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HP Elite Dragonfly gets Intel 11th Gen and adds new 'Max' edition for those stuck in meetings

Hp Elite Dragonfly G2 Press
Hp Elite Dragonfly G2 Press (Image credit: HP)

What you need to know

  • HP is refreshing its premium Elite Dragonfly business laptops for CES 2021.
  • Besides the new 'G2' edition, HP has a new 'Max' model with a 5MP webcam for collaborators.
  • The laptops Intel 11th Gen with vPro tech and AI enhancements.
  • Both editions ship in late January.

The HP Elite Dragonfly landed in early 2020 as a cross between its premium consumer Spectre series and the more business-focused EliteBook line. With a dramatic blue color, 2-in-1 design, optional LTE, and all the enterprise features, it piqued our interest.

For 2021, HP is giving its customers an official "Gen 2" (there have been some minor revisions already) and a new "Max" edition that is aimed at those who need a robust multi-media notebook for work.

Here is what you need to know about both.

HP Elite Dragonfly G2 with 11th Gen vPro

Hp Elite Dragonfly G2 Press

Source: HP (Image credit: Source: HP)

HP is not bringing any dramatic changes to the G2 model, but the internal hardware is being updated to reflect current editions of processors, RAM, and more.

The radiant "Dragonfly Blue" for the CNC magnesium chassis, thankfully, remains the same. But the processor is finally getting bumped to Intel 11th Gen with vPro. HP initially launched the Elite Dragonfly with an 8th Gen processor because it needed Intel vPro for its enterprise customers, and it wasn't yet available in 10th Gen.

That's now fixed. Intel 11th Gen brings up to 30 percent faster CPU performance, up to 80 percent improved GPU (thanks to Iris Xe graphics), and a few hours more battery life.

RAM is being increased from 16GB LPDDR3 with G1 to a max of 32GB of LPDDR4 in the new G2.

Because of that new 11th Gen chipset, HP can turn on many new smart features that weren't available in the Elite Dragonfly G1, including:

  • Onlap detection
  • New modernized keyboard layout
  • Intrusion detection
  • HP Context-Aware (Motion AI)
  • Quick Drop
  • HP Dynamic Audio (AI content)
  • HP Sound Calibration (Earcal)
  • AI Noise reduction (Cancellation)

Things like HP Sound Calibration uses AI to "tune headphones for an immersive sound experience" while HP Dynamic Audio "tunes audio to speech, music, and movies while suppressing background noise."

Like the EliteBook 1040 G7, HP is also replacing the physical privacy shutter with its new (and much better) Sure Shutter. With a dedicated keyboard switch, users can block or unblock the camera for extra security.

And like the previous version, the new Elite Dragonfly G2 contains "ocean-bound plastics" in the speaker enclosure, and the "outer box packaging is 100-percent sustainably sourced."

Finally, besides the option for 4G LTE that came to a revision of the Elite Dragonfly G1, the G2 variant gets that plus the option for 5G.

Look for the Elite Dragonfly G2 to become available in late January. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.

HP Elite Dragonfly Max for 'professional collaboration'

Hp Elite Dragonfly Max Black

Source: HP (Image credit: Source: HP)

The new Elite Dragonfly Max is simply a variant of the new Elite Dragonfly G2, bringing a few significant changes.

The Max edition focuses on the new trend of remote meetings and collaboration. Simply put, if you're in video meetings all day and you want the best audio and visual experience, the HP Elite Dragonfly Max is going to be your laptop.

Here are the main differences between the HP Elite Dragonfly Max and Elite Dragonfly G2:

  • Colors: Dragonfly Blue OR new Sparkling Black
  • Slightly heavier: 2.49lbs (1.1kg)
  • Camera: 5MP + IR (versus 1.2MP at 720P)
  • Extra world-facing microphone (four mics total vs. three)
  • HP Elite Wireless Earbuds included
  • HP Sure View Reflect (G4) privacy screen is standard
  • HP Eye Ease (EyeSafe Certification)

The 5MP front-facing camera is a massive jump from the 1.2 MP of the Elite Dragonfly. Visual clarity matched with that extra microphone for four in total should make the Elite Dragonfly Max, a killer laptop for Microsoft Team or those Zoom meetings.

Even the display, which now includes HP's creative Sure View Reflect technology, is standard with the Max instead of just an option. And presuming you will be on the Max all day in meetings, the display is also tuned with HP Eye Ease to filter out harmful blue light without yellowing the screen.

CategoryHP Elite Dragonfly G2HP Elite Dragonfly MAX
OSWindows 10 ProWindows 10 Pro
Processor11th Gen Intel
Core i3, i5, i7
Optional vPro
11th Gen Intel
Core i5, i7
Optional vPro
RAM8GB, 16GB, 32GB
LPDDR4
16GB, 32GB
LPDDR4
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe
Intel UHD
Intel Iris Xe
StorageUp to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDUp to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Display13.3 inches
Touch
FHD, 400 nits, low power
FHD, 1000 nits, Sure View
4K UHD, HDR400, 550 nits
13.3 inches
Touch, IPS
FHD, Sure View
Anti-Sparkle, 1000 nits
Ambient light sensor
PenHP Rechargeable Pen G3HP Rechargeable Pen G3
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 1.4b
Nano SIM
USB-A 3.1
Two Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 1.4b
Nano SIM
USB-A 3.1
AudioFour top-firing speakers
HP Audio Boost
Three microphones
Four top-firing speakers
HP Audio Boost
Four microphones
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Intel XMM 7360 LTE
Snapdragon X55 5G
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
4G LTE
5G eSIM support
CameraFront-facing 720p
HP Sure Shutter
Front-facing 5MP
HP Privacy Camera
Keyboard1.3mm key travel1.3mm key travel
BatteryTBD56.2Wh
SecurityIR camera
Fingerprint reader
HP Sure Start
HP Sure Run
HP Sure Recover
HP Sure Click
IR camera
Fingerprint reader
HP Sure Start
HP Sure Run
HP Sure Recover
HP Sure Click
Dimensions11.98 x 7.78 x 0.63 inches
(304.3mm x 197.5mm x 16.1mm)
11.98 x 7.78 x 0.63 inches
(304.3mm x 197.5mm x 16.1mm)
WeightFrom 2.2 pounds (<1kg)From 2.49 pounds (1.13kg)
ColorDragonfly BlueSparkling Black
Dragonfly Blue

Interestingly, HP includes its new HP Elite Wireless Earbuds, which HP claims "are the world's most advanced earbuds for collaboration." The earbuds have "personalized audio tuning, adjustable noise cancellation, and sound situation presets." As expected, the earbuds can pair and switch between the Elite DragonFly Max and iOS and Android smartphones.

Hp Elite Earbuds

Source: HP (Image credit: Source: HP)

While the Elite Wireless Earbuds are included with the Elite Dragonfly Max, HP will also sell them separately.

Look for the Elite Dragonfly Max to become available in late January. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

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.

3 Comments
  • Quite nice, especially the cpu & battery life upgrades (if that will be true) is a worth upgrade. I do think this should have come with a 16:10 screen in this price category.
  • Hey, Really keen on this device but still have a few questions after reading the article: 1. What does "New modernized keyboard layout" actually mean? The strange fingerprint in the keyboard thing? The power button is luckily not within the keyboard (preventing accidents) according to the article.
    2. What makes Sure shutter on the G2 "much better" than the physical shutter on the more premium Max? Based on the link to the 1040 review, the physical shutter seems better so glad the Max retains keeps it.
    3. Seems strange that they only have Thunderbolt 3, maybe I'm missing something.
    4. On the G1, Sure view required 100 nits and the larger battery,ergo the slightly higher weight.IIt seems that the G2 can also be configured with sure view which would lead to a heavier device. With sure view and the same battery, is the G2 lighter than the Max?
  • Also curious about what the "modernized keyboard layout" means exactly.