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HP Dragonfly is unlike any business notebook
4.7Overall Score
Name: HP Dragonfly
Price (RRP): $2770-4210
Manufacturer: HP

The HP Dragonfly released late in 2019 is one of the smallest, lightest HP EliteBook class, x360, Intel Core powered notebooks. It is also one of the best performers and certainly the best looking.

Apart from the HP Dragonfly beautiful iridescent dragonfly blue finish, it has one of the largest (86%) screen-to-body-ratios. It fits a 13.3” screen into a svelte 12” magnesium alloy body (30.43 x 19.75 x 1.61cm – smaller than A4 sheet) and under 1kg (slightly more with a larger four-cell battery option).

Why is the HP DragonFly so special? It is HP’s first Intel Project Athena device. The second was the HP x360 Spectre 13 2020 which we rated 4.9/5 and called it ‘Pretty Perfect’.

Intel Athena

In fact, we will tell you right now – consumers and small business should buy the x360 Spectre. Enterprise and Government – well anyone that can afford it – should buy the HP DragonFly. They are both exceptional, but the DragonFly is for serious business.

The HP Dragonfly review (9PK38PA#ABG)

  • Intel Core i5-8365U 1.6/4.1Ghz vPro
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • 16GB (2x8GB LPDDR3-2133Mhz soldered to the motherboard)
  • 256GB M.2 SSD (options to 1TB) – user upgradable
  • 13.3” 1920×1080, 60Hz, HP Sure View Gen 3 Privacy, 1000nits, 72% NTSC
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 and PD 3.0), USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm combo audio
  • Wi-Fi 6 and BT 5.
  • Nano SIM slot LTE Cat 9
  • Win 10 Pro 64-bit
  • 3-year warranty
  • Website here

HP has a vast number of variations – SKUs.

Of course, you have options for an FHD 400nit screen or a 4K 550nit screen and more storage. Prices range from $2770 to $4210. I am guessing that the review model is around $3500.

In the interests of brevity, we use FAIL, PASS, EXCEED against all test parameters.

HP Dragonfly

HP Dragonfly first impression – EXCEED

You want one. I suspect it is the Dragonfly blue colour, but the SureView screen (1000nit) just pops, and the small bezels all around look great.

It is obviously a premium device, the x360 hinges work beautifully (clamshell, tent, presentation, and tablet) and the device is stable on the desk although the touch screen rocks a little. The lovely blue does not attract fingerprints – bonus.

And it is unusual to have an HDMI port and a USB-A port as well as two Thunderbolt/USB-C ports. If you are a traveller, you will appreciate that you don’t need a dongle or dock.

HP SureView Gen 3 Screen (one of three options) – EXCEED

HP claims 1000 nits, and this must be the brightest laptop screen I have ever seen. I am comfortable at 70-80% brightness – 100% is retina-searing.

The panel is an IVO857E with a native brightness of 887nits, a contrast of 2280:1, covering 91% SRGB with colour accuracy of Delta E 4.1 (below 4 is better). I will not argue with HP spec here because it may have custom hardware and drivers to beat the native specs.

It achieves such high brightness by using an RGB+W (white LED), and that helps all versions to achieve 72% NTSC. In our language, that is 91% sRGB and about 60% Adobe RGB. Pretty good for all but creatives and film/still editors.

SureView simply means you can decrease the field of view. Press F2 and the screen becomes unreadable from any angle (off-axis more than 45°). Gen 3 allows you to tweak the brightness if you need a little more.

Viewing angle (SureView off) is excellent, and a reasonably low-reflective Gorilla Glass 5 covers the touch screen.