HP Elite Dragonfly G3 vs. G2: Which laptop is better?

Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Versus G2 Front
Hp Elite Dragonfly G3 Versus G2 Front (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

While the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 is a great device that remains a top choice for people who prefer convertible 2-in-1s or a 16:9 aspect ratio, we believe that the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 will be the best option for most users. This is because the upcoming laptop features better specs across the board, an improved camera layout, stronger connectivity options, and a more comfortable design.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 vs. G2: Design and specs

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

The biggest edge that the upcoming HP Elite Dragonfly G3 has over its G2 predecessor is its specs sheet. In pretty much every category, the newer G3 comes out on top. Its 12th Gen Intel P-series CPUs deliver stronger performance than the G2's 11th Gen options, and the G3's DDR5 RAM is also more performant than the G2's DDR4. The G3 also comes with a PCIe 4.0 SSD, while the G2 is stuck with a PCIe 3.0 one. Connectivity-wise, the G3 sports advanced Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 4G LTE, and 5G connections; the G2 has 4G LTE and 5G, but only has standard Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.

When it comes to design, the G3 once again takes the lead. HP has updated the edge of the laptop's palm rest to be rounded instead of sharp and angular like it was with the G2, which prevents the device from digging into your palms while you're typing. HP also equipped the G3 with separate RGB and IR webcams for improved image quality, as opposed to the G2's older 2-in-1 webcam that looks considerably worse. There's also an argument to be made that the G3's 3:2 aspect ratio is better for the computing experience, though some will prefer the G2's traditional 16:9 panel.

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CategoryHP Elite Dragonfly G3HP Elite Dragonfly G2
Display13.5-inch 3:2Non-touchWUXGA (1920x1280) or 3K2K OLED (400 nits)Sure View13.3 inches 16:9TouchFHD, 400 nits, low powerFHD, 1000 nits, Sure View4K UHD, HDR400, 550 nits
ProcessorIntel 12th Gen vPro, EvoIntel 11th Gen vPro, Evo
MemoryUp to 32GB LPDDR5 (soldered)Up to 32GB LPDDR4 (soldered)
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSDUp to 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Front camera5MP (separate RGB and IR sensors) with HP Sure Shutter720pHP Sure Shutter
SecurityWindows Hello IR and fingerprintWindows Hello IR and fingerprint
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6EBluetooth 5.2Optional: 4G LTE, 5G, NFC, TileWi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5.0Optional: 4G LTE, 5G
Ports1x USB-A 3.12x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4)HDMI 2.0Nano SIM slotCombo headphone/mic1x USB-A 3.12x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4)HDMI 1.4bNano SIM slotCombo headphone/mic
AudioFour B&O-tuned speakers with discrete amplifiersFour B&O-tuned top-firing speakers
Battery45WHr or 68WHrFast ChargeUp to 100W Type-C charger56.2WHr
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)
ColorsSlate BlueNatural Silver (Hybrid Mg/Al)Dragonfly Blue

Speaking of displays, that's one of the few areas where the G2 gets competitive with its successor. Compared to the 400-nit FHD and 3K2K displays available on the G3, the G2 can be equipped with a FHD or 4K UHD screen that has anywhere between 400 and 1,000 nits. This gives the G2 a big edge when it comes to maximum brightness, which may matter a lot to you if you use your laptop outside a lot. The second-generation Dragonfly also features a convertible design with a hinge on the display, adding versatility for those who enjoy 2-in-1s.

The G2's 56.2WHr battery is also bigger than the G3's standard 45WHr one, though it is important to note that you can upgrade the G3 with an even bigger 68WHr one. If you're only planning on getting an entry-level version of one of these laptops, it may be better to stick with the G2 for the larger default battery.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 vs. G2: Which is better?

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

While both of these laptops are incredibly impressive, we feel that the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 will be better for the average user. Its near-universally better specs, better camera layout, more advanced connectivity options, and more comfortable design simply make it a better device overall. When it officially arrives in March 2022, we have no doubt that it's going to become one of the best Windows laptops on the market.

Don't count the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 out, though, especially if you're a user who wants a convertible design, needs a very bright screen, or simply prefers a 16:9 aspect ratio. The specs on the G2 are still great, and while the device isn't as advanced as the G3 is overall, it's still a top-notch device in many ways. If you're buying an entry-level model, the G2 may even be the preferred option due to its larger base battery.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.