The main version of the HP Elite Dragonfly presented a challenge to Lenovo’s Thinkpad with its excellent keyboard and style. HP has now given us a variant with the newly released HP Elite Dragonfly Max.
Although the “Max” nomenclature implied that it would be a bigger laptop, it maintains a similar size to the original. This means it is also an ultrabook, but it adds a brighter screen and is 5G enabled. The brighter screen is the Sure View Reflect display, but it has drawbacks with some inferior viewing angles that affect the several positives. If you are not impressed with the screen and the 5G, you might want to look at other laptop options or even stick with the main version of the HP Elite Dragonfly.
The Elite Dragonfly Max has a shiny matte black case in its thin and sleeky build. The case looks durable but shows fingerprints. The convertible laptop has a reflective, symmetrical HP logo sitting on the cover and a small logo beneath the screen.
The most noticeable factor about the Elite Dragonfly Max is its size, but it is not notably smaller or larger than most ultrabooks in the market. It measures 11.98 by 7.78 by 0.63 inches – slightly wider than the XPS 13 convertible (11.6 by 8.2 by 0.6 inches). When it comes to weight, it is lightweight and weighs 2.49 pound.
While the Elite Dragonfly Max is an expensive HP laptop, you will be getting an insanely bright display for that price. The Sure View Reflect display is HP’s standout feature in the Elite Dragonfly Max. It also has a top anti-blue light tech and novel privacy. The average brightness is 707 nits, but the viewing angles don’t complement the top-notch brightness. There is a wash off when viewed at a 45-degree angle but disappears when viewed directly at the front.
The Sure View Reflect a privacy-oriented display from HP, and it has a built-in app. The feature pops up when you press the F2 button. It measures 81.7 percent for DCI-P3.
The Eye Ease tech is a great feature, an always-on anti-blue filter that makes it easy to view the screen for a long time.
HP continues to go with Intel processors for its high-end laptops. It has the 11th Generation Tiger Lake, Intel’s latest offering to the PC world, and it combines this well with the Iris Xe. It has up to 32GB memory options and up to 512GB of solid-state drive options.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Elite Dragonfly Max has the Chiclet style keyboard, which feels hard and stiff when you press the keys. However, the typing was still fast as I hit between 78 to 79 wpm, which is quite good. The keypresses did not feel as cushiony as I recorded numerous typos.
The Touchpad is wide enough with a 4.3 by 2.6-inch size, and it is a precision touchpad. It offers a pleasant experience, unlike the keyboard. The touch is smooth enough, and the scrolling is smooth as well. The friction is also good enough to make easy and precise adjustments. There are multi gestures, such as two-finger scrolling or three-finger app switching, which were easy to execute.
The Elite Dragonfly Max shares similar connectivity options as the previous Dragonfly laptop but includes two vital upgrades. While the last Dragonfly laptop had HDMI 1.4 and Thunderbolt 3, it upgraded to HDMI 2.0 and Thunderbolt 4 on the Elite Dragonfly Max.
On the right, there are two Type-C USB Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 3.5mm combo jack, DisplayPort 1.4, and the HDMI 2.0. There is a Type-A USB port, the power button, a Nano-SIM slot, and a cable lock on the left.
The Elite Dragonfly Max topples its competition when it comes to battery life. During the battery test, where we browsed the web, streaming videos set at 150 nits brightness, the Elite Dragonfly Max lasted for slightly over 13 hours. If that’s enough to convince you you can sell laptop that you currently own for cash and buy the new one.
That is about an hour over the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, which is its closest competition that lasted 12 hours on the battery test.
HP attempted to make the Elite Dragonfly Max stand out with the bright display and the Eye Ease feature. While they succeeded with the brightness and the look, there are still apparent drawbacks to the Elite Dragonfly Max.
The cost and the poor viewing angles are drawbacks that cannot be overlooked. However, the battery life also presents another reason to like the Elite Dragonfly Max.