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The compact & lightweight HP Dragonfly G3 notebook moves to a 3:2 display

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Many cameras feature a 3:2 aspect ratio image sensor. For example, Fujifilm X Series cameras and full-frame offerings from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Sony feature 3:2 image sensors. However, most computer displays are 21:9, 16:10 or 16:9, meaning that if you view your photos full screen, there are always letterbox bars. HP has bucked the industry trends with displays before, including the recent Spectre X360 2-in-1 notebook, and is doing so again with its Elite Dragonfly series. The new Elite Dragonfly G3, which was originally announced just ahead of CES earlier this month, comes in with a suite of changes beyond the switch to a 3:2 display, including a new keyboard and improved performance.

Looking first at the display, The Verge has gone hands-on with an early prototype machine. The model they used incorporates a 1920 x 1280 resolution 3:2 display. The taller panel gives you a bit more room and makes the overall form factor deeper, allowing for a larger touchpad. PCMag reported at the time of announcement that the 13.5-inch laptop will include three display options, including an OLED 3K2K resolution touchscreen.

Another change to the physical design is the new keyboard. The keys are larger than the previous model, resulting in an improved typing experience. The Verge’s Monica Chin called it ‘one of my favorite keyboards.’ High praise from someone who has typed on a lot of notebooks over the years. Between the bigger keys and bigger touchpad, the move to a 3:2 display promises dividends in usability.

The front-facing camera is improved as well, up to a 5MP with RGB and IR sensors from a 720p camera. On the audio side of things, the notebook is better. There are still four speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen, but there are now discrete amps for each speaker.

Image courtesy of HP

Inside, the G3 series comes with 12th Gen Intel processors and up to 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of storage. The notebook now includes USB-C ports on both sides of the machine, which should improve overall usability. The model has a full-size HDMI port as well. The fingerprint reader and power button are now on the keyboard, too.

Battery life performance specs aren’t available yet, but there are now two batteries to choose from, including a 45Wh or 68Wh Fast Charge battery and up to a 100W Type-C charger. The G2 included a single battery option with 56.2Wh capacity.

With the new design, it’s unclear if it’s all improvements. Chin notes that the Dragonfly G3 is no longer a convertible device. It’s now clamshell only. While not everyone enjoys 2-in-1 notebooks, some users may lament the lack of the option in the Dragonfly series.

As of now, pricing is not yet available. HP expects the Dragonfly G3 models to be available in the next few months. For what it’s worth, when the Dragonfly G2 launched about a year ago, it started at around $1,900. The compact, roughly 1kg (2.2 lbs) notebook is certainly an interesting option for photographers on-the-go who want a 3:2 display.


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