November 16, 2022
  • November 16, 2022

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Review

By on September 21, 2022 0

You may think of it as just a spindly insect, but entomologists will tell you that the dragonfly is perhaps the world’s most capable predator: its nearly 360-degree vision, its unbeatable agility (including up to 9 G of acceleration) and his ability to predict where his prey will give him a 95% kill rate that tigers and sharks would envy him. Just ask HP, which puts the Dragonfly name on its lightest and most premium business laptops and workstations. While previous models were convertibles, the Elite Dragonfly G3 is a clamshell ultraportable. It’s pricey (starts at $1,999; $2,686 in tests), but its impressive battery life, full array of ports, and 13.5-inch square 3:2 aspect ratio screen make it a tempting alternative to the likes of the Dell XPS 13 Plus and Apple’s MacBook Air M2.


The design: renewed and recycled

Available in Slate Blue or Natural Silver, the Elite Dragonfly G3 has a sleek chassis made from partially recycled magnesium and aluminum with what HP calls “rounded pillow corners.” (They make it easier to open with one hand.) Its larger screen makes it a little deeper at 0.64 by 11.7 by 8.7 inches, but at 2.2 pounds it’s half a pound lighter than Apple and Dell ultraportables, matching the soon-to-be-review Gen 2 version of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano. The laptop has passed MIL-STD 810H tests against road hazards such as shock, vibration, and temperature extremes. there’s some flex if you grab the corners of the screen, but none if you press down on the keyboard.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Right Angle

(Credit: Molly Flores)

The $1,999 base model combines an Intel Core i5-1235U processor with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and a 1920 x 1280 pixel IPS touchscreen. Our $2,686 review unit has a non-touchscreen with the same resolution but upgrades to a Core i7-1265U (two performance cores, eight efficient cores, 12 threads) and adds 5G mobile broadband to Wi-Fi 6E and standard Bluetooth.

HP offers two other display choices: a 1920 x 1280 version of the HP Sure View Reflect panel with privacy filter and a 3000 x 2000 pixel OLED display for users who want the richest colors and contrast The highest. All models rely on Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphics. Windows 11 Pro is pre-installed.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 left ports

(Credit: Molly Flores)

While the XPS 13 and MacBook Air only have Thunderbolt 4 ports (the Dell doesn’t even have a headphone jack), the Elite Dragonfly G3 has a much more practical range. There’s a USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 port on either side, but the left edge also has an HDMI video output (and the SIM card slot), while the right side adds an audio jack and USB 3.1 Type- A as well as a security cable lock notch.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Straight Ports

(Credit: Molly Flores)


Style and safety

It would have been nice to see the OLED panel, but the standard display is almost as impressive, with ample brightness and good contrast. Viewing angles are wide and colors are rich and well saturated. Fine details are clear. Best of all is the screen’s 3:2 square aspect ratio, which lets you see more of a document or web page with less scrolling; it’s a view that’s easy to get used to and makes old-school 16:9 widescreens look crushed.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 front view

(Credit: Molly Flores)

A 5-megapixel webcam knocks out cheap 720p cameras, capturing razor-sharp 2,560 x 1,440 pixel 16:9 or 2,560 x 1,920 pixel 4:3 photos and video. Images are colorful and reasonably well-lit , with an HP Presence utility offering automatic framing and lighting adjustment and background blurring if desired. A button on the keyboard, not a sliding shutter, activates the webcam for more privacy. Two high-end microphones feature automatic noise reduction and voice leveling that keep you heard when moving within three meters of the PC.

Webcam facial recognition and a fingerprint sensor (it replaces the right control key on the bottom row of the keyboard) are available for Windows Hello logins without a password. An Auto Lock and Awake feature uses the webcam to secure and restart the system when you leave and return. The Elite Dragonfly G3 also features HP’s Wolf Security suite with AI-based malware protection, Sure Click execution of applications and web pages in virtual machine containers, and defense against BIOS corruption with settings and operating system recovery on an office network.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Keyboard

(Credit: Molly Flores)

I will never accept the cursor arrow key placement on HP laptops in a row, with hard-to-hit, mid-height up and down arrows stacked between full-size left and right, instead of the T inverted appropriate. But otherwise, the Dragonfly’s backlit keyboard is snappy and comfortable, with decent travel and feedback. A large buttonless touchpad requires only light pressure for a quiet click.

Two top-firing tweeters and two bottom-firing front-firing woofers deliver loud, clear sound with crisp highs and mids and even some bass; the sound isn’t distorted or harsh even at maximum volume, and it’s easy to distinguish overlapping tracks. HP Audio Control software provides dynamic, music, video, and voice presets as well as an equalizer. Other house-brand utilities range from HP Quick Drop for exchanging files with your phone to HP Easy Clean to disable the keyboard, trackpad, and (if present) touchscreen for a few minutes while you apply a wipe. disinfectant.

Rear view of the HP Elite Dragonfly G3

(Credit: Molly Flores)


Elite Dragonfly G3 review: Five ultra-rugged lightweights go head-to-head

For our benchmark charts, we compared the performance of the Dragonfly Elite G3 to not only the Dell XPS 13 Plus and the Apple MacBook Air M2, but also two 14-inch, 2.5-pound ultraportables: the VAIO SX14 and the Editors’ – Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10, award-winning among all others. You can see their basic specifications in the table below.

Productivity tests

UL’s leading PCMark 10 benchmark simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content creation workflows to measure the overall performance of office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet, web browsing and videoconferencing. We also run PCMark 10’s Full System Drive test to gauge a laptop’s load time and storage throughput.

Beyond these, three benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to gauge a PC’s suitability for CPU-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 uses that company’s Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene, while Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular applications ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning.

Finally, we use the open source HandBrake 1.4 video transcoder to convert a 12 minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution (lower times are better). While Adobe Photoshop itself seemed to work fine, our usual PugetBench automated extension for Photoshop repeatedly crashed on the Dragonfly and was not included in the graphics.

The HP performed well in these tests, easily wiping out the 4,000 PCMark 10 points that indicate excellent productivity for Word and Excel, though its 15-watt Core i7-1265U mobile processor couldn’t keep up with the P of 28 watts. -Lenovo and Dell series chips. It’s not suited for demanding workstation-level applications, but flawless for the day-to-day tasks it was designed for.

Graphic tests

We test Windows PC graphics with two DirectX 12 game simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Night Raid (more modest, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).

We also ran two tests from the GFXBench 5 cross-platform GPU benchmark, which emphasizes both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering. 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase, rendered off-screen to accommodate different display resolutions, drive graphics and compute shaders using the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation respectively. The more frames per second (fps), the better.

Neither the Elite Dragonfly G3 nor any other productivity-focused ultraportable is a fast gaming machine; his after-hours hobbies are casual gaming and streaming media, not CGI combat or virtual reality.

Battery and display tests

We test laptop battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video file (the open source Blender movie Tears of Steel(Opens in a new window)) with display brightness at 50% and audio volume at 100%. We make sure the battery is fully charged before testing, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlight turned off.

We also use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Windows software to measure the color saturation of a laptop screen (what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the screen can display) and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per square meter).

Apple and HP are in a class of their own when it comes to battery life; the Dragonfly shows remarkable endurance for a 2.2 pound laptop and will easily get you through a full day of work or school without searching for the nearest power outlet. The appeal of its 3:2 aspect ratio screen is its spacious view with reduced scrolling, not the glorious colors of the XPS 13’s high-res OLED panel, but it’s bright and easy on the eyes. (Again, Dragonfly buyers can opt for an OLED display if they have the dough.)


A great on-the-go companion

If it cost a few hundred dollars less, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 would earn Editors’ Choice honors and join the X1 Carbon as our favorite ultraportable – it offers an attractive, tall screen, solid performance, great battery life battery and a full set of ports in a remarkably balanced 2.2-pound package. If you can afford it and especially if you need mobile broadband for connectivity where there’s no Wi-Fi, it’s a near-perfect choice.

Lab Report to get the latest reviews and top product advice delivered right to your inbox.","first_published_at":"2021-09-30T21:24:30.000000Z","published_at":"2022-08-31T18:36:19.000000Z","last_published_at":"2022-08-31T18:36:16.000000Z","created_at":null,"updated_at":"2022-08-31T18:36:19.000000Z"})" x-show="showEmailSignUp()" class="rounded bg-gray-lightest text-center md:px-32 md:py-8 p-4 mt-8 container-xs">

Do you like what you read ?

Register for Lab report to get the latest reviews and top product tips straight to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertisements, offers or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of use and Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time.