Technology

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review: our take –

There are plenty of 15.6-inch laptops out there, but 16-inch models like the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus are pretty rare. We count the

Macbook Pro d’Apple, the LG Gram 16 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme, as well as a handful of gaming laptops. All of these models have one thing in common besides screen size: they are more expensive than the Inspiron 16 Plus, which costs less than $ 1,000.

The 16-inch diagonal is advantageous for having more room to work and, in general, a more spacious keyboard and trackpad, as is the case with the Inspiron 16 Plus. Its size and weight are roughly the same as the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Its aluminum finish, thin screen edges, and sleek design give it a premium look and feel.

The basic configuration of the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus starts at 999 euros (€ 849 in promotion at the time of this test) with an 11th generation Core i5 processor, 8 GB of Ram, 512 GB of SSD and an Intel UHD graphics chip. We can change to a Core i7, have 16 or 32 GB of Ram and 1 TB of SSD. For the graphics card, Dell offers three options: GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB of memory, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti with 4GB, or a GeForce RTX 3050 with 4GB. The higher-end configuration is billed at 1,649 euros, which is much more affordable than the 16-inch MacBook Pro that starts at 2,699 euros. We tested the version with a Core i7, 16 GB of Ram, 512 GB of SSD and the GeForce RTX 3050 at 1299 euros.

Set the record straight, this Inspiron doesn’t have the same build quality as the MacBook or even the XPS 15 or 17 at Dell. Although the chassis is made of metal, the cover lacks the rigidity of a high-end laptop and there is some flexibility in the keyboard area as well. But if you’re looking for more processing and graphics performance in a computer that’s not a gaming laptop or is as expensive as the other 16-inch options, this Inspiron is for you.

Its battery life of 10 hours and 11 minutes in our video streaming test is remarkable considering the fact that it is equipped with a dedicated graphics card.

It can be recharged through its Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port or its 130-watt power supply with its dedicated connector. And while it is a general-purpose or creative laptop for photography, video, and graphics work, it can also be used for gaming when configured with the 3050 or 3060 GPUs. Note that this model uses Nvidia Studio drivers and does not controllers optimized for video games.

The 16-inch screen is good for basic creative needs. Its brightness is 291 nits, just below its nominal 300 nits, which could have been a problem with a glossy screen, but the matte finish minimizes glare. The display covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut and 81% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. Too bad Dell doesn’t offer other options like a touchscreen or a brighter display.

Dell hasn’t skimped on the keyboard and touchpad either. Both are spacious and pleasant to the touch. The backlit keys on the keyboard have 1.3mm travel and are dynamic. The touchpad is smooth and accurate, and we didn’t experience any issues with the palm of our hand or cursor jitter. We also appreciate the presence of the fingerprint reader on the power button. The webcam, the microphones and the integrated speakers are up there with what is usually found at this price: correct but nothing more. The webcam has a physical shutter to maintain confidentiality outside of video chat sessions.

In its lightest configuration with a Core i5, it could be compared to the Huawei Matebook D16 under AMD Ryzen 5, whose price is similar. If we discard the very expensive MacBook, and the priority is mobility, we can turn to the very light LG Gram 16 that also offers a good battery life for this screen size.

conclusion

Year after year, the line between Dell’s premium XPS ultraportables and its consumer Inspiron models grows thinner. There are still clear differences in materials, finish quality, and component options, but laptops like the Inspiron 16 Plus really feel like they’re buying a premium product at a lower price.

CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance / Image: Josh Goldman / CNET

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