HP Elite Dragonfly is an insanely light 2-in-1 laptop with 'world's longest' battery life

HP Elite Dragonfly
(Image credit: HP)

Could we have a new contender for the best laptop of 2019? HP has just announced the HP Elite Dragonfly, which is a powerful 2-in-1 convertible laptop that’s both incredibly light – at under 1kg – and long lasting, thanks to a battery that can go over 24 hours on a single charge.

Using a CNC-machined magnesium alloy chassis, HP is able to get the weight of the Elite Dragonfly under 1kg, a remarkable achievement considering very few laptops – except the likes of the LG Gram – can reach.

This has allowed HP to create what it claims is the “world’s lightest compact business convertible.” Not only is it incredibly light, but it’s also incredibly durable as well, meeting the requirements for the MIL-STD 810G military standard.

The world’s longest battery life

Apart from the incredibly light design, the other big selling point of the HP Elite Dragonfly is the fact that it has, according to HP, the “world’s longest battery life in a 13-inch business convertible.” 

Now, the fact that it specifically mentioned 13-inch business convertibles does narrow the competition somewhat, but with a 24.5 hour battery life – if you go for the optional ‘Performance’ battery – that’s easily one of the longest battery lives we’ve seen in a laptop.

If you don’t go for the ‘Performance’ battery, HP still promises a very respectable 16.5 hours with what it calls its ‘Lightweight’ battery. This suggests that if you want the longer battery life, you’re going to have to make a sacrifice when it comes to that incredibly low weight.

HP Fast Charge tech is also included, allowing the HP Elite Dragonfly to charge 50% of its battery in just 30 minutes.

HP Elite Dragonfly

(Image credit: HP)

Project Athena verified

The HP Elite Dragonfly is also one of the first laptops to meet Intel’s Project Athena specifications, which are essentially a template created by Intel to shape the next generation of laptops.

So, along with an incredibly long battery life, it boasts powerful components with an 8th generation Intel Core vPro processor, Wi-Fi 6 for three times faster file transfer speeds compared to older Wi-Fi technology and optional 4G LTE connectivity.

According to Chris Walker, corporate vice president, Mobile Computing Platforms at Intel, “the HP Elite Dragonfly is an exceptional example of how HP and Intel are driving innovation through the Project Athena program.”

Privacy is a big focus with the HP Elite Dragonfly as well, with a privacy shutter that obscures the webcam, an integrated HP Sure View Gen3 privacy screen, which prevents people near you seeing what’s on your screen, and HP Multi-Factor Authenticate Gen3, which offers biometric authentication methods to keep the laptop secure.

If you go for the privacy screen, you get a 13.3-inch 1080p display with 1000 nit brightness. You can also go for a low-power 1080p screen with 400 nits – essential if you want that 24 hour battery life. There’s also an option for a 4K 13.3-inch screen, which will no doubt look fantastic, but make more demands on the battery life.

So, it looks like you’ll need to do a bit of configuring if you want the HP Elite Dragonfly with the super-long battery – or if you want the ultra-light version. It doesn’t look like you can have both, unfortunately, but that’s the reality of modern technology at the moment.

Still, it’s a very promising device that shows what Project Athena laptops will be capable of. It goes on sale October 5, and prices start at $1,549 / £1,099. In Australia though, the Elite Dragonfly will go on sale a month later – mid-November to be precise – with a starting price of AU$2,699.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.