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 beautiful 2-in-1 for the businessperson on the go.”


  • Fantastic assemble top of the range
  • Skinny and lightweight
  • Fantastic keyboard and touchpad
  • Atmosphere pleasant privateness present show
  • A slew of invaluable enterprise decisions


  • Underwhelming CPU effectivity
  • Costly

The HP Elite Dragonfly has by no means been your widespread enterprise laptop. The decide alone implies that that is no ThinkPad clone. A novel design made the distinctive Elite Dragonfly a unbelievable 2-in-1 for businesspeople who didn’t need to sacrifice design for enterprise decisions.

HP up to date the machine in 2020 to the G2 after which as quickly as further in 2021 to the latest Eleventh-gen Intel Tiger Lake CPUs. Nonetheless now we now have a specialised model, the Elite Dragonfly Max, which provides the equal main design and have set on account of the G2, nonetheless with enhanced videoconferencing capabilities — notably, an upgraded webcam and an extra 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 present show, and 5G WWAN assist. The configuration is obtainable in at $2,792, a really premium price that’s aimed — as quickly as further — at a specific sort of enterprise shopper. Does the Max current further worth over the G2?


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

What stands out most regarding the Elite Dragonfly Max design is the eye to ingredient. HP clearly gave a substantial amount of thought to crafting a laptop that addresses not merely the standard wishes of enterprise shoppers, nonetheless some factors that many individuals is not going to have considered. Ponder the laptop’s “cleanability.” Not solely are you able to make the most of frequent family wipes to clean and disinfect the laptop — as lots as 1,000 cycles — nonetheless HP created a simple “HP Straightforward 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” utilized sciences, of which there are two variants. The primary, In Bag/Out of Bag Detection, has been carried out on one different HP laptops — the HP Spectre x360 14, for instance — and equal to it sounds, it would actually detect while you set your laptop correct proper right into a bag or backpack. When that state is detected, the laptop hibernates to make sure that it doesn’t activate, after which while you’re taking away it and place it on a flat floor, the laptop begins to stand up and is able to go way more shortly.

The second Context Conscious attribute is On Lap/On Desk Detection, which may sense while you’re utilizing the laptop on a desktop, by which case it cranks up the effectivity and warmth, or your lap, the place it tunes factors down and lowers the machine’s temperature by 5 ranges Celsius.

The Elite Dragonfly Max is an particularly well-designed laptop contained in the strategies by way of which matter most.

Actually not worry, although. HP didn’t spend all its belongings on uncommon decisions. The Elite Dragonfly Max may be an particularly well-designed laptop contained in the strategies by way of which matter most. It’s fabricated from magnesium alloy, giving it a sturdy assemble that’s compromised by solely a tiny little little little bit of flexing contained in the lid. The keyboard deck and chassis backside are firm and resist distortion, and the laptop has been examined to navy specs. If the Elite Dragonfly Max isn’t inside the equal class on account of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, the ThinkPad X13 Yoga 2-in-1, or the Dell XPS 13, then it’s fairly darn shut. Hold it in hand — and flip it between its 4 modes of clamshell, tent, media, and pill — and likewise you get an exact sense of sturdy top of the range.

The Elite Dragonfly Max is usually a skinny and lightweight laptop. It is accessible in at 0.63 inches thick and some.49 kilos, inserting it in between the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s 0.67 inches and 1.99 kilos and the XPS 13’s 0.58 inches and some.8 kilos. The ThinkPad X13 Yoga is comparable thickness nonetheless weighs a bit further 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 income from smaller extreme and backside bezels, which might make for a smaller chassis and a further stylish look. There’s a set off for the thicker extreme bezel, although — HP wanted room to suit inside the higher-res webcam. Talking of the look, the Elite Dragonfly Max is conservatively designed, with clear traces and easy angles nonetheless ample accents to keep away from being boring. The hinges are most definitely primarily probably the most elaborate design concern, and so they additionally don’t stick out nonetheless fairly subtly improve the laptop’s entire look. The Max model of the laptop is obtainable in a Good Black coloration in its place of the G2’s blue, and it seems to be good.

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

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

Talking of the latter, my review unit was geared up with 5G and purchased proper right here with an AT&T SIM card. I examined the 5G connectivity at my home, and whereas each the laptop and AT&T’s security map indicated I used to be getting a 5G connection, my purchase tempo topped out at about 70 megabits per second (Mbps). As quickly as I examined the Lenovo Flex 5G with Verizon’s ultra-wideband 5G (the HP is restricted to Sub6 5G), I seen near 500 Mbps. I didn’t get an opportunity to drive all through the metropolis looking for a sooner AT&T 5G connection, nonetheless I’m optimistic it’s doable to see sooner speeds than I knowledgeable.

Safety and privateness

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

HP carried over the assorted safety and privateness decisions that we most popular masses contained in the distinctive Elite Dragonfly. It has vPro assist as an likelihood, which suggests giant organizations can combine the laptop into their administration strategies. It furthermore decisions HP Constructive Begin, which gives a safety controller constructed instantly into the motherboard and gives a layer of remoted and encrypted bodily safety of the BIOS and boot-up course of. As we acknowledged regarding the distinctive mannequin, the Elite Dragonfly Max exceeds most fully completely different business-class laptops as regards to the sheer variety of business-oriented decisions, together with Lenovo’s ThinkPad line.

You’ll furthermore uncover two methods to log in and by no means using a password — facial recognition by means of 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 reveals an overlay to make it apparent when it’s engaged, and a keyboard button shuts off the microphone.

Lastly, the Elite Dragonfly Max (and spot that the G2 model has all of those decisions as accurately) has Tile assist built-in. The mannequin new fashions differ from the distinctive, the place the Tile module plugged into the equal M.2 port on account of the WWAN, and so it was every Tile or always-on connectivity, and on no account each. Tile is now constructed into the motherboard, so now you must use the Tile system to look out your laptop for people who occur to depart it behind or if it’s stolen and nonetheless get pleasure from 4G LTE or 5G assist.


The HP Elite Dragonfly folded on its back.

The Elite Dragonfly Max I reviewed is supplied with an Eleventh-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU with vPro assist. That makes it a lovely varied for giant organizations that use the vPro efficiency for distant administration and assist. Though the laptop was geared up with a barely sooner model of the Tiger Lake Core i7, I suspected that the skinny chassis could prohibit effectivity given the necessity to further rigorously administration thermals.

I used to be appropriate. The Elite Dragonfly Max didn’t carry out terribly, nonetheless it definitely was a bit underwhelming as in contrast with the rivals.

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

In Geekbench 5, for instance, the Elite Dragonfly Max acquired proper right here in closing place amongst our comparability group. The excellence wasn’t pronounced as in contrast with the opposite Intel Tiger Lake laptops — the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U-based Asus ZenBook 13 OLED dominated all of the CPU-intensive benchmarks — nonetheless it definitely was disappointing to see the HP fall so low. In our Handbrake try that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Elite Dragonfly Max as quickly as further acquired proper right here contained in the closing place, and the excellence was elevated in opposition to all nonetheless the HP Spectre x360 14 (which was masses sooner in its effectivity mode). The equal held true in Cinebench R23, the place the 2 HP laptops have been shut collectively and behind the remainder of the pack (though as quickly as further, the Spectre x360 14 was masses sooner in effectivity mode).

I furthermore examined the Elite Dragonfly Max utilizing PCMark 10, the place it scored — you guessed it — per the Spectre x360 14 and slower than the remainder of the sector. The delta was lots a lot much less on this try, although, aside from the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED. Wanting on the precise particular person parts of the PCMark 10 try, the Elite Dragonfly Max did accurately contained in the Necessities portion (net making an attempt, videoconference, and such), nonetheless fell behind in productiveness and content material materials supplies creation.

In precise use, the Elite Dragonfly Max felt heaps fast doing typical productiveness duties. And actually, it’s not a sluggish laptop by any means. It’s merely lower 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 Info 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 furthermore isn’t various a gaming laptop. It did OK contained in the 3DMark Time Spy try, beating out just a few of the machines contained in the comparability group.

Nonetheless in Fortnite, it as quickly as further fell behind, scoring merely 22 frames per second (fps) in 1080p and excessive graphics, which is just a few fps behind the standard Tiger Lake laptop with the equal Intel Iris Xe graphics. It dropped to 18 fps in Epic settings, as quickly as further, a whole lot of fps behind the Tiger Lake widespread.

Current and audio

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

The Elite Dragonfly Max comes with one current likelihood, HP’s Constructive View Mirror privateness present show at a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) dedication and an old-school 16:9 aspect ratio. That’s as in contrast with the G2 model, which provides commonplace IPS Full HD and 4K choices. That is an uncommon current that has two distinct personalities.

With the privateness mode turned off, the current is very vibrant at a rated 1,000 nits. My review unit “solely” put out 417 nits, which is nice, nonetheless I ought to see spherical 758 nits primarily based totally on HP’s testing of a second unit they despatched as a result of discrepancy. There appears to be one issue regarding the current technology that makes our frequent colorimeter testing extra sturdy, and check out as I would, I couldn’t stand as a lot as such lofty brightness. The excellence was fantastic at 1,380:1 (one factor over 1,000:1 is nice), and black textual content material materials popped on a white background. Mixed with the fantastic keyboard, this may very well be a great creator’s laptop. Furthermore, the current compares accurately to the Dell XPS 13 Full HD current with its 458 nits of brightness and 1350:1 distinction, and it was brighter than the Spectre x360 14’s OLED current that acquired proper right here in at 374 nits nonetheless couldn’t examine with the Spectre’s 374,200:1 aspect ratio (that’s OLED for you).

It’s high-quality to be used by a person nonetheless isn’t an important present show for sharing.

Colours have been widespread for premium productiveness laptops, which suggests they have been good nonetheless to not the extent that inventive varieties search for. AdobeRGB security was at 74% and sRGB security was at 97%, which may be high-quality scores, nonetheless as quickly as further, not as huge as inventive varieties will need. Colours have been fairly applicable with a Delta E of two.49 (1.0 or lots a lot much less is taken into account fantastic). The XPS 13 had 75% AdobeRGB and 98% sRGB security and an accuracy of 1.36, whereas the Spectre x360 14 had very huge colours at 96% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, with coloration accuracy of 0.69.

Fundamental, in commonplace mode, the current is sweet for productiveness and media consumption. The one opposed is that viewing angles are a bit slim. Look from any angle aside from straight on and the current begins to dim and lose constancy. It’s high-quality to be used by a person nonetheless isn’t an important present show for sharing.

Activate privateness mode and all the objects modifications. Brightness diminishes drastically — my colorimeter wasn’t capable of precisely measure the current in privateness mode — and whereas it’s nonetheless usable, it’s not going to beat vibrant overhead lights. Colours hold respectable,accuracy appears good, and distinction doesn’t appear to drop off masses. It’s nonetheless a beautiful productiveness current, nonetheless that’s not its calling card. Additional importantly, it capabilities totally accurately as a privateness present show, graying out completely as you progress away from a straight-on view. Everytime you’re sitting inside the center seat on a aircraft,  for instance, your present show may very well be completely illegible to these in your left and proper.

I’m working to resolve the brightness query in commonplace mode, nonetheless it definitely’s not a limiteless concern. It is a good current for each commonplace productiveness work in any surroundings 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 top of the range is sweet resulting from 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 non-public devoted good amplifier drives every speaker. HP touts the laptop’s bass, which is a good boast — not solely was the quantity very loud and undistorted, with mids and highs which have been clear and lucid, nonetheless there was a noticeable contact of bass as accurately.

These are superb audio system for such a small laptop, and whereas they will’t match up with the MacBook Expert’s fantastic audio, they’re elevated than these on most Dwelling house home windows 10 laptops. It is best to make use of them for lots of of your listening, together with bingeing Netflix and listening to music. Headphones are non-compulsory.


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

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 webcam that’s nothing to jot down house about. This one is a 5-megapixel webcam with a a lot greater sensor, auto-exposure for faces, and cautious tuning for optimum effectivity. My home is beneath renovation, so I don’t have a enticing background to level off the camera’s top of the range. Nonetheless, it’s noticeably improved over the earlier mannequin’s and the opposite laptops I’ve mendacity spherical. HP examined the webcam in opposition to a whole lot of rivals, and all by way of the board, it appreciated greater texture top of the range, elevated coloration accuracy, and extra uniform colours all by way of a picture.

By way of dedication, it’s even elevated than the 1080p webcams popping out very like these on some current ThinkPads. The Elite Dragonfly Max can care for as lots as 1440p video, which makes use of 4.15MP of the 5MP available on the market.

The Max model furthermore 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 top of the range.

Merely put, the Elite Dragonfly Max is a videoconferencer’s dream laptop, providing elevated sights and sounds for further wise communication. Everytime you work remotely and wish the proper videoconferencing effectivity, then this laptop have to be in your momentary file.

Keyboard and touchpad

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

HP makes good keyboards. The Spectre line, as an example, has had my favourite keyboard on Dwelling house home windows 10 laptops for a while now. The Elite line has adopted fastidiously behind, and now the Elite Dragonfly Max and G2 have a mannequin new and even elevated model.

To start with, the keyboard is sturdy; that’s, it’s fastened all by way of each key. That’s uncommon, and it makes the typing expertise further environment nice and fewer fatiguing due to your fingers aren’t experiencing a particular truly actually really feel as they fly all through the keyboard. The switches are firm nonetheless not too firm, offering merely the proper amount of concepts, with a springy bottoming motion that makes every key very precise. Though the laptop is small, I discovered key spacing to be plentiful and the keycaps are accurately sized. I uncover myself typing sooner and extra precisely on this keyboard than every completely different I’ve used — aside from Apple’s Magic Keyboard on its newest MacBooks. And I’d say that the Elite Dragonfly Max keyboard is suitable there with Apple’s fantastic model.

The touchpad is as giant because it may very well be given the bezel measurement and 16:9 aspect ratio current (taller reveals have had bigger touchpads at current as a result of further vertical area), and it’s terribly cosy to make the most of. The clicks are delicate and quiet, with a high quality truly actually really feel to them. In any case, this may very well be a Microsoft Precision touchpad, so multitouch gestures are optimistic and precise. Open air of its measurement, this touchpad rivals these on the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 14, which may be fantastic.

The current is touch-enabled, in any case, and it’s responsive as frequent. It helps HP’s Wacom AES 2.0 energetic pen with 4,096 ranges of stress sensitivity, tilt assist, and USB-C charging. One wasn’t bundled with my review unit — it’s a $74 likelihood — and so I couldn’t try 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 current (albeit with two modes, which I’ll focus on shortly). I used to be anticipating battery life to be a vitality on account of it was with the distinctive model.

On account of it seems, battery life was not fairly as lots as a result of the equal requirements. The place the first-gen Elite Dragonfly hit 10.5 hours in our web-browsing try, the Max made it to 9.75 hours. Now, one factor near 10 hours on this try have to be thought-about a beautiful rating, nonetheless further laptops have merely lately been hitting this quantity and former. The Elite Dragonfly Max rating is now nearer to widespread than standing out, and whereas it ensures a full working day of battery life, one different 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 merely 8.5 hours, whereas the HP Spectre x360 14, with its power-hungry OLED current, managed merely 6.95 hours.

In our video try that loops a 1080p film trailer, the Elite Dragonfly Max hit 13.5 hours, which as quickly as further is an environment friendly remaining end result nonetheless not significantly greater than widespread. 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 acquired proper right here in closing on this group at merely over 10 hours.

I ran the PCMark 10 Gaming try 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 near the longest we’ve seen. Solely the LG Gram 16 managed to remaining further, and that was by merely seven minutes. In any case, this most definitely shows that the Elite Dragonfly Max isn’t actually pushing itself terribly exhausting when engaged on battery — one issue to remember while you’re working away from a plug. Lastly, I ran the PCMark 10 Capabilities try, which is the proper indication of productiveness battery life, and the Elite Dragonfly Max managed merely over 11 hours. That’s a robust remaining end result contained in the elevated 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 present show enabled, the Elite Dragonfly Max made it to 11.5 hours in our web-browsing try, 14.25 hours in our video try, and 14 hours contained in the PCMark 10 Capabilities try. Utilizing the privateness mode not solely gained’t hurt your battery life, nonetheless it should considerably enhance it.

Fundamental, I’d cost battery life nearly almost nearly as good nonetheless not good. As quickly as further, you’ll get a full day’s work out of the laptop with out plugging in, nonetheless it definitely falls behind plenty of of the rivals. That’s further a matter of laptop battery life persevering with to spice up than an indictment of the Elite Dragonfly Max.

Our take

Everytime you’re a businessperson who does tons of videoconferencing and has a corporation price fluctuate, you’ll little doubt uncover the Elite Dragonfly Max to be a stunning likelihood. It’s terribly well-built, gives a whole lot of exact value-add decisions, and gives plenty of of the most effective safety and privateness effectivity you’ll uncover on a laptop.

It’s furthermore expensive, gives middling effectivity and battery life, and you can’t care about plenty of of the alternatives it gives. That’s what makes this an important laptop, nonetheless primarily for a specific viewers.

Any decisions?

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga is one completely different business-class 2-in-1 that you would be ponder. It’s not as expensive nonetheless doesn’t current the equal attribute set. In case your wishes aren’t so specific, then this may very well be a great likelihood to think about.

Everytime you don’t care in the least regarding the enterprise decisions, then the HP Spectre x360 14 is a superior 2-in-1 in some strategies, with elevated effectivity, the next current for inventive professionals nonetheless with out the privateness present show, and a masses cheaper ticket. It, too, would function a viable fully completely different for people who’re not as anxious about safety and privateness.

Lastly, for people who don’t care about every 2-in-1 effectivity or business-class decisions, then the outdated standby is accessible available on the market in your consideration: The Dell XPS 13. It stays among the many many finest laptops you should buy, and likewise you’ll get elevated effectivity and a smaller chassis for lots a lot much less cash.

How extended will it closing?

The Elite Dragonfly Max is so well-built that you just simply’ll be utilizing it for plenty of years. You’ll maybe uncover that the 16:9 aspect ratio current will seem more and more outdated, nonetheless that’s the one half that’s not at present state-of-the-art. Nonetheless, you’ll undoubtedly respect the three-year guarantee, which we’d want to see available on the market for all laptops.

Must you purchase it?

Optimistic. You have to be a specific breed to need the Elite Dragonfly Max, nonetheless when that’s you, you then’ll really need it.

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