Company workplace drones want good computer systems, too. For too lengthy, they’ve needed to put up with soulless utilitarian machines that, whereas very useful, didn’t precisely encourage pleasure or creativity. HP’s newest EliteBook, its line of high-end enterprise laptops which are extra more likely to find yourself on a CEO’s desk than a rank and file employee’s, bucks that development. The Dragonfly is a 2-in-1 convertible that’s as good to take a look at as it’s to make use of. In truth, I’d argue that it’s probably the most aesthetically pleasing machine in all of HP’s lineup, enterprise or client.
The Dragonfly is not only about appears to be like, nevertheless. It has the capabilities and options that company clients crave, reminiscent of a wonderful keyboard, mil-spec sturdiness, and a lightweight and stiff chassis that’s simple to tackle the street (or, extra precisely, the enterprise class part of a 737 or A320).
Because it’s a part of HP’s enterprise line, you received’t discover the Dragonfly on the cabinets at Finest Purchase, and also you might need to leap by some hoops to order one with out a company account. If you’ll be able to buy it, it’s obtainable in a dizzying array of configurations, however the throughline between all of them is that they aren’t low-cost. Costs begin at $1,629 for a base configuration; the mannequin I’ve been testing for this overview tallies as much as $2,169.
That’s some huge cash for a thin-and-light laptop that isn’t carrying an Apple brand, however for that money, you get a particularly competent laptop computer that’s stunning to take a look at, a three-year guarantee, and not one of the software program crap and cruft that’s discovered on HP’s client laptops.
Probably the most putting factor in regards to the Dragonfly is its coloration. In contrast to the ocean of black ThinkPads or grey MacBooks that dominate workplaces now, the Dragonfly has a stunning darkish blue coloration with a matte end. HP lined the floor of it with an oleophobic coating, which helps it repel fingerprints and grease significantly better than the matte finishes on different computer systems I’ve examined. ( you, Razer.) The Dragonfly is glossy and modern-looking in ways in which most client laptops can’t match, a lot much less different enterprise machines.
The opposite putting factor in regards to the Dragonfly is how gentle it’s. It begins at 2.2 kilos, or simply about 1 kilogram, with a 2-cell battery, however you possibly can go for a 4-cell battery that bumps the load as much as 2.5 kilos. My overview unit has the bigger battery, and I’d undoubtedly make the trade-off for its longer stamina, particularly since 2.5 kilos continues to be very gentle and moveable. HP says each a part of the machine was designed with gentle weight in thoughts; even the keyboard and trackpad are 26 p.c and 36 p.c lighter, respectively, than those within the EliteBook x360 1030 G3 that the Dragonfly replaces.
That gentle weight is because of HP’s use of magnesium all through the Dragonfly’s chassis. For higher sturdiness, HP used thicker magnesium on the lid, keyboard deck, and backside of the machine, which permits it to resist mil-spec drop assessments with out breaking. I didn’t drop my overview unit, however I can say there’s no perceptible chassis flex on this laptop. It feels extremely stable, particularly for the way gentle it’s.
The Dragonfly measures 16mm thick, nicely underneath an inch, but it gives extra port choices than are sometimes discovered on a thin-and-light convertible. It has two USB-C Thunderbolt Three ports, a full-size HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack on the precise aspect. On the left, there’s a USB-A port, the facility button, a Kensington lock port, and a slot for a SIM card to make use of with the elective LTE modem. All of these ports imply most individuals received’t have to hold dongles or adapters round with them to plug in equipment or shows. I do want HP had put the facility button on the within of the pc, although, as I pressed it accidentally greater than as soon as when shifting or choosing up the pc, inflicting the machine to fall asleep proper in the midst of doing one thing.
The Dragonfly’s show is a 13.3-inch touchscreen that may be configured three other ways: a 1W, low-power 1080p show designed for lengthy battery life; a 1080p SureView show that has HP’s built-in privateness display screen and will get to 1000 nits of brightness; or a 4K panel with probably the most decision. HP says the SureView display screen will get roughly 22 p.c worse battery life than the 1W panel, whereas the 4K display screen calls for a 43 p.c better energy demand, making them price quite a bit in each cash and battery life.
My overview unit has the low-power display screen, and it’s largely nice. It will get to roughly 400 nits of brightness at its peak, which is greater than sufficient for an workplace surroundings, and it’s a lot sharp at this dimension. HP may do a greater job tuning the curve on the brightness ranges, although. By 50 p.c brightness, it’s principally too dim to make use of. More often than not, I had to make use of the pc at 70 p.c to comfortably see the display screen.
My larger criticism is that it has a 16:9 side ratio, which isn’t almost as nice to make use of to work in paperwork or browse the online as a taller 3:2 display screen or perhaps a 16:10 show. Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 beats the Dragonfly’s display screen with each a greater side ratio and higher brightness.
The Dragonfly’s keyboard, alternatively, is an entire pleasure to make use of. It’s backlit, well-spaced, has adequate journey, and may be very quiet, so you possibly can sort all evening lengthy on that red-eye flight with out disturbing your neighbor. HP even has a software-based noise-canceling function whenever you’re on a video name utilizing Google Hangouts or Zoom (coming quickly for Skype and Microsoft Groups) so as to take notes throughout a gathering and the opposite contributors received’t be distracted by your incessant typing. In my assessments utilizing Zoom, the opposite contributors stated there was nonetheless some sound once I used the keyboard, however it wasn’t recognizable as typing.
Equally, the glass trackpad on the Dragonfly is great. It’s giant sufficient, easy with out being too slick, and stable, however not loud, when clicked. It makes use of Microsoft’s Precision drivers, so it has glorious monitoring for two-finger scrolling and different multifinger gestures in addition to glorious palm rejection. Between the wonderful keyboard and nice trackpad, HP nailed the enter units on the Dragonfly.
HP has outfitted the Dragonfly with a four-speaker system that’s loud and clear for each convention calls and media. It’s not as spectacular because the 16-inch MacBook Professional’s speaker system, however I don’t actually have any complaints about it. The Dragonfly’s microphones additionally work nicely for video calling, which is how they are going to probably be used most frequently.
Lastly, the Dragonfly comes with each a Home windows Hi there-compatible webcam and fingerprint sensor, so you possibly can select which biometric login methodology you favor. (Each labored precisely as they need to in my assessments.) The webcam additionally has a built-in privateness shutter, so that you don’t want to stay an unpleasant piece of tape over it to dam it.
Inside, the Dragonfly has an eighth Gen Intel Core processor, as much as 16GB of RAM, and as much as 2TB of inner storage. My overview unit is supplied with a Core i7-8665U chip, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, which contributed to its $2,169 price ticket. (The opposite choices that introduced the value up had been the 4-cell battery, Intel LTE modem, HP’s rechargeable energetic pen, and HP’s leather-based sleeve.) Although the Dragonfly doesn’t have the most recent 10th Gen Intel chips (HP says it selected the eighth Gen as a result of the brand new chips don’t assist Intel’s vPro options for industrial deployments), it had no efficiency points in my assessments. It simply dealt with my workload of plenty of Chrome tabs, Phrase paperwork, Slack, e-mail, and social media. The largest improve within the 10th Gen chips is better-integrated graphics, which probably received’t be appreciated by the common workplace employee who primarily lives in Microsoft’s Workplace suite.
The Dragonfly shouldn’t be a fanless laptop; the followers will come on sometimes relying in your workload. However they don’t spin up that always, and after they do, they aren’t obnoxiously loud.
Battery life with the low-power show and bigger battery cell isn’t precisely mind-blowing (regardless of HP’s ridiculous claims of as much as “24.5 hours”), lasting about seven hours between prices with my typical utilization. That’s about common for contemporary 13-inch thin-and-light computer systems in my expertise, although it’s simply shy of a full workday.
As you’d anticipate with a enterprise laptop computer, the Dragonfly comes with Home windows 10 Professional, as an alternative of Residence. It additionally has a handful of HP utilities preinstalled, however it doesn’t have the annoying nagware (like McAfee) that you just get on the corporate’s client laptops. There have been some annoying software program bugs in my time with the laptop computer, although: the LTE modem would randomly disappear from the community choices, and the brightness controls would get caught at 100 p.c. Each points are resolved with a reboot, however they’re annoying nonetheless and never one thing you need to must take care of on a $2,000 laptop computer.
The Dragonfly proves that company enterprise machines don’t must be boring and soulless. In truth, they are often extra fascinating than their consumer-focused counterparts. It even has a cool title, not like the jumble of letters and numbers most laptops are bestowed with. The largest subject with the Dragonfly may be its worth. At this price, it’s not more likely to turn out to be a standard-issue laptop at most corporations, and it’ll probably be reserved for the C-suite. However if you happen to do have the finances for it, the Dragonfly is a superb productiveness laptop computer with few points marring its expertise.
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