There are more ultra mobile professionals today than ever before, which is why OEMs are developing thinner and lighter laptops that appeal to these users. Nobody wants to put more weight in their pockets, whether it's a 10-hour flight or a 10-minute work commute, which increases the attractiveness of thin and light-weight laptops. But the most mobile among us will only be as thin and light as our performance requirements allow – if a laptop isn't powerful or efficient enough to do your job, its slim features won't compensate.
Enter the HP Elite Dragonfly two-in-one laptop that is HP's answer to this problem. It's an ultra-slim, MIL-rated design that weighs just 2.18 pounds, and it has the performance and security features of an HP Elite Series laptop. HP believes that professionals choose the thinnest and lightest laptop that doesn't affect the performance or battery life they need to do their job, no matter where they are. We spent a few days with the Elite Dragonfly Cabriolet to see how well it is actually designed and to see if it complicates the need to be thin and light.
Look and Feel
|Technical data at a glance: HP Elite Dragonfly two-in-one laptop|
|Screen||13.3-inch FHD touchscreen (1920 × 1080)||13.3-inch FHD touchscreen (1920 × 1080)||13.3-inch 4K touchscreen (3840 × 2160)|
|OS||Windows 10 home page||Windows 10 home page||Windows Pro 64|
|CPU||Core i7-8665U||Intel Core i5-8265U||Core i7-8665U with vPro|
|RAM||16 GB||8 GB||16 GB|
|HDD||512 GB PCIe SSD + 32 GB Optane storage||256 GB PCIe SSD||512 GB PCIe SSD + 32 GB Optane storage|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Networking||Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 5 (2 × 2), Bluetooth 4.2|
|Harbors||2 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Nano-SIM, 1 x lock slot, 1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack|
|Size||304 × 198 × 16 mm (11.98 × 7.78 × 0.63 inches)|
|Weight||2.5 pounds (40 ounces)||2.18 pounds (34.0 ounces)||2.5 pounds (40 ounces)|
|Battery||56.2 Wh battery||38 Wh battery||56.2 Wh battery|
|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 Secure Recovery, HP Sure Sense, HP BIOSphere|
|Price||$ 2,169||$ 1,549 (coming soon at this price)||$ 2,369|
HP Elite Dragonfly laptop
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Design and durability
As part of the Elite family, the Elite Dragonfly laptop had to meet certain durability and performance standards that users are used to from this line. We'll get to the performance right away, but the Elite Dragonfly surprised me from a design point of view.
Laptops, which are mainly thin and light, usually only feel a little longer than a precious heirloom that your children should not touch. The Elite Dragonfly feels more robust than most laptops I've used that are the same size and weight class. With a thickness of 16mm and a weight between 2.18 and 2.5 pounds, it's an easy companion for backpacks, and I was happy to see that neither the chassis nor the lid flexed under pressure.
This may be due to the additional magnesium layers in the keyboard area, in the cover and in the lower areas of the laptop, which reinforce the design, as well as other internal structures, which keep it stable and durable. The Dragonfly has passed 19 MIL-STD-810G tests, and HP placed particular emphasis on testing the machine for drops, shocks, and vibrations.
Many flagship laptops have not been tested to the MIL specification or have only passed a limited number of tests. However, this type of testing is standard for the HP Elite range. While these are by no means "rugged" laptops, adding this MIL specification shelf life level means that you can accidentally drop them or leave them in a precarious situation, and they'll most likely return to you unscathed.
The Elite Dragonfly takes its name from the "dragonfly blue" paintwork with which its chassis is coated. The machine is currently only available in this color, which inevitably makes some users look sinister. It is most similar to navy blue, but with a pleasant brightness that shines through subtly when light falls on it. Whether the blue finish speaks to you or not, it's a welcome change from the sea of silver, black barrage, and an abundance of pink consumer electronics that are now dominating the market. The entire cabinet is made of magnesium, but HP has also integrated recycled plastic (including some ocean-bound plastics) into the speaker. This is not something that users can see with their eyes, but HP is striving to be a bit more environmentally friendly.