The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is a massive departure from its predecessors, but as always, HP knocks it out of the park. Ultimately, it’s really hard to think of anything wrong with this laptop. It’s just so good. It’s got a 3:2 display with an OLED option, Intel’s U-series processors, a big old 68WHr battery, and it all weighs in at under a kilogram.
My biggest complaint is the price. You can’t buy this thing on a tight budget. It starts at just under $2,000, although to be fair, everything is more expensive these days.
But ultimately, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is just amazing. It’s stylish, coming in a Slate Blue color, and it’s so easy to carry around at 2.2 pounds. Considering that this model also has 5G connectivity, you can combine that with the battery life and the light weight for the best possible on-the-go experience.
Navigate this review:
- HP Elite Dragonfly G3 pricing and availability
- HP Elite Dragonfly G3 specs
- Design: It’s not a convertible anymore
- Display: The HP Elite Dragonflyt G3 goes 3:2
- Keyboard: It’s still best-in-class
- Performance: It uses Intel’s U-series, which is better for battery life
- Who should buy the HP Elite Dragonfly G3?
HP Elite Dragonfly G3 pricing and availability
- The HP Elite Dragonfly is available now, and it starts at just under $2,000
HP’s Elite Dragonfly G3 was actually announced a while ago, but it was significantly delayed. It didn’t end up shipping until later in the year, but it is available now. It currently starts at $1,952.30, although pricing on HP.com seems to fluctuate.
That bade model actually comes with a Core i5, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD, so it’s not exactly a low-end configuration. The model that HP sent me comes in at $2,686, and that comes with a Core i7-1265U.
HP Elite Dragonfly G3 specs
|Processor||Intel i7-1265U vPro processor|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe|
|Body||11.7 x 8.67 x 0.64 in, 2.2 pounds|
|Display||13.5″ diagonal BrightView WLED UWVA WUXGA+ (1920×1280), 400 nits|
|Storage||512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Battery||6-cell, 68-WHr Long Life Battery (Internal and not replaceable by customer. Serviceable by warranty.)|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 4 with USB4 Type-C 40Gbps signaling rate (USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.4)
1 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate (USB Power Delivery)
1 headphone/microphone combo
1 HDMI 2.0
|Keyboard||HP Premium Backlit Keyboard with spill-resistant keypad; Clickpad with multi-touch gesture support|
|Connectivity||Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 and Bluetooth 5.3 combo, vPro|
|Audio||Audio by B&O|
|Material||Magnesium and aluminum|
|OS||Windows 11 Pro|
Design: It’s not a convertible anymore
- The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 comes in Slate Blue and Natural Silver
- It has two Thunderbolt 4 ports and one USB Type-A port
The biggest change to the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is that it’s not a convertible anymore. In fact, it’s just a whole new laptop, redesigned from the ground up. HP made two generations of its original Elite Dragonfly, and despite it being one of the best laptops on the market, it threw the design in the bin and started fresh.
The Elite Dragonfly holds true to weighing under a kilogram, as it did in the past. That’s part of why it’s not a convertible anymore. There are some notable improvements here, and it wouldn’t have been possible to keep it at that target weight without changing up the form factor.
It comes in Slate Blue and Natural Silver, which are very different options. Natural Silver is the one you get if you want something basic. This is a business laptop, so that regular old silver option has to be there. And then there’s Slate Blue, which is obviously more colorful.
It’s made out of magnesium and aluminum though, rather than the more traditional aluminum that we’ve seen on Natural Silver EliteBook 1000 laptops. Magnesium is a much lighter material though, and that’s what allows HP to get the weight down to 2.2 pounds. This product is delightful to carry around. It’s so light that you can barely feel it in your bag.
As far as ports go, those are redesigned too. HP has traditionally included both Thunderbolt 4 ports on the right side of the device, but this one has one on each side. Any time I see a company put the extra investment into doing that, I appreciate it. It’s a nice way for cables not to get in your way.
On top of that, there’s a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port on the right side, along with a 3.5mm audio jack. On the left side, you’ll also find an HDMI 2.0 port, and if you opted for cellular, a nano-SIM slot.
The design of the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is really nice. It’s super light, and it has curved edges along the side that are easier on the touch. It’s something that we’ve been seeing a lot this year.
It just feels so bizarre for this not to be a convertible. I’ve reviewed three HP Elite Dragonfly units, not including this one and including the Dragonfly Max. This feels like something that’s totally new.
Display: The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 goes 3:2
- The Elite Dragonfly G3 has a 13.5-inch 3:2 display
- It comes in 1,920×1,280, or there’s a 3,000×2,000 OLED option
On the model that HP sent me, it has a 13.5-inch 1,920×1,280 display, giving it a 3:2 aspect ratio. Previous generations had 16:9 displays. Of course, the shift to 3:2 makes it even more curious why it’s not a convertible anymore, given that this aspect ratio is m,ore optimized for tablets. Basically, it means that the display is taller. It’s not as wide though, but there is more surface area.
There are several options for the screen. This is the base model. There’s one with the same resolution and touch, and there’s also one with the same resolution and HP’s Sure View technology, which lets you toggle on a privacy mode that blocks your screen from anyone looking over your shoulder. If you want to go all-in, there’s also a 3,000×2,000 OLED option, which is beautiful, assuming that it’s the same panel that HP has used on other 13.5-inch 3:2 laptops.
In my testing, the display supported 100% sRGB, 71%, NTSC, 76% Adobe RGB, and 76% P3, which really doesn’t stand out. I’m sure the OLED panel would do a lot better on this test, but as far as color gamut goes, this one is barely average.
Brightness maxed out at 416.3 nits, while contrast ratio maxed out at 1,580:1. Both of those are pretty solid. Indeed, considering that this is a laptop with cellular connectivity, 416.3 nits is pretty good if you’re using the laptop outdoors.
As I’ve said several times in other reviews, if you want the best in webcam quality, you buy an HP. The company is using a 5MP sensor, while most other companies are just now upgrading to a 2.1MP camera. The extra pixels give it room to support Auto Frame, which follows you around the viewfinder, without losing quality. It’s just a great webcam, and HP has been using it across its lineup, even in more mainstream products.
Keyboard: It’s still best-in-class
- The keyboard is one of the best in a laptop
Not much has changed in the keyboard, and that’s a good thing. HP’s premium business laptops have some of the best keyboards on the market. The company has done a lot of work in bringing them up to par with Lenovo’s renowned ThinkPads, and depending on who you asked, may have even surpassed Lenovo.
As you’d expect, the keyboard is backlit, but it’s also just super comfortable and accurate. The amount of force required to press a key feels just right, and it still feels modern. This is the type of keyboard that I’d be happy to type all day on, and I type a lot.
The touchpad is nice and large too, taking up most of the available real estate. Given the taller display, there’s more room for a bigger Precision touchpad while also still including the Bang & Olufsen speakers above the keys.
The keyboard also follows HP’s latest styles of including all buttons on the keyboard. In the bottom row, there’s a fingerprint sensor, and at the top, there’s a power button and a camera shutter button. When the camera button is pressed, it just puts a physical block in front of the camera, so there’s a visual indicator that nothing can see through it.
Performance: It uses Intel’s U-series, which is better for battery life
- The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 has U-series processors and a 68WHr battery
As far as speed and power goes, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 checks the right boxes. It’s got Intel’s 12th-gen U15 processors, and it’s got a big old 68WHr battery. Note that the battery size is larger than what we had on previous generations, so that’s another thing that’s adding on weight.
15W processors are the correct choice for this laptop. I’ve used Intel’s new P-series a lot, and while those CPUs benefit under multithreaded workloads, they’re ultimately going in products that were designed for 15W processors. Graphics performance is mostly the same between the two as well, and given the lower TDP on the U-series, you get better battery life.
Here’s the deal. Performance is great. This is one of those situations where there isn’t much to talk about, because it’s par for the course. There are plenty of machines out there with a Core i7-1265U, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, and a PCIe Gen 4 SSD. It’s a productivity laptop, and just like previous generations of laptops like it, it’s going to do great in productivity environments.
Here’s one thing I’m going to note though, which is more of a broad note across my reviews. Iris Xe graphics are great for photo editing, and even 1080p video editing. But if you plan on using it for these tasks, you should probably wait. Intel’s Iris Xe graphics on 12th-gen processors is almost exactly the same as it was on 11th-gen, and 13th-gen should be a big improvement.
The big boost here is CPU performance, not graphics performance. That’s why it’s so easy to recommend for productivity.
|HP Elite Dragonfly G3
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
|Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight
|3DMark: Time Spy||1,717||1,761||1,225|
|Geekbench 5 (single / multi)||1,713 / 7,284||1,622 / 8,207||1,754 / 5,991|
|Cinebench R23 (single / multi)||1,692 / 6,756||1,309 / 7,115||1,568 / 5,677|
|CrossMark (overall / productivity / creativity / responsiveness)||1,559 / 1,484 / 1,744 / 1,288||1,547 / 1,436 / 1,771 / 1,292||1,488 / 1,489 / 1,576 / 1,253|
Compared to other laptops on the market, benchmarks are mostly the same. The Elite Dragonfly G3 benchmarks a tiny bit lower than some others that I’ve seen with U-series processors, but that’s fine.
Battery life is pretty great as well. As usual, I measure battery life by just working the way I usually do, which is with a bunch of tabs open in a Chromium browser, and then using apps like Slack, OneNote, Skype, Notepad, etc. There’s usually some Photoshop mixed in there too. I keep the power slider on balanced, and on several occasions, I was able to get over eight hours, which is wild. On average, it was more like seven hours, but that’s still great. The worst case was when I had to set it to best performance and I attached a 15.6-inch FHD OLED portable monitor, and with that, it was just over three hours, but that’s no surprise.
But with a big battery and a U-series processor in this laptop, battery life is great. And going back to the fact that this product has cellular capabilities and how light it is, it’s really great for taking on the road.
Who should buy the HP Elite Dragonfly G3?
With all of the business laptops on the market, let’s see if the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is right for you.
You should buy the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 if:
- You’re frequently on the go
- You take a lot of video calls
- You just want a really great laptop
You should NOT buy the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 if:
- You do a lot of photo and video editing
- You’re on a tight budget
The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is an awesome laptop, and it’s hard to find any faults with it. Of course, it depends on your use case if it’s right for you, and this isn’t an inexpensive laptop.
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