FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
Hands-on review: HP Elite Dragonfly G1
Tue, 14th Jan 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Over this Yuletide break, I've grown very fond of HP's Elitebook Dragonfly G1. HP claims it is the world's lightest business convertible notebook, weighing in at under 1kg. I have an inkling that the projected 24.5-hour battery life will be causing circles under many reviewers' eyes in the coming days.

There is a lot to rave about with the Dragonfly, from the Bang - Olufsen speakers to the Dragonfly blue colour scheme or the stylus that attaches magnetically. It boasts security features that will have those of you who have sensitive data resting a lot more easily.

HP has thought of everything, from the security features included with the Intel VPro 8th Gen i7 CPU through to the slider that disables your webcam.

After only a few days of use, the Dragonfly G1 has insinuated itself into my daily routine, while my usual laptop sits forlornly to one side, gathering dust.

The Dragonfly G1, with its 8th Generation Intel Core i7 vPro chipset is gosh-darned speedy and responsive and enables you to have a “layered” approach to security.

I opted to have a password upon startup (or a fingerprint), followed by a passphrase, facial recognition or fingerprint at login. I can also set up third-party authentication, requiring another device. All this is made possible by the features accompanying Intel's Core i7 vPro CPU.

The first thing one notices is the very lightweight (under 1kg) build, followed by the exceptionally clear 1000nit monitor with extremely narrow bezels at the sides. I'm not missing my normal 15-inch monitor at all.

This screen is sharp, clear and incredibly responsive. Whether using finger, stylus or mouse, movement is positive and not at all wishy-washy. It rates as the best touch-sensitive experience I've had with any device.

Setting up these days is a doddle. So far, the most time-consuming part of my setup was the interminably long five seconds I spent synching the stylus with the Dragonfly. I'll never get those five seconds back.

The name “Dragonfly” is a reference to the “dragonfly blue” colour scheme. I like to think that it's also reminiscent of lightness and speed. The colour scheme sets this 2-in-1 apart and I like the way it seems to respond to changes in the light, seemingly darkening and lightening up depending on the ambience. The night settings will ensure your eyes won't be overwhelmed with that sleep-stealing blue light.

Turning the Dragonfly around and having a peek, one can tell that while designed for those corporate dragons who are always on the fly, HP haven't skimped when it comes to accessibility. I counted two USB-C powered ports, one USB 3, one HDMI/digital port and a headphone jack. Dang, I almost forgot the SIM slot. In other words, you'll be taking your office with you when on the go, and if you have cell-coverage and plenty of data, you can stay connected. The plethora of ports means that you can also leave that USB hub behind at the office.

The smaller screen is very comfortable to work with, and the keyboard is a delight. The keys seem to know where my fingers want to be, with the result that I'm 100% accurate.  If I find the keyboard isn't what I need to think with, I simply flip my screen into tablet mode. I carry on with the stylus, adding the occasional hand-made graphics, to impress my audience.

As I was typing, one of the keys dislodged from the keyboard. Before I could tear out what remains of my hair, I managed to reseat it very easily.

The HP G3 stylus magnetically attaches to the Dragonfly, meaning an end to my normal routine of searching my surroundings to locate it. I am still getting used to the variety of ways I can choose to interact with the Dragonfly. Using the stylus as a proof-reading tool is already coming in handy.

If you're someone who likes to annotate on the fly, you'll be making consistent use, as will designers and artists.

The integrated security features are sure to impress the security-conscious user. The webcam boasts a little slider that stops people from hacking you via the inbuilt camera, through the features built into the Intel Core i7 vPro, your security is paramount. I used the suggested three methods of logging in. Just as well, because it's very difficult to forget your face or fingerprint. Sadly, passwords tend to be much more porous.

As the website states:
“Security features create an always-on, always-acting, resilient defense (sic). From the BIOS to the browser, above and below the OS, these” constantly evolving solutions help protect your PC from threats.

The Dragonfly Elite user will value lightweight solutions with plenty of power to keep you working.

You will be a constant user of tools like Microsoft One Note. Like me, you'll most likely be a highly visual thinker, constantly reaching for the stylus to sketch out your latest ideas.

Security will be high on your agenda and you value being able to work when and where you need to. Sometimes you'll use your stylus as a mouse or even a presentation tool.

Finally, you're most likely someone who likes writing or drawing when you're thinking. With a price sitting around $4,400, the Dragonfly G1 EliteBook is a powerful, versatile and feature-packed 2-in-one which will appeal to users who value power, communication and portability.