Commercial laptops aren’t always known for their looks, with brands like Lenovo’s Thinkpad line prizing boxy, plain designs that emphasize power over style. But in late 2019, HP released the HP Elite Dragonfly, a slick business convertible that we dubbed the “Anti-Thinkpad” thanks to its ability to deliver performance while still keeping an attractive exterior.
|HP Elite Dragonfly Gen 2||HP Elite Dragonfly Max||HP Elite Folio|
|CPU||Up to 11th Gen Core i7 U-Series w/vPro||Up to 11th Gen Core i7 U-Series w/VPro||Qualcomm 8cx Gen 2 AC 3.15GHz|
|Memory||Up to 32GB LPDDR4||Up to 32GB LPDDR4||Up to 16GB LPDDR4x|
|Storage||Up to 2TB M.2 SSD||Up to 2TB M.2 SSD||Up to 512GB M.2 SSD|
|Display||Up to 13.3 inch 3840 x 2160 touchscreen||13.3 inch 1920 x 1080 HP Sure View IPS touchscreen||13.5 inch 1920 x 1080 3:2 touchscreen|
|Connectivity||Intel Wi-Fi 6, Optional 5G Modem||Intel WI-Fi 6, Optional 5G Modem||Intel Wi-Fi 6, Optional 5G Modem|
|Release Date||January 2021||January 2021||February 2021|
Now, the Dragonfly brand is back with the HP Elite Dragonfly Gen 2 and the HP Elite Dragonfly Max, both of which have 11th Generation U-series processors. They’re also joined by a new HP Elite Folio, a lighter Qualcomm-based convertible.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Gen 2 maintains the same look as its Intel 8th Generation processor, but upgrades to Intel 11th generation U-series CPUs, with options ranging from Core i3 to Core i7. HP hasn’t released pricing info quite yet, but it’s set to hit stores this month. Aside from the processor update, the Gen 2 also comes with display options up to 3840 x 2160 4K with HDR400. That’s a higher max resolution than was available on the Gen 1, though that laptop’s FHD low power and FHD HP Sure View Reflect screens also return here. All screen options are touch-compatible, though you’ll have to buy a stylus separately if you prefer not to use your finger.
Like the Gen 1, the Gen 2 is thin and light, starting at 2.2 pounds and 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches. New here is an optional 5G modem, though that doesn’t seem to have added to the weight. You’ll also get up to 32GB of LPDDR4 RAM (soldered) and up to 2TB of storage. The laptop’s HP Quiet Keyboard has 1.3mm of key travel, and its included webcam has IR capability for Windows Hello.
The Dragonfly Gen 2 also has Bang & Olufsen audio, plus three microphones and plenty of software-powered noise reduction and audio boost features. HP has yet to make any battery life claims, but the Gen 2 does have fast charging that touts to be able to restore up to 50% of its power in 30 minutes.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max, meanwhile, offers many of the same features as the Gen 2, but with a greater focus on audio and visual fidelity. It’s powered by either an Intel 11th gen U-series i5 or i7 processor, has just one display option that uses an FHD HP Sure View IPS touch screen, comes with either 16GB or 32GB of LPDDR4 RAM (soldered), and can accommodate storage up to 2TB.
The Max’s keyboard and chassis are the same as the Gen 2, as its battery and optional 5G modem. The Max is a little heavier than the Gen 2, however, starting at 2.5 pounds. That probably has to do with its special input devices.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max comes with 4 microphones (with AI audio optimization), plus a 5 MP + IR camera and what HP is calling an “eye ease display,” meaning it filters out blue light. HP has yet to give too much detail into how the Max stands out from the Gen 2, but we’re guessing that these advertised extras mean it was built with video calling in mind. Like the HP Elite Dragonfly Gen 2, it’s also set to come out this month, though pricing info isn’t available yet.
If you want a similar HP convertible experience but don’t need to be operating strictly at the high end, the HP Elite Folio 13.5 inch is also getting a refresh later this February, though pricing details aren’t available yet.
Like the HP Elite Dragonfly series, the Elite Folio can transform to operate either as a laptop or a tablet, but also has the unique ability to pull the screen forward to rest at an angle just between the touchpad and keyboard. It’s also fan-less, but in exchange for these features, you’ll be operating on mobile hardware.
The Elite Folio runs off a Qualcomm 8xc Gen 2 AC 3.15GHz processor with up to 16GB of LPDDR4x soldered memory. It has SSD storage up to 512GB, and in its most obvious improvement over a mobile device, has a 13.5 inch 1920 x 1080 touchscreen. It is 11.8 x 9 x 0.6 inches large and starts at 2.85 pounds, and like the Dragonfly options listed here, can come with an optional 5G modem.
The Elite Folio also has an integrated storage and charging cradle designed for the HP Elite Slim Active Pen, though HP has yet to say whether the pen comes with the system.