Hands On: HP's Elite Dragonfly Is An Absurdly Light Laptop For High-Fliers
PC Magazine|October 2019
Hands On: HP's Elite Dragonfly Is An Absurdly Light Laptop For High-Fliers
Sales of convertible and detachable PCs are expected to grow by 5 percent over the next four years, even as overall PC sales are expected to decline, according to research firm IDC.
Tom Brant

And judging by the parade of both budget and high-end convertible laptops that marches through PC Labs every month, we’re all spoiled for choice.

The HP Elite Dragonfly is different from nearly every one of these choices. Scheduled to go on sale on October 25, this head-turning laptop makes the fewest compromises of any 2-in-1 convertible we’ve seen to date. Start with its 2.2-pound weight, the impossibly thin borders around its 13.3-inch display, and its claimed 24-hour battery life. Move on to its gigabit LTE modem, its magnesium alloy construction, and its special “noise-canceling” keyboard. Finish with its Intel vPro support, integrated privacy filter, and BIOS protection.

We’ve seen most of these features before, and many are optional extras that will almost certainly take the Elite Dragonfly far above its $1,549 starting price. But we haven’t seen all of them together on a single laptop—one so wildly light that also incorporates the extra hardware required to transform itself into a tablet.

HP gave us some hands-on time with this sure-to-be trendsetter, which will appeal to digital nomads who also happen to work for companies with deep pockets and forward-thinking IT departments. Read on for our first impressions.

A LOW-POWER DISPLAY

The Elite Dragonfly will offer three display options. The full HD panel (shown here) can be ordered in either a 400-nit version that consumes just a single watt, or a version with an astonishing peak brightness rating (1,000 nits) and an integrated privacy filter that can thwart snoops looking over your shoulder.

The third option is a 4K display, rated for 550 nits of brightness. All three panels use in-plane switching (IPS) technology to broaden off-axis viewing angles, and are coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Also, all support touch input from either a digital stylus or a fingertip.

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October 2019