HP has overhauled its Elite Dragonfly with some significant changes, some of which are likely to be welcome in both consumer and business circles, and some of which may be controversial. We got the chance to try out a prototype of the new Elite Dragonfly G3, which isn’t performance-ready but gives us an idea of what the new chassis will look and feel like.
Put this next to the various Elite Dragonfly models we’ve tested in the past, and you’ll have no trouble telling the difference. The main thing that stands out is the display. The Dragonfly line is finally going the way of the Specter x360, adopting the 3:2 aspect ratio. It’s larger than a 16:9 panel, giving you more room to multitask with less scrolling, and there’s also extra room for a larger touchpad. The panel on this unit is only 1920 x 1280, but it’s quite sweet and produces a bright image.
You won’t necessarily see the other big change right away, but it’s one that I’m actually even more excited about. HP even made the keys bigger than on the previous Dragonfly. I already really liked the G2’s keyboard, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal for me, but this new keyboard is actually incredible. I really notice the difference. Not only do I get much faster typing speeds than usual, but I make almost no mistakes (which is quite unusual for me). I’m really not looking forward to going back to my typical laptop keyboards. Whatever HP did here, it’s a godsend.
Of course, the inside also took a beating. The new G3 comes with 12th-generation processors, up to 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of storage. There’s now a USB-C port on both sides, making charging a little less of a hassle. And the fingerprint reader and power button have both been moved to the keyboard, making them both fairly easy to reach (and, in the case of the power button, less likely to be accidentally pressed).
But I’m not quite sold on some of the chassis changes. First, the Dragonfly G3 is no longer a convertible – it’s just a clamshell. Lots of lines go the way of the clamshell between manufacturers, so I assume I’m in the minority here, but I enjoy 2-in-1 laptops, and the usefulness of the touchscreen is less apparent to me in a clamshell- form factor .
In addition, the color options are more limited. Previous Dragonfly units have come in really beautiful Dragonfly Blue and sophisticated Matte Black tones, but this model doesn’t offer that – Natural Silver and darker Slate Blue are the options. While I haven’t seen a Slate Blue chassis, the Natural Silver looks like laptop fodder. One of my favorite things about the Dragonfly in the past was its unique color and finish. This silver unit looks more like an average Elitebook than any previous Dragonfly I’ve reviewed.
But Slate Blue might be fun, and I’m sure color options aren’t the most important thing for all sorts of business customers. We’ll have more to say about this device when it hits the shelves in the coming months and when the price is announced.