The new HP Dragonfly G4 continues to make the case that business notebooks can be sexy too. Decked in an attractive slate blue, the G4 is sleek, lightweight, and compact. More importantly, it comes with features — an integrated privacy screen, a great webcam, and 5G connectivity — that road warriors will appreciate.
- 13.5-inch (1,920 x 1,280 pixels) touchscreen
- Intel Core i7-1365U with 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD
- 2x Thunderbolt 4, USB-A, HDMI, audio jack, nano-SIM slot
- 50 watt-hour battery
From what I can tell, the HP Dragonfly G4 has a similar design as last year's G3. The corners are rounded, while the laptop's matte finish, surprisingly, doesn't pick up fingerprints and other stains easily. It weighs around 1kg, and like an increasing number of consumer gadgets, feature recycled materials (90% recycled magnesium). You can open the lid to 180 degrees, which makes it easier to share your screen with others. But when you want privacy, the 13.5-inch display comes with HP's Sure View integrated privacy screen feature. Simply press the F2 shortcut to enable it, which obscure the screen to anyone trying to peek from the sides. Great when you're working in public spaces like a cafe or library.
However, the built-in privacy screen does compromise the G4's viewing angles, even when the feature is not in use. I think HP tries to alleviate this somewhat — but not too successfully — by turning up the brightness. The G4 can hit up to 1,000 nits, which is really bright for a laptop display. Naturally, this screen is optimised for productivity with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The 5MP webcam deserves a mention. It produces sharp images with very little noise, and offers a wide 88-degree field of view. A shortcut key lets you disable the webcam for privacy. But you may not want to do that since the webcam can be used for facial recognition. Alternatively, there's a fingerprint reader, which is separate, and not integrated with the power button like most modern notebooks.
I found the touchpad to be large, but a tad too slippery. The keyboard is great — tactile with surprisingly good key travel. I also like that it has a programmable key (F12) that you can assign to your preferred function in the myHP app. Unlike other laptops that skimp on the ports, the G4 covers the essentials, including a HDMI port, a USB-A, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. There's also a nano-SIM slot for 4G or 5G connectivity. Performance-wise, the G4 scored 5,158 in PCMark 10, up from the 4,572 produced by its predecessor. Battery life is great at around 9 hours in our usual video playback test. This is about 1hr 20min longer than last year's model. More importantly, the laptop only gets mildly warm during everyday tasks such as web browsing and video playback.
In short, the HP Dragonfly G4 sounds like a terrific laptop, especially for those working on the go. What's the catch? Well, it's expensive. With a starting price of S$3,549 (my review set is $3,939), this laptop is one for high-level executives rather than the rank-and-file. But that's about its only downside. If you can afford it, the G4 is available now from the HP Store.
Note: Review unit provided by HP.
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