A business notebook as it should be: light, compact, fast and with a fake leather case. At first glance, the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 makes a great impression. On the second too?

If you ask more than 3,000 euros for a compact Windows laptop, you should have a lot to offer. On paper, the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 doesn’t look bad at all: Intel CPU of the latest generation, large hard drive, lots of RAM and a relatively fast, integrated graphics card. But the test shows: The look of the convertible laptop must be very important to you if you ignore the obvious alternatives.

The HP Dragonfly Folio G3 is clearly a business device. The hardware already shows that. HP opted for mobile chips for the CPU and GPU. An Intel Core i7 of the twelfth generation, model 1255U, works in the test device. The display takes over Intel’s integrated graphics card Iris Xe. On board are 32 gigabytes of RAM and an SSD with a terabyte of storage. First of all: This is definitely enough for work.

Display and design are great

It gets exciting with the display, because HP is taking an unusual approach with the Dragonfly Folio G3. The aspect ratio of the 13.5 inch screen is unusual 3:2, the resolution is 1920 x 1280 pixels. HP specifies the brightness as up to 1000 nits, provided you invest more money when buying. The display is anti-glare ex works, i.e. matt. It supports touch input and works in tandem with a stylus that is included in the box. If you don’t need the pen, it can be clamped to the side with a magnet.

The device can be used in different modes, which is due to the special design. If you open it, it is initially a conventional laptop. The screen can be detached at the crease in the middle. Then you can either put it in front of the keyboard, which makes input with the pen easier or is practical for media playback, or you can put the display upside down on the keyboard, making it a (thick) tablet.

The entire mechanism feels very valuable and does not give the impression that it will fall apart after three uses. According to HP, the leather cover is made of artificial leather, which should keep the typical formation of patina within limits. However, it is questionable how long it will remain free of wear and tear. With Microsoft’s Surface Laptop, people thought the Alcantara was a great idea until the first devices were actually used. In the meantime, pictures showing the heaviest wear can often be found.

The edge of the display is clearly visible, which is particularly the case at the top because HP has opted for a high-quality webcam. This works with 8 megapixels and really takes a sharp picture. This is a great advantage in calls where owners of such a laptop are more likely to sit. The same goes for Bang’s really good microphones and speakers

The concept of the 1.4 kilogram laptop is apparently primarily aimed at mobile use. This shows up in different places. For example, the possibility of inserting a SIM card and going online via 5G mobile communications. As far as the trackpad and keyboard are concerned, both were completely convincing in the test.

Performance deficits in graphics applications

The performance of the device is perfectly sufficient to cope with everyday office life without any hurdles. The device managed 4880 points in the PC Mark, which corresponds to a conventional business laptop with a very good processor and places the device at the top end of its league.

The device is rather unsuitable for games, which is also shown by the 3DMark score of 1488 points (Time Spy). Although the Xe is one of the fastest integrated graphics solutions from Intel, you shouldn’t count on top performance with high resolution and/or maximum details in demanding games. If you turn down the settings, a smooth display is still possible. With another limitation: The display only supports 60 Hertz, which is not good news for gamers.

On the other hand, the battery performance and the noise emissions are very good. In normal office applications, the device lasted around 10 hours in the test with automatic brightness control, which corresponds to a long working day. As usual, this runtime shrinks to a few hours when starting games or more complex applications. For cooling, the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 has two fans, but even when they’re running, as they are in performance tests, they hardly bother. In everyday life, they rarely start.

The device also regains its strength relatively quickly, with the right charger it went from 0 to 100 in less than two hours. But: If you connect a charger from a third-party manufacturer, HP immediately annoys you with a message that you should use an in-house product should. That doesn’t have to be the case, especially since the quality of the charger in the test was even better than that in the HP box.

The focus on mobile use takes its revenge in one place: HP, of all things, took its cue from Apple when it comes to the variety of connections: Only two USB-C ports and one connection for headphones are simply not enough, since in many scenarios you have to use one dock does not come around. The position of the connections was also annoying in the test: Since HP has positioned very long air outlets on both sides, the USB-C connections are located in the middle on the left side of the case. This makes it harder to create a tidy desk as a longer cable is required.

For connoisseurs and experts, it should also be mentioned that the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 is quite easy to maintain. You can access the inside of the laptop with just a few screws. But that doesn’t really do much: The SSD can be replaced, the working memory is soldered. HP points out that the battery cannot be exchanged. This is a pity and there is actually no technically sensible explanation for it.

In terms of software, the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 comes with Windows 11 Pro and lots of software preinstalled. For example, the “HP Wolf Security Suite” – even advertised on a sticker on the device. At the beginning of the test phase, they contacted us particularly often, for example to provide information about any updates. You have to want that, it was annoying in the test.

HP Dragonfly Folio G3 review: The verdict

The HP Dragonfly Folio G3 is fast, portable, light and quiet. Everything a mobile computer needs. It is ideally suited for use as a business laptop, especially since the webcam delivers exceptional results and the speakers are of high quality.

The design is unique, the faux leather case has a premium feel and makes technical sense as it makes the display so versatile.

The small number of usable and somehow misplaced connections and the software nagging were bothersome in the test. In mobile use, however, where the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 feels most comfortable, it really has a lot to offer. The SIM slot and 5G support is a welcome bonus.

But: The design comes at a very high price, so there is nothing to gloss over. The test device costs around 3400 euros, which is really a lot of money for a 13.5-inch business notebook with these components. If you screw the equipment down to the minimum, the device still costs 3000 euros from the manufacturer.

For comparison: A comparable EliteBook X360 from HP starts at 1300 euros according to Idealo, Lenovo is only slightly higher with the Thinkpad X13. If you really want to put your hands on more than 3000 euros, there are more powerful devices such as the Asus ROG Flow Z13 with full equipment or Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio (here in review). A look at Apple is also worthwhile: The Macbook Pro with M2 Pro is just under 3000 euros (here in the test).

Also read:

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Spoiled for choice: Warentest compares 18 mobile computers, all are “good” – but there are big differences

A good copy is half the battle: This laptop is almost like a MacBook – only with Windows

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