Turn out your pockets to turn heads with this business PC

The HP Dragonfly Folio G3 is one of the newest additions to the Dragonfly lineup, where HP seems confident in experimenting with form factors and luxury add-ons. This isn’t the first time that HP has released a “folio style” laptop, but it certainly seems to be hitting its stride with 12th Gen Intel Core performance and a premium pull-forward design. The Dragonfly Folio G3 isn’t cheap, and that’s probably its biggest flaw. It’s aimed at professionals who want to step outside of HP’s relatively plain EliteBook series but still get a bunch of security measures and reliable performance.


I’ve been using the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 for about a month and have found it to be a perfect fit for my workflow. The screen is taller to fit more pixels, the performance keeps up with my workflow (including heavy multitasking and photo editing), and the battery life regularly lasts through a workday. Not to mention the high-end camera and backing software that makes working from home as easy as possible. Is it something I would buy for myself? Absolutely … if I could scrape together thousands of dollars that even the entry-levels models demand. Let’s take a deep look at the Dragonfly Folio G3 to see whether it has what it takes to be your next laptop.

The HP Elite Dragonfly Folio G3
HP Elite Dragonfly Folio G3

HP Dragonfly Folio G3

HP’s Dragonfly Folio G3 is a high-end business laptop for professionals who want to stand out. Its design adds a ton of versatility, especially if you enjoy inking, and it has the performance to keep up with your workflow. It does, however, cost a lot, which will be the main obstacle for most people.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3: Price, availability, and specs

  • HP currently offers three different Dragonfly Folio G3 models.
  • Two pre-configured models are available, plus there’s a customizable option to better get what you need.

HP provided XDA with a review unit of its Dragonfly Folio G3. Our model has a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1265U vPro CPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and FHD+ touch display with glossy finish. It costs about $3,949 exactly as configured.

The Dragonfly Folio G3 is available at HP’s official website, with limited availability so far at third-party retailers. Models with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U processor (CPU), 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and FHD+ display start at about $2,379. Going all-out with a Core i7-1265U vPro CPU, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, 3K2K OLED display, and 5G connectivity costs about $4,810.

Here’s a look at the full list of specs you can find in the Dragonfly Folio G3.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3

OS

  • Windows 11 Pro
  • Windows 11 Home
  • FreeDOS

CPU

  • 12th Gen Intel
  • Core i5-1235U
  • Core i5-1245U vPro
  • Core i7-1255U
  • Core i7-1265U vPro

Graphics

  • Intel Iris Xe (integrated)

Memory

  • 16GB, 32GB LPDDR5-5200MHz

Storage

  • 256GB, 512GB, 1TB M.2 PCIe 4×4 NVMe TLC SSD
  • 256GB, 512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SED Opal 2 TLC SSD
  • 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

Display

  • 13.5 inches, touch, 3:2 aspect ratio
  • 1920×1280 (FHD+), low blue light, glossy (BrightView), 400 nits
  • 1920×1280 (FHD+), low blue light, anti-glare, 400 nits
  • 1920×1280 (FHD+), low blue light, glossy (BrightView), Sure View privacy, 1000 nits
  • 3000×2000 (3K2K), OLED, glossy (BrightView), 400 nits
  • Active pen included

Ports

  • Two Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm audio, Nano SIM slot

Wireless

  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Intel XMM 7560 4G LTE (optional)
  • Intel 5G 5000 (optional)

Audio

  • Quad speakers
  • Quad discrete Smart Amplifiers
  • Two microphones

Keyboard

  • Backlit keys, spill resistance

Touchpad

Battery

Camera

  • Front-facing 8MP RGB+IR
  • 100-degree FOV
  • HP AutoFrame, Background Adjustment, Appearance Filter, Backlight Improvement

Chassis

  • 11.7 x 9.21 x 0.7 inches (297.3mm x 234.1mm x 17.9mm)
  • 3.09 pounds (1.4kg)

Material

  • Magnesium base
  • Faux leather partial wrap

Color

Price

HP Dragonfly Folio G3: Design and features

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In his hands-on time with a pre-production Dragonfly Folio G3, Editor-in-Chief Rich Woods focused much attention on the laptop’s rare pull-forward design. Combined with a faux leather wrap that extends to cover the display lid and hinge, this is no doubt the PC’s most interesting feature. The Dragonfly Folio G3 can certainly be considered a convertible laptop, but it doesn’t have the usual 360-degree hinges that allow you to rotate the display around for tent, stand, and tablet modes. Instead, the bottom of the display detaches from the folio wrap to sit forward between the keyboard and touchpad. Pull forward again, and the screen extends to cover the touchpad, sitting almost flat. This isn’t new ground for HP, which used a similar design for its Spectre Folio and Elite Folio laptops. The hinge action is smooth but keeps the display in place no matter how you’re using the laptop.

There’s a bit of an angle to the display in “Write” (aka tablet) mode that plays well with the included active pen, though it’s a bit unwieldy to be used as a traditional tablet. One end is much thicker than the other due to the hinge and wrap, which gives it an unbalanced feel. That’s only an issue with the display folded flat, and the laptop feels nicely balanced in other modes. The wrap covers the hinges and provides a bit of grip when carrying the laptop. It picks up some smudges and fingerprints — a cleaning cloth fixes the problem — but otherwise feels quite durable. Adding a great sleeve or case to the Dragonfly Folio G3 can help protect its exterior.

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The sides of the chassis are vented to keep air moving through the system. While this design has added a bit of background noise in other laptops, the Dragonfly Folio G3 is one of the quieter devices I’ve used. Even putting it through strenuous benchmarks, my sound meter rarely registered it above 40 decibels. The left side of the PC also offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a Nano SIM slot for those who opt for mobile data. The right side has a slot to hold the active pen, which I’ll get into more in the next section. This is a standard port layout for premium Ultrabooks, and those with lots of accessories to connect will likely want to check out some of the best docks for the Dragonfly Folio G3.

Everything about this laptop suggests an expensive price tag, which is what you want when you are indeed paying the high asking price. The magnesium chassis is rigid and has a uniform black finish, the faux leather wrap is quite luxurious, and the display has relatively thin bezel for the 3:2 aspect ratio. The taller stature that results from the screen ratio gives HP plenty of room to work with on the keyboard deck. The touchpad is enormous and has a firm click that feels anything but cheap, and two of the laptop’s speakers are hidden behind a grille between the keys and display.

Moving the speakers to the top allows for more room on the keyboard’s flanks, and HP stretched things out to take advantage of the space. The backlit keyboard has large keycaps with an easy-to-read font, perfect spacing, and plenty of key travel. I typed thousands of words on this laptop without any issue; actuation is firm, but keys have a soft landing to prevent finger fatigue. The only drawback comes from the doubling up of some navigation keys. If you often use Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn, you might get tired of having to hit the Fn shortcut key first. This is a keyboard that I’d like to keep using for as long as possible.

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There are four total speakers in the Dragonfly Folio G3: two above the keyboard as mentioned and another two along the front edge of the chassis. There are discrete amplifiers on board to boost the audio, altogether resulting in impressive audio output. The laptop excels while listening to music and watching videos, but it also makes video calls without a headset a non-issue. Onboard software notices when the display gets pulled forward and automatically balances sound output to avoid muffling or dead spots. It all works without you really having to do anything. Two microphones are installed along the top edge of the display lid, and they too have automatic tuning to keep your voice at the same volume even if you’re moving around your office while on a call.

The real jewel of collaboration potential is the Dragonfly Folio’s camera. It’s been boosted up to 8MP and now has a 100-degree field-of-view to capture more area. It provides a clear picture on its own no matter what sort of light you’re working with, helped along by automatic backlight and low light adjustments. The same software also adds auto framing to keep you in the center of the picture, background adjustment to filter or blur, and an appearance filter to help you look fresh no matter the time of day. This is a huge bonus for professionals, especially now that so many people are working from home. The camera has a cutoff key built into the keyboard to provide some extra privacy, and the IR portion allows for biometric facial recognition through Windows Hello.

The Dragonfly Folio G3 has everything you need to professionally and effortlessly collaborate with your colleagues.

This being a business-focused laptop, HP has included a bunch of security and management features. Along with the TPM 2.0 chip, HP’s DriveLock, SureClick, Sure Sense, Sure Admin, BIOSphere Tamper Lock, Sure Recover, and more are on board to help protect your data. HP’s Wolf Security comes installed as well, providing an extra layer of malware and threat protection.

Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 6.3 come standard with all models, and for a premium you can add 4G LTE or 5G connectivity. If you don’t often leave the office this probably won’t be required, but those who travel or work in the field should find the extra mobile connectivity to be a lifesaver when there’s an important deadline due. It’s nice to have as an option, and I’m glad that HP doesn’t make it mandatory (further elevating the cost).

HP Dragonfly Folio G3: Display and inking

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The review unit we received has the most affordable display, and even it has delivered everything I need from a screen. The 3:2 aspect ratio is extra tall and gives more of that precious screen real estate that’s often lacking in laptops. The color and contrast are excellent (though you’ll likely want to step up to OLED if you’re doing a lot of editing or designing), and there’s enough brightness to (mostly) offset the glossy finish.

I ran some tests using my SpyderX Pro colorimeter to see exactly what sort of color reproduction and brightness the Dragonfly Folio G3’s basic display can manage. It hits 100% sRGB, 76% AdobeRGB, and 79% DCI-P3 color, and it managed 385 nits brightness at peak. It hit 0.8 nits at its lowest setting as well, making it easy to work after hours. Color accuracy here isn’t exceptional, but it will be more than enough for most people handling regular business tasks. If you’re concerned about color accuracy, the 3K2K OLED screen should be your first choice.

HP has an anti-glare FHD+ option for those who dislike the glossy look, though it does add a few dollars onto the total. There’s also an FHD+ option with HP’s Sure View privacy filter that provides an extra layer of protection between your data and those looking over your shoulder. Finally, as mentioned, the OLED model is the way to go if you simply want the best color accuracy and contrast possible.

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This latest Folio G3 has scrapped the active pen storage … sort of. There used to be a hollow between the keyboard and display, but that area is now taken up by two of the speakers. HP innovated both the laptop and the pen to come up with a new solution. There’s a small magnetic tab on the side of the full-size pen that clips into a small slot on the side of the laptop. It’s not as secure as an actual silo or cradle, but it’s still better than nothing. The retractable tab prevents the pen from getting sheared off sideways (at least most of the time), but it often still comes apart when sliding the laptop into a backpack.

Inking with the full-sized pen and pull-forward display is dreamy. I don’t often use a pen, but I did find myself using it more often just to take advantage of the form factor. Writing feels natural, the pen is balanced, and the nib floats smoothly over the screen. If you are someone who often uses a pen, this laptop should be a perfect fit for your workflow. It stays charged up as long as it’s attached to the laptop.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3: Performance and battery

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Despite its wrapped design, the Dragonfly Folio G3 can come apart for access to the internal hardware. HP has an extensive video guide on how to safely remove the wrap and otherwise service the laptop. It doesn’t take long to get inside. Removing the bottom panel reveals a dual-fan setup with relatively thick heat pipes. This looks like it’s enough to handle even the 28W P-series Intel chips, but we’re working with 15W U-series CPUs that produce even less heat. The fans kick on when under load, but even taxing the integrated graphics with a 3DMark test didn’t cause the laptop to get louder than about 40 or 45 decibels. Running normally, the laptop is silent even in a calm room.

Surface temperature isn’t an issue. Even with the battery charging up, the laptop gets warm at most when it’s being taxed. That’s fairly impressive considering it can deliver performance on par with some laptops using the Intel P-series CPUs. I ran a number of benchmarks to see how the Dragonfly Folio G3 stacks up against other laptops we’ve recently tested and reviewed.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 Core i7-1265U

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 7) Core i7-1260P

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Core i7-1265U

Dell Latitude 7330 Core i7-1265U

PCMark 10

5,450

5,168

5,094

4,991

3DMark Time Spy

1,675

1,458

1,717

1,225

Geekbench 5 (single / multi)

1,704 / 8,189

1,419 / 6,915

1,713 / 7,284

1,754 / 5,991

Cinebench R23 (single / multi)

1,645 / 6,673

1,375 / 6,831

1,692 / 6,756

1,568 / 5,677

I also ran the PCMark 10 test on battery power to see how much of a difference there is between AC power. The laptop hit a 5,203 score, which really isn’t that much lower than running plugged in. Working on the go shouldn’t pose any problems.

The Core i7-1265U vPro CPU combined with 16GB of LPDDR5-5200MHz RAM and speedy 512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD puts up strong performance numbers, but you shouldn’t rely on this laptop to be an editing or creativity powerhouse. It’s best reserved for multitasking business and productivity work. An important thing to note is that the RAM cannot be upgraded after purchase. Be sure to get exactly how much you think you’ll need. The M.2 SSD can be replaced after removing the bottom cover, so you do have the option of saving a bit of money at checkout if you don’t need a ton of storage right from the start.

Battery life is quite good on the FHD+ model I have for review. I regularly used the laptop at around 200-250 nits brightness for seven hours without needing a charge. If you’re really pushing it you might find that it doesn’t last the full eight hours, but otherwise you should be able to hit the office and not worry about plugging in until the late afternoon. That will change depending on the display and mobile connectivity you opt for. An OLED display with a 3K2K resolution will drain the battery faster, as will 5G connectivity.

Should you buy the Dragonfly Folio G3?

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You should buy the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 if:

  • You want a cutting-edge design that will turn heads
  • You have thousands to spend on a high-end laptop
  • You need a laptop with 5G connectivity and solid battery life
  • You need a laptop that can easily handle video and audio conferencing

You shouldn’t buy the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 if:

  • You need as much performance possible from your laptop (including discrete graphics)
  • You don’t regularly use a laptop outside of notebook mode
  • You don’t mind foregoing the pull-forward design for similar performance and a cheaper price

The Dragonfly Folio G3 is a premium business laptop that gets a lot right. The powerful conferencing tools make collaboration about as easy as possible, the keyboard is comfortable and the touchpad enormous for effortless productivity, and the battery life and performance are both better than I expected. You’re not really paying for high-end performance here; most of your money is instead going to the innovative design and security features.

Is this the best business laptop on the market? All things considered, probably not. You can get the same level of performance and many of the same features out of the competition without paying for the pull-forward design. But if you have thousands to spend on a new laptop and want to turn heads, this is the way to go. If you do happen to grab this laptop, be sure to check out our collection of the best accessories for the Dragonfly Folio G3 to get set up properly.

The HP Elite Dragonfly Folio G3
HP Elite Dragonfly Folio G3

HP Dragonfly Folio G3

HP’s Dragonfly Folio G3 is one of the finest business laptops I’ve ever used, but it doesn’t come cheap. If you want something with a rare design that makes collaboration and productivity work a breeze, this is the way to go.

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