HP’s new Elite Dragonfly business laptop has mass appeal

HP’s latest EliteBook, the Elite Dragonfly, doesn’t look like a business laptop. It comes in a shade of deep blue, and its lightweight magnesium build looks and feels more like a premium consumer laptop than something made for the commercial industry.

The 13.3-inch Elite Dragonfly weighs less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). It’s far lighter than HP’s previous EliteBooks, light enough to carry with one hand. HP is clearly trying to take on other feather-light competitors like the LG Gram. And even though it doesn’t weight much, the machine doesn’t feel cheap, and it’s stuffed with ports and features.

This is a 2-in-1 laptop, so it can bend 360 degrees, in case you want to use it as a tablet or write on its display. It supports active styluses, but they’re sold separately. Around its sides, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 ports (either of which can charge the laptop), a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, an HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Kensington lock. Its 720p webcam sits above the display (complete with a hardware shutter for privacy), and it supports Windows Hello. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the palm rest, if you want more than one method of authentication at your disposal.

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The Elite Dragonfly has an 8th Gen Intel Core U-series vPro processor that, according to Intel, is “enterprise class, but consumer-friendly.” According to its spec sheet, the range of CPUs available to pick from starts with the Intel Core i3-8145U at the low end to the Intel Core i7-8565U, though all options have Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated graphics. This machine can be configured with up to 16GB of dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM, and 2TB of NVMe SSD storage, though the entry model ships 8GB of RAM and a slower 128GB M.2 SATA drive.

Other features include support for the recently launched Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), which allows for 5x faster internet speeds than 802.11ac. You can opt for 4G LTE if you want; HP has added 4×4 antennas to that model (two on the top bezel of the display and two surrounding the palm rest), which should vastly improve transfer speeds compared to the 2×2 antenna arrangement on the HP EliteBook x360 1030, its previous model.

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