HP Elite Folio vs Elite Dragonfly: Comparing HP’s premium business laptops
HP’s Elite series offers premium notebooks catering primarily to the enterprise audience, featuring a good balance of style, performance, and security. The company added a new product to the lineup, the Elite Folio, earlier this year which is one of the best Windows on ARM laptops you can get today, ousting the likes of the Surface Pro X. That brings us to an important question. How does it compare to HP’s most premium business notebook, the Elite Dragonfly? Well, that’s exactly what we are going to find out.
HP Elite Folio vs. HP Elite Dragonfly: Specifications
|HP Elite Folio||HP Elite Dragonfly|
Design: The Elite Dragonfly comes with more features
Both the Elite Folio and Elite Dragonfly are premium convertible laptops; however, there are some differences when it comes to the design. The Elite Folio has an appealing vegan leather finish that wraps around the entire machine. It feels soft to touch and offers a nice grip as well. The Elite Dragonfly is a traditional 2-in-1 laptop having a solid magnesium chassis. It also uses ocean-bound plastic, which is reclaimed plastic that would end up in the sea, thus making it a bit more environmentally friendly.
The added layer of leather on the Elite Folio makes it heavier (2.92 pounds vs. 2.18 pounds), but both notebooks offer the same amount of thickness (0.63-inches). Another interesting aspect is how these laptops can change form. The Elite Dragonfly has two hinges that you see on most convertible laptops letting you flip the display all the way back and use the laptop in tent mode, media mode, tablet mode, etc.
The Elite Folio is also capable of flexing around, but instead of having a hinge, the top portion that houses the display is attached via the outer leather finish. So, instead of flipping the display behind, it offers a pull-forward design.
In terms of port selection, the Elite Dragonfly has the upper hand as it offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a full-size USB Type-A port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The Elite Folio features two USB-C ports (not Thunderbolt) and a headphone jack. The Elite Dragonfly also offers two ways to sign into Windows using either the IR webcam or the fingerprint scanner. The Folio only offers an optional IR camera but no fingerprint scanner.
Both laptops have a unique perspective on the design itself, and the Elite Folio is undoubtedly a fresh approach compared to the traditional design of the Elite Dragonfly. However, the Dragonfly is obviously the better choice as it packs way more features than the Folio.
Display: The Elite Dragonfly offers up to 4K resolution
HP offers very similar configurations for the display on the Elite Folio and the Elite Dragonfly. The Folio does offer a slightly larger display measuring 13.5-inches diagonally due to its 3:2 aspect ratio, thus having a 1920×1280 resolution, compared to the 13.3-inch 1080p panel on the Dragonfly. However, the latter is also available in a sharper 4K UHD option with 550 nits brightness and support for HDR400. Having a 4K resolution display makes for sharper visuals, but it is not going to be very useful at that size. At the same time, it will end up consuming more battery to push out those extra pixels.
The displays also offer support for pen input, and you get a stylus with both laptops. The Elite Folio has a nice garage between the display and the keyboard to stow the somewhat flat stylus. On the other hand, the Elite Dragonfly has a rounded, traditional-looking stylus. Bear in mind, there is no storage available on the Elite Dragonfly for the stylus, and you can only stick it onto the top of the laptop using the inbuilt magnets. You should be able to easily take down notes and even do some intricate sketching as you get 4,096 levels of pressure and tilt sensitivity.
Again, the Elite Dragonfly gives solid competition to the Folio as it not only offers the same display options but can also be configured with a 4K resolution panel, especially if you prioritize superior visual experience over battery life.
Performance: Intel overpowers ARM
This is where things get interesting. The Elite Folio is HP’s newest laptop powered by an ARM processor, specifically the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen2, an octa-core processor capable of going up to 3GHz. It’s also one of the only ARM-based laptops offered with up to 16GB of memory and 512GB SSD storage.
The Elite Dragonfly is an Intel-based laptop available with the 11th-gen Tiger Lake options going up to the Core i7-1185G7 with up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB SSD storage. It is pretty obvious that the Elite Dragonfly offers a much better performance experience, and then you also get the choice of choosing between four SKUs.
For comparison sakes, here are the Geekbench result comparison of the Elite Folio versus the Elite Dragonfly Max, which is very similar to the Elite Dragonfly with some additional features.
|HP Elite Dragonfly Max|
|HP Elite Folio|
Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2
|Geekbench||1,117 / 3,663||801 / 3,150|
Having said that, the Elite Folio is one of the best performing Windows on ARM laptops that has come out in recent years. It manages to outperform the Microsoft Surface Pro X, which has been one of the more popular choices.
Since ARM processors are more power-efficient, the Elite Folio delivers better battery performance. On a regular day, you should get close to 10 hours with its 46Whr battery. The Elite Dragonfly has a larger 56Whr battery, but that isn’t enough for the power-hungry Intel processors and you can expect anything between 7-8 hours of battery life. Both laptops offer standard Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and optional 5G mobile connectivity in terms of connectivity. Speaking of which, check out our list of the best 4G/LTE and best 5G laptops.
The HP Elite Dragonfly is a wise choice if we compare it with the Elite Folio. It offers better performance thanks to the more powerful Intel 11th-gen processors, more I/O ports, and better configuration options including a 4K display, along with more memory and storage. Having said that, the Elite Folio is in a league of its own. It has a unique convertible design, a faux leather finish, and is one of the few ARM-based laptops that we can actually recommend.