The HP Dragonfly G4 Is Laptop I Want But Can’t Afford
Say what you may but when it comes to productivity on a 13” laptop, a 3:2 aspect ratio display goes a long way. I personally own a first general Surface Laptop and that is still serving me well till this day. But while I do love the Surface Laptop and what it offers, there are still flaws, even with the current generation Surface Laptop 5.
Enter the HP Dragonfly G4. It’s got a really beautiful design, it has that same 3:2 aspect ratio for the display, but everything else is pretty much upgraded. We get lots of ports including full-sized ones, an extremely good keyboard and touchpad and it weighs just about 1kg.
The only caveat is that this does cost a whopping S$3,939. That is a lot of cash. But could it be worth it?
With this review, we’re not going to do this the usual way but instead, share with you the experiences we had with the Dragonfly G4 and what made us feel that it might actually be worth the price.
The first thing that’ll immediately catch your attention, especially when you first hold it, is how soft the entire chassis feels. And by that, we don’t mean that it feels flimsy or a little too flexible. It’s more about the fact that HP has decided to round off every single corner that you can possibly find with the Dragonfly G4.
Unlike most other laptops that make use of a chamfered edge, HP turned the dial on fillet instead and you get what HP calls, “Pillow Corners”.
So visually, you get a really ‘soft’ looking design but more so than that, the Dragonfly G4 is extremely comfortable to use. Just resting your palms on the deck of the chassis and you can immediately tell how much of a difference it makes.
Seriously, more laptop manufacturers should adopt this design because it just feels right.
Which leads us to our next point, the keyboard and touchpad. We don’t know what it is exactly that HP conjured up back in their R&D lab but the Dragonfly G4, alongside most of their other laptops, has an absolutely stellar typing experience. There’s just something with every keystroke that feels exactly right and dare we say it has a great typing sound. The touchpad is also large and extremely precise with pretty satisfying left and right clicks.
3:2 Is Superior
And here’s the one underlying factor as to why we prefer a 3:2 aspect ratio for a 13” laptop. Because of that added vertical height for the display, that translates to a deeper chassis. But because the size of the keyboard don’t really change, what you get is an enlarged palm rest area on the deck of the chassis and this does two things.
The first is that it allows for a larger touchpad, which in this case, it’s fantastic as we’ve just mentioned. The second is the fact that you now have more physical space to rest your palm on the deck of the chassis when you’re typing away.
If you were to take most standard 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio 13” laptops, you’ll find that you’ll usually have your wrist resting right on that edge of the laptop and it can get pretty uncomfortable after a period of time. With the Dragonfly G4, you don’t have to worry about that, at all. In that regard, this is the same advantage that’s shared with the Surface Laptop. But in this case, even if you’ve much bigger hands than I do, you’ll still have a relatively comfortable experience thanks to those ‘Pillow Corners’ that HP have implemented.
Again, all we’ve shared are just small little things but add that all up and it literally transforms the whole user experience. So now of course, let’s talk about the display.
That Display Is Great
There are a few options available with the Dragonfly G4 depending on the SKU but what we have here is arguably the most interesting one.
This configuration features the HP Sure View Integrated Privacy Screen. With just a toggle of a button, you can limit the viewing angle of the display such that someone sitting right next to you at a cafe wouldn’t be able to see what you’re actually working on.
And it’s an instantaneous switch. However, toggling it on will limit the maximum brightness of the display a fair bit. A one to one trade off. Now, how often you would use this feature, that’s entirely up to your own use case but the fact that you have that option at all is very nice to have. It’s also very clear as to how HP is positioning this very laptop and we’re all for it.
That aside, the display itself is extremely good. 13.5”, IPS, 1,920 x 1,280, capable of up to 1000 nits and covers 100% sRGB. It’s a fantastic display through and through, and again, the 3:2 aspect ratio is especially awesome when it comes to documents, general browning, multi-tasking and more.
The quality of the webcam is top-notch and will serve you well in most of your needs, especially for work. It looks good and sounds fantastic, no issues here.
HP has had quite a long partnership with Bang & Olufsen and the speakers on the Dragonfly G4 are honestly quite impressive. For a start, it’s a quad-speaker setup and it can get really loud, on par with that of a MacBook Pro 14 and it doesn’t distort at that high volume either. Much better than the Surface Laptop 5 we tried before for sure.
Now the best part is probably the port selection.
There’s a total of two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, one USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, a full size HDMI 2.1 and a 3.5mm combo jack. Depending on the SKU, you can also get it with a SIM card slot so that you can always stay connected on the go.
Probably needs no explaining but the fact that you have access to a Type-A USB port without the use of any dongles is a game-changer and you still get full sized HDMI no less. This is one of the few laptops in this class where you might not necessarily need to bring a dongle wherever you go.
Great Overall Performance
And the last pointer would be battery life performance. You get a 68Wh battery here and it can easily last you 10 hours of actual usage and thanks to the Core i7-1365U, you also get great performance for all the things you might want to do with the Dragonfly G4.
Honestly, there’s much more nifty little features such as the privacy shutter for the webcam and loads of security related features with HP Wolf Security and more.
So as you can probably tell by now, HP has put in a lot of thought when it comes to the Dragonfly G4, you’re getting literally the best of almost everything here. A great display, good performance, lots of ports in this class, extremely good keyboard and touchpad and an insanely big battery for the form factor. And what you get is a really good 13” laptop that can do just about anything you would want with a PC. Which means, all that comes at a price.
For this exact configuration, it’ll set you back S$3,939. Now a similar configuration in the US will set you back upwards of US$3,000 but the price can vary a whole lot depending on the specifications you want. Unlike in Singapore, you can even outfit the Dragonfly G4 with a self-encrypting SSD or even have it shipped with FreeDOS.
But anyways, it is still very much a premium product and you will have to pay a premium price for it. Make no mistake, this is one fantastic laptop and it’s literally the laptop that I would personally want to own. But it is expensive and so we would highly recommend it if this is what you’re looking for and you’ve the money to spare.
But that’s probably not going to apply to the majority out there and such is reality. Even so, we definitely love this laptop. Time for us to get a sponsor.
If you’ve any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below and we’ll be sure to take a look and answer them! Don’t forget to subscribe to us and like this video and follow us on all our social channels. See ya!