HP Elite Dragonfly Review: A Super Stylish 2-In-1 Laptop

HP Elite Dragonfly: Security Features and Pre-installed Software

HP traditionally bundles tons of security features with its business-class notebooks, and the Elite Dragonfly is no exception. Business users need their notebooks to be reliable, and very often premium notebook safety features drive the upcharge over consumer hardware.These layers of protection come in the form of both software applications and hardware-based features. 

Hardware Based Security

Hardware protections start with the BIOS. HP Sure Start exists so that if malware becomes embedded in the system's firmware, the PC can heal itself. On each boot, the Elite Dragonfly checks its firmware to make sure it's valid, and if not, re-flashes itself. Sure Recover is an optional automated re-imaging service that will restore the system's operating system. HP's Manageability Integration Kit is a remote administration tool to help speed up image creation and software management. 

privacy guard hp elite dragonfly

Those hardware protections go beyond firmware, too. Like many other systems we've tested recently, the Elite Dragonfly has a privacy shutter for the webcam. Unlike the shutter on some systems, the slider is so unobtrusive we didn't realize it was even there. A small sliding section of the top bezel is all it takes to slide a physical blocker in front of the camera.

hp sure view diagram elite dragonfly

HP's Sure View privacy guard can dynamically adjust viewing angles to stop prying eyes. With the touch of a button, HP says this can prevent people looking at the display from a steeper viewing angle from seeing what's displayed. This requires a proprietary backlight and a privacy film built into the panel to adjust how light is dispersed from the display. Sure View is only available on the upgraded 1,000 nit display, however, so we didn't get to try it out with our review unit. 

Software Security Features

The software protections are also pretty robust. HP used machine learning to train its Sure Sense software to look for attacks even if they haven't yet made it into antivirus definitions. Meanwhile, Sure Run watches the antivirus software on the system to keep it running if an attacker tries to disable it. Together, these two features should add additional protections to keep intruders out of a system. Sure Sense might be a little overzealous, as it detected the Sure Click Browser's user guide PDF as a threat and quarantined it. 

sure sense service hp elite dragonfly

Users tend to be the weak link in a security setup, however, and that's what Sure Click is for. We covered this in depth when we reviewed the Zbook 14u G6, and the concept is still pretty much the same. Sure Click uses a micro VM for the system's web browsers which isolates any unknown websites from the rest of the system. When we tested this before, we didn't really see a performance impact, and the same is true here. Just install the Chrome extension and Sure Click silently handles the rest. 

Pre-Installed Software

HP bundles a fair amount of software with the Elite Dragonfly, but for the most part it's all software that drives the system's features. We didn't find a trace of third-party apps installed, which we always appreciate with these high-end systems. 

preinstalled software hp elite dragonfly

Rather than rely on a single monolithic application to drive all of the Elite Dragonfly's features, HP included several smaller apps all distributed through Microsoft's Windows Store. HP includes separate apps for power management, documentation, support assistance, and even an app to control whether you share anonymous usage statistics with HP. This is all pretty straightforward stuff that is useful and shouldn't be considered bloatware.

hp workwell breaks elite dragonfly

What's a little off the beaten path is HP WorkWell. This app tries to look out for your well-being by keeping track of not only how long you've been using the computer, but whether you're sitting or standing and how often you take breaks, too. After opting in to the alerts, HP offers three different levels of how often it'll nag you to put down the work and move around. 

The Exercises tab shows videos of folks doing stretches and working out the kinks inherent to working long hours at a desk. After clicking Exercise Now, the app expands to take the full screen so the videos are large enough to see. It encourages users to do arm shrugs, trunk twists, head rolls, arm stretches, and more. For Science, we went through the whole process, and it took around 15 minutes.

hp workwell exercises elite dragonfly

Personally, I don't think I'd use something like this. I prefer to get up and walk away from my desk for a few minutes where there's no distractions from Skype or the internet. However, just because something's not for me doesn't mean it's not for someone, and it's nice that HP includes an option. Having the alerts if nothing else might be nice, though.

This sort of thing works well on wearable devices. Apple Watches and Fitbits have long nagged users to get up, move around, or stop and take a breath. The downside to WorkWell is that you have to sign up for yet another account just to use it, so that data can sync between devices. We're not so sure that we need yet another way to remind ourselves to get up and take a break, and that's especially true when the system requires setting up a special account just to get some notifications or a reminder on how to avoid repetitive stress injuries. 

Next up it's time to see how the Elite Dragonfly performs in our battery of tests. 

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