There are plenty of 15.6-inch laptops but 16-inch models like the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus are somewhat of a rarity. The most notable being Apple's MacBook Pro, but there's also the excellent LG Gram 16 and Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Extreme as well as a handful of gaming laptops. Those models all have something else in common besides their screen size, though: They're more expensive than the Inspiron 16 Plus, which starts under $1,000.
The 16-inch display is a great size since it's barely bigger than a 15.6-inch model but you get more room for work and typically a roomier keyboard and touchpad along with it. That's the case with the Inspiron 16 Plus. The body is roughly the same size and weight as the 16-inch MacBook Pro, and its aluminum body, slim screen bezels and clean design give it a higher-quality look and feel you might not expect from an Inspiron laptop. And I haven't even mentioned what you can get inside yet.
Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
Because of chip shortages and production delays, prices and availability continue to fluctuate on laptops from Dell and others. The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus starts at about $1,000 at the moment in the US, £701 in the UK and AU$2,999 in Australia. It can be configured with an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 H-series processor, up to a 1TB SSD and up to 32GB of memory, although 16GB is the max amount you can get at the moment. You can also choose from integrated graphics or a 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU or 60-watt RTX 3060 with 6GB of memory. Fully loaded it is $1,616 right now, which is much less than the $2,199 Apple wants for the base 16-inch MacBook Pro.
|Price as reviewed||$1,421|
|Display size/resolution||16-inch 3,072 x 1,920 display|
|CPU||2.3GHGz Intel Core i7-11800H|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 3200MHz|
|Graphics||4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050|
|Storage||512GB NVMe PCIe SSD|
|Ports||HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 4.0 USB-C, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (x2), SD card reader, combo audio jack|
|Networking||802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (21H1)|
The 16-inch display is good for basic content creation. Its brightness hit 291 nits -- just below its rated 300 nits -- which might have been issue with a glossy display, but with this display's matte finish reflections are minimized. Also, the display covers 100% sRGB and 81% AdobeRGB color gamuts. Again, it's a good display. The only disappointment is that Dell doesn't offer any other display options like a touchscreen or one with greater brightness.
The built-in webcam, mics and speakers are all on par with what you'd typically get at this price -- fine but nothing special. Dell did put in physical privacy shutter for the webcam, so you can block it so you're only on camera when you want.
XPS for less?
The line between Dell's premium XPS laptop line and its mainstream Inspiron models gets blurrier every year. There are still clear differences in materials, build quality and component options, but laptops like the Inspiron 16 Plus really do look and feel like you're buying a high-end device at a lower price. There's a lot to like here, from its aluminum exterior and palm rest to its port assortment to its excellent performance and battery life. It's a premium laptop at a better price.
|Dell Inspiron 16 Plus||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-11800H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050; 512GB SSD|
|Lenovo Legion 5 Pro||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070; 512GB SSD|
|HP Envy 14||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-1135G7; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti graphics; 256GB SSD|
|Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.9GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti; 512GB SSD|
|Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060; 512GB SSD|