HP Elite Dragonfly Folio vs HP Elite Dragonfly G3: What’s the better business laptop?

HP Elite Dragonfly Folio vs HP Elite Dragonfly G3: What’s the better business laptop?

HP’s Elite Dragonfly lineup is where the company puts the cream of the crop of business laptops, and in 2022, the company changed some things up. In previous generations, the Elite Dragonfly was a convertible with a 16:9 display, but the Elite Dragonfly G3 is a clamshell, and it has a 3:2 display. We also got the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook if you wanted a convertible without Windows, but now, we also have a proper convertible. The HP Elite Dragonfly Folio is a convertible with HP’s unique “folio” design, and it shares a lot with the standard Elite Dragonfly G3 in terms of specs.

XDA VIDEO OF THE DAY

If you’re trying to choose between these two laptops, we’re here to help, and we’re going to be comparing them across a few categories. The biggest differences are really in the design and display, so that’s what we’ll focus on the most. So let’s get right into it.

Navigate this article:

HP Elite Dragonfly Folio vs HP Elite Dragonfly G3: Specs

HP Elite Dragonfly Folio G3 HP Elite Dragonfly G3
CPU
  • Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 U-series (optional vPro)
  • Intel Core i5-1235U (up to 4.4GHz, 10 cores, 12 threads, 12MB cache)
  • Intel Core i5-1245U vPro (up to 4.4GHz, 10 cores, 12 threads, 12MB cache)
  • Intel Core i7-1255U (up to 4.7GHz, 10 cores, 12 threads, 12MB cache)
  • Intel Core i7-1265U vPro (up to 4.8GHz, 10 cores, 12 threads, 12MB cache)
Graphics
  • Intel Iris Xe
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics (up to 96 EUs)
Display
  • 13.5-inch WUXGA+ (1920 x 1080) IPS, touch, 400 nits, 100% sRGB, Corning Gorilla Glass 7
  • 13.5-inch WUXGA+ (1920 x 1080) IPS, touch, HP Sure View Reflect, 1,000 nits, 100% sRGB, Corning Gorilla Glass 7
  • 13.5-inch 3K2K (3000 x 2000) OLED, touch, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3, Corning Gorilla Glass 7
  • 13.5-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1280) IPS, 400 nits
  • 13.5-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1280) IPS, touch, 400 nits
  • 13.5-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1280) IPS, touch, anti-glare, 400 nits
  • 13.5-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1280) IPS, HP Sure View Reflect, 1000 nits
  • 13.5-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1280) IPS, HP Sure View Reflect, touch, 1000 nits
  • 13.5-inch 3K2K (3000 x 2000) OLED, touch, 400 nits, anti-reflective
Storage
  • Up to 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 TLC SSD
  • Up to 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 TLC self-encrypted SSD
  • Up to 512 GB PCIe NVMe Value M.2 SSD
  • 256GB PCIe SSD
  • 256GB PCIe TLC SSD
  • 256GB self-encrypted PCIe TLC SSD
  • 512GB PCIe SSD
  • 512GB PCIe TLC SSD
  • 512GB self-encrypted PCIe TLC SSD
  • 1TB PCIe TLC SSD
  • 2TB PCIe TLC SSD
RAM
  • Up to 32GB LPDDR5
  • 16GB LPDDR5
  • 32GB LPDDR5
Battery
  • 56Whr battery (53.2Whr usable)
  • 4-cell 45WHr battery
  • 6-cell 68WHr battery
Ports
  • 2 USB-C Thunderbolt 4
  • 3.5mm combo audio jack
  • Nano SIM (optional)
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports
  • 1 USB Type-A port (also used for charging)
  • HDMI 2.0
  • 3.5mm combo audio jack
  • Nano SIM slot (optional)
Audio
  • Quad speakers with discrete amp, audio by B&O
  • Premium speakers (up to 78 dB) with discrete amplifiers, audio by B&O
Camera
  • 8MP webcam with HP Presence
  • 5MP webcam with HP Presence and privacy shutter
Windows Hello
  • IR webcam
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint sensor
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Optional: 4G LTE or 5G cellular
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2×2)
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Optional: NFC
  • Optional: 4G LTE or 5G cellular
Color
  • Black
  • Natural Silver
  • Slate Blue
Size (WxDxH)
  • 296.4 × 234.2 × 17.8mm (11.67 x 9.22 x 0.7 inches)
  • 297.4 × 220.4 × 16.4mm (11.71 × 8.68 × 0.65 inches)
Weight
  • Starts at 1.4kg (3.09 lb)
  • Starts at 0.99kg (2.2 lb)
Price Starting at $2,379 Starting at $2,659

Design: The HP Elite Dragonfly Folio has a new degree of versatility

Typically, I focus on performance first for comparisons like this, but in this case, it’ll basically be about the same for both devices, so let’s start with something more interesting. The design, and specifically the form factor, is really the reason why you might choose one of these laptops over the other.

HP laptop in folio mode

That’s because the HP Elite Dragonfly Folio is a convertible, and not just any kind of convertible. It uses a design HP refers to as “folio”, which means there are actually two hinges supporting the display. One hinge is like a regular laptop, letting you open or close the lid. But then, across the lid, there’s another hinge system, which lets you pull the screen towards you for media consumption, or lay out flat over the keyboard to use it as a tablet. While there’s room for debate here, this is arguably the most convenient form factor for a tablet, and it’s easier than ever to switch from tablet mode to laptop mode, and vice versa.

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is thinner and noticeably lighter.

On the other hand, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is just a clamshell laptop. Like we said at the start, the Elite Dragonfly family used to be entirely made of convertibles, but that’s no longer the case. Now, this one is just a laptop, so it lacks some versatility.

However, this difference in form factor also has implications on portability. The standard HP Elite Dragonfly G3 weighs just 2.2lbs, which is significantly lighter than the Elite Dragonfly Folio. Plus, it’s also thinner and not as tall, so there’s a clear advantage in portability.

Right-side angle view of the front of the HP Elite Dragonfly G3

Looks are subjective, but it’s also worth bringing up a comparison here. The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is an all-metal laptop, and it’s only available in silver (HP announced a Slate Blue model, but only a non-configurable model with HP’s Wolf Pro security software seems to be available in that color.

Meanwhile, the HP Elite Dragonfly Folio comes in a black colorway, and while the chassis is mostly made of magnesium, it’s covered in a leather-like material, which makes it feel a bit more natural and comfortable to hold. You might like the feel of metal, of course, but this faux leather material is very nice and it makes for a unique look compared to the bland design of the Elite Dragonfly G3.

Ports: The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 has a few more options

The differences in design also come with some differences in ports, and this is an advantage for the standard HP Elite Dragonfly G3. This laptop is clearly geared towards business users, and one thing business laptops are usually good at is connectivity. As such, you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB Type-A port, HDMI, and a headphone jack. A nice amount of variety that lets you connect various peripherals without needing adapters. It’s not amazing, but for a thin and light laptop like this, it’s pretty good.

With the Elite Dragonfly Folio, your options are significantly more limited. All you get here are two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headphone jack. If you’re used to Thunderbolt, you might already have a dock lying around so you can connect all your peripherals with one port, but if you don’t this is less convenient. You’re going to need adapters, and while you can find some cheap options, it’s not always ideal, especially for traveling. The reason for this is likely because of the unique design and materials, which make the laptop thicker. To keep a relatively portable design, some ports had to be sacrificed.

Side view of HP Elite Dragonfly Folio

As for wireless connectivity, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 and Elite Dragonfly Folio are nearly identical. You get Wi-Fi 6E support and Bluetooth 5.2 by default, and there are options to add 4G LTE or 5G connectivity for getting work done on the go. HP does mention NFC support for the standard Elite Dragonfly G3 and not for the Folio, but that’s not a feature everyone will need.

Display and webcam: Similar screens, but the Folio has a nicer camera

Another area where these two laptops differ is the display, but not by much. We’ve already discussed how the HP Elite Dragonfly Folio has the advantage of having a design that allows it to switch from a laptop to a tablet easily, and that also means you need touch support. And indeed, every model of the HP Elite Dragonfly Folio comes with touch support by default, and you can also use the accompanying pen for more precise drawing or note-taking. With the HP Elite Dragonfly G3, only some configurations support touch.

In terms of image quality, however, the two displays are nearly identical. Both come with 13.5-inch panels, and the base configuration comes in Full HD+ (1920 x 1280) resolution, which is already fairly sharp. You can also configure either one with HP Sure View Reflect, a built-in privacy screen that prevents others from seeing what you’re working on, and both can also be upgraded to a beautiful 3K2K (3000 x 2000) OLED panel, which will get you the best viewing experience possible.

The HP Elite Dragonfly Folio has an 8MP webcam.

When it comes to the webcam, though, there are some differences again. To be clear, HP has been leading the charge with webcams this year, and even the standard Elite Dragonfly G3 comes with a 5MP webcam that supports 1080p video and HP Presence features like auto framing and lighting correction. However, the HP Elite Dragonfly Folio takes this a bit further with an 8MP camera. It also has 1080p video and the same software features, but the increased resolution of the sensor means the camera has more room to crop and zoom into you to keep you in the frame and looking your best.

Close up of HP Elite Dragonfly Folio webcam

As for audio, both should deliver a solid experience. Both laptops have a quad-speaker setup with discrete amplifier and audio tuned by Bang & Olufsen, with whom HP collaborates frequently. With four speakers, you’re bound to have a fairly immersive audio experience, even if media consumption isn’t necessarily the biggest focus here. It’s still good to have nice speakers for video calls where you don’t have a headset available.

Performance: They’re essentially the same

I’m sure you’re wondering about performance, but there really isn’t much of a comparison to be made here. Both of these laptops are powered by 12th-generation Intel Core U15-series processors, which means they’ll perform similarly across the board. HP has yet to publish a detailed list of SKUs for the Elite Dragonfly Folio, but given what we know, it can’t stray very far from the standard Elite Dragonfly G3. Any differences will come down to the thermal design of each laptop, but considering these are relatively low-power processors, it shouldn’t make a huge difference.

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 has a larger 68Whr battery.

That extends to the RAM and storage, too. Both laptops come with up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 2TB of storage, so you’re likely going to get the same performance out of similar configurations.

Battery life is one thing that might vary, though, since the laptops do have differently-sized batteries. The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 comes with a larger 68Whr battery by default (HP does mention a smaller 45Whr battery, but it doesn’t seem to be available). That’s a significant advantage over the 56Whr battery of the Elite Dragonfly Folio, which also reserves 5% of its battery capacity to extend the lifespan of the battery in the long term.

Laptop lying flat at 180 degrees

As such, HP promises up to 13 hours and 30 minutes of use on a charge for the Elite Dragonfly Folio, compared to a whopping 19 hours and 30 minutes for the regular Elite Dragonfly G3. In real life usage, both laptops will definitely fall short of those number, especially if you go with the OLED display. Still, it gives you an idea of what to expect.

HP Elite Dragonfly Folio vs HP Elite Dragonfly G3: Final thoughts

Just as we said at the start, the biggest differences between these laptops come down to the design and form factor. The HP Elite Dragonfly Folio is going to be your ideal choice if you really appreciate the versatility of the convertible form factor. You can easily switch between laptop and tablet modes, including an in-between media mode for watching content. Plus, it has a pretty unique look with its faux leather cover, and it has a better webcam for video calls and meetings.

On the other hand, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is much lighter and slightly thinner, so it’s ideal for portability. It’s a laptop you can really take anywhere comfortably without weighing yourself down. It also has the benefit of having more ports, so you don’t need to carry adapters, and the more classic design allows for a larger battery on the inside, too. It’s a more portability-focused device, while the Elite Dragonfly Folio might be better if you’re working from home.

In every other way, the laptops are nearly identical. The display quality is similar, the performance is bound to be the same overall, and they’re both premium-feeling laptops. It’s absolutely a matter of preference – do you care more about portability or versatility for at-home use? That’s your deciding factor.

No matter your choice, you can check the laptops out using the links below. At this time, the HP Elite Dragonfly Folio isn’t available to buy, but you can check it out below anyway. If neither of these laptops seems like the right fit, maybe check out the best HP laptops out there, as the company has a little something for everyone. Or, you can expand your search to the best laptops from various brands if you’re not necessarily committed to HP.

    The HP Dragonfly Folio G3 is one of the most exciting Windows 2-in-1s of 2022, with a faux leather finish, 8MP wide-angle webcam, improved pen, and gorgeous OLED display
    The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is a super-premium business laptop with a 3:2 display and the latest Intel processors.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.