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HP Elite Dragonfly review: A top-quality lightweight 13-inch business convertible Review

HP’s 13-inch Elite Dragonfly, declared previous September, is amongst the to start with wave of high quality laptops to fly below the banner of Intel’s Task Athena, which aims to information OEMs toward the supply of innovative gadgets that align closely with users’ demands. To that end, Intel has produced a series of Critical Experience […]

HP’s 13-inch Elite Dragonfly, declared previous September, is amongst the to start with wave of high quality laptops to fly below the banner of Intel’s Task Athena, which aims to information OEMs toward the supply of innovative gadgets that align closely with users’ demands. To that end, Intel has produced a series of Critical Experience Indicators (KEIs) and a 1. specification (which will be updated on a yearly basis), plus co-engineering support and ‘innovation pathfinding’, ecosystem collaboration on factors, and a verification course of action.

Intel’s KEIs include issues like responsiveness on battery electric power, battery lifestyle below real-globe disorders, and wake-from-rest time. The 1. focus on specification handles 6 crucial areas: Prompt Action Effectiveness and Responsiveness Intelligence Battery Lifestyle Connectivity and Type Issue. 

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Picture: Intel

“It’s much less a dialogue close to cores and gigahertz,” Intel’s Uk consumer compute team director Jeff Kilford instructed ZDNet, “and a lot more about the general knowledge.”

This critique handles the to start with-generation Elite Dragonfly, which expenses involving £1,349 and £1,659 (ex. VAT or £1,618.80 and £1,990.80 inc. VAT). Our mid-variety critique device price tag £1,459 (ex. VAT, £1,750.80 inc. VAT). The G2 product was declared at CES in January, including tenth-generation Intel Core processors, 5G cell broadband and Tile device tracking, but comprehensive pricing and availability is not still readily available for this updated product.

Style and design

HP’s design plans for the Elite Dragonfly contain the regular suspects for a high quality organization ultraportable: general performance, design, portability and stability. But HP has gone even more, decking it out in a custom ‘Dragonfly Blue’ colour, supplying it a substantial display screen-to-overall body ratio, and building important use of sustainable components these types of as OceanBound Plastics.

Inevitably you can find a headline declare — the “world’s lightest compact organization convertible” — and .99kg for a 13.3-inch 360-diploma rotating laptop is indeed outstanding. How a great deal even more into 2020 that declare will stand is an additional subject.

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We’ve witnessed negligible-bezel and blue laptops just before, but HP’s pearlescent matte-blue Dragonfly shade is both equally clever and reasonably fingerprint-resistant many thanks to an oleophobic coating. So lengthy as they like blue (no other colour is readily available), cell information staff need to be delighted with this laptop’s appears to be, and there are a lot of options on-board to ensure that they continue being harmless and safe when out and about.

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HP’s Elite Dragonfly is a high quality 13.3-inch convertible organization laptop based on 8th-generation Intel Core processors. With the regular battery, it weighs just below 1kg. 


Pictures: HP Inc

The Elite Dragonfly has a strong magnesium chassis and, like all of HP’s Elite laptops, has gone through MIL-STD 810G testing to ensure that it can tackle treatment method “previously mentioned and outside of what a Computer system may possibly endure on a normal day in organization and enterprise environments”. For these types of a slim laptop (16.1mm), you can find reassuringly very little flex in possibly the lid or the keyboard.

The 720p webcam, which is located where it need to be in the 10mm bezel previously mentioned the display screen, is a hybrid device with IR support for Windows Good day facial recognition. It also has a sliding privateness shutter, though this can be instead fiddly to identify and run. Biometric authentication is also readily available via the fingerprint reader, which is located to the appropriate of the wrist-relaxation spot. A further optional stability element — not present on our critique device — is HP Sure Watch, which would make the display screen much less readable when viewed from the sides at the contact of a crucial blend (Fn-F5). (Take note that Sure Watch only performs in landscape orientation, and so will not likely frustrate would-be snoopers if you happen to be employing the Elite Dragonfly in pill manner and portrait orientation.)

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The display screen and the keyboard are at the coronary heart of any laptop’s design and user knowledge, and the Elite Dragonfly isn’t going to disappoint on possibly count.

The display on our critique device was a 13.3-inch IPS contact-display screen with entire Hd (1,920 x 1,080) resolution, greatest brightness of four hundred nits and Gorilla Glass 5 security. This delivered a beautifully great picture, but two other contact-display screen solutions, which will both equally draw a lot more electric power, are readily available: a panel with the similar FHD resolution but 1,000-nit brightness and the aforementioned Sure Watch privateness element and a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) panel with 500-nit brightness. All 3 display solutions have a negligible-bezel design with, HP claims, a display screen-to-overall body ratio of 86%. This is great, but information staff could possibly also recognize an component ratio with a lot more depth, these types of as 3:2, so they can see a lot more of their files. As it is, the 16:9 ratio feels a lot more ‘consumer’ than ‘business’.

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The Elite Dragonfly’s backlit, spill-resistant keyboard need to get the thumbs-up from contact typists (until they’re large people of the up/down arrow keys).


Picture: Charles McLellan/ZDNet

HP has put a large amount of effort and hard work into the Elite Dragonfly’s keyboard, recognising that compromise in this spot can render the relaxation of a slimline design irrelevant if you happen to be a normal contact-typist. For instance, HP has CNC-engineered every crucial housing on its spill-resistant, backlit Top quality Collaboration Keyboard, which has a great, company action and is not too loud. The layout is wise, though the half-peak up/down arrow keys — which double as PgUp/PgDn with the Fn crucial frustrated — could irritate large people of people functions. The glass multi-contact touchpad beneath the keyboard performs efficiently, and you can find a beneficial action on the built-in mouse buttons. 

Rounding out the input solutions is the optional HP Energetic Pen G3, a rechargeable (via USB-C) Bluetooth device with four,096 stress levels and customisable button functions. This 15g stylus, which was provided with our critique device, is pretty chunky and has no home on the laptop, so if you shell out £55 (ex. VAT, £66 inc. VAT) for it, be careful not to mislay it. Usefully, the laptop notifies you if the pen goes out of variety.

Characteristics

The Elite Dragonfly is based on 8th-generation Intel Core U-series (Whiskey Lake) processors — specifically, the Core i7-8565U, Core i5-8265U and Core i3-8145U, and the Core i7-8665U and Core i5-8365U with VPro. Our critique device had the Core i7-8565U jogging at 1.8GHz (up to four.6GHz with Turbo Enhance) and 16GB of RAM. Storage on our process comprised a 512GB PCIe SSD and 32GB of fast Intel Optane memory, which functions as a cache to speed up boot-up and application start. All of the Whiskey Lake processors have a TDP of 15W and element Intel’s built-in UHD Graphics 620 GPU.

Wi-fi connectivity will come courtesy of Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 AX200 Module, which supports the hottest 802.11ax regular as perfectly as Bluetooth 5. Mobile broadband (4G LTE) is readily available as an choice, but was not present on our critique device.

There is no room for a wired Ethernet port on these types of a slim laptop, but apart from that the Elite Dragonfly has a great variety of connections. On the appropriate-hand facet you can find a entire-size HDMI port, a 3.5mm audio jack and two USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, possibly of which can be utilised to charge the laptop. There is a USB 3.1 port on the still left facet, together with the electric power button, a stability cable slot and the (Nano) SIM card slot. Nevertheless, if you will need to use a mouse or an external keyboard, you could possibly be most effective off employing Bluetooth in order to maximise the quantity of readily available wired connections.

The audio subsystem, produced in partnership with Bang & Olufsen, provides great-excellent seem with a lot of volume. This is primarily outstanding in these types of a slimline design, where you can find much less room for decent-sized speaker enclosures. There are 3 microphones — two located in the top bezel and one in the top of the lid, facing outwards to detect and filter out ambient noise when you happen to be conducting a video call, for instance.

Effectiveness & battery lifestyle

“This device is truly for ultra-cell men and women who are often on the go but want to convey their business with them…it is not truly for the electric power user who’s going to be employing CAD or large video-modifying program,” Simon Barlow, organization advancement supervisor at HP, instructed ZDNet. 

With that in brain, let us see how the Core i7/16GB Elite Dragonfly designs up. For comparison, we will use an additional 2-in-1 device aimed at information staff that we just lately benchmarked — Microsoft’s Surface Professional 7, with a tenth-generation Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM.

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Pictures: Charles McLellan/ZDNet

Across the board, the Elite Dragonfly holds its have from the Surface Professional 7 — which at £1,495 (ex. VAT, £1,795 inc. VAT) for a product with equivalent RAM (16GB) and SSD storage (512GB) is equally priced (the Dragonfly reviewed below expenses £1,459 ex. VAT, £1,750.80 inc. VAT). The Surface Professional 7’s tenth-generation Core i5 outperforms the Dragonfly’s 8th-generation Core i7 on multi-main CPU general performance, while the Dragonfly has the edge on the Cinebench R15 OpenGL test. Disk general performance is very similar, while the Dragonfly outperforms the Surface Professional 7 in the Efficiency section of the PCMark 10 suite but lags at the rear of on Necessities and Digital Content Creation.

UL Benchmarks suggests a PCMark 10 Necessities score of 4100 or increased for ‘a selection of easy tasks’, a Efficiency score of 4500 or increased for ‘typical business operate and light-weight media content’, and a Digital Content Creation score of 3450 or increased for ‘editing images or other electronic media content’. Equally gadgets comfortably exceed the encouraged Necessities and Efficiency scores, but the Elite Dragonfly only manages seventy seven% of the encouraged Digital Content Creation score, as opposed to 94% for the Surface Professional 7. So HP’s assessment of the Dragonfly’s put in the general performance firmament (see estimate previously mentioned) appears to be fairly spot-on.

SEE: Very first seem: Surface Professional 7 follows a common route

HP presents two battery measurements for the Elite Dragonfly, a regular 2-mobile 38Wh device and a substantial-capability four-mobile 56.2Wh battery. Our critique device had the regular battery, for which HP claims up to 16.5 hours’ lifestyle. The substantial-capability battery will retain the laptop going for up to 24.5 several hours, HP says, but will bump the system’s weight to just around the magic 1kg mark. Rapid charging will deliver fifty% charge in half an hour, in accordance to HP.

To test battery lifestyle, we established the display screen brightness to fifty% and held the electric power configurations on the default HP Optimized prepare, and then ran the PCMark 10 benchmark around-continually until eventually the process suspended. This corresponds to an extremely large-obligation workload, and drained ninety% of battery capability in four several hours 17 minutes, in accordance to Windows 10’s internal battery report. The Windows 10 battery report also presents a ‘Current estimate of battery lifestyle based on all observed battery drains due to the fact OS install’, which for our critique device was twelve several hours and 8 minutes. On this basis you can expect all-day battery lifestyle, and a lot more, below standard circumstances, but could possibly will need a (fast) recharge through the day if you happen to be pushing the process significantly difficult.

User knowledge

Task Athena laptops are all about the user knowledge, HP and Intel guarantee us. So how did it go through the test interval?

The to start with point we noticed on setting up the Elite Dragonfly was the total of HP program on-board, and the quantity of permissions and restarts needed just before the stream of notifications settled down. Our critique device had the following applications (and this isn’t really an exhaustive checklist): HP Consumer Security Supervisor, HP Connection Optimizer, HP JumpStarts, HP Electrical power Supervisor, HP Privateness Configurations, HP Guidance Assistant, HP Sure Click on, HP Sure Click on Secure Browsing, HP Sure Perception and HP WorkWell. That is not to say all this isn’t really important — HP Sure Perception, for instance, employs deep studying to help real-time malware security, while HP WorkWell monitors your operate behaviors, featuring recommendations and recommending breaks.

Overall although, we located the Elite Dragonfly a pleasure to test and use. The industrial design is elegant and sturdy, the display screen (albeit 16:9) and keyboard are excellent, you can find a great variety of ports, a lot of configuration solutions, and both equally general performance (for mainstream workloads) and battery lifestyle are pretty great. Of class, there are a lot of other slimline convertible laptops to opt for from (we’re on the lookout ahead to testing Dell’s hottest XPS 13 2-in-1), but if you happen to be delighted with HP’s selling price tag you will not likely be unhappy by the Elite Dragonfly.

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