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HP Elite Dragonfly is a droolworthy business 2-in-1 with serious style

What you need to know

  • Elite Dragonfly weighs just 2.2lbs with a 4K display.
  • Elite Dragonfly gets up to 24 hrs battery, has LTE.
  • This is another Intel Project Athena creation.
  • Available November globally starting at $1,549.

Imagine if HP combined its business-focused EliteBook series with the chic design of its consumer Specter laptops. The result would be the brand-new Elite Dragonfly. And, yes, that is its real name.

A closer look at HP's Elite Dragonfly

The Elite Dragonfly is a standard 13-inch convertible Ultrabook aimed at premium business users. Specifically, the Elite Dragonfly is for those who travel a lot but who also want an aesthetically pleasing laptop that lasts a full day. But it is all the smaller details that matter, and HP is breaking new ground in laptop design with the Elite Dragonfly. Weighing just under 1 kg (or 2.2 lbs), this PC is fast, agile, and packed with a ton of tech.

Three display options offer a 4K HDR display (550 nits), optional privacy protection with HP Sure View, and full HD (1,000 nits) or regular full HD panel (400 nits). Those displays have an impressive 86 percent screen-to-body ratio.

For processors, HP is using the 8th Generation Intel U-series (Core i5-8365U and Core i7-8665U) with vPro, which were announced in April this year. These CPUs bring added security, manageability, and scalability for businesses while also being clocked higher than non-vPro versions. RAM goes up to 16GB of DDR3 along with up to 2TB of storage, though users can also choose a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD) with 32GB of Intel Optane for exceptional performance.

CategoryDeviceNameTKTKTK
OSWindows 10 Home or Pro
Display13.3 inches, 16:9 aspect ratio
Full HD, Full HD w/Sure View, 4K UHD HDR400
ProcessorIntel 8th Gen U-series w/vPro
Core i3, i5, or i7
GraphicsIntel UHD 620
Memory8 or 16GB DDR3 (2,133MHz)
StorageUp to 2TB NVMe
512GB PCIe NVMe w 32GB Intel Optane H10
Front camera720P HD, HD Privacy IR webcam
SecurityFace and fingerprint
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, 4G LTE Cat 16 (optional)
Ports2x Type-C with TB3
1x Type-A 3.1
HDMI 1.4
Headphone
AudioQuad Bang & Olufsen
Battery38 or 56 WHr
16.5 or 24.5 hours battery life
Dimensions11.98 in x 7.78 in x 0.63 in
30.43 cm x 19.75 cm x 1.61 cm
WeightStarting at 2.2 lb (0.99 kg)
ColorsDragonfly Blue
PriceStarting $1,549
AvailabilityNovember, global

Quad-firing Bang & Olufsen speakers (two on the top deck, two below) provide premium audio that matches the excellent display.

Ports are also exceptional, catering to those who still need some legacy ports for work. Despite how small the Elite Dragonfly is, HP squeezed in one Type-A 3.1 port, two Type-Cs with Thunderbolt 3, a full HDMI 1.4 port and a headphone jack.

HP is also switching to a CNC-machined magnesium alloy for the chassis for the first time, which is then coated with unique material. This finish gives the laptop what HP calls its "Dragonfly Blue" color, and it is oleophobic, so the computer does not collect fingerprints. The chassis is also durable, and HP ran 19 military spec 810G tests to make sure it holds up on the road.

HP Dragonfly

HP Dragonfly (Image credit: Windows Central / Daniel Rubino)

Wi-Fi 6 and optional 4G LTE (Gigabit) ensure this laptop is always connected thanks to the hidden 4x4 antenna. HP also worked closely with Intel on its Project Athena program for instant-on and long battery life. HP states the standard 38Whr Elite Dragonfly can achieve up to 16.5 hours of battery life, but another version packs a larger 56WHr battery and gets a claimed 24.5 hours.

HP Elite Dragonfly

HP Elite Dragonfly (Image credit: HP)

For security, there is a full HD web camera with a privacy shield, and yes it has Windows Hello infrared for facial recognition and a fingerprint reader, too.

Another first for HP is using recycled plastic from the ocean for the Elite Dragonfly's speaker housing. The company says it plans to use such tech in all its laptops by 2020.

HP Elite Dragonfly first impressions

HP is combining the best of its two separate EliteBook and Spectre teams. The laptop is absurdly light, but it does not feel flimsy nor too flexible. The Dragonfly Blue color is so bizarrely blue it affects our camera's sensor. The fact that this is the first laptop with a built-in oleophobic finish is also noteworthy.

The keyboard follows the HP Spectre series, but HP notes it is significantly quieter than previous versions. Two-stage backlighting keeps things easily visible too. The giant glass Microsoft Precision touchpad feels excellent. And the displays look fantastic, mostly due to the direct-bonded glass and exceptional brightness that provides very vivid color reproduction.

The fact that this laptop also turns into a tablet or goes into presentation mode using a dual-hinge design is also impressive considering its weight. The included HP Active Pen (Gen 3) should provide an exceptional inking experience.

Combined with 4G LTE (optional), Wi-Fi 6, and what HP says is crazy battery life, this laptop could be a disruptor in the premium business world.

Look for the HP Elite Dragonfly to hit shelves globally in November with a starting price of $1,549.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

11 Comments
  • Now THAT is one slick laptop, pretty much puts the best of everything in one machine. Good job HP!
  • 24 hours (video loop I assume) on 8th gen Intel? Hmm. Makes you wonder what they could have squeezed out of 10th Gen hardware.
  • I believe it was MobileMark, but yeah, and that's with the larger battery. Still, these are the same quotes they've always used and it's been rare to see a 24.5 hr estimate. Being they worked closely with Intel on this likely plays a major part. Also, if using a 1w low-wattage display.
  • Yeah, I figured Project Athena must have had something to do with it. So it's not just marketing jibberish! The future is promising.
  • Oh, it's definitely Athena. Intel was there talking about it and how they worked with HP. This was a dual-partnership thing.
  • Why the hell do I get this spookey HP Elite x3 feeling when I see this thing.....
  • Sheer genius on full display. But I'd like, even more, to see a successor/incremental improvements to the leather clad HP Spectre Folio.
  • Same! No word on a refresh, but hopefully at CES?
  • Is the full HD 1000 nits display HDR to? Or only 4k have it?
    Full HD HDR 1000 nits would be great for me. I don't care for 4k at this display size.
  • I'm not sure how it works with Sure View and 1000 nits and HDR. It's something I'll find out as we head towards reviews.
  • wow! I want this (: