount of thought to crafting a laptop computer that addresses not simply the everyday wants of enterprise customers, however some issues that many individuals may not have considered. Contemplate the laptop computer’s “cleanability.” Not solely can you utilize frequent family wipes to scrub and disinfect the laptop computer — as much as 1,000 cycles — however HP created a easy “HP Simple Clear” utility that shuts off the touchscreen, keyboard, and touchpad so you’ll be able to clear the machine with out extraneous keypresses and touches.

Then there’s HP’s “Context Conscious” applied sciences, of which there are two variants. The primary, In Bag/Out of Bag Detection, has been applied on another HP laptops — the HP Spectre x360 14, for instance — and similar to it sounds, it will possibly detect whenever you put your laptop computer right into a bag or backpack. When that state is detected, the laptop computer hibernates to make sure that it doesn’t activate, after which whenever you take away it and place it on a flat floor, the laptop computer begins to get up and is able to go far more shortly.

The second Context Conscious characteristic is On Lap/On Desk Detection, which might sense whenever you’re utilizing the laptop computer on a desktop, wherein case it cranks up the efficiency and warmth, or your lap, the place it tunes issues down and lowers the machine’s temperature by 5 levels Celsius.

The Elite Dragonfly Max is an extremely well-designed laptop computer within the ways in which matter most.

By no means concern, although. HP didn’t spend all its sources on uncommon options. The Elite Dragonfly Max can be an extremely well-designed laptop computer within the ways in which matter most. It’s fabricated from magnesium alloy, giving it a stable construct that’s compromised by solely a tiny little bit of flexing within the lid. The keyboard deck and chassis backside are agency and resist distortion, and the laptop computer has been examined to navy specs. If the Elite Dragonfly Max isn’t in the identical class because the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, the ThinkPad X13 Yoga 2-in-1, or the Dell XPS 13, then it’s fairly darn shut. Maintain it in hand — and flip it between its 4 modes of clamshell, tent, media, and pill — and also you get an actual sense of stable high quality.

The Elite Dragonfly Max can be a skinny and light-weight laptop computer. It is available in at zero.63 inches thick and a couple of.49 kilos, putting it in between the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s zero.67 inches and 1.99 kilos and the XPS 13’s zero.58 inches and a couple of.eight kilos. The ThinkPad X13 Yoga is similar thickness however weighs a bit extra at 2.76 kilos. There aren’t many business-class 13-inch 2-in-1s, and so our direct comparability group is slim.

The Elite Dragonfly Max would profit from smaller prime and backside bezels, which might make for a smaller chassis and a extra fashionable look. Talking of the look, the Elite Dragonfly Max is conservatively designed, with clear strains and easy angles however sufficient accents to keep away from being boring. The hinges are essentially the most elaborate design component, they usually don’t stick out however fairly subtly improve the laptop computer’s total look. The Max model of the laptop computer is available in a Good Black colour as a substitute of the G2’s blue, and it appears nice.

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Connectivity can be a energy. You get a USB-A three.1 port, a nano lock slot, and a nano-SIM slot on the left-hand facet. On the right-hand facet, you’ll discover a full-size HDMI 2.zero port, a three.5 mm audio jack, and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt four assist (one in every of which is used for charging). Wi-fi connectivity contains Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, and both LTE 4G or 5G Wi-fi WAN (WWAN) assist is non-obligatory.

Talking of the latter, my assessment unit was geared up with 5G and got here with an AT&T SIM card. I examined the 5G connectivity at my home, and whereas each the laptop computer and AT&T’s protection map indicated I used to be getting a 5G connection, my obtain velocity topped out at about 70 megabits per second (Mbps). Once I examined the Lenovo Flex 5G with Verizon’s ultra-wideband 5G (the HP is restricted to Sub6 5G), I noticed near 500 Mbps. I didn’t get an opportunity to drive across the metropolis searching for a sooner AT&T 5G connection, however I’m certain it’s potential to see sooner speeds than I skilled.

Safety and privateness

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HP carried over the varied safety and privateness options that we appreciated a lot within the authentic Elite Dragonfly. It has vPro assist as an possibility, which means massive organizations can combine the laptop computer into their administration techniques. It additionally options HP Certain Begin, which supplies a safety controller constructed immediately into the motherboard and supplies a layer of remoted and encrypted bodily safety of the BIOS and boot-up course of. As we mentioned in regards to the authentic mannequin, the Elite Dragonfly Max exceeds most different business-class laptops by way of the sheer variety of business-oriented options, together with Lenovo’s ThinkPad line.

You’ll additionally discover two methods to log in and not using a password — facial recognition through infrared cameras and a fingerprint reader positioned on the higher right-hand facet of the palm relaxation. Each work shortly and reliably. There’s a bodily webcam cowl for enhanced privateness that shows an overlay to make it apparent when it’s engaged, and a keyboard button shuts off the microphone.

Lastly, the Elite Dragonfly Max (and observe that the G2 model has all of those options as nicely) has Tile assist built-in. The brand new fashions differ from the unique, the place the Tile module plugged into the identical M.2 port because the WWAN, and so it was both Tile or always-on connectivity, and never each. Tile is now constructed into the motherboard, so now you can use the Tile system to find your laptop computer for those who occur to go away it behind or if it’s stolen and nonetheless get pleasure from 4G LTE or 5G assist.

Efficiency

The Elite Dragonfly Max I reviewed is supplied with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU with vPro assist. That makes it a wonderful alternative for giant organizations that use the vPro functionality for distant administration and assist. Though the laptop computer was geared up with a barely sooner model of the Tiger Lake Core i7, I suspected that the skinny chassis may restrict efficiency given the necessity to extra fastidiously management thermals.

I used to be proper. The Elite Dragonfly Max didn’t carry out terribly, nevertheless it was a bit underwhelming in comparison with the competitors.

The Elite Dragonfly Max felt a lot fast doing typical productiveness duties.

In Geekbench 5, for instance, the Elite Dragonfly Max got here in final place amongst our comparability group. The distinction wasn’t pronounced in comparison with the opposite Intel Tiger Lake laptops — the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U-based Asus ZenBook 13 OLED dominated all of the CPU-intensive benchmarks — nevertheless it was disappointing to see the HP fall so low. In our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Elite Dragonfly Max once more got here within the final place, and the distinction was better towards all however the HP Spectre x360 14 (which was a lot sooner in its efficiency mode). The identical held true in Cinebench R23, the place the 2 HP laptops had been shut collectively and behind the remainder of the pack (though once more, the Spectre x360 14 was a lot sooner in efficiency mode).

I additionally examined the Elite Dragonfly Max utilizing PCMark 10, the place it scored — you guessed it — in step with the Spectre x360 14 and slower than the remainder of the sector. The delta was much less on this check, although, apart from the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED. Trying on the particular person elements of the PCMark 10 check, the Elite Dragonfly Max did nicely within the Necessities portion (net looking, videoconference, and such), however fell behind in productiveness and content material creation.

In precise use, the Elite Dragonfly Max felt a lot fast doing typical productiveness duties. And in reality, it’s not a gradual laptop computer by any means. It’s simply less than par towards its equally configured competitors.

Geekbench (single/multi)
Handbrake (seconds)
Cinebench R23 (single/multi)
PCMark 10
3DMark Time Spy
HP Elite Dragonfly Max
(Core i7-1185G7)
1570/5297
252
1385/3604
4724
1468
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED 
(AMD Ryzen 7 5800U)
1423 / 6758
124
1171 / 7824
6034
1342
Dell XPS 13 (Core i7-1185G7)
1549 / 5431
204
1399 / 4585
n/a
1380
HP Spectre x360 14 (Core i7-1165G7)
1214 / 4117
236
1389 / 3941
4728
1457
Razer E book 13 (Core i7-1165G7)
1548 / 5374
210
1508 / 4519
4878
1776
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (Core i7-1185G7)
1532 / 5415
207
1435 / 4409
4800
1648

It additionally isn’t a lot of a gaming laptop computer. It did OK within the 3DMark Time Spy check, beating out just a few of the machines within the comparability group.

However in Fortnite, it once more fell behind, scoring simply 22 frames per second (fps) in 1080p and excessive graphics, which is just a few fps behind the everyday Tiger Lake laptop computer with the identical Intel Iris Xe graphics. It dropped to 18 fps in Epic settings, once more, a number of fps behind the Tiger Lake common.

Show and audio

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The Elite Dragonfly Max comes with one show possibility, HP’s Certain View Replicate privateness display at a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) decision and an old-school 16:9 side ratio. That’s in comparison with the G2 model, which affords normal IPS Full HD and 4K choices. That is an uncommon show that has two distinct personalities.

With the privateness mode turned off, the show is extremely vibrant at a rated 1,000 nits. My assessment unit “solely” put out 417 nits, which is nice, however I ought to see round 758 nits in line with HP’s testing of a second unit they despatched because of the discrepancy. There appears to be one thing in regards to the show expertise that makes our regular colorimeter testing harder, and take a look at as I’d, I couldn’t rise up to such lofty brightness. The distinction was glorious at 1,380:1 (something over 1,000:1 is superb), and black textual content popped on a white background. Mixed with the excellent keyboard, it is a nice author’s laptop computer. Additionally, the show compares nicely to the Dell XPS 13 Full HD show with its 458 nits of brightness and 1350:1 distinction, and it was brighter than the Spectre x360 14’s OLED show that got here in at 374 nits however couldn’t examine with the Spectre’s 374,200:1 side ratio (that’s OLED for you).

It’s advantageous to be used by a person however isn’t a terrific display for sharing.

Colours had been common for premium productiveness laptops, which means they had been good however to not the extent that inventive varieties search for. AdobeRGB protection was at 74% and sRGB protection was at 97%, that are advantageous scores, however once more, not as large as inventive varieties will need. Colours had been moderately correct with a Delta E of two.49 (1.zero or much less is taken into account glorious). The XPS 13 had 75% AdobeRGB and 98% sRGB protection and an accuracy of 1.36, whereas the Spectre x360 14 had very large colours at 96% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, with colour accuracy of zero.69.

Total, in normal mode, the show is great for productiveness and media consumption. The one destructive is that viewing angles are a bit slender. Look from any angle aside from straight on and the show begins to dim and lose constancy. It’s advantageous to be used by a person however isn’t a terrific display for sharing.

Activate privateness mode and every little thing adjustments. Brightness diminishes significantly — my colorimeter wasn’t in a position to precisely measure the show in privateness mode — and whereas it’s nonetheless usable, it’s not going to beat vibrant overhead lights. Colours stay respectable,accuracy appears good, and distinction doesn’t appear to drop off a lot. It’s nonetheless a very good productiveness show, however that’s not its calling card. Extra importantly, it features completely nicely as a privateness display, graying out utterly as you progress away from a straight-on view. For those who’re sitting within the center seat on a aircraft,  for instance, your display will likely be utterly illegible to these in your left and proper.

I’m working to resolve the brightness query in normal mode, nevertheless it’s not an enormous factor. This can be a nice show for each normal productiveness work in any surroundings and for getting your work carried out in relative privateness.

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The audio high quality is great because of 4 Bang & Olufsen-tuned audio system, two upward-firing on either side of the keyboard and two downward-firing on the underside of the case. Its personal devoted sensible amplifier drives every speaker. HP touts the laptop computer’s bass, which is a legitimate boast — not solely was the amount very loud and undistorted, with mids and highs that had been clear and lucid, however there was a noticeable contact of bass as nicely.

These are excellent audio system for such a small laptop computer, and whereas they’ll’t match up with the MacBook Professional’s glorious audio, they’re higher than these on most Home windows 10 laptops. You should use them for many of your listening, together with bingeing Netflix and listening to music. Headphones are non-obligatory.

Videoconferencing

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The place the Max model stands out from the G2 model is in its videoconferencing capabilities. This begins with the webcam, which isn’t your typical 720p low-quality laptop computer webcam that’s nothing to put in writing house about. This one is a 5-megapixel webcam with a bigger sensor, auto-exposure for faces, and cautious tuning for optimum efficiency. My home is below renovation, so I don’t have a lovely background to indicate off the digicam’s high quality. Nonetheless, it’s noticeably improved over the earlier mannequin’s and the opposite laptops I’ve mendacity round. HP examined the webcam towards a number of opponents, and throughout the board, it loved larger texture high quality, higher colour accuracy, and extra uniform colours throughout a picture.

It might not be 1080p like a few of the current ThinkPads, nevertheless it’s actually an enchancment over the earlier technology.

The Max model additionally ups the G2’s three microphones to 4, with two forward-facing and two world-facing. Synthetic intelligence-based noise cancellation is used to suppress background noises and improve the general sound high quality.

Merely put, the Elite Dragonfly Max is a videoconferencer’s dream laptop computer, providing higher sights and sounds for more practical communication. For those who work remotely and want the perfect videoconferencing efficiency, then this laptop computer ought to be in your quick checklist.

Keyboard and touchpad

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HP makes nice keyboards. The Spectre line, as an example, has had my favourite keyboard on Home windows 10 laptops for a while now. The Elite line has adopted carefully behind, and now the Elite Dragonfly Max and G2 have a brand new and even higher model.

To start with, the keyboard is stable; that’s, it’s constant throughout each key. That’s uncommon, and it makes the typing expertise extra environment friendly and fewer fatiguing as a result of your fingers aren’t experiencing a distinct really feel as they fly across the keyboard. The switches are agency however not too agency, offering simply the correct amount of suggestions, with a springy bottoming motion that makes every key very exact. Though the laptop computer is small, I discovered key spacing to be plentiful and the keycaps are properly sized. I discover myself typing sooner and extra precisely on this keyboard than another I’ve used — apart from Apple’s Magic Keyboard on its newest MacBooks. And I’d say that the Elite Dragonfly Max keyboard is true there with Apple’s glorious model.

The touchpad is as massive as it may be given the bezel measurement and 16:9 side ratio show (taller shows have had bigger touchpads currently because of the additional vertical area), and it’s extraordinarily comfy to make use of. The clicks are delicate and quiet, with a top quality really feel to them. In fact, it is a Microsoft Precision touchpad, so multitouch gestures are certain and exact. Outdoors of its measurement, this touchpad rivals these on the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 14, that are glorious.

The show is touch-enabled, after all, and it’s responsive as regular. It helps HP’s Wacom AES 2.zero lively pen with four,096 ranges of strain sensitivity, tilt assist, and USB-C charging. One wasn’t bundled with my assessment unit — it’s a $74 possibility — and so I couldn’t check it, sadly.

Battery life

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The Elite Dragonfly Max ships with a 56 watt-hour battery and a Full HD show (albeit with two modes, which I’ll talk about shortly). I used to be anticipating battery life to be a energy because it was with the unique model.

Because it seems, battery life was not fairly as much as the identical requirements. The place the first-gen Elite Dragonfly hit 10.5 hours in our web-browsing check, the Max made it to 9.75 hours. Now, something near 10 hours on this check ought to be thought of a very good rating, however extra laptops have lately been hitting this quantity and past. The Elite Dragonfly Max rating is now nearer to common than standing out, and whereas it guarantees a full working day of battery life, another current laptops are stronger. The HP Envy 14, for instance, made it to over 12.5 hours, whereas the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED managed a really sturdy 15.75 hours. The Dell XPS 13 Full HD wasn’t as aggressive at simply eight.5 hours, whereas the HP Spectre x360 14, with its power-hungry OLED show, managed simply 6.95 hours.

In our video check that loops a 1080p film trailer, the Elite Dragonfly Max hit 13.5 hours, which once more is an honest end result however not significantly better than common. The Envy 14 went for nearly an hour longer, and the ZenBook 13 OLED hit 15.5 hours, whereas the XPS 13 was behind at 12 hours and the Spectre x360 14 got here in final on this group at simply over 10 hours.

I ran the PCMark 10 Gaming check to see how the laptop computer carried out when the CPU and GPU had been below load, and it went for four.9 hours, which is near the longest we’ve seen. Solely the LG Gram 16 managed to last more, and that was by simply seven minutes. In fact, this possible reveals that the Elite Dragonfly Max isn’t actually pushing itself extraordinarily onerous when working on battery — one thing to bear in mind whenever you’re working away from a plug. Lastly, I ran the PCMark 10 Functions check, which is the perfect indication of productiveness battery life, and the Elite Dragonfly Max managed simply over 11 hours. That’s a powerful end result within the higher echelon of the restricted variety of laptops we’ve examined.

Apparently, the battery life with the privateness mode activate is healthier than with it turned off. With the privateness display enabled, the Elite Dragonfly Max made it to 11.5 hours in our web-browsing check, 14.25 hours in our video check, and 14 hours within the PCMark 10 Functions check. Utilizing the privateness mode not solely gained’t damage your battery life, however it can considerably enhance it.

Total, I’d charge battery life pretty much as good however not nice. Once more, you’ll get a full day’s work out of the laptop computer with out plugging in, nevertheless it falls behind a few of the competitors. That’s extra a matter of laptop computer battery life persevering with to enhance than an indictment of the Elite Dragonfly Max.

Our take

For those who’re a businessperson who does tons of videoconferencing and has a company funds, you’ll little question discover the Elite Dragonfly Max to be an attractive possibility. It’s extremely well-built, affords a number of actual value-add options, and supplies a few of the finest safety and privateness performance you’ll discover on a laptop computer.

It’s additionally costly, affords middling efficiency and battery life, and it’s possible you’ll not care about a few of the options it affords. That’s what makes this a terrific laptop computer, however primarily for a particular viewers.

Any options?

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga is one other business-class 2-in-1 which you can think about. It’s not as costly however doesn’t provide the identical characteristic set. In case your wants aren’t so specific, then it is a good possibility to think about.

For those who don’t care in any respect in regards to the enterprise options, then the HP Spectre x360 14 is a superior 2-in-1 in some ways, with higher efficiency, a greater show, and a a lot cheaper price tag. It, too, would function a viable different.

Lastly, for those who don’t care about both 2-in-1 performance or business-class options, then the previous standby is obtainable on your consideration: The Dell XPS 13. It stays among the finest laptops you should purchase, and also you’ll get higher efficiency and a smaller chassis for much less cash.

How lengthy will it final?

The Elite Dragonfly Max is so well-built that you simply’ll be utilizing it for a few years. You’ll most likely discover that the 16:9 side ratio show will seem more and more outdated, however that’s the one part that’s not at present state-of-the-art. Nonetheless, you’ll actually recognize the three-year guarantee, which we’d like to see accessible for all laptops.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. It’s important to be a particular breed to need the Elite Dragonfly Max, but when that’s you, you then’ll actually need it.

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