HP Dragonfly Pro Review: An AMD Ryzen 7 Laptop That Delivers

HP's 2023 Dragonfly Pro Takes Flight And Soars With AMD Ryzen 7000

dragonfly pro lid open back

HP Dragonfly Pro 14: Starting At $1399.99
The HP Dragonfly Pro is a premium 14-inch laptop built on a very solid foundation of AMD Ryzen 7000 series processors, and its build quality, performance and battery life are exceptional.

hot flat
  • Excellent Fit, Finish And Design
  • Great Performance
  • Fantastic Battery Life
  • Excellent Keyboard And Trackpad
  • Cool And Quiet
not flat
  • Single 1200p Display Option
  • No SDCard Or SIM Slot Option
  • No USB-A Or Headphone Jack

HPs Dragonfly Pro laptops are a line-up of business-class machines bolstered by premium build quality and aesthetics that are also desirable for mainstream consumers. This hybrid design approach, that brings a top-shelf look and feel, along with features and connectivity options that are required for more enterprise-like applications, has become popular with laptop OEMs as of late, and HP has struck a nice balance with its Dragonfly Pro. That balance actually begins with this laptop's AMD Ryzen 7 7000 series genetics. 

With the 14-inch model of the machine we received (HP also offers Dragonfly Pro Chromebooks), HP offers both AMD Ryzen 7 7736U powered variants as well as Intel Core i5 12th Gen models. For our review purposes, short of Intel 13th Gen CPUs which weren't an option just yet, AMD's optimized Zen 3+ architecture on-board the Ryzen 7 7736U was more interesting, from a performance analysis perspective.

And so, with bated breath we requested the HP review sample you're gazing upon here today. First, let's dive into the specs and particulars, then we'll look at performance, thermals, acoustics and battery life...

HP Dragonfly Pro: Specifications

HP Dragonfly Pro Laptop Specifications2

Starting with its processor platform, AMD's new Ryzen 7000 series, as we've discussed here previously, requires a bit of a decoder ring to decipher it these days, in terms of part number branding. In this case, the "3" designation in this system's Ryzen 7 7736U processor indicates AMD's Zen 3+ architecture (aka Rembrandt-R), versus the company's latest gen Zen 4 Phoenix CPU architecture, which is notated in the Ryzen 7040 series of chips. However, AMD has clearly been optimizing CPU and platform performance as well as drivers and firmware, because the benchmark results we'll share on the pages ahead are impressive for this class of thin-and-light premium business machine.

This platform also includes integrated AMD Radeon 680M graphics, as well as 16GB of LPDDR5-6400 MHz memory, and a 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD. For connectivity, we're treated to a trio of USB Type-C ports, two of which are full 40Gbps USB 4 and the other USB 3.2 Gen 2 (20Gbps), along with a Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 combo module. 

Integrated into this machine's 1920x1200 16:10 IPS display is a 5MP 4K UHD capable webcam supported with an IR camera for Windows Hello supper, and dual mics. For sound HP and Bang And Olufsen teamed up for tuning of a quad speaker array, and all of this technology is backed up by a rather stout 64.6 Whr battery and a 96 Watt fast charger brick that tops off at 50% charge in just 30 minutes.

HP Dragonfly Pro: Build Quality, Design And Features

dragonfly pro lid open left

HP's design language with the 2023 Dragonfly Pro (14-inch) is clean and understated with a matte black soft touch finish that resists fingerprints well and feels dense and solid in the hand. This machine weighs in at 3.42 lbs, which is heavier than most 14-inch laptops we've reviewed recently, but that's likely due to this laptop's larger battery and recycled metal base that adds to its rigidity. Regardless, it's not a hefty machine by any measure and still serves up a highly portable, compact computing experience.
dragonfly pro lid open left edge
dragonfly pro lid open right edge

As you can see, the Dragonfly Pro's three USB-C ports are the only external connectivity options available, though you are treated to USB-C charging from either edge of the machine, which helps with convenience and cable management on a desktop or in your lap. There is no headphone jack here, nor are there legacy USB-A ports, though conversion dongles and wireless earbuds are prevalent these days, so these are unlikely to be showstoppers for most users.

A Rare, Satisfying Thin Laptop Sound System 

The Bang & Olufsen sound system branding on the Dragonfly Pro is, as you might say, legit. Typically, sound systems in a 3 lb weight class laptop like this are pathetically lacking in low-end bass response and full dynamic range. However, that is not the case with HP's new Dragonfly Pro. The quad speaker setup that's been engineered and tuned by B&O, has excellent spatial separation along with crisp, accurate high-end reproduction and satisfying, dare I say full, low-end bass. The sound system on offer here with this thin and light laptop is one of the best we've heard in this category of machines thus far.

hp dragonfly pro open keyboard with function row
Other quality features of the Dragonfly Pro are its spacious keyboard and trackpad. The keyboard is a backlit chiclet design with good spacing and key cap size, but with the slightest bit of give and flex underneath. This doesn't detract from the overall experience or premium feel, however, and after a bit of learning curve, working on this machine became quite comfortable. The far left gray function button column is a little odd in terms its functionality. There is one mappable, custom hot key function, but the other buttons essentially are hotkeys for firing up the different tabs of the myHP desktop app that offers system maintenance functions, as well as low level video and audio controls for the webcam and speaker system sound equalizer. That's a lot of keyboard real estate dedicated to essentially controlling one piece of software, but again this will be a minor quibble for most users.  

2023 HP Dragonfly Pro Display

hp dragronfly pro display

The new Dragonfly Pro's display is comprised of a 14-inch FHD IPS touchscreen with a 16:10 aspect ratio and thin bezels with an 86.5% screen to body ratio. At 400 nits, it's not the brightest thin-and-light laptop panel we've laid eyes on, but it does deliver good color accuracy, vibrance and uniformity. An OLED or QHD panel option might be the chef's kiss for this machine, but the more mainstream screen resolution here serves its purpose well enough regardless. 

HP Dragonfly Pro Software Experience

The myHP app that HP installs on the Dragonfly Pro is a thoughtfully clean, uncluttered utility that offers controls for the machine's video and audio subsystems, like the webcam interface you see here, below... 
dragonfly pro webcam software

The Dragonfly Pro's webcam software implementation has zoom and crop controls, along with auto-framing functionality that works quite well. It also offers backlight, low-light and automatic tone adjustment toggles. We've never been satisfied with auto tone control, and found that to be the same here. However, at default settings the 5MP camera captures and renders imagery well at up to 4K resolution no less. All-in, again this is one of the best thin-and-light laptop webcams we've worked with thus far, and it's software suite that HP bundles in offers excellent control and setup to capture video conference feeds with confidence, including customizable background replacement, skin softening and more.

Next we'll look at the Dragonfly Pro's performance, and put AMD's new Ryzen 7 7736U 8-core 15 Watt TDP platform to the test in our benchmarks... 

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