HP Elite Dragonfly G3 review: Get this if you’re sick of bad laptop webcams

This HP notebook has a great webcam and even better battery life

HP Elite Dragonfly G3
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 may not be the most powerful notebook on the market, but it has impressive power efficiency. Plus, its 5MP webcam, 3:2 aspect ratio, and clicky keyboard make it a great productivity companion.

Pros

  • +

    Impressive battery life

  • +

    Great webcam

  • +

    Spacious touchpad

  • +

    Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • -

    Middling performance

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HP Elite Dragonfly G3 specs

Price: $3,295 (as tested)

CPU: Intel Core i7-1265U vPRo

GPU: Intel Iris Xe graphics 

RAM: 16GB

Storage: 512GB SSD

Display: 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixel display 

Battery: 14:20

Size: 11.7 x 8.6 x 0.64 inches 

Weight: 2.2 pounds

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is the third-generation entry of the well-received Dragonfly line — and man, these laptops just keep getting better. 

The touchpad is more spacious, it packs new 12th Gen Intel processors, and sports a new 3:2 aspect ratio for a taller display and more screen real estate. Woo-hoo!

Another selling point worth mentioning is the Elite Dragonfly G3’s 5MP webcam. We’re nearing the end of 2022 and I can’t believe that a 5MP shooter is a standout feature at this point — I thought the laptop industry would be miles ahead in this territory by now, but alas, anything better than 720p is seemingly a rare treat.

As a cherry on top, the Elite Dragonfly G3 has superior battery life, far surpassing the 10-hour runtime of the average premium laptop. As such, if you’re an on-the-go busy bee who often finds themselves video conferencing with friends, family members, and colleagues while traveling from A to B, the Dragonfly G3 is worthy of being on your shortlist. 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 review (Image credit: Future)

However, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. The Elite Dragonfly G3 is up against some serious competition from Dell and Acer. When it comes to performance, it’s certainly fierce. But can it take down its similarly priced rivals? Read on to find out if the Elite Dragonfly G3 is stellar enough to land on our best HP laptops page — and even our best overall laptops page

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 price and configuration options 

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 has a wealth of configurations to choose from, but you’ll have to spend about $2,000 for the least-expensive model. The cheapest variant, with a price tag of $1,861 at HP.com (opens in new tab), comes with an Intel Core i5-1235U CPU, 16GB of RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics, a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, a 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixel, 400-nit display, and Windows 11 Pro.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

Priced at $3,295, our review unit adds the following upgrades: an Intel Core i7-1265U vPro CPU and 512GB of SSD storage.

A maxed-out configuration is packed with an Intel Core i7-1265U vPro processor, 32GB of RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 1TB of SSD storage, a 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixel, 1,000-nit display, 5G support, and a near-field communication module (lets you quickly and wirelessly exchange data between compatible devices). How much is it? A whopping $3,999!

According to HP’s website, the Elite Dragonfly G3 is poised to ship on Dec. 8, 2022, so you’ll get it just in time for the holidays.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 design 

The ultra-futuristic insignia on the lid is composed of four lustrous, reflective bold lines that use negative-space art to spell “HP,” setting the tone for this modern, avante-garde notebook. Our Elite Dragonfly G3 review unit is wrapped in a refined, understated Slate Blue hue that is so dusky, it looks closer to black than cobalt.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

Keep a microfiber cloth handy, though. This lid attracts fingerprints like nobody’s business.

Open the lid and you’ll find that the gleaming vibes from the logo are mirrored on the deck. The touchpad is framed by a shiny, polished trim. And let me tell you — this touchpad feels divine. Hey, HP! Did you weave mulberry silk into this or something?

Above the island-style keyboard, there’s a thin strip that happens to be a Bang & Olufsen-tuned speaker grille. Flip the laptop upside down and you’ll find two elongated feet, which help keep the laptop slightly elevated to prevent surfaces from suffocating the vent on its underside.

The Elite Dragonfly G3 is a featherweight notebook, weighing just 2.2 pounds. It has dimensions of 11.7 x 8.6 x 0.64 inches. It’s lighter than its rivals, the Acer Swift 5 (12.2 x 8.4 x 0.59 inches, 2.65 pounds) and the Dell XPS 13 Plus (11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches, 2.7 pounds), but it’s slighter thicker. 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 ports 

On the left side of the HP Elite Dragonfly G3, you'll find an HDMI port, a nano SIM slot, and a USB4 Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port. The right side features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a drop-jaw USB Type-A port, a Kensington lock slot, and another USB4 Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port. 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

As you can see, the HP notebook has a satisfactory selection of connection options, but if it’s missing something, check out our best USB Type-C hubs to expand your access to the I/O ports you need. 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 display

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 sports a 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixel display that is as sharp as a precocious child. Thanks to its 3:2 ratio, the display is taller than you’d expect, offering more screen real estate for long-form articles and other content that benefit from extra vertical space.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

I watched the Black Adam trailer on YouTube, and I was impressed with the display’s palpability and tangibility of textures — so much so that I was almost certain that the hooded cape Dwayne Johnson wore would feel burlap if I touched it in real life. The pores on Johnson’s face were striking and conspicuous. If I didn’t have a life, I’d be able to count each pore individually — that’s how distinct they are on this display. As fiery explosions graced the screen and voltaic, electrifying powers emanated from someone’s hands, I was impressed with the rich yellow, red, and blue hues.

Although the display looked pretty damn good in my eyes, the numbers from our lab say that the Elite Dragonfly G3 falls short of its rivals. According to our colorimeter, the Elite Dragonfly G3 only covered 80.2% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which falters behind the 88.7% color-coverage score of the average premium laptop. The Acer Swift 3 came out on top with a score of 93.3%. With a score of 84.2%, the Dell XPS 13 Plus didn’t beat the Acer, but it surpassed the HP. Sorry, Elite Dragonfly G3. Better luck next time.

As advertised, our review unit comes with a 400-nit display, so it’s no surprise that the Elite Dragonfly G3 could only muster a brightness average of 370 nits (you can upgrade the brightness to 1,000 nits if it tickles your fancy). Save for the Dell XPS 13 Plus, which has a disappointing 366-nit display, the Elite Dragonfly G3 got eclipsed by the Swift 3’s 457-nit display and the 426-nit screen of the average premium laptop.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

With a 0.3 Delta-E score (closer to 0 is better), the Elite Dragonfly G3 also suffered in our color-accuracy tests. The Acer Swift 5 (0.23), Dell XPS 13 Plus (0.21), and the average premium laptop (0.25) all delivered better color-accuracy scores. Womp, womp, womp! 

It’s also worth noting that the display on our review unit isn’t a touchscreen, but there is a configuration with one if interactive screens are your cup of tea.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 audio 

If music was edible, the sounds that emanated from the Bang & Olufsen-tuned speaker would be delicious. I fired up “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding on Spotify, and first of all, the amplification on the Elite Dragonfly G3 is, well, elite. If you’re streaming a TV show with a friend, significant other, or whomever, everyone will hear everything loud and clear — no captions needed.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

Although the up-firing speaker can get really loud, at max volume, it can sound slightly tinny. I’m not complaining, though, because the highest volume setting nearly blew my ears out anyway. Secondly, when the sound was set at a comfortable listening level, Ellie’s smooth, funky vocals were well-balanced with the synth-pop instrumentals in the background. 

I opened HP Audio Control to see if I could tweak the sound to my liking. The app has four presets to choose from: Auto, Music, Movie, and Voice. I didn’t notice any major differences between Music and Auto, but while listening to “Love Me Like You Do,” I preferred them over Movie and Voice. Ellie’s voice sounded richer, more sultry, and more prominent while the presets seemed to silken the intimate yet grandiose melody.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 keyboard and touchpad 

The Elite Dragonfly G3 has an island-style keyboard with well-contrasted white characters and symbols superimposed on the chiclet-style keys. It has a white backlight that has three levels of brightness and a fingerprint reader between the Alt and arrow keys on the bottom-right corner of the keyboard.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

On the 10FastFingers.com typing test, I reached an 88 word-per-minute average, which aligns with my typical 85-87 wpm typing speed. HP always nails it when it comes to their keyboards and the Elite Dragonfly G3 is no different. The keys are quiet, but still provide springy and tactile feedback. If a psycho broke into my house (knock on wood), and the Elite Dragonfly G3 is all I had with me, I’d be pretty confident that I could type frantic emails — beseeching others for their help — without outing myself.

As mentioned, the Elite Dragonfly G3’s touchpad feels divine with its silky-smooth texture. The touchpad is also quite large and spacious for a 13.5-inch laptop. It also responded well to Windows 11 gestures, including three-finger tabbing and two-finger scrolling.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 performance 

The Elite Dragonfly G3, packed with an Intel Core i7-1265U vPro CPU and 16GB of RAM, didn’t even break a sweat after I tried to oppress it with an avalanche of 35 Google Chrome tabs — three of which were playing YouTube videos simultaneously. As such, if you tend to flood your browser with a mountain of tabs, and you don’t care to close any of them, the Elite Dragonfly G3 will fare just fine with your workload. 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

On the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance benchmark, Elite Dragonfly G3 achieved a multi-core score of 6,042. This beats the average premium laptop (6,152), but couldn’t surpass the Intel Core i7-1260P CPU inside the Acer Swift 5 (9,859) and Dell XPS 13 Plus (10,621). 

To be fair, the Elite Dragonfly G3 sports a U-series chip while the Dell and Acer laptops are outfitted with a P-series chip. The latter was designed to deliver high performance while the former was created for high efficiency. In other words, the Elite Dragonfly G3 may not have a beastly processor, but its battery life should knock its rivals out of the water (stay tuned for the battery life section). That being said, I won't ding the Elite Dragonfly G3 for its middling performance.

The Elite Dragonfly G3 took 13 minutes and 9 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, which is slower than the average premium laptop (9:49). Unsurprisingly, the Swift 5 (7:36) and XPS 13 Plus (8:17) whooped the HP’s butt.

 On the file transfer test, the Elite Dragonfly G3’s 512GB SSD took 23 seconds to copy 25GB of data, which translates to a rate of 1,157,23 megabytes per second (MBps). Unfortunately, this is slower than the average premium laptop (1,194.7 MBps), the Swift 5’s 1TB SSD (1,673), and the XPS 13 Plus’ 512GB SSD (1,502). 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 graphics and gaming 

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3, like its rivals, is outfitted with Intel Iris Xe graphics. Is it ideal for gaming? Not at all, but for kicks and giggles, let’s see how well it performed on our gaming benchmarks.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

On the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm test, the Elite Dragonfly G3 produced 25 frames per second. This is below the average premium laptop’s 48 fps average (which isn’t as bad as you think considering laptops with discrete graphics skew this figure). The HP notebook beat the XPS 13 Plus (23 fps), but couldn’t pull a win against the Acer Swift 5 (26 fps).

On the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 achieved a score of 4,142, which sinks beneath the average premium laptop (7,670), the Acer Swift 5 (5,189), and the Dell XPS Plus (4,944).

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 battery life 

You may have been groaning at the Elite Dragonfly G3’s less-than-impressive CPU performance, but here’s where the U-series chip shines: battery life. 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

Believe it or not, the Elite Dragonfly G3 lasted a whopping 14 hours and 20 minutes on the  Laptop Mag battery life test, which involves surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. Can I get a hallelujah for high-efficiency chips? The Swift 5, despite having an impressive runtime, couldn’t outsurvive the HP notebook (11:24). As for the Dell XPS 13 Plus, I don’t even want to talk about it. Seven hours and 35 minutes? That’s it? Boo!

With that kind of battery life, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 just squeezes onto our list of laptops with the best battery life.  

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 webcam 

Did hell freeze over? Are pigs flying? I actually like the 5MP camera on the Elite Dragonfly G3. It picked up on the slight redness on my cheeks after using an irritating skin care product. My curls look defined instead of looking like a blurry, fuzzy mess. It also renders colors quite well, recreating my burgundy-and-white t-shirt and ruby-red curtains quite well.

It’s not as great as an external webcam, though, so be sure to peruse our best webcams page for sharper shooters. 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 heat 

After the HP convertible streamed a 15-minute, 1080p video, the Elite Dragonfly G3’s underside climbed to 98 degrees Fahrenheit, which surpasses our 95-degree comfort threshold. However, the touchpad and keyboard center managed to hover below that mark with temperatures of 81 degrees and 90 degrees. The hottest location on the Elite Dragonfly G3 is a region on the underside near the vents, climbing up to a whopping 104 degrees.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 software and warranty 

The Elite Dragonfly G3 comes with a gaggle of HP-branded apps. For example, HP Support Assistant offers a library of quick repairs and diagnostics, a dashboard that keeps track of the laptop’s health, and a pipeline to HP’s Virtual Agent. You can even manage your HP devices in this hub.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 (Image credit: Future)

The HP Power Manager tracks your battery’s health while the myHP app lets you program the keyboard to your liking. HP Easy Clean lets you temporarily disable your laptop so you can give it a good wipe down. There are plenty more HP-branded apps, but for the sake of brevity, let’s move on to Windows apps.

Fortunately, there isn’t too much bloatware. You’ll find your standard fare of Windows 11 apps, including Solitaire Collection, Weather, Phone Link, Paint, and Sticky Notes.

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how HP performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Laptop Brands ranking.

Bottom line 

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is a power-efficient gem with a lightweight, portable form factor, a decent webcam, and a battery runtime that climbs above 14 hours!=,

Keep in mind, though, that according to its Geekbench 5.4 score, it’s not a beastly powerhouse compared to the likes of the Dell XPS 13 Plus and the Acer Swift 5. However, because those two laptops are such titans, they’re not as energy efficient as the Elite Dragonfly G3. As such, if battery runtime is more important to you than having a performance monster, the HP notebook is an excellent choice.

Who is the Elite Dragonfly G3 for? As stated at the outset, this laptop is perfect for on-the-go professionals who’d benefit from having a decent, 5MP shooter because they often take video calls during their commute. Even if videoconferencing is infrequent for you or you work from home, the HP notebook is an ideal companion that will give you an extra edge in your productivity, thanks to its clicky keyboard, spacious touchpad, and tall 3:2 aspect ratio.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 needs a bit more power before it lands on our best laptops page, but it certainly deserves a spot on best HP laptops and laptops with the best battery life.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!