HP Elite Dragonfly Max Review

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In this article, I give you my HP Elite Dragonfly Max review with specs included. You might say oh boring business laptops but HP’s elites have a way of being a little bit sexy and the original dragonfly really captivated a lot of those of you who watched that review I mean it was super light it was very premium and it came in the most fetching yet subdued version of blue so this time when hp finally refreshed the line there is a Dragonfly G2 and then there’s the Max which despite the name is not any bigger.

There’s a couple of add-ons here that you could probably almost spec out for the regular G2 but you might as well just get them bundled here is the idea.

So what are the differences with the max? You get the privacy screen, HP’s sure view reflect screen included the standard and otherwise it’s an option for the regular G2 Dragonfly and it’s their latest generation and they do get better and better.

I mean, they went from when privacy screens first came out to being atrocious. Honestly, you couldn’t see it very well either let alone other people trying to see your screen. I’ll talk a little bit more about the display in-depth but again.

There are four microphones instead of I think it’s three on the G2. You get an additional world-facing microphone because this thing is all about the Zoom call.

The other upgrade is a five-megapixel webcam instead of the usual 720p. So for those who do spend a lot of time video conferencing and you want it to look sharper well it’s there for you. In terms of the colors and the noise levels, they’re still not superb but it’s a noticeable improvement certainly over a standard webcam which is typically what you would call a potato cameo.

The last thing is the color. This is called a sparkling black finish same magnesium alloy casing same 2,49 pounds which is 1,13 kilograms. So, very light, very rigid, nicely built, but I guess they figure for this is the executive tier you might want to be a little more low-key, and even the kind of chill but pretty blue might be a little too out there for some executives I don’t know I’ll leave that one up to you.

The G2 starts around two thousand dollars, the max model starts around twenty-four hundred dollars because you’re getting some of the add-ons included with that one. This is a 360-degree convertible, think of it as the nobbling alternative to the HP Spectre x360 no gold trim no kind of out there colors that sort of thing it supports obviously touch this is a convertible but also Wacom AES 2.0 pen which hp sells and there are other Wacom AES 2.0 pens on the market for those who are note-taking fans.

The ports on this are pretty decent. We have two thunderbolt 4 ports one of one of them you will use for charging a USB a port hdmi 2.0 b a headphone jack. No room for an sd card slot alas but aha there is a nano sim card slot which is an ejecting with your finger kind.

You just poke it in and pops out so no having to go find a paper clip or a pokey tool to get to the sim card slot that’s cool. So 5g is optional it’s a snapdragon x55 modem which of course also does 4g lte. So this is mid-band and low band it is not millimeter wave.

As you might guess that high-resolution webcam also is a windows hello ir camera and there’s a fingerprint scanner as well. And you have things like hp’s bios protect and recovery tools and all that sort of thing making it enterprise friendly to say the least.

And obviously if you’re into that privacy screen and all that sort of thing you probably care about all the security bells and whistles that this laptop offers. Back to that privacy screen again. It’s normally 1000 nits that’s privacy screens are always high knit rating or brightness rating and that’s what they need to do their thing.

So you can turn it on and off with the f2 key but either way there’s always going to be a privacy lens shall we. Say it’s an ips full hd display that’s your only resolution option here on this 13.3-inch standard 16 16 by 9 aspect ratio display. But yeah even if it’s turned off you’ll notice that if you go off-angle it gets dim looking.

If you go more than about four feet away from it straight back it starts to get dim. Turn on the privacy screen feature and it gets even harder to see. It’s very effective. The way that i would describe it for those of you who do wear glasses like me is it’s sort of like looking through corrective lenses where there’s an obvious center section where everything is colorful and sharp and great looking and outside of that range not so much.

If you are sitting directly in front of it colors are pleasing the color gamut is good contrast is actually good and everything is pretty readable. So i have to say as privacy screens go it’s great. If you don’t want the privacy screen again there’s the g2.

And with the g2 you have the option of a standard IPS display which has a reasonable brightness level. Or a 4k display as well which might be overkill for 13.3 inches but i know some of you crave that. That’s also ips. Inside we have intel core i7 11th gen.

You can get vpro if you want an intel iris xc graphics. With the g2 you can go i3 i5 i7 so you do have various options throughout the dragonfly 2021 line. And ram is soldered on its ddr4 low power and fast enough ram. So you can get with 16 or 32 gigs of ram.

And you have an m.2 nvme SSD slot full height. Get anywhere from 5 12 gigs to 2 terabytes with the max model and that’s upgradeable if you want to change it yourself or more likely your it department. Speaking of your it department they expect these things to be openable and fixable.

So unlike the spectre line for the consumer and some of the envies and stuff you don’t have to pull off rubber feet carefully and all that it just has standard screws on the bottom to make the internals accessible. Performance on this is typical for an intel 11th gen ultrabook but it’s not nearly the leader of the pack.

It’s a little slower. I would say because they obviously tune the fans and the cooling system and they have their ai system that can actually detect it’s on your lap and try not to make it as hot and all that sort of thing. It’s tuned towards being quiet.

This is not a laptop that is going to annoy you with the fan noise to be sure. I mean it’s okay it’s fine it’s not like oh my god this is a useless doorstop or something like that. It’s just not going to be at the higher range of what you see in intel 11th jet ultrabooks.

But for those who value cool and quiet that it does certainly. Another selling point on this is the keyboard. The keyboard is to die for. It’s not that it’s really particularly deep travel it’s not it is so tactile and springy and cushy yet firm and all of those things.

You know i think hp has been chasing the ThinkPad line for a long time to up the keyboard quality and surpass them. And i think they finally have. I mean this is a typist stream. Trackpad is large it’s good it’s glass and Microsoft precision so no complaints with the trackpad whatsoever either.

And the keyboard is backlit in white. There is no eraser stick pointer which hp does on some of their elites again to cater to the ThinkPad crowd who might be switching over. For speakers on this we have four speakers they are stereo sounding.

Two are user-facing though that’s relative to the position you’re using it in being a convertible yeah. And it better than average audio certainly for a 13-inch ultrabook. It’s not going to wow you with its bass but it’s pretty loud and certainly is clear.

And again the four microphones for a better web conferencing experience so the audio is pretty good on this and the world-facing microphones do help with the noise cancelling. The laptop is a 56 watt-hour battery which is about as big as you’re going to see in a 13-inch ultrabook.

And a 65 watt fast charger that can go from zero to 50 percent full in 30 minutes. And the 50 to 100 is always slower with laptops as it slows down the charge and doesn’t want to toast the battery. Battery life on this is pretty good.

Again going with the quiet cool running nature of the laptop we easily did 10 hours on this setting the display at 150 nits of brightness and doing productivity web conferencing a little bit of photoshop those sorts of tasks right there. So pretty decent on that respect too.

And obviously if you tried harder or did lighter tasks you could get even longer battery life. And that’s with the 5g module enabled by the way which does you know impact battery life certainly. Bottom cover here ventilation two of the speakers are over here under these grilles.

And to take this off is just five torx t5 screws and then a little bit of a pry tool or suction cup because it does have some pretty strong plastic clips. By the way hp uses ocean-bound recycled plastics to be good to the environment. That’s the underside.

And magnesium alloy casing so that’s what you got there. And here we have just like many ultrabooks it’s mostly battery inside. There’s the two speakers. The m.2 SSD is under this heat shield cover right over here. We do have the optional 5g module so there’s that with many antennas connected to it.

The wi-fi card is however soldered on and here’s where it is and there are the two antenna leads for it. Ram is soldered on as well so that’s about all you’re looking at here other than basic service like cleaning the fans and all that sort of thing. So that’s the hp dragonfly max it’s back and it’s been maxed.

And also there is the g2 available for those who like blue and don’t want the privacy screen or the higher resolution webcam. It’s very nice it’s very rigid it’s very well built it has a reasonable amount of ports a keyboard to die for and if you need the privacy screen it is a very good job. I mean what are the cons there’s no sd card slot and it’s expensive.

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HP Elite Dragonfly Max
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    Performance - 96%
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    Price - 95%
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    Value - 96%