No, it’s not real leather—it’s polyurethane—but the textured covering of the lid makes the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 (starts at $2,379; $2,749 as tested) comfy to carry and satisfying to see. This 2-in-1 laptop variant of HP’s flagship lightweight business laptop family is a swank status symbol for executives who combine scribbling and sketching with keyboard input, with goodies ranging from 5G mobile broadband to a deluxe 8-megapixel conferencing camera. It’s unabashedly expensive and heavier than the 2.2-pound Elite Dragonfly G3, a clamshell design with the same 13.5-inch, 3:2-aspect-ratio display, but still, the Folio earns an Editors’ Choice nod among high-end business convertibles .
Configurations and Design: A Surcharge for Manageability and Security
HP’s $2,379 base model of the Folio G3 carries a 12th Generation Core i7-1255U processor with the Intel vPro manageability technology beloved by IT departments, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB NVMe solid-state drive. Its IPS touch screen has a 1,920-by-1,280-pixel resolution. Our $2,749 review unit runs on the same basic specs but a fractionally faster Core i7-1265U CPU (two Performance cores, eight Efficient cores, 12 threads) and Intel 5G connectivity for use where there are no hotspots for its Wi-Fi 6E networking. Windows 11 Pro and a two-button stylus are standard.
It’s a fact that business laptops cost more than comparably equipped civilian notebooks. In the Dragonfly Folio’s case, you’re paying for not only vPro but HP’s cutting-edge Wolf Security suite, which combines an incorruptible BIOS and AI-based malware protection with Sure Click execution of apps and webpages in virtual-machine containers.
Regardless, it still hurts to realize that the superb HP Specter x360 13.5—a consumer convertible that lacks mobile broadband but has the same tempting 3:2 touch screen—costs a full $1,149 less and is over a grand cheaper even if you spring for the brilliant 3,000-by-2,000-pixel OLED screen. Upgrading our Folio G3 with the OLED panel and the max 32GB of memory and 1TB SSD would bring its price to $4,756…and give us a nosebleed.
However, it’s important to mention the direct-to-business sales channels that laptops like the Dragonfly Folio are sold through, most usually with arranged price negotiations based on the volume of orders per business and other factors.
A lesser gripe is that the magnesium-chassis Folio narrowly misses our cut for an ultraportable at 3.09 pounds—it’s certainly no burden in a briefcase, but not the featherweight that the conventional Elite Dragonfly G3 is. When closed, the system measures 0.7 by 11.7 by 9.2 inches, a tad thicker and an inch deeper than the 13.3-inch Dell Latitude 9330 2-in-1. The 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 is 0.61 by 12.4 by 8.8 inches and a few grams lighter than the HP.
These Dell and Lenovo laptops, however, are Yoga-style convertibles whose screens fold all the way back so that their keyboards face down in tablet mode. HP has bisected the screen lid with a hinge that lets you pull the bottom of the screen forward, then fold it down to cover the keyboard. You can also tilt the display with its bottom edge between the keyboard and touchpad in what HP calls “Media Mode,” which is for viewing videos or presentations while keeping the touchpad available for navigation.
As for ports, it’s an unsurprisingly short list: The Folio G3 has two 40Gbps USB4 ports with Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort functionality on its left flank, along with an audio jack and a SIM card slot. A connector on the laptop’s right edge recharges the 6-inch pen as it clings magnetically to the side. You won’t find an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, or a flash-card slot.
Design Features: You Look Marvelous
HP’s webcam can capture 6MP 16:9 (3,264 by 1,836) or 8MP 4:3 (3,264 by 2,448) images and 30-frame-per-second (fps) videos, so think twice before not bothering to shave for a conference call. Shots from the camera are well-lit and colorful with no noise or static, and it can keep you the star with a blurred background if you like. Top-row function keys toggle the camera and mute the microphones. An Auto Lock & Awake utility works with Windows Hello face recognition to keep the system secure if you leave your desk.
Quad speakers with a discrete amplifier pump out loud, spectacular sound with a surprising amount of bass. HP’s audio isn’t harsh or tinny even at top volume, and it’s easy to make out overlapping tracks. As a bonus, HP Audio Control software includes AI-based microphone noise reduction—as well as music, movie, and voice playback presets—plus an equalizer.
Besides the two buttons on its barrel, HP’s included stylus pen has a button near its top for launching apps, like Microsoft Whiteboard or OneNote, or other functions, like screen snipping with single, double, and long presses. All three buttons are customizable: Along with the pen tip and tilt sensitivity, a pen menu launches when you detach the stylus from the side of the Folio. As I play with the pen, it easily keeps up with my swoops and scribbles with perfect palm rejection.
I would have liked to see the 3,000-by-2,000-pixel OLED screen. Although it would have cost some battery life, the 1,920-by-1,280 IPS panel is attractive, with decent though not dazzling brightness and high contrast. Viewing angles are wide, white backgrounds are clean, and blacks are deep. Plus, despite lacking OLED tech, the screen’s colors are rich and well-saturated. One issue worth mentioning is that the touch-glass overlay is extremely reflective, picking up room lights and showing a mirror image of your face.
Otherwise standard, the backlit keyboard has HP’s terrible trademark: hard-to-hit, half-height up and down cursor arrow keys stacked between full-size left and right, rather than arrow keys in the proper inverted T. These keys are otherwise all right, although their shallow, slightly wooden feel isn’t comfortable for all-day typing. HP’s decently sized, buttonless touchpad glides and taps smoothly and requires moderate pressure for a quiet click.
Testing the Dragonfly Folio: Complaint-Free Productivity
For our benchmark charts, we’re comparing the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 to four other convertibles. Three are business systems: the 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 (starts at $1,589.40; $2,456.99 as tested) and Asus ExpertBook B7 Flip ($2,149.99) and the 13.3-inch Dell Latitude 9330 2-in-1 (starts at $1,969; $2,619.63 as tested). The last slot went to the Folio’s aforementioned consumer cousin, the HP Specter x360 13.5 (starts at $1,149.99; $1,749.99 as tested)—we reviewed the high-res OLED model.
Our primary benchmark, UL’s PCMark 10 simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content-creation workflows to measure overall performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet work, web browsing, and video conferencing. We also run PCMark 10’s Full System Drive test to assess the load time and throughput of a laptop’s storage.
Three more benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to rate a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 uses that company’s Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene, while Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular apps ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to convert a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution (lower times are better).
Our final productivity test is Puget Systems’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which uses the Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe’s famous image editor to rate a PC’s performance for content creation and multimedia applications. It’s an automated extension that executes a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks ranging from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image to applying masks, gradient fills, and filters.
HP’s Dragonfly Folio narrowly edges its rivals in the all-important PCMark 10, easily clearing the 4,000-point hurdle that indicates excellent productivity for everyday apps like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace.
Our deeper CPU benchmarks see this laptop landing in the middle of the pack despite a slightly faster processor rating than its three 12th Generation Intel peers. Likewise, the laptop trails slightly in Photoshop, although it’s fine for occasional image touch-ups. While not a stellar showing, it’s clear that this device can handle basic office productivity without issue.
We test Windows PCs’ graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark test suite: Night Raid (more modest, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).
We also run two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering. Additionally, we run the 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase tests, rendered offscreen to accommodate different display resolutions, to exercise graphics and compute shaders using the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation respectively. The more frames per second, the better.
These laptops’ integrated graphics restrict them to streaming entertainment and casual games rather than fast-paced shoot-em-ups. Unsurprisingly given its primary use cases, the Folio finishes in the middle of a frankly slow field. With that, don’t come to this laptop expecting media chops.
Battery and Display Tests
We test laptops’ battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video file (the open-source Blender movie Tears of SteelTears of Steel) with display brightness at 50% and audio volume at 100%. We make sure the battery is fully charged before the test, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off.
Additionally, we use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Windows software to measure a laptop screen’s color saturation—what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display can show—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candles per square meter).
Unfortunately, the Dragonfly’s runtime is the shortest in the group, although 12 hours of battery life should easily get you through a full day’s work—plus your hypothetical flight to the other corporate branch a few states over. Its IPS touch screen is a capable business-class panel, although it naturally falls short of the brilliant hues seen on the Spectre’s OLED display, but with adequate color coverage and brightness.
Verdict: The Sweet Life in the C-Suite
We’d be happier if the Dragonfly Folio G3 had an HDMI monitor port and happier still if it had a price cut, but corporate execs whose IT departments don’t mind its cost will be lucky to get one. It’s a fantastic grab-and-go convertible with an ingenious tilt-screen design, take-it-anywhere connectivity, and a tall screen aspect ratio whose roomy view of webpages and documents has charmed us with other laptops and Chromebooks. HP’s Dragonfly Folio G3 earns an Editors’ Choice award as a brilliant business 2-in-1.