Your PC is a tool that is critical to the quality of work you do at your job or in school. If you were in almost any other job that used advanced tools, you would spend a lot of time learning how to pick the best configuration for how you work. A professional mechanic might have a contract with Snap-On to provide them with the expensive tools they need to do their job well, dentists and doctors study how to select and use their medical tools, and professional carpenters have their own hand-picked tools (some they may make themselves) to perform better in their jobs.
We should do the same thing with PCs because picking the wrong one will have an adverse impact on your productivity while picking the right one can have positive impacts ranging from work performance to how people perceive you in meetings and in the office.
My idea of a perfect laptop is the new HP Dragonfly Folio G3, but it may not be the perfect laptop for you. Let me walk you through why it is my perfect laptop and, hopefully, you can learn from my experience what the perfect laptop for you would be.
How I work
In my home office, I have a custom desktop that I have built that has the performance I need for work and play and that I can show off to the people that come to visit. I do not use a laptop in the office. But I travel a great deal and I cannot take the desktop computer or the Dell 49-inch monitor it is connected to (if I could love a monitor this would be the monitor I would marry).
When traveling, I don’t like to carry a lot of weight, I am often working where there is no power and where Wi-Fi does not exist or is insecure or has mediocre performance, so I need a good 5G connection on top of the latest Wi-Fi technology. Because I don’t want to carry a heavy laptop to meetings, I need a product that is easy to carry, not too heavy, and with a cover that doesn’t get slippery if my hands get sweaty (like if I am running for a meeting that I am late for).
In addition, I like to read, and don’t want to carry either books or a tablet like the Amazon Fire tablet to read from, so I need a laptop that can also function as a reader and perform as a tablet. And finally, while I do not game when I travel (once you have gamed on a forty-nine-inch monitor, gaming on a laptop screen just sucks), but I do watch a lot of movies and TV shows that my wife hates when I travel. So, I need something that will play movies well even if I am in coach with little room between the seat in front of me and my face.
HP Dragonfly Folio
The Dragonfly Folio is one of the lightest laptops in its class and it has all-day battery life, so you do not have to carry the charger. It is wrapped in material that feels and looks like leather but is more sustainable (did not come from a dead animal), so it carries very well. It has a unique, cantilevered screen that not any allows the product to be used as a tablet without having the buttons on the bottom (which feels weird with most convertibles), and the screen can tent to cover the keyboard and work for movies and TV on a plane. And this latest version of the Folio, the third generation, has both strong Wi-Fi and 5G support with an eSIM that makes connecting to your cellular provider far more convenient (I am always losing SIMs).
This latest version has a massively improved video camera, making it unnecessary to carry another camera for Zoom calls, or in my case, for doing remote TV interviews. And with Intel’s latest mobile processor, it outperforms prior versions of the product, but it does sacrifice a little battery life for that performance.
In the end, this HP Dragonfly Folio is the closest thing, so far, to my perfect laptop.
Picking your perfect laptop
To pick your perfect laptop, start with what you currently have and figure out what you like, do not like, and hate about it. Then think about what you use the laptop for and prioritize this list, so you know that if you need to trade-off related features which are critical and which are not. Finally, review your experiences with the different PC vendors (not everyone’s experience is the same, but if you have a relationship with one of the vendors you will need to decide if you want to remain with that vendor or swap them for another.
If you are heavily into STEM courses at school, want to game on the laptop, or are in a number of careers that create media, you will need a discrete GPU which immediately moves you into a different class of product. If you are mostly just working at your desk and do not need the product to be mobile, then a desktop computer will probably be better for you than a laptop. Conversely if you are a road warrior, you want lightweight, long battery life and the full suite of connectivity options (Wi-Fi, 5G).
Then, before moving, how robust do you need the device to be? If it needs to be used outside and may be in the weather, you might prefer a hardened laptop like a Panasonic or Dell hardened computer. Finally, think about your priorities regarding using the laptop as a reader, movie/TV player, or for video calls and determine if you need it to be a convertible or want a more powerful camera like the 8K camera the HP Dragonfly Folio has.
We should choose our PCs based on the work we do on them, and our unique mobility, connectivity and external finish needs. Set up a list of your priorities like battery life, graphics performance, screen size, and portability. You may find that, like me, the new HP Dragonfly Folio G3 is your best option, or you could end up with something quite different.
I can assure you that the result is worth the effort. When you find a laptop that fits how you work and best addresses your priorities, you’ll find work more pleasant, frustrations are reduced, and you may, as I do, even begin to love the laptop you have and, rather trying to find creative ways to get someone to replace it, you’ll instead be better able to focus on work and school.
The quality and focus on our tools have a direct impact on our performance. So take the time to figure out which one works best for you and you will find, as I did, that happiness may be the perfect laptop for you, just as this HP Dragonfly Folio G3 is for me.