The HP Dragonfly G4 will remind you a lot of the previous generation the Dragonfly G3. In terms of overall design and aesthetics, both devices remain the same. But HP has given an internal upgrade to its latest Dragonfly. For the uninitiated, the HP Dragonfly G4 is a high-end premium laptop powered by the Intel vPro platform. You won’t likely see your average Joe using it in Starbucks either. Instead, the HP Dragonfly G4 is something you’d hand out to your team of executives who are constantly on the move across the globe.
HP has used the Intel vPro processors for the Dragonfly G4. For the uninitiated, Intel vPro is a platform tailored for business PCs, enhancing security and remote management. Key benefits include comprehensive remote management capabilities, allowing IT teams to address issues across an organization without physical presence. The Dragonfly G4 also gets an additional layer of protection from HP Wolf Security.
HP Wolf Security is HP’s comprehensive endpoint security solution. It offers multi-layered protection from hardware to the cloud, effectively countering threats that might bypass traditional security measures. Notably, it provides advanced protection for printers, continuously monitoring for anomalies and self-repairing when needed. If a device is lost or stolen, it can be remotely tracked, locked, and wiped. All these features and more, which I’ll eventually talk about later in the article, set up the MRP of the HP Dragonfly G4 to around Rs 2.3 lakh. Is it worth it? Well, here’s the answer.
HP Dragonfly G4 Review: Design, Keyboard, Trackpad and I/O
The HP Dragonfly G4, as mentioned above, looks similar to its previous generation. But that’s fine. Mainly because it is a looker. The greenish-blue colour theme of the laptop finished in matte and the minimalist HP logo on the device’s lid look very rich. You will also find subtle “DRAGONFLY” branding on the back letting the curious ones discreetly know the name of the laptop you’re using.
The HP Dragonfly G4 also has curved sides, pointy edges and 16.5mm thickness. The 13.5-inch laptop also weighs 990g, making it highly portable. You can fit it and its USB Type-C charger in the smallest of handbags, without either of them taking up too much space. Despite its thin and small size, the laptop has an HDMI out port, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports for charging and display out, a collapsible USB Type-A port, a headphone jack and a sim card tray. In short, the I/O on this port is fantastic. And I am thankful to HP for not using a proprietary charging slot.
The overall build quality of the HP Dragonfly G4 is good. You can open its lid with one hand because the laptop’s base is well-balanced. The deck area is solid and devoid of flex. The laptop’s keyboard is also worthy of equal praise. It features a 60% layout and is a joy to work on. The keys are squared, big, and have good travel to them. The button press is satisfying and yet the keyboard is virtually silent.
The 5MP webcam with an 88-degree field of view is another thing I’d like to mention here. It can capture more and in higher detail. It can clock photos in a 4:3 aspect ratio and can shoot videos in the same layout. However, if you want to switch back to the 16:9 aspect ratio you can do that as well. The webcam can record in 1440p at 30FPS. HP also has top-edge microphones and built in-AI features for blurring backgrounds and to make you sound good during video calls. HP also has an auto-wake feature that automatically puts the laptop to sleep when you walk away from it and wakes it up as you come back. It is pretty neat and works without fail.
And the HP Dragonfly G4’s trackpad is also a sheer joy to use. It is big, smooth and has probably the most satisfying click I have ever tested on a laptop. Every click on it feels immaculately accurate and blissfully delightful. Just an hour or two spent with the laptop made me realise why HP made no significant changes in the new design. The Dragonfly G4 is good the way it is, at least for now. The laptop also has a SIM card that supports 4G/LTE and 5G connections. And it is a great option for those who don’t like to switch on their smartphone’s hotspot every time they want to work.
What is also a great add-on to the laptop is a privacy filter. With the touch of a button, the Dragonfly G4’s viewing angle reduces drastically. Thus only allowing whoever is sitting in front of the screen to see what’s really happening on it. Although you can still barely see the display from the side of the screen brightness is full. But it is a good feature that I’d love to see getting more refined in the future. Further adding to the privacy features are a webcam shutter and a mic shutoff switch.
HP Dragonfly G4 Review: Screen And Speakers Review
The 13.5-inch display on the HP Dragonfly G4 is an unusual format. Instead of the usual 16:9 and 16:10 formats we see on laptops. The HP Dragonfly G4 comes in an exquisite 3:2 aspect ratio which gives the display a lot of height. The main benefit of such a design is increased productivity as now you can fit more of the document on your screen and don’t need to constantly scroll up or down. What I tested was the IPS LCD FHD+ panel with a 1280P max resolution support and 60Hz refresh rate.
Moreover, in Calman display tests the screen’s peak brightness came out to be around a very impressive 545.3nits. The good things don’t just end there because the 13.5-inch IPS LCD panel is also highly colour accurate with a Delta E value of just 2. Additionally, the screen also has 107% sRGB coverage so if you’re a graphic designer, video editor or if you largely create content for the web then the HP Dragon Fly G4’s display will serve you well.
And the same good things I will say about the laptop’s speakers as well because they sound fantastic. They have good bass, treble and are loud enough so that you rarely even find the need to turn the volume to its maximum. The laptop has both upward and downward-firing speakers.
HP Dragonfly G4 Review: Battery Life and Performance
In a real-world scenario with 100% screen brightness and the laptop’s battery set to performance mode, the Dragonfly G4 will last you around 7.5 hours. With a more moderate power and screen brightness setting you can further stretch the battery life. Overall, the battery life is above average as the HP Envy x360 15 I recently tested lasted close to 6.5 hours. And most Windows laptops in general rarely cross the 7-hour battery mark in general. So the 7.5 hours of battery that you get on the HP Dragonfly G4 is really better than most other laptops.
The high battery life is also a result of a combination of using LPDDR5 RAM and the Intel “U” series chip. The 32GB Low Powered Double Data Rate 5 or LPDDR5 for short has an even less operating voltage than the DDR5 sticks and an incredible clock speed of 6400MHz. And as for the Intel Core i7-1365U chip, I was initially a bit sceptical about it. But seeing it perform without throttling issues really did change my mind.
Because you have to rethink the 13.5-inch form factor when it comes to the HP Dragonfly G4. Not only is it a thin and light laptop but a highly premium one at that. Any executive using it can’t expect its fans to spin at max speed just to it could deliver more performance. The laptop needs to run cool and as a result, the 1365U consumes, at its peak, just 20W. While fairly dipping down to 19 or 18W as well. This performance setup does its job of regulating surface temperatures too. The peak surface temperature remains around 35 degrees in a non-AC room with no external ventilation.
HP Dragonfly G4 Review: Verdict
The HP Dragonfly G4 is the successor to the Dragonfly G3, and while it retains much of the external design of its predecessor, it introduces significant internal advancements. This high-end premium laptop is powered by the Intel vPro platform, specifically designed for business PCs, enhancing both security and remote management. This makes the Dragonfly G4 particularly suited for global executives who are always on the move. It boasts comprehensive security features and collaboration tools.
The laptop’s main strength includes its solid build quality, a fantastic keyboard and trackpad combo, comprehensive privacy features, power-efficient SoC, hardware-level security features and rich speakers ultimately making the Rs 2.3 lakh HP Dragonfly G4 worth it. It is a bit pricey and although performance enthusiasts could argue that an Intel “H” series chip would suit better here or even a “P” series chip that performs duties in the Samsung Galaxy Book3 series would be much preferable here, I’d like to argue that, for the type of workloads expected from this laptop, the “U” series chip seems better right now.
However, you’d expect these laptops to last more than two years and considering that at least an Intel “P” series processor should have been here. Other than that the laptop is pretty good. I’d also suggest that you take a look at Dell’s Latitude series as it is pretty similar in terms of price and feature set compared to the HP Dragonfly G4.