In this article, we have the HP Dragonfly Pro. This HP Dragonfly Pro is a close collaboration between HP and AMD. They work very closely together to make the user experience seamless and excellent. I think, for the most part, they have really accomplished it. It is running the AMD Ryzen 7-736 processor, an 8-core, 16-thread processor. It has a gorgeous Full HD Plus display and comes in two absolutely stunning colors: ceramic white, which I have here, and sparkling black. Both colors look pretty cool and really nice. It also offers great battery life, excellent performance, and a very efficient processor. As mentioned, we will delve into more details in this review of the HP Dragonfly Pro, which is all new for 2023.
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HP Dragonfly Pro Specifications
|Operating System||Windows 11 Home(1)|
|Battery||UP to 15 Hours (2)|
|Support||24/7 Pro live Support (5)|
|Price||$1,549 Get AT AMAZON|
HP Dragonfly Unboxing and Design
Let’s find out what you get inside the box. It feels pretty good, so let’s put this to the side. You get your power brick, and I want to show you something. It is a 96-watt power brick with flip-out prongs right there. With 96 watts, it provides a pretty good charging rate, especially considering it doesn’t have a discrete GPU. Let’s put that to the side. I love the fact that they give you a braided cable here; it looks really good. That is absolutely gorgeous in this white color. Wow, it is just stunning! People will find it pretty gorgeous.
Now, as far as the weight is concerned, I measured it to be 1.547 kilograms or 3.66 pounds. That is definitely a little bit on the chunky side for a 14-inch laptop, but it is very premium, solid, and feels very high-end.
HP Dragonfly Pro Ports
On the left side, the port selection includes two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports that are full-featured, supporting data transfer, charging, and display output. Moving over to the right side, there is a USB Type-C port that operates at USB 3.2 Gen 2 speed, not Thunderbolt, but it is still full-featured, supporting data transfer, charging, and display output. Now, we need to address something that I just realized: there’s no headphone jack. If you want to use wired headphones, you will need to use an adapter or connect via Bluetooth. As for ports, there is no USB-A port or HDMI, but you do have those two Thunderbolt 4 ports, as well as that USB-C port.
Let’s see if we can open this with one finger. We can, and that keyboard is absolutely gorgeous. It feels fantastic. For those wondering, this is what it looks like from the back, and as you can see, it is absolutely stunning in terms of design.
Keyboard and Haptic Touchpad
Now, when it comes to the keyboard, I want to tip my hat to HP. They did an excellent job here with good key travel, feedback, and actuation. I never felt like my fingers were going to bottom out. This is one of the best keyboards you can find on the market for a 14-inch clamshell, that’s for sure. The multi-stage backlight worked well. One thing to keep in mind, if you go with the ceramic white color, sometimes it can be hard to see the white LED backlight against these ceramic white keys. You won’t have that issue, of course, with the sparkling black. Just something to keep in mind. Having said that, the keyboard has been really, really good.
Now, when it comes to the touchpad, I’m happy to report that it is a haptic touchpad, and the responsiveness has been great. Two-finger scrolling works like a charm, and all the gestures work well. The haptic engine on it has been perfectly tuned, and I felt like it was really, really good in terms of responsiveness. As I mentioned before, it’s very good in terms of this haptic touchpad.
Internals and User Upgradeability
Let’s talk about what is user-upgradable, and the quick answer is: nothing is user-upgradable. As you can see, the CPU, motherboard, and RAM are all soldered onto the motherboard. The Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and SSD are also soldered in. It has a custom heatsink, and there are dual fans, but when it comes to upgrading the SSD, RAM, or Wi-Fi, you can forget about it. It’s not possible, just like with MacBooks. This laptop, too, is not user-upgradable.
Speaking of the SSD, my review unit has 512 gigabytes of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage, and it performs very fast in terms of both read and write speeds, as you can see from these results.
HP Dragonfly Pro Performance, Benchmarks And Gaming
|Laptop||CINEBENCH R20||CINEBENCH R23 (Single Core)||CINEBENCH R23 (Multi-Core)||3DMARK Time Spy/Fire Strike|
|HP Dragonfly Pro||4805||1544||10,610||2828/6,494|
|Galaxy Book 3 Pro||3328||1683||7869||1689,4,198|
We are now looking at the AMD Ryzen 7 7000 series processor, and this is my first opportunity here in 2023 to review it. Specifically, we have the AMD Ryzen 7 736, which boasts 8 cores and 16 threads. It is built on their 6-nanometer chipset, and this laptop is no exception.
When examining the performance numbers and benchmark results, we can see that it delivers solid performance. Not only does it provide excellent CPU performance, but the integrated Radeon graphics, the 680m, also performs admirably. It surpasses and outperforms Intel’s integrated Iris XE Graphics, which, as mentioned before, is due for an upgrade. The Radeon graphics integrated solution is superior, enabling better gaming, video editing, and higher-end graphics work. This has been a notable advantage, and you can clearly see the difference when comparing it to Intel’s XE Graphics. Kudos to AMD for implementing such a capable solution.
In terms of everyday tasks such as Microsoft Office, email, and web browsing, the laptop handles them exceptionally well without any hiccups or performance issues. It excels in both single-core and multi-core performance, as evidenced by the impressive Cinebench R23 scores. When compared to some of the competition, it demonstrates solid overall performance. This comes as no surprise, given AMD’s reputation in the market.
Thermals, Fan Noise and Surface Temps
When I ran the Time Spy stress test to assess if this laptop would power throttle under heavy load, it did not receive a passing score. It achieved a score of 95.4, which indicates a failing result. Consequently, it will throttle down in order to maintain lower temperatures. This is understandable, especially in a thin and light laptop. So, keep in mind the possibility of power throttling.
Regarding surface temperatures, I found that they remained relatively cool, with a few hot spots here and there. However, they never became too hot to touch or reached unreasonable levels. Overall, the surface temperatures were well within acceptable limits.
The laptop features two fans under the hood, which, even under heavy load, never became excessively loud or produced excessive heat. They maintained a relatively quiet and cool operation. Therefore, the thermal management in this laptop seems to be well-implemented.
HP worked closely with AMD on this laptop, particularly in terms of performance, thermals, and overall system handling. Many of the behind-the-scenes processes, such as AI-driven learning of user behavior, have been optimized to enhance the user experience. This is beneficial for average consumers who prefer not to delve into settings and optimizations. AMD and HP have made significant efforts to ensure the settings are optimized for individual users, and for the most part, they have done an excellent job.
Of course, if you are a power user, you have the flexibility to adjust these settings. The AMD performance app provides robust control and customization options. I have positive feedback about the level of control given to users through this app. Additionally, the AI employed here is highly impressive in terms of learning user behavior and optimizing performance accordingly. The collaboration between AMD and HP has truly borne fruit in this regard.
HP Dragonfly Pro Battery and Charging
|Laptop||PCMark 10 Modern Office||PCMARK 10 MS Office||PCMARK 10 Video Playback||PCMARK 10 Gaming|
|HP Dragonfly Pro 65Wh||13h54m||11h55m||14h00m||1h53m|
|Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 75Wh 2.8k OLED 90Hz||11h40m||10h49m||11h01m||1h29m|
|Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 63Wh||7h58m||9h32m||9h27m||1h59m|
One of the standout features of this laptop is its impressive battery life. With a 65.5 watt-hour battery, AMD has once again delivered not only a powerful processor but also an efficient one, resulting in excellent battery performance.
During the Modern Office test as part of the PCMark 10 battery test, the laptop achieved an impressive runtime of 13 hours and 54 minutes. This outperforms competitors such as the Yoga 9i and the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro, both equipped with Intel’s 13th generation P series processors. Across the board, this laptop excels in battery life, which is not surprising considering AMD’s focus on efficiency.
If you do find yourself needing to charge, the supplied 96-watt power charger provides a full charge in approximately an hour and 10 minutes. This is an incredibly fast charging time, ensuring minimal downtime when you need to power up.
HP Dragonfly Pro Display
Okay, let’s discuss the display, which is undeniably one of the best aspects of this laptop. It boasts a really nice display, although it’s important to note that it features a Full HD Plus resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels and utilizes an IPS panel rather than OLED or other advanced technologies. The display is touch-enabled and performs excellently in that regard. The claimed brightness is 400 nits, but in my testing, it even exceeded that, which is quite impressive. However, it’s worth mentioning that the Chromebook, for example, offers a much brighter display at 1200 nits. If you’re interested, I’ll provide a link in the description below to a video showcasing the Chromebook’s display. Nevertheless, the display on this laptop is still impressive.
Regarding the refresh rate, it is locked at 60Hz, with no option for higher refresh rates available. Additionally, there is no option for a 4K Plus or QHD Plus resolution. However, the Full HD Plus display here is of high quality. It exhibits deep blacks, vibrant colors, and offers good coverage of the color gamut. It is also quite color accurate, making it suitable for content creators who work with applications like Lightroom, Photoshop, video editing, and color grading.
The display has a glossy finish, which means that in certain lighting conditions, you may notice reflections and glare. However, it’s not too bothersome and is relatively manageable. Watching content on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube has been a great experience on this display. Overall, it has proven to be a capable and enjoyable display. Furthermore, it is a multi-touch display, allowing you to navigate the operating system using your fingers, although it does not support pen input. While it remains a clamshell design, my overall impression is that this is a really good display. I have no complaints about it, and the quality of the display is truly commendable. It would have been a nice addition to have the QHD Plus 1200-nit display available on the Chromebook version. If you haven’t seen it, I will provide a link in the description below. Nevertheless, this display on the laptop stands on its own as an excellent offering.
Webcam, Mics and Fingerprint Reader
This is the front-facing camera on the brand new HP Dragonfly Pro. Previous Dragonfly models were primarily geared towards business users, but this version is targeted at consumers and freelancers as well. Upon inspection, the camera appears to be quite nice and performs well. It offers a resolution of 1440p at 30 frames per second, which is impressive. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the array microphones and their ability to suppress background noise. Does the audio sound clear to you? Please share your opinions in the comment section below.
The camera is equipped with infrared (IR) technology, allowing for face recognition login using Windows Hello. Additionally, there is a fingerprint scanner integrated into the keyboard. One feature I particularly appreciate is the extensive camera control available through the My HP app. It includes auto framing, which we’ve seen before in HP’s presence detection cameras. You can choose between portrait, tight shot, and wide shot modes. While the auto framing feature is not new, it remains useful. Furthermore, you can apply a background blur effect and adjust its intensity, which works quite well. Additionally, you have the option to change your background to settings like a cafe, outdoors, or a living room. There is even an option to add your own background image.
The app also offers appearance enhancements, allowing you to adjust the aggressiveness of the effect or turn it off completely. You can opt for a natural skin tone appearance and enable backlight and low-light adjustments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these features specifically for the Dragonfly Pro. Please share your opinions in the comment section below. In my opinion, the camera performs admirably.
Audio and Speaker Test
When it comes to audio, the HP Dragonfly Pro is truly impressive, boasting speakers that produce a nice, rich sound. The tuning job performed on them is commendable. However, let’s compare them to the MacBook Pro 14, which I also have on hand with the M1 Pro. In my opinion, the MacBook Pro offers one of the best, if not the best, laptop speakers in the business. Let’s listen to both devices and evaluate the difference in sound quality. I would love to hear your thoughts on the disparity between the sound of the MacBook Pro and the HP Dragonfly Pro. Do you feel that the Dragonfly Pro falls slightly short of the MacBook Pro’s overall sound? Nonetheless, among Windows laptops, the Dragonfly Pro holds its ground and sounds really good.
Now, let’s compare the Dragonfly Pro to another Windows favorite of mine, the recently reviewed Lenovo Yoga 9i (Gen 8), which also boasts excellent sound quality. What are your thoughts on the sound comparison between these two outstanding Windows laptops? In my opinion, the Yoga 9i has a slight edge in terms of audio quality, particularly with its Dolby Atmos support, which enhances the spatial audio experience and provides an extra punch in certain aspects. Nevertheless, the HP Dragonfly Pro is no slouch when it comes to sound quality. It performs admirably, thanks to the well-executed tuning. However, I am eager to know your perspective. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
HP has been promoting this device as offering 24/7 support with just a click of a button on the keyboard. And it’s true! If you take a look at the keyboard, you’ll notice a dedicated button for 24/7 service support. When you press this button, it brings up the my HP app, taking you directly to the support page. From there, you can chat or speak with a live agent to get all the product support you need.
This service is priced at ten dollars a month, but HP is offering 12 months of free service with the purchase of an HP Dragonfly Pro or the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, which is quite interesting. Now, some users may not appreciate the fact that this dedicated key occupies a spot on the keyboard. It would be intriguing to see if the key can be remapped or customized for those who prefer a different function. However, for those who value the convenience of having immediate access to 24/7 support with just one button, it can be incredibly handy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this feature. Do you find the dedicated support button useful, or would you prefer to have the option to customize it? Please share your opinions in the comments section below.
What do I think about the HP Dragonfly Pro, the all-new laptop for 2023? I must say, the collaboration between HP and AMD has truly paid off. I appreciate the bright, sharp, and full HD Plus touch screen display. The laptop has a premium build and design, whether you choose the ceramic white or sparkling black variant—they both look gorgeous. The battery life is excellent, thanks to the AMD Ryzen 7 7736U processor, which runs cool and quiet.
The Bang & Olufsen tuned quad speakers are really good, although they don’t quite match the quality of the speakers on the MacBook Pro 14, which I consider best-in-class. The presence of two Thunderbolt 4 ports is a great feature. The keyboard and haptic touchpad work exceptionally well, providing a satisfying user experience. The 1080p webcam performs decently, and the Radeon graphics outperform the integrated Iris XE Graphics from Intel, which is a significant advantage.
On the downside, the laptop lacks a headphone jack, and the RAM, SSD, and Wi-Fi are soldered, which limits upgradability. There is no SD card slot, HDMI port, high refresh rate option, or UHD Plus or OLED display option. However, the full HD Plus IPS display provided is of high quality.
In conclusion, the HP Dragonfly Pro impresses with its collaboration with AMD, delivering a powerful and efficient laptop with a great display, premium design, excellent battery life, and notable audio performance. While there are some limitations and missing features, overall, it’s a solid offering.