HP Elite Dragonfly Max Review: A Video Dream Machine

HP Elite Dragonfly Max review: A bit-from-home dream machine

MSRP $2,792.00

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

Professionals

  • Wonderful assemble prime quality
  • Skinny and light-weight
  • Wonderful keyboard and touchpad
  • Environment friendly privateness show display
  • A slew of invaluable enterprise choices

Cons

  • Underwhelming CPU effectivity
  • Expensive

The HP Elite Dragonfly has in no way been your widespread enterprise laptop. The determine alone implies that that’s no ThinkPad clone. A novel design made the distinctive Elite Dragonfly a unbelievable 2-in-1 for businesspeople who didn’t want to sacrifice design for enterprise choices.

HP updated the machine in 2020 to the G2 after which as soon as extra in 2021 to the most recent Eleventh-gen Intel Tiger Lake CPUs. Nevertheless now we now have a specialised mannequin, the Elite Dragonfly Max, which supplies the equivalent major design and have set as a result of the G2, nonetheless with enhanced videoconferencing capabilities — notably, an upgraded webcam and an additional world-facing microphone.

I obtained a review configuration of the Elite Dragonfly Max with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 with vPro, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), HP’s Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) Constructive View Mirror privateness show display, and 5G WWAN help. The configuration is offered in at $2,792, a very premium worth that’s aimed — as soon as extra — at a selected kind of enterprise shopper. Does the Max present additional value over the G2?

Design

The HP Elite Dragonfly folded up as a 2-in-1 in test mode.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

What stands out most in regards to the Elite Dragonfly Max design is the attention to ingredient. HP clearly gave a considerable quantity of thought to crafting a laptop that addresses not merely the usual desires of enterprise clients, nonetheless some points that many people will not have thought of. Ponder the laptop’s “cleanability.” Not solely can you utilize frequent household wipes to wash and disinfect the laptop — as a lot as 1,000 cycles — nonetheless HP created a straightforward “HP Easy Clear” utility that shuts off the touchscreen, keyboard, and touchpad so you can clear the machine with out extraneous keypresses and touches.

Then there’s HP’s “Context Aware” utilized sciences, of which there are two variants. The first, In Bag/Out of Bag Detection, has been carried out on one other HP laptops — the HP Spectre x360 14, for example — and equivalent to it sounds, it might really detect whilst you put your laptop proper right into a bag or backpack. When that state is detected, the laptop hibernates to ensure that it doesn’t activate, after which whilst you take away it and place it on a flat ground, the laptop begins to rise up and is ready to go far more shortly.

The second Context Aware attribute is On Lap/On Desk Detection, which can sense whilst you’re using the laptop on a desktop, by which case it cranks up the effectivity and heat, or your lap, the place it tunes points down and lowers the machine’s temperature by 5 ranges Celsius.

The Elite Dragonfly Max is an especially well-designed laptop inside the methods through which matter most.

Certainly not fear, though. HP didn’t spend all its belongings on unusual choices. The Elite Dragonfly Max can be an especially well-designed laptop inside the methods through which matter most. It’s fabricated from magnesium alloy, giving it a robust assemble that’s compromised by solely a tiny little little bit of flexing inside the lid. The keyboard deck and chassis bottom are company and resist distortion, and the laptop has been examined to navy specs. If the Elite Dragonfly Max isn’t within the equivalent class as a result of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, the ThinkPad X13 Yoga 2-in-1, or the Dell XPS 13, then it’s pretty darn shut. Keep it in hand — and flip it between its 4 modes of clamshell, tent, media, and tablet — and likewise you get an precise sense of sturdy prime quality.

The Elite Dragonfly Max can be a thin and light-weight laptop. It’s accessible in at 0.63 inches thick and a few.49 kilos, placing it in between the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s 0.67 inches and 1.99 kilos and the XPS 13’s 0.58 inches and a few.8 kilos. The ThinkPad X13 Yoga is comparable thickness nonetheless weighs a bit additional 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 revenue from smaller excessive and bottom bezels, which could make for a smaller chassis and a additional trendy look. There’s a trigger for the thicker excessive bezel, though — HP needed room to fit within the higher-res webcam. Speaking of the look, the Elite Dragonfly Max is conservatively designed, with clear traces and simple angles nonetheless ample accents to avoid being boring. The hinges are most likely essentially the most elaborate design issue, and they also don’t stick out nonetheless reasonably subtly enhance the laptop’s whole look. The Max mannequin of the laptop is offered in a Good Black coloration as an alternative of the G2’s blue, and it appears to be good.

The ports of the HP Elite Dragonfly Max.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Connectivity can be a vitality. You get a USB-A 3.1 port, a nano lock slot, and a nano-SIM slot on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side, you’ll uncover a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 help (thought of certainly one of which is used for charging). Wi-fi connectivity comprises Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, and each LTE 4G or 5G Wi-fi WAN (WWAN) help is non-compulsory.

Speaking of the latter, my review unit was equipped with 5G and acquired right here with an AT&T SIM card. I examined the 5G connectivity at my house, and whereas every the laptop and AT&T’s safety map indicated I was getting a 5G connection, my acquire tempo topped out at about 70 megabits per second (Mbps). As soon as I examined the Lenovo Flex 5G with Verizon’s ultra-wideband 5G (the HP is restricted to Sub6 5G), I seen close to 500 Mbps. I didn’t get a chance to drive throughout the metropolis looking out for a faster AT&T 5G connection, nonetheless I’m optimistic it’s doable to see faster speeds than I expert.

Security and privateness

The touchpad, keyboard, and fingerprint reader on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

HP carried over the various security and privateness choices that we most well-liked loads inside the distinctive Elite Dragonfly. It has vPro help as an chance, which implies large organizations can mix the laptop into their administration methods. It moreover choices HP Constructive Start, which provides a security controller constructed immediately into the motherboard and provides a layer of isolated and encrypted bodily security of the BIOS and boot-up course of. As we acknowledged in regards to the distinctive model, the Elite Dragonfly Max exceeds most completely different business-class laptops on the subject of the sheer number of business-oriented choices, along with Lenovo’s ThinkPad line.

You’ll moreover uncover two strategies to log in and never utilizing a password — facial recognition by way of infrared cameras and a fingerprint reader positioned on the upper right-hand side of the palm rest. Every work shortly and reliably. There’s a bodily webcam cowl for enhanced privateness that exhibits an overlay to make it obvious when it’s engaged, and a keyboard button shuts off the microphone.

Lastly, the Elite Dragonfly Max (and spot that the G2 mannequin has all of these choices as correctly) has Tile help built-in. The model new fashions differ from the distinctive, the place the Tile module plugged into the equivalent M.2 port as a result of the WWAN, and so it was each Tile or always-on connectivity, and by no means every. Tile is now constructed into the motherboard, so now you should use the Tile system to search out your laptop for individuals who happen to depart it behind or if it’s stolen and nonetheless take pleasure in 4G LTE or 5G help.

Effectivity

The HP Elite Dragonfly folded on its back.

The Elite Dragonfly Max I reviewed is equipped with an Eleventh-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU with vPro help. That makes it a beautiful various for large organizations that use the vPro performance for distant administration and help. Although the laptop was equipped with a barely faster mannequin of the Tiger Lake Core i7, I suspected that the thin chassis may prohibit effectivity given the need to additional rigorously administration thermals.

I was correct. The Elite Dragonfly Max didn’t perform terribly, however it certainly was a bit underwhelming as compared with the rivals.

The Elite Dragonfly Max felt heaps quick doing typical productiveness duties.

In Geekbench 5, for example, the Elite Dragonfly Max acquired right here in closing place amongst our comparability group. The excellence wasn’t pronounced as compared with the other Intel Tiger Lake laptops — the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U-based Asus ZenBook 13 OLED dominated all the CPU-intensive benchmarks — however it certainly was disappointing to see the HP fall so low. In our Handbrake check out that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Elite Dragonfly Max as soon as extra acquired right here inside the closing place, and the excellence was increased in opposition to all nonetheless the HP Spectre x360 14 (which was loads faster in its effectivity mode). The equivalent held true in Cinebench R23, the place the two HP laptops have been shut collectively and behind the rest of the pack (although as soon as extra, the Spectre x360 14 was loads faster in effectivity mode).

I moreover examined the Elite Dragonfly Max using PCMark 10, the place it scored — you guessed it — consistent with the Spectre x360 14 and slower than the rest of the sector. The delta was a lot much less on this check out, though, apart from the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED. Wanting on the actual individual elements of the PCMark 10 check out, the Elite Dragonfly Max did correctly inside the Requirements portion (web trying, videoconference, and such), nonetheless fell behind in productiveness and content material materials creation.

In exact use, the Elite Dragonfly Max felt heaps quick doing typical productiveness duties. And in actuality, it’s not a sluggish laptop by any means. It’s merely decrease than par in opposition to its equally configured rivals.

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 Information 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 moreover isn’t quite a lot of a gaming laptop. It did OK inside the 3DMark Time Spy check out, beating out a few of the machines inside the comparability group.

Nevertheless in Fortnite, it as soon as extra fell behind, scoring merely 22 frames per second (fps) in 1080p and extreme graphics, which is a few fps behind the usual Tiger Lake laptop with the equivalent Intel Iris Xe graphics. It dropped to 18 fps in Epic settings, as soon as extra, a lot of fps behind the Tiger Lake widespread.

Present and audio

The 1080p screen on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The Elite Dragonfly Max comes with one present chance, HP’s Constructive View Mirror privateness show display at a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) determination and an old-school 16:9 facet ratio. That’s as compared with the G2 mannequin, which supplies commonplace IPS Full HD and 4K decisions. That’s an unusual present that has two distinct personalities.

With the privateness mode turned off, the present is extraordinarily vibrant at a rated 1,000 nits. My review unit “solely” put out 417 nits, which is sweet, nonetheless I should see spherical 758 nits based mostly on HP’s testing of a second unit they despatched due to the discrepancy. There seems to be one factor in regards to the present technology that makes our common colorimeter testing more durable, and take a look at as I might, I couldn’t stand as much as such lofty brightness. The excellence was wonderful at 1,380:1 (one thing over 1,000:1 is great), and black textual content material popped on a white background. Combined with the wonderful keyboard, this could be a good creator’s laptop. Moreover, the present compares correctly to the Dell XPS 13 Full HD present with its 458 nits of brightness and 1350:1 distinction, and it was brighter than the Spectre x360 14’s OLED present that acquired right here in at 374 nits nonetheless couldn’t study with the Spectre’s 374,200:1 facet ratio (that’s OLED for you).

It’s high-quality for use by an individual nonetheless isn’t an vital show display for sharing.

Colors have been widespread for premium productiveness laptops, which implies they’ve been good nonetheless to not the extent that creative varieties seek for. AdobeRGB safety was at 74% and sRGB safety was at 97%, which can be high-quality scores, nonetheless as soon as extra, not as massive as creative varieties will want. Colors have been pretty appropriate with a Delta E of two.49 (1.0 or a lot much less is taken under consideration wonderful). The XPS 13 had 75% AdobeRGB and 98% sRGB safety and an accuracy of 1.36, whereas the Spectre x360 14 had very massive colors at 96% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, with coloration accuracy of 0.69.

Basic, in commonplace mode, the present is nice for productiveness and media consumption. The one opposed is that viewing angles are a bit slim. Look from any angle apart from straight on and the present begins to dim and lose fidelity. It’s high-quality for use by an individual nonetheless isn’t an vital show display for sharing.

Activate privateness mode and all of the items changes. Brightness diminishes drastically — my colorimeter wasn’t able to exactly measure the present in privateness mode — and whereas it’s nonetheless usable, it’s not going to beat vibrant overhead lights. Colors keep respectable,accuracy seems good, and distinction doesn’t seem to drop off loads. It’s nonetheless a wonderful productiveness present, nonetheless that’s not its calling card. Further importantly, it capabilities utterly correctly as a privateness show display, graying out totally as you progress away from a straight-on view. Whenever you’re sitting inside the middle seat on a plane,  for example, your show display could be totally illegible to those in your left and correct.

I’m working to resolve the brightness question in commonplace mode, however it certainly’s not an unlimited issue. It’s a good present for every commonplace productiveness work in any environment and for getting your work achieved in relative privateness.

The upward-facing speakers on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The audio prime quality is nice due to 4 Bang & Olufsen-tuned audio system, two upward-firing on all sides of the keyboard and two downward-firing on the underside of the case. Its private devoted good amplifier drives each speaker. HP touts the laptop’s bass, which is a reputable boast — not solely was the amount very loud and undistorted, with mids and highs which have been clear and lucid, nonetheless there was a noticeable contact of bass as correctly.

These are glorious audio system for such a small laptop, and whereas they are going to’t match up with the MacBook Skilled’s wonderful audio, they’re increased than these on most Dwelling home windows 10 laptops. It’s best to use them for a lot of of your listening, along with bingeing Netflix and listening to music. Headphones are non-compulsory.

Videoconferencing

The 5-megapixel webcam on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The place the Max mannequin stands out from the G2 mannequin is in its videoconferencing capabilities. This begins with the webcam, which isn’t your typical 720p low-quality laptop webcam that’s nothing to jot down home about. This one is a 5-megapixel webcam with a much bigger sensor, auto-exposure for faces, and cautious tuning for optimum effectivity. My house is beneath renovation, so I don’t have a attractive background to point off the camera’s prime quality. Nonetheless, it’s noticeably improved over the sooner model’s and the other laptops I’ve lying spherical. HP examined the webcam in opposition to a lot of rivals, and all through the board, it liked higher texture prime quality, increased coloration accuracy, and additional uniform colors all through an image.

By the use of determination, it’s even increased than the 1080p webcams coming out much like these on some present ThinkPads. The Elite Dragonfly Max can take care of as a lot as 1440p video, which makes use of 4.15MP of the 5MP on the market.

The Max mannequin moreover ups the G2’s three microphones to 4, with two forward-facing and two world-facing. Artificial intelligence-based noise cancellation is used to suppress background noises and enhance the overall sound prime quality.

Merely put, the Elite Dragonfly Max is a videoconferencer’s dream laptop, offering increased sights and sounds for extra sensible communication. Whenever you work remotely and need the right videoconferencing effectivity, then this laptop must be in your temporary file.

Keyboard and touchpad

The HP Elite Dragonfly Max has an excellent keyboard.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

HP makes good keyboards. The Spectre line, for instance, has had my favorite keyboard on Dwelling home windows 10 laptops for some time now. The Elite line has adopted fastidiously behind, and now the Elite Dragonfly Max and G2 have a model new and even increased mannequin.

To begin with, the keyboard is sturdy; that is, it’s fixed all through every key. That’s unusual, and it makes the typing experience additional surroundings pleasant and fewer fatiguing because of your fingers aren’t experiencing a definite actually really feel as they fly throughout the keyboard. The switches are company nonetheless not too company, providing merely the correct quantity of ideas, with a springy bottoming movement that makes each key very actual. Although the laptop is small, I found key spacing to be plentiful and the keycaps are correctly sized. I uncover myself typing faster and additional exactly on this keyboard than each different I’ve used — apart from Apple’s Magic Keyboard on its latest MacBooks. And I’d say that the Elite Dragonfly Max keyboard is appropriate there with Apple’s wonderful mannequin.

The touchpad is as large as it could be given the bezel measurement and 16:9 facet ratio present (taller exhibits have had larger touchpads at present due to the extra vertical space), and it’s terribly cosy to utilize. The clicks are delicate and quiet, with a top quality actually really feel to them. In any case, this could be a Microsoft Precision touchpad, so multitouch gestures are optimistic and actual. Open air of its measurement, this touchpad rivals these on the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 14, which can be wonderful.

The present is touch-enabled, in any case, and it’s responsive as common. It helps HP’s Wacom AES 2.0 energetic pen with 4,096 ranges of stress sensitivity, tilt help, and USB-C charging. One wasn’t bundled with my review unit — it’s a $74 chance — and so I couldn’t check out it, sadly.

Battery life

The 360-degree hinge of the HP Elite Dragonfly Max.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The Elite Dragonfly Max ships with a 56 watt-hour battery and a Full HD present (albeit with two modes, which I’ll discuss shortly). I was anticipating battery life to be a vitality as a result of it was with the distinctive mannequin.

As a result of it appears, battery life was not pretty as a lot because the equivalent necessities. The place the first-gen Elite Dragonfly hit 10.5 hours in our web-browsing check out, the Max made it to 9.75 hours. Now, one thing close to 10 hours on this check out must be thought-about a wonderful ranking, nonetheless additional laptops have simply recently been hitting this amount and previous. The Elite Dragonfly Max ranking is now nearer to widespread than standing out, and whereas it ensures a full working day of battery life, one other present laptops are stronger. The HP Envy 14, for example, made it to over 12.5 hours, whereas the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED managed a very sturdy 15.75 hours. The Dell XPS 13 Full HD wasn’t as aggressive at merely 8.5 hours, whereas the HP Spectre x360 14, with its power-hungry OLED present, managed merely 6.95 hours.

In our video check out that loops a 1080p movie trailer, the Elite Dragonfly Max hit 13.5 hours, which as soon as extra is an efficient final result nonetheless not considerably higher than widespread. The Envy 14 went for almost 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 acquired right here in closing on this group at merely over 10 hours.

I ran the PCMark 10 Gaming check out to see how the laptop carried out when the CPU and GPU have been beneath load, and it went for 4.9 hours, which is close to the longest we’ve seen. Solely the LG Gram 16 managed to final extra, and that was by merely seven minutes. In any case, this most likely displays that the Elite Dragonfly Max isn’t really pushing itself terribly exhausting when engaged on battery — one factor to keep in mind whilst you’re working away from a plug. Lastly, I ran the PCMark 10 Functions check out, which is the right indication of productiveness battery life, and the Elite Dragonfly Max managed merely over 11 hours. That’s a strong final result inside the increased echelon of the restricted number of laptops we’ve examined.

Apparently, the battery life with the privateness mode activate is more healthy than with it turned off. With the privateness show display enabled, the Elite Dragonfly Max made it to 11.5 hours in our web-browsing check out, 14.25 hours in our video check out, and 14 hours inside the PCMark 10 Functions check out. Using the privateness mode not solely gained’t harm your battery life, nonetheless it will significantly improve it.

Basic, I’d charge battery life just about nearly as good nonetheless not good. As soon as extra, you’ll get a full day’s work out of the laptop with out plugging in, however it certainly falls behind a number of of the rivals. That’s additional a matter of laptop battery life persevering with to boost than an indictment of the Elite Dragonfly Max.

Our take

Whenever you’re a businessperson who does tons of videoconferencing and has an organization worth vary, you’ll little doubt uncover the Elite Dragonfly Max to be a lovely chance. It’s extraordinarily well-built, provides a lot of precise value-add choices, and provides a number of of the best security and privateness efficiency you’ll uncover on a laptop.

It’s moreover pricey, provides middling effectivity and battery life, and you can not care about a number of of the choices it provides. That’s what makes this an vital laptop, nonetheless primarily for a selected viewers.

Any choices?

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga is one different business-class 2-in-1 that you could be ponder. It’s not as pricey nonetheless doesn’t present the equivalent attribute set. In case your desires aren’t so particular, then this could be a good chance to consider.

Whenever you don’t care the least bit in regards to the enterprise choices, then the HP Spectre x360 14 is a superior 2-in-1 in some methods, with increased effectivity, a higher present for creative professionals nonetheless with out the privateness show display, and a loads cheaper price ticket. It, too, would operate a viable completely different for individuals who’re not as anxious about security and privateness.

Lastly, for individuals who don’t care about each 2-in-1 efficiency or business-class choices, then the outdated standby is available on the market in your consideration: The Dell XPS 13. It stays among the many best laptops you should purchase, and likewise you’ll get increased effectivity and a smaller chassis for a lot much less money.

How prolonged will it closing?

The Elite Dragonfly Max is so well-built that you just’ll be using it for a number of years. You’ll perhaps uncover that the 16:9 facet ratio present will appear increasingly outdated, nonetheless that’s the one half that’s not at current state-of-the-art. Nonetheless, you will undoubtedly respect the three-year assure, which we’d wish to see on the market for all laptops.

Should you buy it?

Positive. You should be a selected breed to want the Elite Dragonfly Max, however when that’s you, you then’ll really want it.

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