Inspiron 16 Plus (7610) offers a great value within a growing category of laptops that have 16 inch displays and are equipped with Intel H-series processors as well as Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics.
- High-performance graphics and computing power
- Easy access to upgrades from a compact chassis
- Display with 3K detail
- Touchpads of immense size
- Reasonably priced
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|Laptop Class||Desktop Replacement|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-11800H|
|Processor Speed||2.3 GHz|
|RAM (as Tested)||16 GB|
|Boot Drive Type||SSD|
|Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)||512 GB|
|Screen Size||16 inches|
|Native Display Resolution||3072 by 1920|
|Variable Refresh Support||None|
|Screen Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|Graphics Processor||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050|
|Graphics Memory||4 GB|
|Wireless Networking||802.11ax, Bluetooth|
|Dimensions (HWD)||0.75 by 13.99 by 9.74 inches|
|Operating System||Windows 10|
|Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)||13:47|
The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus laptop is a powerful and affordable big-screen model. It can render graphics-intensive games at 1080p, as well as playing 4K movies on an airplane tray table. This laptop is a compromise between Dell's large premium notebooks like the XPS 17 and the Inspiron 5000 Series.
The Inspiron 16 Plus, which retails for $940.79 and $1,352.39, as tested, has the majority of the market, although we anticipate new players in the coming year. But with this laptop as good as it is—our new Editors' Choice award winner for midrange desktop replacements—there's little reason to wait.
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Due to physical limitations, laptops with 16 inch screens used to be rare. But just as you can now find plenty of 14-inch models that are no bigger than older 13-inch designs—the HP Spectre x360 14 being an excellent example—so too can you find 16-inch screens in chassis that would once have been limited to 15 inches. Apple launched the market with its 16-inch MacBook Pro, and Lenovo just introduced their Legion 5 Pro gaming laptop. Now we are starting to see more options.
Value seekers will be happy to know that Dell chose to place its 16 inch laptop within the budget-friendly Inspiron line rather than in the premium XPS. But unlike many Inspirons we've reviewed before—especially the recent, rather uninspiring Inspiron 15 7000 series—you'd be hard-pressed to tell that even the deluxe configurations of this laptop still cost under $1,500.
One of those up-ticked configurations is the model reviewed here, which combines Intel's latest 11th Generation H-series Core i7 CPU and the latest GeForce RTX 3000-series graphics processor from Nvidia. The Core H-series and RTX 3000 GPUs are the cream of the laptop crop, and with a few exceptions like the XPS 17 and XPS 15, they're mostly found in gaming rigs. They're certainly rare if not nonexistent in budget general-purpose models like the HP Pavilion and Lenovo IdeaPad families.
The test unit comes with 16GB memory as well as a solid-state drive of 512GB, which will be sufficient for most users. If you require more storage, 16GB will be the limit. However, you have the option to upgrade to 1TB SSDs. You can also install another SSD by yourself. The flagship processor option is the Core i7-11800H, which has eight cores. However, you have the choice to upgrade your GPU from our RTX 3050 system to the RTX 3060. The graphics upgrade is not necessary for most buyers. However, you will need it if the RTX 3060 has an additional 2GB video memory. This gives you an extra 6GB.
The entry-level Inspiron 16 Plus has a 6-core Intel Core i5-11400H processor, 8GB memory and a 256GB SSD. The processor's integrated Intel UHD graphics are used instead of a discrete GPU. The entry-level configuration is still a great value at less than 1,000 dollars.
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Inspiron 16 Plus's 16 inch screen is what makes it so affordable, even if you do not need to have the Core i7 or RTX3050. This is the only display option with an exceptional resolution of 3,072 x 1,920 pixels. This translates into a 16/10 aspect ratio. It's still a largescreen that can be used for movie viewing and spreadsheet editing, but it has a little more vertical space than a 16/9 display. This means that you will be able to see more web pages without scrolling.
The screen met its rating by displaying 100% of the sRGB colors in our tests (more later). Although the matte finish can dull colors, it is better than a glossy one because of its ability to decrease glare from outside light. The Inspiron's backlight, which was measured at 298nits during our testing, is quite dim. However, the matte finish makes up the difference. The brightness of other large laptops like the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is 400 nits. The display from Dell is a pleasant viewing experience. However, it lacks touch support.
The 16-inch screen is also notable because it essentially fits into the same size chassis. Thanks in part to thinner bezels and the 16:10 aspect ratio, the Inspiron 16 Plus is only 5% bigger than its 15.6-inch stablemate while affording 11% more screen area. The laptop measures 0.75 by 14 by 9.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 4.43 pounds, about average for its class. The 16-inch MacBook Pro, in contrast, is 0.64 by 14.1 by 9.7 inches and weighs 4.3 pounds.
The Inspiron 16 Plus's Mist Blue color scheme looks very dull to me. Although I appreciate when laptop manufacturers go beyond the standard silver and gray colors, the mist blue hue is almost as subtle as gray. The unusual color choice is further enhanced by the bright silver accents around the touchpad and the edges of the base.
The Inspiron 16 Plus's aesthetics, however, are purely personal preferences. Its aluminum exterior sets it apart from other Inspiron notebooks made of polycarbonate. The chassis, which has a rigid display hinge, is solid and doesn't flex when the keys are pressed hard.
Typing is also an excellent feature of the Inspiron 16 Plus. Although the keyboard has a narrow vertical travel of 1.3mm, it is offset by the solid key switches that make a satisfying click when they are pressed. The Inspiron 16 Plus provides a similar typing experience as the Surface Laptop 4.
There is one major difference: the Inspiron 16 Plus has a dedicated numberpad on the right. This makes it a little more congested but can appeal to spreadsheet-jokers with smaller or larger fingers.
Following industry trends, the Dell's touchpad is gigantic, taking up nearly the entire vertical area between the spacebar and the edge of the chassis. It affords plenty of room for cursor movements from one corner of the 16-inch screen to the other, but as with any large mechanical pad, the clicking mechanism tends to be too stiff at the top and too mushy at the bottom.
The power button is located in the upper right hand corner of your keyboard. It doubles as an fingerprint reader. The power button is your only choice for signing in to Windows 10 without having to type a password. To prevent snooping, the camera has a discreet mechanical shutter. The video quality of the webcam is excellent for its 720p resolution. It has vivid colors and produces very little noise in well-lit rooms.
The premium laptops with large screens like the MacBook Pro or XPS 17 have better sound quality, but the Inspiron 16 Plus has two speakers that produce a more average audio experience. This is far less than the MacBook Pro and XPS 17 which offer superior sound quality.
The large grille that appears to be for speakers above the keyboard is actually a heat exhaust device from the cooling system. Two slits on the chassis at the bottom allow the speakers to project. The sound bounces off the desk and onto whatever surface your laptop rests on.
Connectivity options include a full-size HDMI output and two USB ports on the left edge, with an SD card slot, a third USB port, and a headphone jack on the right. Two of the USB ports are of the rectangular Type-A variety and support USB 3.2 Gen 1 speeds, while the third is an oval USB-C connector with Thunderbolt 4 speeds. It's nice to see Thunderbolt 4 and HDMI ports on a laptop at this price, but it would be even better if the Inspiron 16 Plus had at least one more USB-C connector.
Wireless connectivity comprises an Intel Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) module with 2x2 MIMO support, as well as Bluetooth support.
The Inspiron 16 Plus comes with one SSD. However, there is room on the motherboard for another drive. This slot supports PCI Express 2.0 interface. The M.2 slots can be easily removed from a drive you have purchased. You can order the PCIe-4.0 slot to support drives up to 2TB. This means that your Inspiron 16 Plus will be able add 3TB solid-state storage if it is ordered from the manufacturer.
The Inspiron 16 Plus performs flawlessly every day. The Inspiron 16 Plus was responsive and fast, even when I used multiple tabs to browse the internet. The Inspiron compares favorably to its competition, including gaming rigs such as the Alienware M15 R5 and general-purpose desktop replacements such as the HP Pavilionx360 15, 15 or the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. Although the Dell XPS 17 and 16-inch MacBook Pro are more costly, it is worth considering if it's available. I have included it in my benchmark charts as a reference system.
We'll take a closer look at the results of the tests below and see how the Inspiron performs. It easily cleared the PCMark 10 comprehensive test. This is a great indicator of office productivity. It actually reaches 6,000 points, which is close to the XPS 17's score. This XPS 17 is also equipped with the same processor and twice as much memory. The PCMark 10 benchmark is used to simulate different content creation and productivity workflows in real life. It's also used for overall system performance testing office-centric tasks like word processing, spreadsheet work and web browsing.
Geekbench, PCMark 10 Full System Drive and PCMark 10 Full System Drive are also used to isolate contributions from the SSD and CPU. Although we don't yet have the complete benchmark results, it is reassuring that the Inspiron was able to win Geekbench. Learn more about our testing laptops.
We use an automated Puget Systems test to approximate complex multimedia content creation. To do this, Cinebench renders a 3D image, Transcodes a 4K video in HandBrake and applies filters and effects to Photoshop. Inspiron 16 Plus was competitive against the Pavilion x360 15, which, to be honest is several hundred more expensive.
Although the Inspiron doesn't have a gaming GPU per se, its gaming-class GPU means that it performs better than the Alienware in 3DMark or GFXBench simulations. However, the Inspiron far outperformed the integrated graphics on the HP and Microsoft laptops. It can run graphic-intensive games and still deliver an enjoyable gaming experience. I was able to see 55 frames per second playing at 1080p resolution, medium graphics settings, in the challenging Assassin's creed: Valhalla. Rainbow Six: Siege, a less demanding game, runs even better on the Dell. The Dell managed 150 frames per second at 1080p and Ultra quality settings.
The Inspiron 16 Plus's battery lasts for almost 13 hours during our video test. This laptop is a great replacement for your desktop. The Inspiron 16 Plus is now a fraction of the Surface Laptop 4 or XPS 17 that were able to last five hours on large laptops equipped with GPUs and powerful CPUs.
The Inspiron 16 Plus isn't the right laptop for you. If you are already looking for an affordable 15.6 inch notebook, it might be worth considering a larger screen with roughly the same dimensions. We think the Inspiron answers that question. It is a clear affirmative choice.
It would almost be perfect if Dell had the Inspiron 16 Plus available in more colors and equipped with touch-enabled displays. These features are not available in the Inspiron 16 Plus. However, you will need to spend more if they're offered by Dell. It is possible to decide to hold off for a while as more laptops with 16 inch displays are on the way. The Inspiron 16 Plus, however, is an excellent value and well-deserved Editors Choice winner for affordable desktop replacement laptops.