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Hands-on: HP's new Elite Dragonfly G3 with 3:2 display is one light, good-looking laptop

Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Versus G
Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Versus G (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

CES 2022 was a busy time if you're into the world of laptops and PCs (see our best of CES for a recap). Between Intel and AMD announcing next-gen processors and the sheer number of new laptops revealed, this year's CES was easily one of the most PC-centric CES events in modern history.

HP had plenty of devices, too, mainly focused on the enterprise segment, but it was the refreshed Elite Dragonfly G3 that caught our attention. Ditching a 16:9 display for a taller 3:2 and delivering a completely new design language, this Elite Dragonfly could be one of the more interesting professional Ultrabooks for 2022.

HP sent us a (mostly) working prototype of the Elite Dragonfly G3, and I compared it to the original model. Here's what you need to know.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3: Who's it for and what's new

Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The Elite Dragonfly is unique amongst HP's laptop lineup. HP has its Spectre line (high-end consumer products like the Spectre x360 14), while the 1000 series EliteBooks are its premium business laptops.

The Elite Dragonfly fits in between those two product lines.

With a full HDMI port, Sure View privacy screen, Intel vPro, and HP's security suite of software, the Elite Dragonfly is enterprise-friendly and brings some prosumer flair to its design like discrete amplified quad speakers, Intel Evo, and optional high-res OLED.

For 2022, HP made the following significant changes to G3 from G2:

  • 3:2 display instead of 16:9
  • Non-touch instead of touch
  • No longer an "x360" convertible laptop
  • Intel 12th Gen P-series processors
  • 5MP Full HD camera (up from 1MP 720p)
  • Larger battery: 48WHr or larger 68WHr (versus 56WHr)
  • Dragonfly Blue colorway is now a darker Slate Blue
  • Optional OLED display

There are also a lot more changes to the overall design language. For instance, one complaint I've had, in general, with laptops is when OEMs create sharp edges near the palm rest. While the angles look good on a short keyboard deck, they can dig into your palms, causing discomfort. That was the case with the original Elite Dragonfly and G2 versions. With G3, the edges of the laptops are all now smooth and rounded, making them much more comfortable to use.

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Versus G2 Display

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Ports

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Ports

Interestingly, HP has shifted from a very blue colorway to a darker blue that looks like a mix between the original Dragonfly Blue and the Sparkling Black of 2021's HP Elite Dragonfly Max. There's also a Natural Silver option, which matches HP's EliteBook product line.

CategoryDragonfly G3Dragonfly G2Dragonfly MAX
Display13.5-inch 3:2
Non-touch
WUXGA (1920x1280) or 3K2K OLED (400 nits)
Sure View
13.3 inches 16:9
Touch
FHD, 400 nits, low power
FHD, 1000 nits, Sure View
4K UHD, HDR400, 550 nits
13.3 inches 16:9
Touch, IPS
FHD, Sure View
Anti-Sparkle, 1000 nits
ProcessorIntel 12th Gen vPro, EvoIntel 11th Gen vPro, EvoIntel 11th Gen vPro, Evo
GraphicsIntelIntelIntel
MemoryUp to 32GB LPDDR5 (soldered)Up to 32GB LPDDR4 (soldered)Up to 32GB LPDDR4 (soldered)
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSDUp to 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSDUp to 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Front Camera5MP (separate RGB and IR sensors) with HP Sure Shutter720p
HP Sure Shutter
5MP
HP Privacy Camera
SecurityWindows Hello IR and fingerprintWindows Hello IR and fingerprintWindows Hello IR and fingerprint
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
Optional: 4G LTE, 5G, NFC, Tile
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Optional: 4G LTE, 5G
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Optional: 4G LTE, 5G
Ports1x USB-A 3.1
2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4)
HDMI 2.0
Nano SIM slot
Combo headphone/mic
1x USB-A 3.1
2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4)
HDMI 1.4b
Nano SIM
Combo headphone/mic
1x USB-A 3.1
2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4)
HDMI 1.4b
Nano SIM
Combo headphone/mic
AudioFour B&O-tuned speakers with discrete amplifiersFour B&O-tuned top-firing speakersFour B&O-tuned top-firing speakers
Battery45WHr or 68WHr
Fast Charge
Up to 100W Type-C charger
56.2Wh56.2Wh
Dimensions11.71 x 8.68 x 0.65 inches
(297.4mm x 220.4mm x 16.4mm)
11.98 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 2.2 pounds (< 1kg)From 2.49 pounds (1.13kg)
ColorsSlate Blue
Natural Silver (Hybrid Mg/Al)
Dragonfly BlueDragonfly Blue
Sparkling Black

The four speakers have moved slightly, with two now on the bottom front edge and the others behind the keyboard. Audio is booming and clear thanks to all four featuring discrete amplifiers.

The most significant change, however, is that much taller 3:2 display. I've been arguing for this screen aspect ratio since 2018, not only because you see so much more content, but also because of the resulting design changes, including the need for a more extended keyboard deck to match that taller screen. That gives you two substantial benefits:

  1. More room for your palms to rest while typing
  2. More space for a larger (taller) touchpad

With the Elite Dragonfly G3, we get just that. The new touchpad is massive, and this laptop is simply more comfortable on which to type compared to the cramped older one.

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Versus G2 Kb

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Rounded Edges

The other major difference is shifting from a 2-in-1 convertible laptop with pen support to a non-touch clamshell. I can't recall many times where an OEM has completely shifted a laptop's design so much and kept the same name. I'm going to assume that HP saw that data, and most of its customers were OK with it just being a regular laptop (HP still offers the brand-new EliteBook x360 1040 G9 to fill that niche).

HP Elite Dragonfly G3: More to come

Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Versus G2 Front

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Overall, the feel of the Elite Dragonfly G3 is radically different from the G2 model, but in a good way. Weighing just 2.2 pounds and with that larger 13.5-inch screen, this is one of the lightest laptops I've used with this many ports and features.

Of course, this is just a prototype, so things like the 12th Gen Intel processor are not yet optimized or ready for testing. There are also features not working, like the 5MP webcam, so it is too early for more in-depth comparisons.

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Logo

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Kb Logo

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Camera

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Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Bottom Speaker

We'll be doing more on HP's refreshed product line in the coming months. As to when you can get the new Elite Dragonfly G3, HP says it is expected to be available in March (assuming there are no supply constraints). Pricing will be available closer to product availability, but the Elite Dragonfly usually begins at around $2,000.

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.

24 Comments
  • Shame there's not an ARM version. Choice is good. x86 emulation is noticeably improved in Windows 11 to Windows 10, obviously not like a native experience but really not bothersome at all. Assuming you don't want to Game or Video Edit I suppose but plenty of Intel laptops are poor at those too.
  • There is an HP Gen 3 ARM device coming later in the year. I forget which model - but it is coming. Should be a banger. I’m working perfectly fine on Gen 1 ARM Windows 11 machine.
  • Two years on ARM Windows have convinced me that it is the future. It would be interesting to see an x360 convertible ARM laptop instead of the tablet designs we keep seeing.
  • "I'm going to assume that HP saw that data, and most of its customers were OK with it just being a regular laptop (HP still offers the brand-new EliteBook x360 1040 G9 to fill that niche)." Yeah, I imagine that the branding and overall package appealed to clamshell power users more than 2-in-1 users, and 2-in-1 users were already happy with HP's other offerings. That's the only thing that would make sense. It is unusual otherwise, isn't it? These new P-series chips sound promising. Looking forward to some real (production model) reviews from you, DR.
  • "Yeah, I imagine that the branding and overall package appealed to clamshell power users more than 2-in-1 users, and 2-in-1 users were already happy with HP's other offerings.", lowering that extra weight seems to mainly benefit 2-in-1 users though. For clamshell a bigger battery at eg 1.2 kg makes more sense.
    At least they updated the cpu's to 'P' so it makes some sense for clamshell users to pay the premium price. "and 2-in-1 users were already happy with HP's other offerings.", I think it has more to do that previous Dragonfly lineup did not make so much sense with a 16:9 at a premium price. It was meant (eg like the Thinkpad Yoga Titanium 13.5") to be used in tablet mode, but 16:9 is too cramped for that.
  • I was under the impression from the coverage I read during CES that the OLED version was a touch screen. Are they officially telling you otherwise?
  • TBH, I don't really know, but a touch OLED would make sense. We'll be formerly briefed on this laptop closer to launch and ahead of reviews.
  • Hi Daniel,
    HP seemingly told Paul Thurrot, that the touchpad is haptic. However, their own factsheet says it's a clickpad. Can you confirm, which one it is? Haptic Trackpad or Clickpad? Thanks!
  • It probably is haptic. It seems to be common among all this gen of the Dragonfly models, even the Chromebook. Plus, it's really large, like the others (which are haptic). HP is trying to answer (ask?) the question: can a touchpad be too big?
  • Nope, the Chromebook version, oddly, is haptic, but this is just a regular ol' mechanical touchpad.
  • Whenever I see those 3:2 screens, I feel like I'm looking at one of our work laptops from back in the '90s. Weird.
  • I can recommend it for productivity or 2-1 laptops, its a really nice aspect ratio. Ergonomics wise its better too since your screen sits a bit higher (or it removes the bottom bezel).
  • Not really weird is it? 16:9 panels were always the wrong ratio for anyone wanting to do actual work on their screens. 16:10 or 3:2 are the sane choices.
  • I do love my 16:10 panels, but I'm thankful for the 16:9 panel scale paving the way for cheaper panels for computers--without all of those HD TVs out there, it would have cost a lot more. Also, beyond a certain size it really doesn't matter which ratio you're working with as long as the resolution is right.
  • Yeah, Lenovo did not care for 16:9, but that is where the industry (and panel makers) went due to movies and multimedia being a big thing for a while. We're now just returning to how things were, which is hilarious.
  • Why would anyone in their right mind buy a Non-Touchscreen Portable Laptop in 2022?
  • Yeah it is a weird choice, I know there are people who would not use a touchscreen but otoh those people tend to also not buy laptops such as this one but instead buy Elitebooks or gaming laptops or such.
  • They're running Windows? (Well, yeah, I do say that in jest, still... the Windows interface doesn't cry out, "Touch me!") A mouse is far more ergonomic, and a trackpad is more so as well, than using a touchscreen with the typical laptop--continually reaching over a keyboard and trackpad to touch the screen can become seriously tiring. Aside from the ergonomics, a person might not find the additional expense worth it, given how they use their computer. People choose the features that suit the way they work. Personally, I like having a touchscreen because I run some Android apps, and some really work better with touch, as you'd expect. Still--outside of that, it's the trackpad and/or mouse most of the time.
  • "Why would anyone in their right mind buy a Non-Touchscreen Portable Laptop in 2022?"
    Few reasons: You don't use touch often enough to warrant it, so NBD Touchscreen laptops are, in fact, heavier (and often slightly thicker) Touchscreen laptops are, in fact, more expensive That said, the OLED panel here may be touch. Trying to find out.
  • Probably not, Samsung Gen 3 OLEDs are all in 16:10 ratio and carry HDR400 "True Black" certification instead of 16:9 and regular HDR400.
  • HP is trying to differentiate the Elite Dragonfly from their 2-in-1 EliteBook series with the name "x360", putting a touchscreen on this probably negatively impacts the sales of x360 models.
  • I couldn't seem to see any options for a detachable from HP at this year's CES, I really like my Elite X2 and although it looks like I'm probably going to go with that discrete gpu option from thingamyjig, it would have been nice to get some options from a company I'm already happy with the quality.
  • My current HP Spectre 15 owned for 6 months is a PitA pos. Mostly driver issues that in spite of attempts to downgrade, upgrade, etc, still haven’t solved the sound going out problem. Just stops working on any extended sound Pause. Then there’s the google maps 3D constant crashing…a intel display driver issue. Also being sold a $2000 laptop with Win10 home installed and not pro. Not including a battery longevity program that limits the charge when mostly used as a desktop. etc etc etc. I’ll never buy another HP. Never again.
  • "still haven’t solved the sound going out problem.", I once had a HP Envy which had the same issue, letting Windows search/fix problems helped temporarily but it was rather annoying. "Then there’s the google maps 3D constant crashing…a intel display driver issue.", to be fair that sounds like laziness on Google's side. You can also download the newest Intel drivers through the Intel Driver Support Assistant (works pretty well). "Not including a battery longevity program that limits the charge when mostly used as a desktop.", iirc the bios has an option, but yeah they should make it more user friendly like gaming laptops do.