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HP Elite Dragonfly (2020): hands-on review

HP's premium business laptop gets even better

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020)
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The latest HP Elite Dragonfly adds 5G and Tile functionality to an already excellent laptop.

For

  • Gorgeous, lightweight design
  • 10th Gen Intel CPU
  • Bright, vivid display
  • A host of security features

As I wrote last year, I was thoroughly impressed by the HP Elite Dragonfly, so much so that it earned 4.5 stars and an Editor’s Choice award. But as taken as I was with the ultralight beauty I was none to pleased about it only having an 8th Gen Intel processor. But thankfully, HP has remedied that glaring issue, announcing a 10th Gen version at CES 2020 along with a host of unexpected, but welcomed features. 

It all but secures the Elite Dragonfly’s place on our best laptops and best business laptops pages.

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020) pricing and configurations

The base model costs [TK] and features a 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor with 16GB of RAM, a 128GB m.2 SATA SSD, a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080, 400-nit display and a 2-cell, 38 watt-hour battery. You can max out the notebook with a Core i7 CPU, a 2TB NMVe PCIe SSD, a 13.3-inch, 4K, 550-nit display and a 4-cell, 56.2 Wh battery for [TK].

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020) design

What can I say? The Dragonfly is just as stunningly gorgeous as when I reviewed a few months ago. The chassis is still made primarily of lovely Dragonfly blue CNC magnesium, which makes it so incredibly light. But this time around, HP is incorporating even more recycled ocean-bound plastics into the design, adding the eco-friendly material to the keyboard in addition to the speaker enclosures. And that magnesium? Approximately 90% of the chassis is made from recycled materials.

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

The 360-degree hinges and still delicately lined with shiny chrome accents which matches the stylized HP logo in the center of the lid. The notebook transitions gracefully from a traditional clamshell, to a tablet, to collaboration mode and back. That’s why the first iteration of the laptop sits on our best 2-in-1 laptops list. 

And at 2.2 pounds, the 12 x 7.8 x 0.6-inch Dragonfly is still one of the lightest laptops on the market. It’s even lighter than the Dell XPS 13 (2.7 pounds, 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.5 inches) and the MacBook Air (2.8-pound, 12 x 8.4 x 0.2~0.6 inches).

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020) durability and security

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

This version of the Dragonfly is just as durable as the previous model. It has passed 19 MIL-SPEC-810G tests meaning that this slim laptop can withstand drops, shock and vibration as well as extreme temperatures and altitudes.

Although it doesn’t have Intel vPro, the Dragonfly still has plenty of security features including there a fingerprint scanner embedded into the right side of the palm rest, you also get an IR camera capable of facial recognition scans for use with Windows Hello logins. The physical switch above the camera also returns so you can close the shutter to guard against potential webcam hijackers. The laptop also features TPM 2.0 technology.

And in case you ever lose your laptop or some sticky-fingered perp steals it, the Dragonfly is the first laptop to be outfitted with a Tile tracker. Yes, the Tile technology that helps you locate your keys is now in your laptop, occupying a spare m.2 slot. 

Once registered with Tile, you can use the mobile app to track your notebook and track where’s it’s been over the past 30 days (with a premium account). You can even set up separation alerts in case you forget the power cord. Best of all, the tracker works whether the laptop is on or off thanks to a small reserve battery.

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020) ports

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

Nothing’s changed on the port front. You still get a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 1 port, a nanoSIM slot, a full HDMI 1.4 port and a headset jack.

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020) display

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

The Dragonfly’s display is still pretty as ever, delivering rich, vibrant color with sharp detail. HP has several displays to choose from such as FHD panels with 400-nits of brightness. A 1080p HP Sure View privacy screen at 1,000 nits or a 4K, 550-nit display.

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020) connectivity

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

Another new addition to the Dragonfly is 5G. It’s the latest premium laptop to offer this feature, affording consumers the much-lauded always-connected experience. 

HP Elite Dragonfly (2020) battery life

Outfitted with a 4-cell, 56 watt hour battery, last year’s Dragonfly lasted 12 hours and 25 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test. With a 10th Gen processor we’re expecting equal or longer battery life depending on the screen and battery size. 

Bottom line

I love speedy service. It only took a couple of months for HP to revamp the Elite Dragonfly in such a way that it basically addresses the few flaws of the original. Not only that, they added functionality that’s both unique and thoughtful. I don’t think there’s a laptop owner out there that doesn’t want a reliable way to track their notebook if it gets lost or stolen. I’m excited to see if this version of the Dragonfly can earn the rare 5-star rating when it comes in for review.