HP Dragonfly Folio G3 review: still innovating

HP Dragonfly Folio G3

MSRP $2,749.00

“The HP Dragonfly Elite Folio G3’s pull-forward design still feels progressive, and there is enough performance too.”


  • Competent productivity and inking performance
  • Good productivity display
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • Superior pen design
  • Solid construct quality


  • Battery life is simply OK
  • Relatively thick and heavy
  • Expensive

HP’s Dragonfly brand has been quite successful. It’s expanded from a single clamshell laptop to a Chromebook, a clamshell, and even a pull-forward convertible 2-in-1, the Dragonfly Folio G3. The lineup focuses on providing thin, light, and progressive business laptops with unique features for discerning business users with large budgets.

The Dragonfly Folio G3 doubles down on that proposition, offering a novel 2-in-1 design with a soft plastic cover that’s warm and alluring. In its third generation, it’s not fanless, and the covering not extends to the underside of the chassis. Those changes are for the great, offering higher performance and easier serviceability this time around.

Specs and configurations

  HP Dragonfly Folio G3
Dimensions 11.67 inches x 9.22 inches x 0.7 inches
Weight 3.09 kilos
Processor Intel Core i5-1245U
Intel Core i7-1255U
Intel Core i7-1265U
Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics
Display 13.5-inch 3:2 WUXGA+ (1,920 x 1,280) IPS
13.5-inch 3:2 WUXGA+ IPS Sure View privacy screen
13.5-inch 3:2 3K2K (3,000 x 2,000) OLED
Storage 256GB PCIe 4 SSD
512GB PCIe 4 SSD
Touch Yes
Ports 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
Optional 4G/5G WWAN
Webcam 8MP with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 53 watt-hour
Price $2,379+

As is usually the case with vendor pricing, there’s a big price difference between prebuilt and configure-to-order systems. At once, the most affordable model you may buy is $2,379 for a Core i7-1255U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, a WUXGA+ display, and 5G WWAN support.

There’s one other prebuilt configuration that costs $2,749 and is similar aside from a Core i7-1265U, — that’s quite a premium for a slight uptick in CPU. If you happen to construct a custom system and max out the capabilities, you’ll spend a whopping $4,721 for a Core i7-1265U, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, a WUXGA+ privacy screen, and 5G. A 3K2K OLED display option isn’t yet showing up on HP’s website.

Irrespective of the way you slice it, the Dragonfly Folio G3 is a premium laptop that costs an arm and a leg.

Refining an progressive design

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

As mentioned within the intro, the Dragonfly Folio G3 isn’t just a duplicate of its predecessor. Perhaps the most important design change is that the plastic cover (which HP previously called “faux leather”) doesn’t cover your entire black chassis. As a substitute, it’s on the back of the lid and wraps around the underside fringe of the magnesium chassis. That makes it a bit of thinner, improves cooling by letting some heat escape via convection, and makes the laptop easier to open up and maintain. It also makes the laptop colder and alluring to carry, nevertheless it’s not a deal breaker.

What stays the identical is the pull-forward convertible 2-in-1 design, which HP originated on the Spectre Folio. Principally, a hinge in the middle of the back of the display means that you can pull the underside of the display forward into two modes. Place the underside of the lid against a few tabs on the palm rest and also you’re in media mode with the touchpad exposed and keyboard hidden, after which pull all the best way forward to modify to tablet mode.

Each modes allow for comfortable inking, which is your entire purpose of the design. It’s a more convenient design than ta 360-degree convertible, comparable to the HP Spectre x360 13.5, in that media mode leaves the touchpad free to make use of and tablet mode feels more natural laying on a surface. Note that Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio uses the identical design, but has faster components inside.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 media mode showing display and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

HP also clearly paid loads of attention to designing a totally functional lively pen. Not only does the pen support the standard specifications like 4,095 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support, but its physical design has also been revamped. It attaches magnetically to the side of the laptop, as do many such pens, but there’s a twist: a small tab pops out and matches right into a port on the side to raised secure the pen.

The pen also wirelessly charges when attached, with a lightweight that indicates the charging status. Finally, the rounded shape is a changeup from the previous model’s flatter version. It’s also extremely comfortable to carry and use. Finally, if you happen to connect the Dragonfly Folio G3 to an external display via USB-C, you should utilize the interior display and pen as an external digitizer. HP calls this Indirect Inking.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 top down view showing pen security.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Dragonfly Folio G3 is a well-built laptop with no bending or flexing anywhere within the lid or chassis. It’s thick at 0.70 inches, partly due to the covering, and its top and bottom bezels are larger than you’ll find on another 13-inch laptops. That makes it a bigger machine overall, but not overly so. It’s 3.09 kilos, which supplies it a dense feel.

You’ll love the keyboard, which is full-size with loads of spacing and huge keycaps. The switches are crisp and require just the proper amount of force. It’s nearly as good as the superb keyboards on HP’s Spectre line and Dell’s XPS laptops, and only a tiny step below Apple’s excellent Magic Keyboard on the most recent MacBooks. The touchpad is spacious and responsive, with quiet and assured clicks.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

You’ll also appreciate the 8MB webcam, with optimizations galore that make it a superior option for videoconferencing. Auto framing keeps the topic in the middle of the screen, the camera projects a 100-degree field of view, background adjustment and appearance filter technologies enhance the standard, and there’s excellent lowlight performance. Dual-edge mics adjust for the speaker’s location to supply a transparent and natural sound. Also, your entire quad-speaker audio system, which sounds great, adjusts for when the display is pulled forward.

An infrared camera provides support for Windows 11 Hello passwordless login. HP also incorporated user presence-sensing technology that may lock the Dragonfly Folio G3 when the user walks away and wake it when the user returns. If Windows Hello is enabled, the laptop will mechanically log in. The features worked well during my testing and augment the HP Wolf safety features built into the machine.

Connectivity is restricted to 2 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 and a 3.5mm audio jack. Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, together with 4G/5G WWAN support for always-connected web. HP also inbuilt Tile support to locate the laptop locally or via the Tile network if you happen to are unable to seek out it.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 left side view showing ports and vent.

hp dragonfly folio g3 review right

Performance that’s ok for inking

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 side view in tablet mode.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Dragonfly Folio G3 is a fantastic platform for inking, little doubt about it. In that type of creative work, its 15-watt Twelfth-gen Intel U-series CPUs provide enough power. The identical applies to demanding productivity workflows, which the laptop can be designed to perform.

In our benchmarks, the laptop performed similarly to other 2-in-1s, each 360 convertibles and detachable tablets. The HP performance-tuning utility made probably the most significant difference within the Cinebench R23 benchmark, and while the Dragonfly Folio G3 was a bit behind the remainder of the pack, it’s in the identical ballpark.

The Dragonfly Folio G3 is probably not fanless, nevertheless it’s extremely quiet. When the fans ramp up, they’re barely audible — in keeping with HP, they’re quieter than a quiet room at just 26 decibels. I discovered the fans barely noticeable through the most intense benchmarks, and knowing that they’re helping to maintain the laptop running quickly and cooler is reassuring.

Overall, the laptop was a solid performer that won’t handle demanding creative tasks, but is nice enough for every thing else.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
HP Dragonfly Folio G3
(Core i7-1265U)
Bal: 1,443 / 7,450
Perf: 1,419 / 7,997
Bal: 155
Perf: 144
Bal: 1,307 / 5,728
Perf: 1,608 / 6,890
Asus ZenBook S 13 Flip
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,602 / 8,559
Perf: 1,639 / 8,923
Bal: 132
Perf: 117
Bal: 1,583 / 7,595
Perf: 1,614 / 9,220
HP Spectre x360 13.5
(Core i7-1255U)
Bal: 1,566 / 7,314
Perf: 1,593 / 7921
Bal: 169
Perf: 120
Bal: 1,623 / 5,823
Perf: 1,691 / 7,832
Surface Pro 9
(Core i7-1255U)
Bal: 1170 / 6518
Perf: 1,598 / 8,165
Bal: 166
Perf: 127
Bal: 1124 / 7537
Perf: N/A
Apple MacBook Air M2
Bal: 1,925 / 8,973
Perf: N/A
Bal: 151
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,600 / 7,938
Perf: N/A
Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,316 / 8,207
Perf: N/A
Bal: 170
Perf: 94
Bal: 1,311 / 6,308
Perf: 1,650 / 7,530

Battery life was average for the category. It lasted 7.75 hours in our web-browsing test, 11 hours in our video test, and 10 hours within the PCMark 10 Applications battery benchmark. Those results indicate that you just’ll get most of a day’s use out of the laptop before running out of power, but if you happen to plan a marathon session, you’ll wish to keep your charger handy.

Go for the OLED display

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 top down view in tablet mode.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The 13.5-inch 3:2 WUXGA+ IPS display is sharp enough and enjoys a taller, productivity-friendly aspect ratio. It’s plenty brilliant and has outstanding contrast. While its colours are extremely accurate, they’re not wide enough for serious creative work.

You’ll wish to spring for the OLED display if you happen to need wide color gamuts for photos or videos. It is going to provide even higher contrast and wide enough colours for any use. Plus, it can make for a superb media consumption machine.

Because it is, the display is great for productivity work and inking, if the colours suffice. There’s also a privacy screen option if that matters to you.

Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is best)
HP Dragonfly Folio G3
397 1,700:1 99% 76% 1.05
Asus ZenBook S 13 Flip
337 23,590:1 100% 97% 1.02
HP Spectre x360 13.5
380 28,230:1 100% 97% 0.61
HP Envy x360 13
391 29,420:1 100% 98% 0.72
Microsoft Surface Pro 9
409 1,050:1 99% 80% 1.24
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
480 1,840:1 99% 78% 0.8

The design may not be for everybody, but some will adore it

The Dragonfly Folio G3 has a design that makes it perfect for some users, particularly those that prefer to use a digital pen for handwriting and sketching. It’s also a effective clamshell notebook that may function a fantastic media consumption laptop in its own right.

It’s also a rather fussy design though. It’s thicker and heavier than some alternatives, which is offset somewhat by the nice and cozy, comfortable covering on the lid. It’s also a particularly expensive laptop, which is able to mechanically put it out of reach for many individuals. If you happen to like the thought of the pull-forward design, though, the Dragonfly Folio G3 stays probably the most unique laptops you may buy.

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