HP Dragonfly G4 2023 Review: Is It Worth to Upgrade?

HP Dragonfly G4 2023 boasts a stunning 13.5-inch display, available in both full HD and 3K 2K OLED options. I’ve chosen the full HD resolution, though the OLED variant offers impressive visuals while prioritizing battery life. Equipped with optional 5G, it’s lightweight, slim, and exceptionally portable, fitting seamlessly into your bag.

Specifications

Display13.5-inch diagonal Brightview WLED UWVA WUXGA+ (1920×1280), Low Blue Light, 400 Nits
CPUIntel core i7-1365U
GraphicsIntegrated intel Iris Xe graphics
Memory16GB LPDDDR5 RAM (Max 32GB)
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe-4×4 NVMe SSD
Battery68Whr 6-cell
ConnectivityIntel Wi-Fi 6E AX2.11 (2×2)
Bluetooth 5.3 wireless card,
Intel XMM 7560 R+ LTE-Advanced Pro,
Cat 16 WWAN Broadband Wireless,
intel 5G Solution 5000 WWAN Broadband Wireless,
SpeakersQuad stereo speakers, Audio by Bang & Olufsen
Ports2x thunderbolt 4 with USB Type-C 40GBps speed, 1x USB-A, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x stereo headphone/microphone combo jack
Camera5MP 88″ field view IR.
Price$1,325

Design and Build

Inside the HP Dragonfly G4 2023 Box

Inside the box we get the Laptop Dragonfly G4, It feels pretty good, good premium design. We’ve got some warranty information, a power cord, 65-watt USB Type-C power adaptor. Now, I love these Type-C cables or adapters.

HP Dragonfly G4 Design and Build Quality

HP Dragonfly G14 is crafted from 90% recycled magnesium, this material ensures super lightweight portability, though there’s some give and flex in the chassis due to magnesium’s nature as an alloy. Despite this, the laptop doesn’t feel cheap; it exudes a premium quality. HP claims a starting weight of one kilogram or 2.2 pounds, while my review unit, with additional features, weighs slightly more at 1.153 kilograms or 2.54 pounds.

HP Dragonfly G4 Left Side Ports

On the left side, there’s an HDMI 2.1 port, a SIM tray for optional mobile broadband, and a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port. I appreciate the thoughtful arrangement of these ports, making connectivity convenient and organized.

HP Dragonfly G4 right side ports

On the right side, you’ll find a Kensington Lockport, a second USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB Type-A port, and a 3.5-millimeter microphone/headphone combo jack port. Overall, the Dragonfly G4 offers a good selection of ports for its portability, though it lacks an SD card reader.

Keyboard and Touchpad

You can easily open the lid with just one finger, and it can go back 180 degrees, providing a great viewing angle. The hinges are sturdy, and there’s minimal screen wobble when typing, which is impressive.

The Dragonfly keyboards have always impressed me, and this one is no exception. The tactile feedback is excellent, making it easy to type long documents and emails comfortably. Plus, the multi-stage backlight allows for easy use in different lighting conditions. The contrast between the backlight and keys is perfect, ensuring clear visibility. The touchpad is also noteworthy, offering smooth scrolling and responsive gestures, despite being a traditional-style touchpad. Overall, the keyboard and touchpad on the Dragonfly G4 are well-designed and highly functional.

User Upgradeability

HP Dragonfly G4 Internals and User Upgradeability

HP has made it incredibly simple to access the internals of the Dragonfly G4. Just loosen the four captive T5 Torx screws, pry off the bottom plate, and you’re in. Inside, you’ll find two cooling fans and a 68-watt-hour battery. The only upgradable component is the M.2 SSD, which delivers impressive read and write speeds, as shown in the table above. Overall, the SSD included with my review unit performs admirably.

AllReadd (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
SEQ1M
Q8T1
6691.153912.48
SEQ1M
Q1T1
3312.543257.44
RND4K
Q32T1
480.83338.08
RND4K
Q1T1
67.90141.33

Most ultra-portables of 2023 have soldered RAM, making it unupgradable by users. My review unit of the G4 boasts 16GB of DDR5 4800MHz RAM, expandable up to 32GB. The Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 combo card is also soldered, but both functions work seamlessly. An optional mobile broadband feature, available with LTE or 5G, offers constant, reliable connectivity for those frequently on the go, albeit at an extra cost.

Display and Audio

HP Dragonfly G4 Screen Picture Quality color Gamut

HP Dragonfly G4 offers display options, including a high-end OLED version with a 3K 2K resolution for color accuracy and excellent color gamut coverage. I have the non-touch full HD version, featuring a 3:2 aspect ratio for reduced scrolling and a low blue light filter to minimize eye strain. While it’s a 60Hz display, maximizing battery life, it boasts a brightness close to the claimed 400 nits. The glossy display may cause glare depending on lighting conditions but offers good color accuracy, contrast, and black levels.

With quad speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen, the audio is impressive for an ultra-portable business laptop, delivering good volume, decent mids, and some bass. Overall, the Dragonfly G4’s display excels in maximizing battery life while providing a high-quality viewing experience, complemented by robust audio performance.

5MP IR Webcam and Mics

HP Dragonfly G4 comes equipped with a 5.8-megapixel HP camera capable of recording 1440p video. It features an IR camera for facial recognition with Windows Hello, along with a dedicated key on the keyboard for camera shutter control, providing added security and privacy. The camera offers various effects like background blur, auto frame, and gaming auto lighting, giving users flexibility in customization.

Users can also personalize their background, offering a range of options. The webcam delivers impressive background blur effects, showcasing HP’s continued excellence in camera technology. Overall, the camera on the Dragonfly G4 maintains HP’s high standards, offering enhanced features for users’ convenience and enjoyment.

Performance

PCMARK 105,714
GEEKBENCH 6 (Single-Core)2,522
GEEKBENCH 6 (Multi-Core)9,332
CINEBENCH R202,336
CINEBENCH R151,344 CB | 93.35 FPS
CINEBENCH R231,893 Single Core, 7,554 Multi-core
3DMARK Fire Strike4,755
3DMARK Time Spy1,739

HP Dragonfly G4 2023 runs on Intel’s 13th-gen processor, the Core i7-1365U, a 15-watt CPU with 10 cores, including eight efficient cores and two performance cores. The benchmark results show good single-core performance and decent multi-core performance, although some other laptops with the same chipset have shown higher multi-core performance. The G4 features integrated Iris XE Graphics, which could benefit from an update, but it handles everyday tasks like Microsoft Office, email, and web browsing efficiently on this productivity-focused laptop.

TitlesLowMediumHigh4K
The Witcher 379 FPS54 FPS30 FPS14 FPS
GTA V99 FPS84 FPS23 FPS10 FPS
Dota 2 reborn101 FPS76 FPS23 FPS10 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 20 FPS16 FPS12 FPS9 FPS
Gaming Performance

On the Dragonfly G4, you can handle light video editing tasks in 1080p, but it’s not recommended for 4K video editing unless necessary, as it lacks a discrete GPU. While it’s not designed for gaming, you can still play some popular titles by adjusting settings for playable frame rates. However, don’t expect to run AAA titles on high settings; this laptop isn’t built for that. Nonetheless, you can enjoy occasional gaming during your downtime on this ultraportable G4 laptop.

Surface Temperatures

You’re probably curious about whether the Dragonfly G4 will throttle due to its thin and light design. Well, it scored an impressive 98.3 percent on the Time Spy stress test, indicating minimal thermal throttling under heavy loads. That’s excellent news. In terms of surface temperatures, while there were a few hot spots above the keyboard and below the display, they’re not where you’d normally place your fingers. So, if it does get warm, it’s in an acceptable area. Underneath, it never exceeded 49 degrees Celsius, which is good—it’s comfortably cool to the touch and won’t burn your skin. They’ve managed to maintain a relatively cool temperature.

fan moise peaks at 45 decibels—not very loud, but noticeable. In balance mode, it’s hardly audible during everyday tasks, which is great.

Battery Performance

LaptopsPCMARK 10
Modern Office
PCMARRK 10
Video Playback
HP Dragonfly G4
68Wh, core i7-1365U
15 hours 12 minutes12 hours 04 minutes
ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11
57Wh, Core i7-1355U
11 hours 41 minutes14 hours 04 minutes
Battery Life Test

The HP Dragonfly G4 boasts impressive battery life, thanks to its 68 watt-hour battery. It lasted an impressive 15 hours and 12 minutes on the PCMark 10 Modern Office battery test. For comparison, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 achieved 11 hours and 41 minutes, while the Dell Latitude 9442 managed 12 hours and 45 minutes. The Dragonfly G4’s battery life holds up well in video playback tests too, matching other laptops in its category. Overall, it excels in providing all-day battery life, making it a reliable choice for business users. Additionally, it charges fully in just 90 minutes with the included 65-watt USB Type-C charging adapter.

Conclusion

HP Dragonfly G4 2023, if you’re currently using the Dragonfly G3 from the previous year, there’s not a significant reason to upgrade unless you specifically need the performance boost from the 13th generation. Everything else remains quite similar in 2023. So, if you already own the G3, you’re probably fine without the update, unless that performance boost is crucial for you.

However, there are notable aspects to appreciate. The display options are commendable, especially the OLED variant, which offers excellent pixel count for those who require it. It maintains cool temperatures under heavy usage without any detected throttling, which is impressive. It also operates relatively quietly, though some fan noise may be noticed under maximum load. The laptop features an outstanding keyboard, a responsive touchpad, impressive battery life, and a high-resolution 5-megapixel camera with multiple features.

On the downside, there’s no option for a high refresh rate display, but for a business-oriented laptop, this isn’t a major concern. Fan noise can be noticeable under heavy load, although not consistently. Additionally, the absence of an SD card reader is a downside. Like many ultraportables in 2023, the RAM is soldered into the motherboard, making it non-user-upgradable.

Overall, there’s a lot to appreciate about the HP Dragonfly G4 2023, especially if you’re transitioning from an older Dragonfly model or exploring the Dragonfly line for the first time. It’s one of the best business laptops, particularly in the ultraportable category. I highly recommend it.

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