HP Elite Folio vs Elite Dragonfly: Comparing HP’s premium business laptops

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 FolioHP Elite Dragonfly
CPU
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen2 (up to 3.0GHz burst frequency, 4MB L3 cache, 8 cores)
  • Intel Core i3-1115G4
  • Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • Intel Core i7-1165G7
  • Intel Core i7-1185G7
Graphics
  • Qualcomm Adreno 690 Graphics
  • Intel UHD Graphics
  • Intel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics
Body
  • 298.45×229.36×16mm (11.75×9.03×0.63 inches)
  • 1.32kg (2.92 pounds)
  • 304.29×197.61×16 mm (11.98×7.78×0.63 inches)
  • Starting at 988 gms (2.18 pounds)
Display
  • 13.5-inch WUXGA+ (1920×1280), touchscreen, Corning Gorilla Glass 5,
    400 nits, low power, 72% NTSC
  • 13.5-inch IPS WUXGA+ (1920×1280) touchscreen, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 1000 nits, Sure View Reflect Privacy
  • 13.3-inch FHD (1920×1080) touchscreen, 400 nits, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • 13.3-inch FHD (1920×1080) touchscreen, 1000 nits, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, HP Sure View Reflect
  • 13.3-inch 4K UHD (3840×2160) touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 550 nits, HDR-400
Ports
  • 2x USB Type-C 5Gbps signaling rate (USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.4)
  • 1x headphone/microphone combo
  • 1x Nano-SIM
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4 with USB4 Type-C
  • 1x USB Type-A 5Gbps
  • 1x headphone/microphone combo
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
Storage
  • Up to 512GB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
  • Up to 2TB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
RAM
  • Up to 16GB LPDDR4 4266MHz RAM
  • Up to 32GB LPDDR4X 4266MHz
Battery
  • HP Long Life 4-cell, 46 Wh Li-ion battery
  • 65W USB Type-C adapter
  • 2-cell, 38-WHr
  • 4-cell, 56-WHr
  • 65-watt AC Adapter, USB-C connector
Audio
  • Bang & Olufsen quad stereo speakers
  • Dual array microphones
  • Audio by B&O
  • 4 Premium stereo speakers
  • Multi-array world-facing microphone
Keyboard
  • HP Premium Collaboration Keyboard – spill-resistant, backlit keyboard
  • Clickpad with multi-touch gesture support
  • HP Modernized Keyboard, spill-resistant, backlit with DuraKeys; Glass clickpad, Microsoft Precision Touchpad
  • HP Modernized Privacy Keyboard, spill-resistant, backlit with DuraKeys; Glass clickpad, Microsoft Precision Touchpad
Camera
  • 720p HD hybrid IR camera
  • 720p HD+IR camera with integrated electronic privacy shutter, HP Sure Shutter
Connectivity
  • Qualcomm Atheros 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE Cat 16
  • Intel Dual Band  Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5
  • Intel XMM 7360 LTE-Advanced Broadband Wireless (Cat 9)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Broadband Wireless (Cat 20)
Price
  • Starts at $1,758
  • Starts at $1,649

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
Core i7-1185G7
HP Elite Folio
Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2
Geekbench1,117 / 3,663801 / 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.

Bottom line

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.

    HP Elite Dragonfly G2
    The HP Elite Dragonfly is a premium lightweight convertible notebook meant for enterprise users featuring the latest Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors.
    HP Elite Folio
    The HP Elite Folio is a premium convertible laptop from the company and also one of the best Windows machines powered by an ARM chipset.

If you are looking buy a new laptop, you should definitely read our guide on the best laptops to buy in 2021. We also have a dedicated list of the best HP laptops.

About author

Kunal Khullar
Kunal Khullar

PC building enthusiast currently exploring the gaming industry. My love for tech began at an early age and I also have a keen interest in photography, music, PUBG Mobile, automobiles and a knack for keeping things clean. Email: [email protected]