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HP Elite Dragonfly Hands-On Review

Posted: 18 September 2019 4:00 pm

HP Elite Dragonfly laptop

HP's new business-centric laptop is the world's lightest, at least for now.

At the launch event for its HP Elite Dragonfly laptop, I had the opportunity for a little hands-on time with HP's newest and lightest laptop. Here are my early impressions:

HP Elite Dragonfly laptop

HP Elite Dragonfly: Early upsides

  • It's very, very light: The big selling point for the HP Elite Dragonfly is that it comes in at under 1kg with the lightweight battery. There's a pretty obvious race in this space to be the "lightest", but having lugged around a more regular laptop all day, picking up the HP Elite Dragonfly was a definite upgrade.
  • It's quite pretty: This is a totally personal preference, but I love tech in dark blue, or in HP-speak "Dragonfly Blue". While it's pitched at a business crowd, the HP Elite Dragonfly is anything but boring.
  • Quiet typing: HP says it has re-engineered its keyboard mechanism, with rubber bumpers under each key enabling 1.3mm of key travel while staying appreciably quiet. I tend to absolutely murder laptop keyboards in extended use, but from my brief hands-on time, I had no large scale complaints.
  • Privacy shutter on front-facing camera: If you're not a fan of having your laptop camera facing you, you could always use a patch of duct tape to keep it entirely private. The Elite Dragonfly gets past that issue with a mechanical shutter for those times when you'd rather be private.
  • Wi-Fi 6 and LTE on board: This could be a downside if you fancy being able to tell your boss you were out of range, but the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 keeps it nicely up to current speed trends alongside LTE. I couldn't test those features, but with its work mobility focus, it's great to have.
  • Inbuilt wellbeing software: It's not just your mobile that can tell you to stand up and stretch from time to time. The HP Elite Dragonfly has preinstalled HP Wellness software to remind you to stop staring from time to time. I couldn't test whether it was work-focused only, or indeed if it would snitch on you if you were in the middle of a Friends streaming marathon. Although in that case, you probably should get up and stretch anyway.

HP Elite Dragonfly laptop

HP Elite Dragonfly: Early downsides

  • It's only 8th generation Intel: For all its other cutting edge features, the first generation of HP Elite Dragonfly laptops will run on 8th generation Intel Core processors. That's to ensure availability of Intel's vPro platform, with HP executives telling me that the plan should be to see newer processors later down the line. It's still an odd decision given when the HP Elite Dragonfly is set to go on sale.
  • No colour choice: I'll be honest and say I love the blue tone of the Elite Dragonfly, but tastes can vary. Not choices, however, because the Elite Dragonfly is only made in Dragonfly Blue for now.
  • Plays in the premium price space: The HP Elite Dragonfly is very much an aspirational product, with a price point to match.

The HP Elite Dragonfly will start shipping in Australia from November, with pricing starting from $2,699. You can safely expect to pay more of course if you want the larger battery or expanded storage options.

Alex Kidman travelled to Tokyo as a guest of HP.

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