With CES entirely upon us, it’s one of the most exciting times of the year to be an Analyst. I would be heading to CES on any typical year, getting my mobile station set up in a hotel, and preparing to attend product launches for basically a week straight. With the first-ever virtual CES coming this year, it will a unique experience for me.
Last year during CES, HP announced meaningful refreshes and additions to its Spectre, Envy, and Elite Dragonfly PCs. This year, HP is taking CES as an opportunity to promote a large swatch of PCs and peripherals, but more focused on the hot topic of 2020, which is collaboration. New work from home and hybrid work environments drive the need for more robust devices, and I believe HP is meeting that demand head-on with its announcements.
Let’s dive into the announcements.
HP Elite Dragonfly G2
The first system I wanted to touch on is the HP Elite Dragonfly Max. The Elite Dragonfly Max is the follow on to HP’s very popular HP Elite Dragonfly G2. I spent some time using the Dragonfly G2 last May, and you can access that review here.
This year the Elite Dragonfly G2 is getting some meaningful additions like support for Intel 11th gen processors. This business convertible notebook also supports 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, and some great audio experiences with AI-Based HP dynamic Audio, HP Sound Calibration, and noise reduction. In terms of security, it will also support HP Sure Shutter and built-in Tile devices for protection. I see this launch as HP squeezing more performance out of an already great notebook while sticking with reliable collaboration and security features.
HP Elite Dragonfly Max
The new HP Elite Dragonfly Max seems to be the most premium business convertible that HP has ever offered. This notebook is a looker. I was a big fan of the unique Dragonfly Blue color on the Elite Dragonfly G2, so I am happy to see another color option in this gen. The Dragonfly Max will support the Dragonfly Blue color and add Sparkling Black as a new color option. The new features for the DragonFly Max include a 5 MP + IR camera for video conferencing, HP Eye Ease Display, and four wide range array mics. The new microphones are an excellent addition and will come with noise-canceling capabilities. I love that the microphones can isolate unwanted noise like a dog barking or dishes hitting together, dramatically reducing the amount of background noise on conference calls.
I cannot wait to use this to test out the collaboration capabilities.
HP Elite Wireless Earbuds
I know many users are perfectly comfortable using their notebook as a video conferencing device and running audio through the PC speakers. I, on the other hand, typically elect for a set of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. Earbuds are my favorite form factor for video and audio conferencing most of the time because of the lack of wires, noise-canceling ability, and mobility. With that said, let’s look at HP’s new earbud offering.
The HP Elite Wireless Earbuds are new for 2021 and designed with collaboration in mind. The earbuds initially look very stylish and sleek with a matte black finish. I haven’t been able to test the earbuds yet, but HP says it comes with personalized audio tuning, adjustable noise cancellation, and sound presets. I like that the earbuds are customizable. Each user wants different audio levels, sound profiles, and noise cancellation levels that fit their use case.
I look forward to testing these out in the coming months while using my collaboration apps of choice like Skype, Teams, Meet, 8×8 and Webex. The earbuds will be compatible for use with Windows 10 devices, iOS, and Android app. The charging case is etched with HP’s premium looking logo and shares the same matte black finish as the earbuds. The charging case charges via a USB-C charging port. I like to use the same charger to charge my notebook and the HP Elite Wireless Earbuds. I travel often, and when living out of a backpack, the fewer chargers I can carry, the better. The HP Elite Wireless Earbuds come as a bundle option with the Elite Dragonfly Max or available for purchase separately.
HP Elite Folio
The next product that I want to touch on is the HP Elite Folio. The HP Elite Folio is a new business convertible PC and one of the most unique looking devices I have seen in a while. This system features the world’s first pull-forward design. I mean that the display can pull forward and fully cover the entirety of the keyboard. The device can also fold completely over in a traditional 2-in-1 orientation. HP is positioning the HP Elite Folio as a device built for work and play. The forward positioning of the display is considered media mode. It sort of isolates the display for a better viewing experience for video conferencing or watching YouTube or Netflix.
HP claims that the Elite Folio will get up to 24.5 hours of local video playback on a single charge, which I look forward to testing myself. I assumed this system would have great battery life due to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8CX Gen 2 processor. We have talked about the exciting form factor and use case, let’s talk about the hardware in this new system.
The Elite Folio is a great system from a hardware perspective. It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8CX Gen 2 5G Processor, Windows 10 Pro, 76-degree FOV camera, Wi-Fi 6, 5G connectivity, Bluetooth 5, integrated privacy screen, HP privacy camera, dual mic array, and premium audio for Bang & Olufsen. This system looks great from a hardware and connectivity standpoint, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one to do some testing.
HP ENVY 14
The Envy product line has historically been a good one for HP’s consumer notebook business. HP is positioning the new HP Envy 14 as a more robust consumer and mobile creator notebook. The new 16:10 display adds 11% more viewing area when compared to 16:9 of the last generation. The system now supports 11th Gen Intel Processors and up to NVIDIA GeForce 1650Ti Max-Q graphics cards. The discrete graphics in a thin 14″ notebook is always good for creators that need to remain mobile but still need dedicated graphics for creative applications. HP also claims that the notebook is more thermally efficient with an 11% increase in flow rate than last gen. The HP ENVY 14 uses AI noise removal, a digitally controlled camera shutter, and has a mute microphone button on the keyboard when it comes to security and collaboration. The Envy has always been a solid bet for a consumer notebook, and with these additions, it will likely stay that way.
HP once again had a great CES showing. I cannot wait to dive in and try out the new form factors, capabilities and features. This year focus on improving the collaboration experience with new devices to support enhanced productivity and collaboration. 2020 was a whirlwind of a year for the enterprise, and I believe that HP took those learnings and implemented them quickly into new products and features. I can’t wait to get my hands on the HP Elite Folio, the Elite Dragonfly Max, and to pair those notebooks with the Elite Wireless Earbuds. In recent years I have had a good experience with HP enterprise notebooks, and it will be useful to test the next round of devices. I believe these devices are built with the latest and greatest in terms of connectivity and privacy and will surely provide users with more performance. Be on the lookout for more CES launch announcements coming this week.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.